I’ve learned something amazing. Ramadan is such a powerful and comprehensive metaphor of life. As with life, in Ramadan we must struggle hard. We must let go of things we love (food, drink, intimacy) in order to attain things we love more (mercy and pleasure of God). Our greatest day of joy is at the End–at the Final breaking of the fast. In Ramadan, that day is Eid. In life, that day is in the hereafter. And although this greatest day of joy is at the end, Allah allows us small joys along the way. In Ramadan, He gives us daily celebrations at iftar, before the Final celebration at Eid. In life, He gives us glimpses of pleasure, before the Real joy in the hereafter. In this life, He gives us the peace of prayer, the coolness of the eyes of family. A loyal friend. The beauty of a sunset, or full moon. Majestic trees. These are the small iftars, before the True Feast.

And this is why we know that for the one who fasts (from both food and what displeases Allah), there are two joys. One joy is at the time of breaking the minor fast (from food) at iftar. And the other joy is at the breaking of the major fast (from haram) at the meeting with Allah.

But, of all the life lessons of Ramadan, there is one we forget most. When we mess up the beginning, when we feel suffocated by the weight of wasted opportunities and unfulfilled plans, we still have a chance. A chance to come back. A chance to rise up from our spiritual crawl, and walk–maybe even run–to the finish line.

No matter what we’ve done, He still gives a chance to leave strong, by giving us the mercy of the night of power and the last 10 nights.

And in life, the same.

No matter how much suffering you see around you, there is also joy. No matter how dark it is for you right now, this isn’t the end; you can still leave strong. You can still rise up.

May Allah make us among those who, despite our beginnings, leave only with strong endings.

Husn ul khaatima, ya Allah.

Eid Mubarak to you all.

Dear Facebook family,
I wanted to share something very close to my heart. After years of struggle, I have finally completed my new book, Love and Happiness.

Things fall apart. And they break sometimes. Like many of you, my journey hasn’t always been easy. Pain is very real. And so is loss. Sometimes it’s hard not to let the weight of what we carry—or the memory of what we’ve lost—take over. Many of us know the reality of struggle, and so many people suffer in silence. It’s hard. It’s hard not to give up when we face the repeated disappointments of life. Like some of you, I’ve known loneliness. I’ve known defeat. I’ve fallen many times chasing mirages, and broken many bones making castles in life’s fading sands. Sometimes, all it took was one solid wave to destroy what I had spent years building.

So I decided to give it a voice. All of it: the tears, the pain. And the lessons. The things I saw and learned and gained along my life path needed a voice. I wanted to give back, in hopes of helping myself and others survive. But then it wasn’t just about surviving. I didn’t just want people to survive inside their storms. I wanted people to thrive inside their storms.
And so I wrote, as I walked through my own.

The words found in this book became my voice and my letter to the world. They became my deepest attempt to, not just pick myself up, but others along the way. I wrote because, just as we will fall in life, so will we rise. That’s the thing about this world. It never gives us only one kind of path. There is pain. Yes. And loss. And even darkness. But there is also light. There is hope. There is beauty.

And there is also love and happiness.


Reclaim Your Heart

This clip made me cry, and I’ll tell you why.
It made me cry because this is who we are, and yet so often we forget. The constant bombardment of bad press becomes internalized in us psychologically and we begin to feel ashamed. Just as the haters want. More than anything they want to breed *self hatred* in us. They want us to be ashamed of Islam and Muslims. They want us to apologize for Islam. They want us to take off our hijabs and just blend in. To lay low like wanted convicts.

But. We. Must. Refuse.

We must remain proud of who we are. We must not cower, but rather stand taller and stronger and more proud.
This is who we are, my people. This.

We’re live at a west London mosque after the fire at Grenfell Tower

I broke down today hearing about the tragedy that struck our brother and sisters in London. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the thought of watching your own children trapped in a building waiting to burn to death.

Then only one single thought calmed my heart. The Creator of those children and those families is more merciful than I could ever be. Or ever imagine being. And they were in His care then. And they remain in His care now.

Perhaps Allah wanted to take them as martyrs in the holiest month of Ramadan. And perhaps he made them feel no pain by making them pass out from the smoke even before the flames touched their body.

May Allah have mercy on their souls and reward all those who risked or gave their lives to save others. Ameen.

Dear South Africa,
This July I will be doing an exclusive tour of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban inshaAllah! Tickets to my events can only be found here, as unfortunately I will not be able to attend any other conferences:

Dear South Africa,
This July I will be doing an exclusive tour of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban inshaAllah! Tickets to my events can only be found here, as unfortunately I will not be able to attend any other conferences:

To my dear, beautiful sister struggling with hijab and any other aspect of life:

You’re not failing. Please don’t despair. And don’t give up. There will be people who praise you. And there will be people who judge you. Look through them both. See Allah. And know that Allah sees you and understands your struggle. Your reward is with Him for choosing His pleasure over your own comfort.

My dear sister, if those “rishtas” (proposals) don’t want you because of your hijab, run, don’t walk, away from such a prospect. If a man boy (or his mom) doesn’t want you because of an act of devotion you do *for God*, you most definitely don’t want such a husband. Have full hope that Allah is the Bestower, and He will give you what is better. So much better.

Know that anyone who chooses Him will be chosen by Him. Chosen to be purified. Chosen to be elevated. And then chosen for ease. I know this patch is hard. I know you feel you’ve fallen, or crawling, or barely able to stand. Barely able to keep going. But if you keep your heart focused on Him–on His love, His pleasure–I promise this time will pass, and it will get easier. I know it’s dark right now. But the sun will rise tomorrow. I promise it will become better; just don’t let go. Don’t give up. These are the waves of life. The ocean is never still. Hold onto His rope and you will not drown. There is no safety, except with Him. There is no salvation, except by Him. And there is no victory, except with patience.

Live from California on “How to connect to Allah in everyday life”

“Allah (swt) tells us in a very profound ayah: ‘Verily. With hardship comes ease.’ (Quran, 94:5). Growing up I think I understood this ayah wrongly. I used to think it meant: after hardship comes ease. In other words I thought life was made up of good times and bad times. After the bad times, comes the good times. But that is not what the ayah is saying. The ayah is saying *with* hardship comes ease. The ease is at the same time as the hardship.This means that nothing in this life is ever all bad (or all good). In every bad situation we’re in, there is always something to be grateful for. With hardship, Allah also gives us the strength and patience to bear it. ”
–Yasmin Mogahed, Reclaim your Heart

My heart hurts.

“Last night, just after the break of fast and the horrible news out of London, a Somali American mother, Rahma Warsame was brutally beaten in an alleged hate crime in Columbus, OH as she came to the defense of another sister. She is in great pain and is missing 4 teeth in her mouth. She has been admitted to the same hospital where she is employed. I spoke to her and her friend yesterday, she is resting but is stressed about her son, finances as she will not be able to go back to work for some time.

We are working with locals and CAIR OH on getting Rahma justice but in the meantime please give what you can. Let’s show our sister that we got her back and she has nothing to worry about.

The perpetrator is not forgotten. He will be brought to justice. www.launchgood.com/Rahma ”
–Linda Sarsour

Over the years, I’ve come to recognize a common and extremely harmful trend.

This trend is characterized by thoughts like, “I think this is happening as a punishment for what I’ve done.”

When people come to me saying these things, I ask them one question: Have you repented?
Almost always, they say yes.

So here’s the subtle, but disasterous problem:
We don’t actually understand who Allah is. One of His attributes is Al Afoo (The One who Pardons). In fact, this is the very attribute we are told to call upon by the Prophet (pbuh) in the last 10 nights of Ramadan. Many of us know and repeat this duaa: “Allahuma innaka afuwun tuhib Al afwa fa’foo ana”, “Oh Allah, you are the All-Pardoning, You love to pardon, so pardon us.”
But so many of us don’t really know what it means. This attribute of Allah, doesn’t just mean to overlook. This attribute means to *erase*. As if it never even happened.

So when we truly repent–when we call on Al-Afoo–our sin is erased. As if it never happened. How, then, can we be punished for a sin that’s been erased?

To believe that we are still punished for a sin that we’ve sincerely repented from is to deny the meaning of Al-Afoo.

As we have entered into another divinely gifted month of Ramadan, I give you this advice:

Don’t come into Ramadan with expectations for perfection. Don’t decorate your costume for a show.
Come as you are.
The broken, the sinner, and the fallen. The strong and the weak. The guided and the lost. The certain and the unsure. The steady and the shaken.
Come as you are.
And know that your Creator accepts all who come to Him with sincerity and need.

No one found God by pretending to be perfect. They didn’t find Him with dry eyes. They found Him on their knees. They found Him with their forehead on the ground. They found him with wet eyes and shattered hearts. Helpless. Humble. Broken, sometimes.
They found Him while lost at sea.

So come as you are. And remember that holding onto hope while everything is dark, is the greatest act of courage.

Attention South Africa….I’m super excited to announce my first full South Africa tour this July!