Your Childhood Imam

One of our teachers mentioned this concept of your “childhood Imam.” He referred to this concept of the Imam of the masjid when you were a kid, that person who maybe taught you to read the Quran, or first exposed you to the life of the Propjet (peace be upon him)…someone you grew up with. […]

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The “Makes Me Happy” List

I have a playlist on YouTube called “Makes Me Happy” It’s a compilation of videos that, no matter what, anytime I watch them or a part of them, I laugh, I smile, or I just feel happy. I realized a while back the importance of having such a playlist, or a normal list, of things […]

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Your A to B

We’ve all been somewhere, and now we’re here. It’s valuable to take out the time to figure out how in the world you exactly got from that A to this B. It’s easy to forget the pain, the struggles, the fears, the anxieties, and the worries you went through in your past, especially if you’ve […]

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I try not to speak in absolutes. Most everything finds its most truthful expression in the middle — balance is the rule, not the exception. The trouble with that, though, is that drama favors the extreme…and people gravitate toward drama. It may be more fun, or more entertaining, or more popular to speak in extremes. […]

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How I Judge Writing

Is it saying something new? Is it saying something old, in a new way? Is it even saying something? Is it something anyone else could’ve written? Is it something worth saying? When all’s said and done, this game of writing is about the paradoxical pursuit of connecting universally through the specific. Generalities don’t connect. Specificities […]

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On The Schedule

If it’s not on the schedule, it doesn’t happen. Unless, of course, you let it happen anyway, at which point you have to inquire: who’s setting my schedule? If it’s not you, you got a problem. Take charge of your time by understanding first who or what you’re allowing to be in charge of it […]

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Day Late and Dollar Short

Close but no cigar. Little too late. And I almost thought of a fourth phrase that means “almost,” but unfortunately, no such luck. When you just miss the target, or fall off right before the finish line, it’s important to remember how far you’ve come anyway. As Ricky Bobby learns in the film Talladega Nights, […]

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You Don’t Make Sense

“How do you reconcile ______ with ______ ?” For you, it might be “wearing hijab” with “feminism.” Or “studying the sciences” with “belief in God.” Or “preserving your culture” with “assimilating to where you are.”   We’re all walking contradictions, or at least, that’s how it appears to those who watch us walk. But if […]

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A Day of Rest

We all need one. Not all of us get one. But if you find yourself not having one, make sure you’re okay with why you haven’t gotten one. If it’s because you’re giving your all to things you believe in (whether your family, a vocation, a cause…), then more power to you, until the tank […]

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Reasonable Doubt

With everything we do, we should have a reasonable amount of doubt. It’s only healthy to have some skepticism. Expecting too much can be the source of all unhappiness. But there are a few simple things we should have absolutely no doubt in. These are beliefs, or causes, or truths we’ve come to know. Much […]

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In The Moment

Today I did several things that I love, and I almost didn’t enjoy them. I taught some kids about improv, and saw a couple open up more than they would’ve before. I taught some students some of the Quran, and got to dive deeper into a passage I haven’t studied much before. I received some […]

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Empty Yourself

If you want what’s best for you in this moment, you have to let go of what was best for you in a previous moment. As you seek growth and personal development, also take the time to empty yourself of the beliefs, habits, and limits that no longer serve you. A container can only hold […]

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