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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On The Opportunity to Seek Knowledge

A friend and old classmate of mine recently shared a statement of the Prophet Muhammad (s) to our fellow classmates as they prepared to graduate: َ‏مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَبْتَغِي فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللهُ لَهُ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنَّ الْمَلَائِكَةَ لَتَضَعُ أَجْنِحَتَهَا لِطَالِبِ الْعِلْمِ رِضًا بِمَا صَنَعَ، وَإِنَّ الْعَالِمَ لَيَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ حَتَّى […]

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Distance from Allah

This is the worst part of anything bad. It’s not the consequences, how you affect people, how you feel after — all of these are only side effects of this biggie: feeling distant from Allah. Every step you take away from Him will feel like a step away from life itself. He even says: وَلَا […]

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What’s Best For You

It’s easy to make decisions with factors that everyone else uses. Money, ego, time. How will this decision affect these things? Sometimes we forget about our own well being, our families, our legacy. Every decision is a sacrifice of something for something else. Don’t get too distracted by the something else you’re getting that you […]

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