Category Archives: Personal

November 14

David Coolidge: 10 Tips to make MSAs more Shi’i-Friendly

For 7 years as a student (undergrad and grad), and 6 years as a chaplain, I was directly involved in campus Muslim life. In that time, I learned that one of the most important elements of community building is intra-Muslim inclusion and respect. We could talk about many different aspects of diversity, but in this short article I would like to highlight the need to make MSAs more welcoming of Shi’i Muslims.

calligraphy by Irfan Haider Mirza October 31

Muslim Community In America?

Most young Shii have likely heard stories about how, decades prior, their immigrant parents or community members used to hold majalis in their homes. They would do this with the few other Shia families of which they were aware. People would drive long distances to sit in someone’s house gathered round a television set or radio to listen to a pre-recorded lecture. This, as they often will recall, was the beginning of the establishment of the Shii community in America. It was through this mutual love of the Ahlul Bayt , epitomized by the sacrifice of Imam al-Ḥussain (as) families were brought together yearly and the very first Shia communities were developed. And as immigrants gradually accepted the permanence of their migration, they began to organize and pool together resources in order to plan for what they envisioned as the next logical step: the creation of Islamic centers.

October 29

Zehra Naqvi : Why I am Shia

Those that think Shias worship these historical characters misunderstand us and misconstrue the truth: we are simply awed and humbled by the example the Prophet’s family provided of what true faith and honor mean. The lessons we inherited are not about martyrdom or death, but using our lives to serve as worthy representatives of a legacy of social justice, protection of minority rights, and community building. I reflect on these stories often, and I join millions of people around the world in mourning their loss and honoring their lives and legacies during Muharram. A shared sense of community, built around honoring the principles of the Quran and legacy of the Prophet’s family, is also why I’m Shia.

October 28

Poetry : After My First Ever Majlis About Karbala

  Listen to the author recite : After My First Ever Majlis About Karbala Yā Ḥusayn I am so ashamed tonight More ashamed than I have ever been since I became a Muslim because I don’t think I would have been strong enough to stand with you on the plain of Karbala I would have thought […]

October 27

Poetry : The War of Alphabets

Listen to the author recite The War of Alphabets The War of Alphabets I. Like any other war, this war began with an aliph, the first letter in Arabic, the beginning of a slash. It is 632. Islam splits into two denominations. Abu Bakr takes over, Ali is stalled. Rulers continue to battle over numbers, […]

October 26

Mirzya Syed: Karbala A Spirit of Transcendence

There is unkindness in this world, and ugliness in character, whether in politicians and lawmakers of governments, in the media and society at large, or even unfortunately amongst ourselves, and within our very beings. So Inshallah, in the spirit of the kindness of the Ahlul Bayt, may we all better ourselves and forgive each other, speak only highly of each other, and always be good to each other and all of the people we come across in life, regardless of who they are, Ameen.

October 25

Zainab In my eyes

Zainab sees the nuance, the ways in which we can all be more accountable for the suffering we inflict on others and on ourselves. Zainab sees truths that are inconvenient to narratives about geopolitical realities. She sees truths that are inconvenient to narratives about Imperialistic dichotomies that have overwhelmed our literature.

October 20

Iraq : A Portrait of War, Peace and Pilgrimage

The indescribable power of faith is visible everywhere in Iraq. It transcends rationality and eschews all modes of categorization. It is peculiar that it was in a country so plagued by religious tension and violence that I found some of the greatest harmony and peaceful tranquility of mind that I have ever experienced. We spent New Years Eve at the mosque during our last night in Karbala, ushering in a fresh start with the chants of the world and the humming of a universal law all around us.

December 27

Ali Gee : Motivational Muslim, Charity and Belly of the Beast

Motivational Muslim I think about all the sadness and the tears that I have seen And then I remember I’m like every other human being Flawed and insecure, arrogant and mean Black dot on my soul no one else has ever seen What’s it all for? Just to live and die young Or old and […]

November 22

Die Like Hussain, Walk Like Zainab

I remember when I first came across the poetry of Yazeed. He was touted as a master of description. Naturally, he is drawn to the opposite sex in his work. So many of the classic Arab poets have taken up that subject matter. Their physical appearance; the description of white flesh, red lips, and the […]