October 30

Bahrain Manufactured Sectarianism

Karbala, Bahrain And Manufactured Sectarianism When discussing Ashura and the events of Karbala, the story of Zuhayr ibn Qayn is one that is often glossed over. Zuhayr was an Uthmani and not a Shi’a of Ali (as), however he and Imam Hussain crossed paths as the Imam traveled to Kufa to answer the calls of […]

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 24

Aun Hasan Ali : Some thoughts on the remembrance of Karbala

One of the tragedies of modern life is the monopoly of reason. Keats’ lament that Newton would unravel the rainbow and clip an angel’s wings was prescient indeed. I find it increasingly difficult to access those aspects of my self that are not meant to be governed by reason. I cannot appreciate Mir’s couplets without analyzing them, and the expression “subḥāna rabbī al-a‘lá wa-bi-ḥamdih” has become a philosophical project of tanzīh and ithbāt. The majlis of Husayn is one of the few places left where I can still access something visceral. It is one of the few times that I experience the tranquillity of a mode of knowledge that is not discursive. That is precious to me and I’m not willing to give it up for yet another rational act like political mobilization.

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.

March 14

Is American Islam Oppressive?

Muslims in America practice the art of compartmentalization—buckets with labels such as: Muslim, non-Muslim, Shia, Sunni , converts, activists, professionals,  Muppies and Mipzters. We navigate the deep and turbulent waters of sub-sub-cultures were the interplay of social, cultural, societal and gender norms either isolate or empower. Being born Muslim—we become a collective Bill Murray bound in […]

January 04

Ruba Al-Hassani : Hussain A Universal Call for Justice

It was almost time; the moment of truth. He was uncertain about whether he was ready. It was not only his fate alone that was at stake, but that of many others who depended on him and believed in his cause. He had to be brave, and he surely wanted to be so. He has […]