The Hagia Sophia is a church that identifies as a mosque, with a brief stint of museum-disorder.

This should be a Facebook post, but considering that Facebook is a cesspool and I can’t really write legibly there, I’ll actually “publish it”.

Earlier today I was texting a friend of mine. He’s Catholic and I am Sunni. These are labels that we put on ourselves and each other. They represent the dearest aspects of our respective identities.

We both believe in one God. We both believe that we are going to Heaven and that the other is going to Hell, unless he repents. These are facts of faith and identifiers that differentiate us from each other.

He asked…

Raja Kumari, a rapper born in California and based in India. Image from Google.

The concept of a homeland is lost to many Americans. This country, founded by immigrants, has come to hate the latest editions of this culture of migration. Take for example the hit film The Gangs of New York. In it, there are two main factions, the American Natives and the “Irish Hoard,” a rough paraphrasing of how Daniel Day-Lewis’ character refers to Leonardo DiCaprio’s gang.

Does anybody consider white people of Irish-descent any less American than the American progenies of England or Germany or Scotland? No, their families have been here for generations. …

Photo by Ruqaih Ibrahim on Unsplash

It’s the third Friday of no congregational prayers in mosques in the United States of Amerca due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States is currently leading the pack in new diagnoses, though China’s numbers are definitely not entirely truthful. None of that is relevant to this post or publication, besides the reportedly high infection rate among Uighur Muslims interned in “reeducation” camps in Western China. Please remember them in your duas, prayers, and thoughts.

Before the outbreak, I would commute 5 days a week to my university for school and work. My school schedule allowed me to leave the…

Today was the second Friday of COVID-19 in the United States. Mosques are still mostly closed, toilet paper is still mostly missing, and gun sales are still mostly soaring.

Yesterday my father and I sat together at the breakfast table discussing a fiqh (jurisprudence) opinion of a venerated scholar in Pakistan. He was on a talk show in which the host was inquiring about the Islamic response to such a transcontinental disease outbreak. (If I can find a link I’ll add it here.)

In the segment, the mufti (Arabic for “one who gives fatwas,” or legal opinions) argued that congregational…

Photo by Steven Su on Unsplash

Today was simply another Friday in the world, not yawm al-Jumuah, the Day of Friday. The day that is the Believers’ weekly eid, or celebration, was not found today, for across the world, salat-al-Jumuah, the Friday prayer, was canceled.

The purpose of this publication is to reflect upon the khutbah I hear once a week. I didn’t post last week because of…dinner parties? Laziness? I can’t recall; it was a week ago.

That’s precisely why I made a Medium account and started this publication in the first place. I would learn so many wonderful things, finding interesting junctions of practical…

Photo by Zakaria Ahada on Unsplash

I just finished watching Toy Story 4 with my parents. My heart and mind are, as Zoomers and Millenials say, shook.

I haven’t really watched any TV in a week or two, opting to play video games instead. TV isn’t even the right word for it, as television is dead in my household. It’s just the catch-all label for the triumvirate of streaming services we are blessed (or cursed) to have. Today, after what seems like a long time, I sat and ate with my family and we all watched this movie together. My sister left to go watch something…

Taken from Google Images

Every time I attend a particularly interesting or inspiring khutbah, I feel energized about Islam. I want to study something more or remember the lessons and takeaways from the sermon, but I always fail. After a week or two, I’ve forgotten all the historical, emotional, or practical things that I had learned.

My first Medium post was an effort to mitigate that; I’m so glad I did it. It’s what has inspired this now-weekly series of reflection and self-reminder. I will write about what I heard in the Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) every week.

This week I found myself at…

Too often we strive to please God. We try to be perfect slaves, worshippers, servants, children, etc. Depending on our religious background, we are accepting Him as our Savior, or prostrating ourselves in front of Him as our Lord, or sacrificing to Him as our Creator. But what we seem to forget is that God also pleases us in our pursuit of His divine pleasure.

I am Muslim, so this piece will be looking solely at the Islamic view of being pleased with God and, more specifically, my understanding of it. I am sure there are notions of this in…

Fridays are a blessed day. Today’s sermon was especially emotional for me, hearing the Messenger’s words to his closest friend as the enemy were upon them: “Do not fear! Indeed, Allah is with us.” I had a sort of innate understanding of this instance, of Rasolullah (PBUH) and Abu Bakr (RA) hiding in the cave, the ants covering their tracks, the spider spinning its web, and the best trackers the Quraysh had physically on top of them. I remembered Abu Bakr (RA) ripping up his clothes to cover all the holes from which snakes or insects could come to harm…

Usmon Shaikh

College student who loves God, guns, and the Great State of Texas.

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