Dear Pilgrim

Below is a (fairly long) email I send to people before they head off to Umrah. It’s my own dua list accompanied by some advice I wrote. Feel free to take any duas and use them for yourself, and please remember me in them too. Of course, any dua you make for others is always…

Fes #2: Love at First Sight

It​’​s rare that hype meets expectations. Having read a dozen books on Fes and the Maghrib before coming, I knew I had set my expectations high and was bracing myself for disappointment. My experience in Egypt had taught me that today​’​s reality is far from the nostalgic past we read of before. The chaos of…

Diamonds

How wondrous it is that a diamond is buried deep amongst a sea of rocks. Only through the intensity of its environment and the strength of its endurance could this magnificent stone be carved into an stone with beauty and strength in equal measure. Yet, when buried beneath the earth, a diamond is no different from any of its neighbours.…

Hamster

It’s funny. We look at hamsters running on their wheels with amusement; why do they spend so much time and energy running after nothing? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to spend all that effort on something more tangible or meaningful? But so long as you keep on feeding it, the hamster won’t care. It doesn’t…

Names

“He who desires to see a martyr walking on the ground, let him look at Talha bin ‘Ubaidullâh.” [Mishkat 2/566; Ibn Hisham 2/86] Growing up, I was told stories about the greatness of this companion, Talha ibn Ubaid Allah. His wealth, generosity, chivalry and courage are just some of the things which stand out from…

Castaway

O my soul, come, cast away from fantasy, O my soul, come, cast away from fantasy, Dive into this sea of love if you would see With your heart’s eyes wonders known in prophecy. ♦ Lovers follow Love alone as their imam, Drunk within but outwardly serene and calm, Love is older than all else…