In light of Juneteenth, a now federally mandated holiday celebrating the legal emancipation of Blacks from slavery (not the liberation of Blacks from the ongoing oppressive systems designed to profile, criminalize, incarcerate and murder in preservation of white supremacy), I wanted to share some of my reflections on a recent road trip Ammar and I embarked upon in exploring Black history and resistance in the Southern U.S.

This was our first time travelling to any of these cities and needless to say, the learning has only begun. A full itinerary of our travels is at the bottom.

Memphis, TN

-Lorraine Motel (where…

by Ariana Arzani, Bissan Barghouti, Jamil Dakwar, Lisa Guraya, Afraz Khan, Ashna Khanna and others

© Mustafa Hassona (more of his work —

As members of the AMEMSA community, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and highlight the atrocities currently occurring in Palestine. This is the tragic and ongoing result of 73 years of Israeli apartheid, violent dispossession and ethnic cleansing. Within the past two weeks, over 200 Palestinians have been killed, including 59 children. Israeli forces have now entered into their 10th consecutive day of aerial bombardments upon the open-air prison that is Gaza.

What led to the most recent spike in Israeli aggression?

In October 2020, an Israeli Court ordered six Palestinian families to…

Artwork: Celeste Lecaroz

I honestly didn’t think the death of Kobe Bryant would hit me so hard. The first text I received was from a friend who wrote, “wow Kobe Bryant died” and I immediately assumed it was either another Kobe or that the real Kobe figuratively died perhaps laughing at some joke. We ultimately learned that along with Kobe and his daughter Gianna, there were 7 other lives that were horrifically lost in the helicopter crash on Sunday.

The strange thing was that throughout that Sunday and Monday at work, multiple reached out to me specifically to ask how I was doing…

Photo: Samuel Silitonga

It was an honor to be back at the Stamford Islamic Center delivering the Eid sermon this past August. This year was dedicated to recounting the legacy of a woman Muhammad (peace be upon him) has told us is our mother.

I spoke on Hājar (Hagar, peace be upon her), her reliance upon The Creator and the powerful lesson she teaches of striving for a purpose beyond what this world will ever know about us.

Hājar was a Black woman of Nubian descent who was formerly a slave. …

May 2019 — Night of Prayer in Ramadan at the Islamic Center at NYU (photo credit: Waqid)

And just like that, by the Grace of The Truth, Ismail and I finished our recitation from memory of the entire Qur’an last night. 29 nights. 6,236 verses. All within this blessed month.

This is my 10th year leading the nightly supererogatory (Taraweeh) prayers in Ramadan. If you ask anyone who has memorized the Qur’an, they will have a story to tell you of how they got there and this is the first time I’ve written any part of this journey down to share.

I started memorizing the Qur’an when I was in 5th grade. Whereas other folks in my…


The Massacre

At least 49 people killed and 40 people injured. “Dead people everywhere.” Victims as young as four years old. Immigrants. Refugees. Locals. Al Noor Musjid. Linwood Musjid. Friday congregational prayers. Our holiest day of the week. Christchurch, New Zealand.

A white supremacist. An act of terrorism. A 74-page manifesto hailing the U.S. president as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” A Facebook live video. Hundreds of bullets. Anti-Muslim racism. Xenophobia. Hate.

My heart has felt especially heavy over the past several hours for reasons I am still discovering. Part of it is perhaps the fact that the…

A nikah ceremony in Brooklyn, NY

In my time so far with Muslim Wedding Service, it has been a privilege to have been able to officiate dozens of nikah (wedding) ceremonies for couples across the U.S. I am extremely humbled to be performing such a significant duty through which two souls are permanently enjoined together in the eyes of God. Beyond gaining more exposure to the incredibly diverse Muslim American community, I have also slowly learned more about the unique journeys of so many of our couples who put forth an immense amount of love, care and effort in ensuring their families, loved ones and communities…

[Live Stream Link of Sermon]

I am humbled to say I was invited last week to deliver the Friday sermon at Columbia University at Low Plaza, the school’s main campus grounds. I took this as an opportunity to go deeper into my own faith tradition to study how a social hierarchy manifested itself in the past through the system of tribalism and examine some of the steps Muhammad (peace be upon him) took as an individual to dismantle this system by diminishing this notion of the “other.” I then drew parallels between that system of hierarchy and the structural racism…

I am humbled to say that, due to an interesting turn of events, I was chosen as one of the main speakers for the MSAs Assemble Summit in which about 15 Muslim Student Associations from across the city and the Northeast gathered together to discuss ways in which they could effectively collaborate with another on projects and programming to make an impact that would extend beyond the boundaries of their respective universities.

The organizers recommended I speak on the power of unity and its importance within our faith tradition. For me, one of the integral components of building out unity…

A blessed day spent with our family friend Talay Mamu, (President of SIC) his wife Hina Mami and his mother.

Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim brothers and sisters. Upon the request of our beloved family friend Talay Mamu (uncle), I had the blessed honor of delivering the Eid sermon at the Stamford Islamic Center in Connecticut. Like many other Islamic Centers across the U.S., the Muslim community here is largely comprised of individuals who migrated from the South Asian subcontinent primarily to attain a stable means of livelihood for themselves and their families.

To lead men and women, some of whom are now well into their 70s and 80s was extremely humbling as it was these very people who…

Afraz Khan

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store