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Common Word, Common Lord

Common Word, Common Lord

Bio

Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago doctor and writer. He has written extensively on a freelance basis, being published in newspapers across the country and around the world. He has been a Beliefnet columnist since 2001, and has written for the Religion News Service. He is also a columnist for Patheos. His articles have been distributed worldwide by Agence Global, and he was also a guest blogger for The Chicago Tribune and has blogged on ChicagoNow" . In addition, Dr. Hassaballa has appeared as a guest on WTTW (Channel 11) in Chicago, CNN, Fox News, BBC, and National Public Radio.

Dr. Hassaballa is co-author of The Beliefnet Guide to Islam (Doubleday), and his essay, “Why I Love the Ten Commandments,” was published in the award-winning book Taking Back Islam (Rodale). His latest book, Noble Brother, is the story of the Prophet Muhammad told entirely in poetry, and it is now published in its second edition.

In 2007, his blog "God, Faith, and a Pen" was nominated for a Brass Crescent Award for a blog that is “the most stimulating, insightful, and philosophical, providing the best rebuttals to extremist ideology and making an impact whenever they post.” "God, Faith, and a Pen" has also received an award for being one of the "Top Muslim Blogs for 2010" by Awarding The Web.

In addition to writing, Dr. Hassaballa helped found the Chicago Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations and currently serves on their board of directors. He also co-founded the Bayan H. Hassaballa Charitable Foundation and serves as its Executive Director.

Oklahoma City Bombing Anniversary Reminds Us That Evil Comes In All Forms

In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Perpetually Loving and Caring I scanned the major headlines on a news search engine today, and there was barely a mention of the Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred on this day […]

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Boston Marathon Bombing Trial: Tsarnaev Should Not Be Sentenced To Death

In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Perpetually Loving and Merciful The trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is set to enter jury deliberations this week. I’m going to go out on a limb and say […]

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A Doctor on Doctor’s Day

In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Infinitely Loving and Merciful Today is National Doctors’ Day, and all around the country, hospitals and medical offices are celebrating by thanking the thousands of physicians that work hard every single […]

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The Young Muslims That Join ISIS Threaten Their Very Salvation 

While, certainly, news of young Western Muslims running away from home to join the savages of ISIS deeply disturbs me – especially as a father of a teenage daughter – it also deeply saddens me. These misguided young Muslims do not understand […]

“House of Cards” Shows The Quest For Absolute Power Can Be Destructive

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord The third season of the smash Netflix hit “House of Cards” comes out on February 27. I must admit, that I have been waiting for it with great […]

More on How The Atlantic Got It Wrong About Islam: Are Beheadings “Islamic”?

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord In the widely-cited, and very long, article by Graeme Wood in The Atlantic, it is written: The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, […]

Think Muslims Haven’t Condemned 9/11? Think Again

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord I had a conversation on Twitter recently when someone mentioned the “Muslim silence” on the attacks of 9/11 to me. I had to make sure the person was […]

For the Families of the Chapel Hill Shooting Victims, All You Need To Do Is Hold Their Hands

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord While much of the American Muslim community, as well as Muslims around the world, are still in shock over the horrific shooting deaths of three young American Muslim […]

There Should Be No ‘Starving Faithful’ If Religion Is Done Correctly

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord I thought, for certain, that Hozier would win “Song of the Year” at the Grammy Awards last night for “Take Me To Church.” Not that I’m disappointed about […]

A Welcome Addition: Women-Only Mosque Opens in Downtown L.A.

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord It always did pain me. In many mosques – too many, actually – the space for women is woefully inadequate (if not downright gross). Of course, I never […]

The Protesters in Texas Would Have Learned So Much If They Just Spoke to the Muslims Across the Street

In The Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord I watched with dismay a video of the hundreds of protesters that gathered outside a conference of Muslims entitled, “Stand With the Prophet Against Terror and Hate” in […]

An Important Story That Was Not As Prominent In The Charlie Hebdo Saga

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord There has been so much talk about Muslims and Islam in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. This talk will most certainly continue. Yet, I wanted to highlight […]

“Je Suis Charlie”: The Paris Attackers Did Not ‘Avenge’ The Prophet Muhammad…They Spat In His Face

In The Name Of God: The Infinitely Merciful And Compassionate Beloved Lord When I heard the news of the horrific attack on the offices of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, my heart sank in terrible grief. Two masked gunmen, in […]

She Would Have Been Eighteen Today

In the Name Of God: The Infinitely Merciful And Compassionate Beloved Lord She would have been eighteen-years-old today. Eighteen. It is hard for me to even fathom what that would have been like. Today would have been her first day […]

“Christmas in the Qur’an”

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord In my last post, we discussed how Jesus Christ is part of my life, even if I am not celebrating the religious festival marking his birth.  Yet, the […]

Though Not Technically Celebrating Christmas, Jesus Is Still On My Mind As A Muslim

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Compassionate and Merciful Beloved Lord I must admit: at this time of year, sometimes it feels lonely. Practically the whole country is gearing up for the Christmas holiday, which is less than two […]

“No Male Could Ever Be Like This Female”

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord Throughout my childhood, I have grown up listening to this story being recited out loud: When the wife of ‘Imran said, “My Lord, indeed I have pledged to […]

Running For My Angel (And Chocolate) And Being Grateful The Whole…Painful…Way

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord On November 9, I was blessed to run in the annual Hot Chocolate 5K run in Chicago. It is a fun, relaxed race that takes you through the […]

Fellow Muslims: Please Say Funeral Prayers For Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord The barbarians of KIL (aka ISIS) have done it again: the U.S. has confirmed the beheading of Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, an American who went to Syria to help […]

Ashura: The “Muslim Passover”

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord Happy New Year. The Islamic New Year, that is. And the tenth day of the first month of the Islamic year is a very special. It is called […]

I Pray A Happier New Year Will Come

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Precious Beloved Tomorrow is the first day of the Islamic New Year, 1436. Indeed, it is part of human nature that – when such time-based transitions occur – a pause […]

Bill Maher and Sam Harris Just Don’t Get That, Truly, Islam Is Not The Problem: Take Apostasy For Example

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord So much ink has been spilled about the now famous debate about Islam on Bill Maher’s show between bill Maher, Sam Harris, and Ben Affleck. As I read […]

May The Hajj Be Safe From the Evil of KIL (aka, ISIS)

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord This is a special time of year for Muslims all over the world. As I write this, millions of Muslims from around the world are descending upon the […]

The Real Name for ISIS Should Be KIL: “The Kharijites of Iraq and the Levant”

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord Now that airstrikes against ISIS positions in both Iraq and Syria have begun, it seems that the United States has entered into a long war against the barbarians […]

Noor Inayat Khan: A Muslim Heroine For Everyone

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord In today’s day and age, there seems to be little patience for context and nuance. Much of the information obtained about truly complex issues is reduced to sound-bytes, […]

Indonesia: One Of The Many Places You Can Find True Islam (RNS)

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord While the barbarians of ISIS – and Islamophobes – like to claim that they are the only true Muslims on the earth, reality says something much different. My […]

Nothing “Islamic” About ISIS, Part Two: What the “Jizya” Really Means

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord Last time, we began the conversation about how ISIS and its actions are hardly “Islamic.” Now, we will delve, a little, into the issue of this “tax” that […]

Think Muslims Haven’t Condemned ISIS? Think Again

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Lord A very common, oft-repeated mantra among pundits and “experts” is that Muslims haven’t roundly condemned the extremism committed in Islam’s name. So many times, we hear people saying, “Where […]

Nothing “Islamic” About ISIS: How Those Barbarians Defame Islam

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Compassionate and Merciful Lord That I condemn ISIS with every cell of my body goes without saying. Their barbarism knows no bounds, and I pray that the Lord brings to an end their […]

A Prayer For Peace In The Holy Land

In The Name Of God: The Infinitely Merciful And Compassionate Beloved Lord It has been heartbreaking to see conflict emerge – yet again – in the Holy Land over the last several weeks. Children being murdered: shot to death and […]

Ramadan And The World Cup: There Ought To Be No Controversy At All

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord Although the number of Muslim football players participating in this year’s FIFA World Cup has dwindled considerably, there are still a number of players who are slated to […]

Ramadan in Summer: No Less Dread, But Fasting In June and July Is The Very Least I Can Do

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord I cannot lie: I have no small amount of dread at the coming of the month of Ramadan, which starts June 28. Due to the lunar nature of […]

‘Islamic Jew-Hatred': It’s NOT in the Quran

In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Pamella Geller has put up bus ads in Washington, D.C. that say: Islamic Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran. Two-thirds of all US aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop racism. […]

“Your Love is Too High to Bring Me Down”

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord Pharrell Williams’ smash hit “Happy” has set off a worldwide phenomenon, bringing Pharrell Williams himself to tears. This phenomenon has touched the Muslim community around the world as […]

Disappointment in “Noah”: They Didn’t Need to Change One Jot or Tittle

In the Name of God: the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Beloved Lord Well, I saw the movie “Noah.” And…I was quite disappointed. Even though I did say that I do not look to Hollywood to teach me my sacred history, […]

A Muslim’s Mixed Feelings About “Noah”

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Compassionate and Merciful Beloved Lord I must admit: I really, really want to see “Noah.” As a Muslim, I was raised with this epic story of one of God’s greatest Prophets of all […]

Why This Muslim Appreciates Ash Wednesday

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord The most important period of the Christian calendar has now begun: Lent, which began with the Imposition of the Ashes on Ash Wednesday. All throughout the world, Christians […]

What “Allahu Akbar” Really Means

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord It is a very common Islamophobe claim that the phrase, “Allahu Akbar” is the “Muslim battle cry.” They base this claim on the fact that many Muslim extremists […]

Learning to Walk with King Solomon in the New Year

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord At first blush, it may seem strange that I would want to walk with King Solomon. The picture painted of him by many is unflattering to say the […]

Celebrating the Prophet’s Birth

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful, Compassionate, and Beloved Lord I must admit: sometimes, I feel left out. As a Muslim living in a majority Christian country – where most everyone is celebrating Christmas while I am not […]

A Grieving Father’s Prayer

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful, Beautiful, and Beloved Lord On June 7, 2009, my eldest daughter lost her battle with lymphoma. Today is her 17th birthday.   My Lord my God, my Savior and Grace, The One […]

A Christmas Message of Peace From A Muslim

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Compassionate and Merciful Beloved Lord As is the case every year, Christmas Day is just another calendar day for me. In fact, I will be working in the hospital on Christmas Day this […]

Thanksgiving Reminds Us to Give Thanks Every Day

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord This time of year is always special: it is a time when we all pause and spend time with our friends and families and give thanks to the […]

The Quran’s Warning Against Self-Righteousness

In the Name of God: the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved Lord I was in college, and my friend and I were sitting in the prayer room at Marquette University talking when a sister came into the room to […]

A Truly Amazing Qur’anic Verse

In the Name of God, the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord The perception of the Qur’an – and by extension all of Islam – is that it is a book of violence and intolerance. Indeed, there is no shortage […]

My Blessed Friday the 13th

In the Name of the Beautiful, Compassionate Beloved Lord our God The day began just like all other days on that day in August many years ago. I was on the Pulmonary consult service in the hospital, and on the […]

Never Forget Our Past, Never Lose Hope for the Future

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Most Merciful Beloved Lord Tomorrow marks the 12th anniversary of the horrific attacks on our country in New York and Washington, D.C. I will never forget that day, and it has been […]

“By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them…”

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful After voraciously taking in Reza Aslan’s book, Zealot, about the life and times of Jesus Christ, I decided to read his bestselling book about Islam, No god but God. Towards […]

An End of Ramadan Prayer

In the Name of God, the Infinitely Mericful and Compassionate Beloved Lord At the end of Ramadan, I make this prayer unto the Lord: Beautiful, Beloved Lord our God on High! Hallowed be Thy Name in the Heavens and the […]

The Ritual Prayer That Brings Us Together

In the Name of God, the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Lord One of the major focuses of Ramadan – aside from fasting and the Qur’an – is prayer. Every night, Muslims are encouraged to stand and perform night vigil prayers […]

The Fast of Ramadan: All About Love

In the Name of God, the Infinitely Good and Merciful Make no mistake about it: it is hard. Very hard. Ramadan is in full swing. Because of Islam’s sacred lunar calendar, the month of fasting will be during the summer […]

June 30: An Appeal For Peace in Egypt

In the Name of the Infinitely Good and Merciful Lord Our God I am an American, whose ancestry hails from Egypt. I have quite a bit of family that still lives there. Both my and my wife’s parents frequently go […]

Science Proves That Doctors Are Not God

In the Name of the God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful In the May 22/29 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, there was a quite significant article published that piqued my interest as a critical care […]

Prayers for Boston

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful The attack at the Boston Marathon is truly personal for me. I was blessed to finish the 2010 Chicago Marathon, in honor of my daughter who died from cancer the […]

Right Is Might

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful This Sunday, billions of Christians around the world will celebrate what is the most important holiday of the Christian spiritual calendar: Easter. It commemorates the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus […]

HABEMVS PAPAM

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Infinitely Merciful I join the rest of the world – Catholic and non-Catholic – Christian and non-Christian – in congratulating the Catholic Church on electing their new Pontiff, Pope Francis I. May […]

Our “First Love” Is Always There

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Given that is the time of year for love, sort of, I had blogged about a particular song, “Lullabies” by singer/songwriter Yuna (a Muslim woman who wears the headscarf, by […]

A Very Happy Day

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful No, it’s not the “Muslim Christmas.” I have never put lights on my house, placed a tree in the family room, and exchanged gifts. Nevertheless, it is a very happy […]

My Jihad: Loss and Heartbreak

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful This was my contribution to the My Jihad campaign, a national effort spearheaded right here in Chicago, to reclaim the term Jihad from the Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists alike. Loss […]

An Immaculate Event For This Muslim

She was alone, as she was wont to do, worshiping in the Eastern part of the Temple when a stranger entered into her presence. Startled, she immediately did what she knew best: turn to her Lord for protection. “I seek […]

A Thanksgiving Prayer for Peace

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Infinitely Merciful  I can only share in a tiny amount of the elation of the people of Israel and Palestine over the cease-fire that was negotiated today. That both Israelis and Palestinians […]

Go Out And Vote

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful  I am tired of the election season. As I write this, a political campaign ad is playing on the TV. It is the same one I have seen time, after […]

Day of Emotion, Day of Grace

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Today is a most special day of the Hajj, the day of Arafat. It is said that, on this plain, Adam and Eve were first reunited after their expulsion from […]

Anticipation Growing

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Today marks the official first day of the Hajj. We had come back to Mecca from Medina (more about that later) and did another minor Hajj or umrah upon re-entering the […]

My Hajj

  In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful The decision was almost totally spontaneous: my wife and I simply looked at each other and said, “Let’s go to the Hajj this year.” That set in motion a series […]

Lamenting the Children of Abraham

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful The angry and, sadly, often violent protests that have erupted in several Muslim countries in response to the anti-Muslim video that surfaced on the Internet has left me terribly saddened. First, […]

Not Worth It At All

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful It has been sought out for time immemorial: the key to long life. Legends have spoken about a Fountain of Youth, but such a fountain has been elusive. More recently, […]

An End of Ramadan Prayer

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful “We made it.” Those were the first words of my Friday sermon yesterday. At long last – very, very long last – the month of Ramadan ends today. And although […]

A Ramadan Prayer for My Sikh Brothers and Sisters

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Infinitely Merciful  In the wake of this horrible tragedy in Wisconsin (and also the burning of a mosque to the ground in Missouri), all I can do is offer my heartfelt condolences […]

Gems of the Qur’an: True Piety

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful As the month of Ramadan progresses, I am trying to read the Qur’an as part of the spiritual regimen that this month brings. And as I re-engage with the Qur’an, […]

A Tale of Two “Sharia”s

In the Name of the God, the Compassionate, the Infinitely Merciful There is an ongoing legislative hysteria in dozens of states about the threat of “Sharia law,” and how Muslims are somehow seeking to supplant the Constitution with “Sharia law.” […]

The Majesty of Islamic Art

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful  There is so much that fellow Americans do not know about Islam. In fact, a recent poll stated that almost 60% of Americans say they do not even know a […]

The Divine Gauntlet

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful As I read the Qur’an in English, which is my native language, I have repeatedly come across gems of verses; verses that I had heretofore never understood properly whenever I […]

Prophetic Models of Fatherhood

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful When one is blessed with children, it is natural for a father – like me – to think about what he needs to do to be the best father possible. […]

Forever “Abu Bayan” (Bayan’s Dad)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Infinitely Merciful  ON June 1, my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our son, Zacharia Hesham Hassaballa. It was a very happy day for the both of us. I […]

The Heart of the Matter

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful With so much talk and banter about “Sharia law” and how Muslims in America are trying to supplant the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law, I came across this passage of […]

The Blasphemy of “Anti-Blasphemy” Laws

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful  I first learned about the law – that passed the Kuwaiti parliament – on a ChicagoNow blog post entitled “Kuwait theocracy declares Islam is weak.” The law calls for the […]

Friday Sermon: The Test of the Beautiful

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful  This is the first of several Friday sermons that I have given that I will write up and post here.    The Test of the Beautiful  In the seventh verse […]

Wow! They Called It “Terrorism”

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved On the one year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, news surfaced of the arrest of 5 men accused of plotting to blow up a bridge over […]

Sharia in Action: Sisters Stepping Up for Children

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved There has been so much hysteria, of late, around the issue of Sharia law and its supposed “threat” to the United States. Now that the general election contest is […]

Update: The Best Part of Easter for This Muslim

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved Cadburry Mini Eggs. On sale. YUM. YUM.

The Best Part of Easter for This Muslim

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved As a Muslim, Easter Sunday is just like any other Sunday. Indeed, I am not working on this Easter, but that is due to happenstance rather than religious devotion. […]

Sharia Law in Action: The Outrage Over Moroccan Law

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful  There has been a continuous hysteria in several states about the threat of “Sharia law” to the United States. In fact, South Dakota just passed a law that says “No […]

The Quest for “Oneness” in a Diverse (and Divided) World

In the Name of God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful In our day and age, many are trying to “be different.” Whether in a singing competition, or anywhere else, many people value being different. Indeed, diversity is very important, and […]

A Very Telling Gaffe

In the Name of the God, the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful A gaffe by a Rick Santorum staffer says a lot. Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday, spokeswoman Alice Stewart said: There is a type of theological secularism when […]

May His Comfort Reign

In the Name of God, the Infinitely Merciful, Most Gracious I was standing in my  mother’s kitchen when I first heard the news: Whitney Houston, a singer to whom I grew up listening, had died at the age of 48. […]

Study: American Muslims Pose Little Threat

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Let me start with this: I have never understood and completely abhor those fellow Americans who plot to hurt innocent people in this country. It is a betrayal beyond all measure, […]

A Political Fantasy

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  I know that, as the weeks and months pass during this year’s presidential campaign, that the issue of President Obama being a “secret Muslim” will come up again and again. It […]

Santorum and the God of Abraham

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  It seems that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s presidential run is running out of steam. According to the Huffington Post, Santorum is “taking a pause from Florida campaigning just days before the […]

“Never Let Your Hatred Move You to Commit Injustice…”

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful I am no fan of the Taliban. I hate their barbaric distortion of Islam and their barbaric practices and tactics. They are as much my enemy as they are the enemy […]

My New Year Prayer

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  As the year of 2011 comes to a close, there are so many things over which we can reflect. As I look to the next year, I turn my eyes skyward […]

If They Only Knew…

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful Clearly, those Christian “patriots” who want to silence TLC’s “All-American Muslim” series have no idea what is in our scripture and our faith about Jesus Christ and the Blessed […]

A Special Day I Don’t Celebrate

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Today was always a special day for me, ever since my university days. For three years of my life, I would have this day off, in fact. I would do nothing […]

“Er…Happy Holidays!”

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful During these days, many of my patients, as they are leaving, tell me: “Er…Happy Holidays!” I know they mean well: they don’t want to offend me by saying “Merry Christmas.” But, I’m here […]

Let’s Remember Each Other This Thanksgiving

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! May everyone enjoy this day with their families. I am not going to go into the issue of whether Muslims should or should not celebrate Thanksgiving. For […]

In “Them Thar Hills,” I See God

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful I was listening to one of my favorite programs, NPR’s Fresh Air, and the show was about the Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded to two teams of scientists who […]

The Arafat Moment We Each Need to Have

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  Today, the over 2 million pilgrims are now standing upon the plain of Arafat, fulfilling the most essential and important ritual of the Hajj, or the pilgrimage to Mecca, which every […]

I Have Changed My Mind: I Am Trick-or-Treating This Year

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful In 2002, I penned an article on this website about my belief about Halloween. At that time, I said that I will not participate in the activities surrounding Halloween: Halloween is […]

This Does Nothing to Promote Understanding

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful I was totally taken aback by this news article: Crosses in every room at Washingon D.C.’s Catholic University of America are a human rights violation that prevent Muslim students from praying. […]

The Power of Peaceful Dialogue

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful  I recently received an email with the subject, “An Honest Question.” It read: Dr. Hassaballa: I have discovered your blog, and greatly appreciate what you say.  You seem very thoughtful, and […]

May the Libyan People Be Free

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful At long last, the battle for Libya appears to have been won. Today, Libyan dictator Moammar Ghaddafi was captured and killed, to the jubilation of Libyans everywhere. This man brutalized his […]

Please See It For What It Is

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful The sectarian violence that has gripped the land of my ancestors, Egypt, has been truly sickening to watch. The attacks on Christians and Christian churches in the past weeks are horrific, […]

Let the Pastor Go Free

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Here we go again: an Iranian Pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, faces execution if he does not recant his conversion to Christianity. Last year, Mr. Nadarkhani was found guilty of “apostasy” last year, […]

We (Muslims) Have Nothing To Do With It

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Federal law enforcement authorities have arrested an American Muslim on charges that he plotted to attack the Pentagon and the Capitol with model airplanes loaded with explosives. FBI agents posing as members […]

A Prayer For Peace

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful As the diplomats wrangle and negotiate over the future of the Holy Land, there is very little a person who honors and loves the Holy Land, like me, can do or […]

“Never Let Your Hatred Move You…”

In the Name of the GOD, the Compassionate, the Merciful It seems hard to believe that ten years – a full decade – have passed since that horrific day in September when the country endured a trauma unlike any she […]

So Glad I Did It

In the Name of GOD, the Compassionate, the Merciful It has only been a few days, but it almost seems that Ramadan is a distant memory. Now, I am eating and drinking during the day, and although it still feels […]

Eid Mubarak…Happy Eid

In the Name of GOD, the Compassionate, the Merciful A happy and blessed Eid to each and every one of you. May the Beautiful LORD shower and cover you all with His Grace, His Love, His Blessing, and His Mercy. […]

Last Day of Ramadan

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful It is amazing that it is finally here: the final day of the month of fasting. Indeed, it did seem to go by quickly, yet at the same time, however, the […]

Loving God the Most

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful One of the (very few) advantages of fasting a long (long, long) day is that there is ample time to read and reflect over Scripture. I mean, since there is really […]

Update: Not Fasting…And Miserable

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Yesterday, I blogged about how bad I felt – despite doing nothing wrong – not being able to fast due to my knee injury. Well, I talked to my doctor, and […]

Not Fasting…And Miserable

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful It is no secret that I have approached this year’s Ramadan fast with an enormous amount of dread. I worried about the hot weather, the long days, the difficulty of having […]

Ramadan Realities

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful This was my guest post on the Beliefnet blog, City of Brass. As Ramadan approached, I had no small amount of dread. Fasting, of all the ritual practices of Islam, is […]

First Day and I’m Still Okay

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful It was no secret that I approached the month of Ramadan with a large amount of fear and dread (along with shame). Now that Ramadan will be in the summer (in […]

Kareem Salama: (Muslim) Rock At Its Finest

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful “Hesham’s iPod” is an occasional post about what’s hot, what’s spiritual, and what’s buzzworthy in Muslim music, and about the nature of Muslim artists. Every once in a while, a […]

The Rap Album That Made Me Cry

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful I am reviving my “Hesham’s iPod” series, which is an occasional about what’s hot, what’s spiritual, and what’s buzzworthy in Muslim music, and about the nature of Muslim artists.  I have […]

Celebrating Her Birthday

As families gather all across our country to commemorate the anniversary of our declaration of Independence from the British Crown, I reflect over how important this day is to me as an American Muslim. More than just joining my fellow […]

Get Signed Copy of Noble Brother

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful I will be signing copies of my book, Noble Brother: The Story of the Prophet Muhammad in Poetry, at the Soundvision booth at the annual conference of the Islamic Society of […]

Thank God They Were Caught

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Thank God they were caught. Two men – with extensive criminal backgrounds – were arrested on charges of plotting to attack a military processing center in Seattle, Washington. According to the […]

Drive On, My Sisters!

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Perhaps inspired by the “Arab Spring,” women in Saudi Arabia are beginning to challenge the decades-old ban on their getting behind the wheel. According to the Associated Press: A campaign to […]

Golf and Fatherhood: Like Oil and Water, Sometimes

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful I can always tell that Father’s Day is coming when the newspapers become suddenly full of ads for golf products: clubs, shoes, shirts pants. That’s because quite a few dads play […]

Collective Blame Never Good

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful The radicalization of citizens in our prisons is a real potential threat. Protecting the country against this and other threats is very important. Violent extremism must be stopped wherever it may […]

My Personal September 11

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Two years ago today, the unthinkable happened to my wife and me. I penned this four days after it occurred: June 7, 2009 will forever be burned in my memory. June […]

Must Always Remember

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful As I enjoyed the majority of Memorial Day off with my family (I did have to go into the hospital and see some patients in the morning), it was amazing to […]

Justice Will Always Win

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful At long last, the criminal behind many of the worst atrocities of the Bosnian War – Ratko Mladic – was arrested today in Serbia. At long last, man behind the massacre of Muslims […]

Must the World End? (Part II)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful Last time, I posed the question that – if we believe that there will be a Last Day, that the world must end so that all the injustice we see will […]

Must the World End?

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful Now that the world has not ended, and we have survived the coming of the Rapture, and Mr. Camping has once again been discredited, a question arose in my mind: […]

Do Good Until the Very End

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful I must have missed the memo, because I reserved a tee time on early Sunday morning. Apparently, however, the world will end on May 21, 2011. That is according to […]

Shock and a Plea For Patience

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful As most, if not all American Muslims, I was shocked to learn of the arrest of two imams in South Florida on charges of material support for the Pakistani Taliban. […]

Blessed To Be Back

In the Name of God, the Beneficient, the Most Merciful For many years, I had been a regular columnist on Beliefnet, and it was a wonderful time of my writing career. I had truly enjoyed the platform and the audience, […]

Previous Posts

Oklahoma City Bombing Anniversary Reminds Us That Evil Comes In All Forms
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Perpetually Loving and Caring I scanned the major headlines on a news search engine today, and there was barely a mention of the Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred on this day 20 years ago. ...

posted 12:31:15pm Apr. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial: Tsarnaev Should Not Be Sentenced To Death
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Perpetually Loving and Merciful The trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is set to enter jury deliberations this week. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the jury ...

posted 9:45:19pm Apr. 06, 2015 | read full post »

A Doctor on Doctor's Day
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Infinitely Loving and MercifulToday is National Doctors' Day, and all around the country, hospitals and medical offices are celebrating by thanking the thousands of physicians that work hard ...

posted 5:32:39pm Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The Young Muslims That Join ISIS Threaten Their Very Salvation 
While, certainly, news of young Western Muslims running away from home to join the savages of ISIS deeply disturbs me - especially as a father of a teenage daughter - it also deeply saddens me. These misguided young Muslims do not ...

posted 9:31:59am Mar. 10, 2015 | read full post »

"House of Cards" Shows The Quest For Absolute Power Can Be Destructive
In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord The third season of the smash Netflix hit "House of Cards" comes out on February 27. I must admit, that I have been waiting for it with great anticipation. The series ...

posted 1:11:52pm Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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