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Common Word, Common Lord

Common Word, Common Lord

Common Word, Common Lord Archives

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

‘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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 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. […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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