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Home is where the Heart is: An American Muslim Mourns


We came to the US to study, met our husbands in college, and got married. I wish that was all there was to our love stories but…

My Story

Upon marriage I was asked to give up citizenship of my country of birth. I take loyalty very seriously; my family had made great sacrifices for Pakistani citizenship. In 1947, my grandparents crossed over from Kashmir, India, on foot with two babies and lived in an open-air refugee camp for months. They witnessed families being slaughtered and gave up their land in pursuit of a new home, one with freedom of religion. It was a hard decision. I had my immigration papers for many years but waited until in my heart I could honestly take the oath.

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What prompted me to make this decision was that I found my faith in America. Raised a Muslim, I did not really practice Islam. Many of us, who grew up in luxury in Pakistan, took our religion for granted.

With the advent of the Internet, dīn wasn’t sequestered for a chosen few, it was accessible to everyone.

Shedding my cultural baggage, I appreciated the multiculturalism of the US, the equality of sexes, the spirit of standing up for what is right, the dignity of labor and the Constitution that mirrored the reading of the Sharī‘ah I was learning. I reflected on the words of the Qurʾān when Allah (subḥānahu wa ta‘āla) says,

“(Moses) said: ‘Lord of the East and the West, and all between! If you only had sense!'”  [26:28]

Did it matter where I worship Him? I still ache for the tikka stops and old bookshops of Lahore, but it was in America where I saw my core values as a Muslim being practiced. There is honesty in dealings, tolerance, I am free to pray in public; despite a few nut jobs who oppose the building of Islamic centers, new masājid are being built every day.  I owe this understanding to the Islamic scholars in the US who have taught me that being American and Muslim is not a dichotomy. I owe this to my neighbors who have loved me, knowing that we call on the same God by different names, serving Him when we fast for Lent, Yom Kippur or Ramaḍān. I became an American.

The difference is that one notorious day. Every time, I am asked to speak on Muslim issues to non-Muslims, whether the topic is education or women’s rights, someone in the audience always brings up the ‘9/11?’ question.

No one can forget the apocalyptic scenes.  My brother-in-law watched the horrific footage of the World Trade Center over and over again for months after 9/11. He had a meeting scheduled in the Twin Towers that morning, circled in red ink in his Franklin Covey planner. He survived because he had left his job at JP Morgan on September 5, 2001. Upon hearing the news of the plane hitting the Pentagon, our thoughts were with Anwar Uncle, who worked there, a bear of a man who made my first ‘Īd in this country less lonely with stories of his time in US Air Force.

Everyone warned me not to venture out of the house wearing a headscarf. After a while, needing necessities, I went to the grocery store where I met another ijābi and we hugged. We were joined by other women, white, black, Asian, strangers in an embrace, weeping in the cereal aisle. This was community, variegated yet converging in our pain, forgetting any differences.

Her Story

Rahma Salie was my first friend in college; we began our journey back to Islam together. She and her husband, Micky, and their unborn baby died on 9/11; they were Muslim. Micky was raised as a Greek Orthodox Christian but he accepted  Islam after meeting Rahma. Please make du‘ā’ for all three of them.

The last time I saw her was on Newbury Street in Boston, where her parents now run a café. We introduced our fiancées to each other, giddy in each other’s happiness.  She must have been glowing and happy when she boarded that American Flight 11; she was going to attend a friend’s wedding in Los Angeles. Rahma would not have wanted to be remembered as a victim; she was a positive, powerful woman. She used her talents to make her adopted country a better place to live. Her friends still miss her and mourn her, and many gathered together last weekend at the college campus where Rahma spent 4 years of her life. The lesson I learned from 9/11: never take a day for granted, for life is very fragile and very short.

As Afkham Salie, her brother, said at a memorial

“9/11 had nothing to do with Islam, to me those men were not Muslim, they may have thought themselves as such but their actions were not of those who are true believers… but please also help make this a better world for those who are different, who may be of a different faith, race, culture, nobody I knew did this better than my sister, Rahma, and her husband Micky. If today reminds you to extend the same generosity to others of diverse backgrounds and faiths then the terrible events ten years ago, which cost Rahma, Micky and thousands of others, their lives will at least have brought some positive benefits.”


9/11 stole my friend, awakened American Muslims from their stupor, and left us on the defensive. Maybe Allah thought Muslims weren’t doing enough for this land that He blessed us with. This was an opportunity to get out of our Muslim bubble and be a part of the American fabric. Muslims have become active: engaging in civics, in politics, taking care of the needy in their cities. Even the usual divides along Ṣūfi/Salafi lines are uniting for change.

See, ten years later, American Muslims are stuck between a rock and a hard place. We are called sellouts by Muslims overseas, when our government sends drones into Pakistan and elsewhere, killing innocent civilians including children every year and when “Made in the U.S.A.” is on the tear gas canisters used against the peaceful protesters across the Middle East and North Africa. We realize this, we are not blind to the faults of the U.S. government.

We know that many more lives were lost as a result of the wars that were fought as a reaction to 9/11. Those 3000 American lives were not more valuable than the hundreds of thousands that have died overseas. We mourn their lives, of those innocents killed overseas. However, Americans value their compatriots and one American dying means a lot to the average American. Pakistani and Iraqi, et al., expression about loss of lives of  brethren gets lost in the headlines. Every day we hear of carnage on the streets of cities, like Karachi; Muslims being killed by other Muslims because of differences in ethnicity or language, which dilutes the indignation.

And at home, I think regular Americans are ready to move beyond 9/11, to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts. Yet there is an industry of hate, which demonizes Muslims, not just radicals but Islam itself and they won’t let us. This hate factory includes a group of highly organized, well-funded individuals, who form a massive echo chamber referred to as “Fear Inc” in a new ground-breaking investigative report produced by the Center for American Progress (CAP).  I wrote about what anti-Muslim bigots like David Yerushalmi are doing with the money. This forces American Muslims to constantly wear our loyalty like a badge on our chests, condemning – forever condemning.

Despite these efforts to marginalize Muslims, my heart is filled with love for this land because He created it. My children see their faith practiced everyday.

I am proud to be an immigrant. We choose to be here. As is often quoted, home is not where your grandparents are buried but where your children are born and raised. My husband is a second generation American. My brother-in-law’s ancestors came to California as rice farmers 100 years ago. My friend Mary’s ancestors were indigenous Americans. We live with you, among you and love this land as a blessing from the Creator. We are Muslims and this is our home.

Home is where the heart is. Let us be home.

Hena Zuberi is a Pakistani-American Muslim, the Editor-in-Chief of, and formerly a news producer on CNBC Asia and Telebiz. She attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts and the University of New Orleans.

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Hena Zuberi is the Editor in Chief of She leads the DC office of the human rights organization, Justice For All, focusing on stopping the genocide of the Rohingya under Burma Task Force, advocacy for the Uighur people with the Save Uighur Campaign and Free Kashmir Action. She was a Staff Reporter at the Muslim Link newspaper which serves the DC Metro. Hena has worked as a television news reporter and producer for CNBC Asia and World Television News. Active in her SoCal community, Hena served as the Youth Director for the Unity Center. Using her experience with Youth, she conducts Growing Up With God workshops. Follow her on Twitter @henazuberi.



  1. Umm Reem

    September 14, 2011 at 5:05 AM

    Hena I’m lost for words…I don’t know what to say because this article is so good mashaAllah!

  2. Aly Balagamwala

    September 14, 2011 at 6:20 AM

    Great write-up Hena. Very moving.

  3. Umm Sulaim

    September 14, 2011 at 6:25 AM

    Hena, you get a hand shake for writing that kind of article: reflective, devoid of unnecessary apologies, condemnations, explanations, etc.

    I came across Rahma’s name on the list of Muslims who died on 9/11; I actually read the tributes for each of the women. Your story has given her more that just a name.

    Although I have already prayed for them, there is no harm in repeating: May Allah have Mercy and grant Jannah to all the Muslims who passed away that day.

    I’m very pleased with MM once again.

    Very pleased indeed,
    Umm Sulaim

  4. Orin

    September 14, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    Masha’Allah, very touching and inspiring. JazakAllah khairan, may Allah ‘aza wajalreward you with the good, Sister!

  5. amad

    September 14, 2011 at 7:08 AM

    mashallah…what a beautiful article.
    i am disappointed that this didnt get picked up in a mainstream paper… they missed a gem.

  6. Sabeen Mansoori

    September 14, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    Subhanallah! You have expressed that which many of us feel but do not have the skill to put into words. May Allah reward you and may Allah grant your friend, her husband and her unborn child the highest place in Paradise.
    Jazakallah khair for an amazing post.

  7. Kitch!

    September 14, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    Beautiful article. May Allah bless you always for the wonderful work you’re doing.

  8. Jawad Wasiq

    September 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Very touching and prayers for those who perished in the attacks.

    • Mansoor Ansari

      September 15, 2011 at 11:05 AM

      On a side note, we can only pray for dead muslims or surving members of non-muslims who died. We cannot pray for non-muslims once they have passed away.

      May Allah make it easy for all the families of innocents who have passed away in these wars & Allah grant jannatul firdaws to all the muslims who have died in these wars,

  9. Pingback: Just Faith

  10. Faba

    September 14, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    wow! awesome article…..

  11. Mirissa

    September 14, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    What a touching article. You convey your experiences so well, I feel as though you are talking to me. So sorry about the death of your friend. It must add an extra layer of pain to that awful day.

  12. Yasmin

    September 14, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Mashallah, this is a very beautifully written and touching article. I couldn’t help but shed some tears as I was reading it. I really hope that non-muslims will also read this beautiful article!

  13. Claudine

    September 14, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    You are not only a great person but a great writer as well. We can capture the sensibility and positivism in your articles. Thank you!

  14. Nuzhat

    September 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    MashAllah, this so elqouent and to the point with no room for apologies, as none are needed. We are American plain and simple and we are at home.

  15. Ali

    September 14, 2011 at 5:20 PM


  16. shiney

    September 14, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    masha’Allah this was so eloquently written and for the first-time ever, I am actually able to view 9/11 from an American-Muslim standpoint rather than a defensive Muslim one. This article really touched my heart-i can’t thank you enough for writing this, for the effect that it has had on me has completely changed my viewpoint on certain issues. Because of the extensive media attacks on Muslims, I had become completely indifferent to the sad situation of 9/11. Your friend’s story also opened my eyes. May Allah Bless her and her family and May He Reward you for writing amazing eye-opening pieces like these.
    You’re so right: “Home is where the heart is.”

  17. Hina Khan

    September 15, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Beautifully written. I can feel your emotions. This is indeed our home. Proud to be an American Muslim.

  18. Carlos

    September 15, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Nice thoughts, Hena. I am happy to have you as my countrywoman.

  19. Sunz

    September 15, 2011 at 3:41 AM

    MashaAllah, you make me proud. I wish I could be half as good a writer as you.

  20. Sarah Rizwan

    September 15, 2011 at 4:03 AM

    Beautifully written and can feel your emotion.Prayers for your friend and family.

  21. UmaR

    September 15, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    May Allaah reward you with goodness.

    I was touched by the line:
    “We were joined by other women, white, black, Asian, strangers in an embrace, weeping in the cereal aisle.”
    …I’ve never seen strangers ever embrace like that.


    September 15, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Never read a better article on the subject. Masha Allah, you write and express very well.
    Shaukat Mahmood

  23. n

    September 15, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    it is true that home is where the heart is. but i also feel that we cannot be blind.

    raising children in the west and protecting their aqeedah is no EASY job no matter how nice your neighbors are or how tolerant your coworkers seem.

    I am a pakistani-american. I live in egypt and i can EASILY spot the difference between practicing Muslim homeschooled or islamic school children brought up in the WEST vs the practicing Muslim kids (foreigners also) brought up in egypt for instance. There is a difference in manners, in level of modesty etc.

    When there’s water all around you its tough not to get wet.

    Just my two cents. perhaps im the only one who feels this way here but had to share. =)

    p.s. by the way don’t make the mistake of lumping all muslim countires together, espeically if u haven’t lived in egypt :=) (i used to be SO anti muslim countries till i came to live in egypt). egypt is not like pakistan and its not like saudi. anyway,i beleive there is good and bad everywhere. egypt is no paradise with perfect muslims. far from it. but the khair is SO GREAT i cannot put it into words. in a muslim country once u find the right place/school/community, the larger societal influences that are negative are way weaker than they are in the west. its WAY easier to raise your children is a very tight ‘muslim’ bubble except its not getting popped so badly when they go out to shop, eat out, vacation, where ever. they have that uniformity in life inside and outside the masjid. In the west, the popular culture coupled w/ the islamophobia and then trying to raise your children as strong a bit of an uphill battle. And Allah knows best.

    p.p.s. my purpose in writing this is to encourage anyone who is able to give living overseas a try. ofcourse not blindly. but after doing your homework and istikhara. it may be SWEEEEETER THAN u ever thought!

  24. Ali

    September 16, 2011 at 3:28 AM

    n, thats your personal opinion. I too have interacted closely with tens if not hundreds of Egyptians, and a practising Muslim 18 yr old from the USA is no less modest nor any less than the average 18 yr old Egyptian .

    There might be “khair” in Egypt, but similarly there are a lot of bad things, this is a place where female “protestors” were checked for “virginity” by the army.

    The direct social pressures in a place like Egypt will be less than in the West, but the hypocrisy and 2 faced behavior will be 2 fold.
    As we see in Dubai, even women selling their bodies wear full abaya to “earn” respect, this is the sort of hypocrisy you dont see in the West. And its ironic because women in Dubai can wear anything, but when someone selling her body chooses to wear abaya and sometimes niqab, its something really weird

  25. n

    September 16, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    Ali i was talking from the perspective from raising children here after having found a good community in egypt and a good environment which exists alhamdulillah. by the way have you lived here and tried to raise a family here? i can safely say my perspective year is even much different than my third year here and i would think its going to continue to change as I get to know this place more and more.

    also, we have to be blind not to be able to see the HUUUGE aqeedah issues and immodesty and lying and stinginess and arrogance (that obviously exists in egypt too in teh upper class) that exists in the american culture to give just a few examples.
    how do u think muslim children who are going to public school or islamic schools are feeling like? do they feel alienated from their bigger community? do they feel somehow ‘bad’ cuz they’re muslim in a culture thats constantly villifying muslims..and on and do they feel when their mom gets looks when they go out? and thats exactly why many moms i know choose to ‘tone down’ their islamic dress (for example leave the jilbab and go down to “loose” pants the standard of which also starts to go down).

    Note i never said its impossible. indeed Allah helps those who are sincere to Him. I am just simply saying that from my experience it seems WAY WAY easier to impart islam to your children in a muslim majority society.

    hypocracy exists too indeed. but u know whats funny. almost EVERY single time that i choose to impart some advice to an egyptian person with kindess they never argue back. its like KNOWN that what im saying is right and sometimes they will become ashamed and agree. and by the way for all purposes i look egyptian so as far as they could tell i could just be an egyptian who doesnt know arabic completely.

    the thing is that from the perspective of a child i used to think it would be better to have the clear delineatino of muslim and non muslim. the difference would be clear. i don’t think so anymore. now they know that that person either doesnt know something Of islam (who is doing the sin publicly) or doesn’t want to follow the guidance of Islam. but the intersting point is that ISLAM still has the upper hand in teh child’s eyes in teh sense that its the majority/its teh default system they know. there is no other alternative ‘DEEN’ on teh same footing with ISLAM. may be a minor point to adults but when you raise children you start to see things from their perspective.

    i think for many of us we are brainwashed into thinking that if we are practicing in the west, that somehow that lacks ‘culturge baggage’. however, i would argue that western muslim also carry just as much culture baggage if not more than their counterparts for the simple reason that the west is very very good at selling their culture and affecting the way people think about things.

  26. n

    September 16, 2011 at 6:00 AM

    in medina hypocracy existed. this is a natural thing that is going to happen when one ‘system of life’ is the norm .. everyone else feels the pressure to conform whether they internally believe or not. the fact remains: one system of life has an upper hand and that is why people feel the need fo conform.

    don’t get me wrong. egyptian has a lot of western influence.but for instance there is a pressure here to wear hijab. and yu’ll see alot of women covering in a way that doestn conform to islamic standards but for the child, they see that ‘hijab’ is the norm. in the child’s eyes, their mother is doing something good and she is the norm, the standard, even if some other ppl arent doing it properly, she isnt look down upon in anyway. the child isnt DIFFERENT in any way shape or form not participating in halloween or thanksgiving or what have u. the things they celebrate here they know EVERYONE is celebrating. for a young child, this provides a strong identity, a stability. as they grow up, they learn more and more of other ways, other religions naturally but because insh’allah in their heart in their younger years, all they knew was ISLAM, and islam shall insh’allah always be superior in their heart.

    at the same time, u arent REALLY sheltering them from society in anyway. they vacation, they go eat out, they meet with ppl who are not practicing from time to time. but they are still the norm, not anything ODD.

    as for schooling, many ppl will argue that the west has a higher standard of education. can be argued as well for anything lower than college, but lets get real i can put up with some disorganization ANY DAY if my child never has to hear of the words sex and gay in 2nd grade or never sees boyfreinds and girlfreinds in school. have u heard of 5th grade boys trying to lower their gaze? do u know how a child feels when they see the whole compund they live in literally walking to taraweeh prayer?

    its just easier. thats all i said. i know for many ppl (and i used to be like this) this perspective is FOR SOME STRANGE reason so irritating :-) cuz indeed FOR SURE theres things that REALLY GET UNDER YOUR SKIN in muslim countries. but truly they are in no comparison to clear cut kufr that MOST OF US become DESENSITIZED to, except a FEW that Allah protects. thats SCARY.

    the amount of practicing muslims moving here with their families from the west IS really something to witness here. im not talking about single or married without kids coming here for arabic. im talking about..the place where we live is FILLED with muslims from the west who have come here for the sake of their children. among them are psychologists and doctors and educators and people with decent educations who picked up and left simply to provide a more islamic environment for their children.

    even some of my freinds who are here temporarily , once they STAY AND raise kids, they literally start to drool cuz they know the stuff they have to shelter their kids from when they return and its not easy.

    And Allah knows best.

    • Sad

      September 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      I agree with you theoretically and from experience.

      Theoretically- The fatawa against voluntarily residing in non-Muslim lands are extremely convincing.

      Experience – close relative left Islam. Reality hits hard.

    • Amad

      September 16, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Pls note that comments policy requires to use a name or kuniya or other identifier. Your comments could be moderated or removed next time… just a reminder.

      • n

        September 17, 2011 at 4:44 AM

        i always use ‘n’. does it need to be longer?

        • Aly Balagamwala

          September 17, 2011 at 7:04 AM

          “n”, Yes it needs to be a valid name or Kunyah.

          “Sad”, The same goes for you also.


  27. Ali

    September 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    n, i know where you are coming from as I myself left the US after my college days partly because i believed it would be easier in a Muslim country…
    I do think you are lucky to be immersed in a good environment which is good not because its egypt but because you got good people around you, egyptian or foreigners.
    I also do think you are being very optimistic if you think words like “gay” is something a kid would hear only in the West. As for boyfriends/girlfriends, again, in my city, most 15 year old Muslims have boyfriends/girlfriends ,its just that the parents are unaware if they are conservative as the kids wont tell them.
    I went to a Muslim boys only school in a Muslim country, and yet sex beween boys was not unheard of….even now, many Saudi boys are gay but happily become staight after marriage.

    Just because people dont discuss some bad things in their society doesnt mean they dont happen. Its all good to think a Muslim society is “purer” because everyone seems to be praying, but life is not that simple.

    If you compare a small town in Wyoming or Iowa with most Muslim megacities, then yes, the latter will be much better for a Muslim. But 7 years after leaving the US to return to the Gulf, and having dealth woth hundreds of Muslims including egyptioans, desis, and others, the 2 main good things i find as a Muslim here are:
    1) Masajid and 2) Halal food

    Apart from that the “Islamic environment” i found in Austin was far more satisfying than what i find in Dubai particularly when my masjid has a note saying “Please do not use the Masjid to meet people and do not talk to anyone unless he is a work colleague”

  28. UmmAbdullah

    September 17, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    ok no problem. i can insh’allah start to use ‘ummabdullah’ instead which is my real kunya anyway :-)

    Brother Ali I’ve lived in Saudi a few years so i can relate to your expereince/reaction about living there.there is alot of stuff that goes on behind parnts backs for sure.

    But like i noted in my earlier posts, egypt is very different than saudi or pakistan. its more open. it is easy and largely acceptable in certain parts of society to have a girlfriend for instance. even if yur own parents dont know, u can go out with yur friend and no one will say anything to u. in some parts of my husband’s egyptian family for instance, it is totally acceptable if your long term fiance(girlfriend) accompanies you to an event. the point is ppl don’t have a very strong need to hide sins here. at the same time sin is not promoted and large parts of society are very very conservative/practicing.

    Egypt in some ways is like the west. People who are religous here have CHOSEN its not like saudi at all. You will now find TONS of educated upper class egyptains who have become religous.

    anyway, is premarital relations PROMOTED here? no way. is drinking promoted here? no way. is dating promoted here? no way. it exists but there isnt this pressure to conform. and if u give naseeha to ppl in a nice way, they seem to accept it much easier. Allah knows best. ofcourse u do have ppl who are secular to the core and stubborn. im talking about the general conservatively inclined masses when i say that.

    u can choose to put your child in a very good religous school where they simply won’t come across this stuff. or u can choose to put your child is a ‘conservative’ school where they may come across quite a bit of junk. there is simply more options available here.

    a da’ieeya has moved from qatar to egypt recently. and she has also lived and given dawah in uae. she has excellent children one of whom is a hafiz. and her kids go to the same school as my kids. and she tells me there’s simply no optinos like that in those countries: nothing that combines VERY islamic and balanced with good academics and good knowledge of child development and stuff (and not just opening a school for teh sake of a business). there is a well known very balanced sheikh involved in this school. this stuff is hard to come by just anywhere. so i just want to share this information with my brothers and sisters, not with a looking down at others spirit which some ppl may take it as , but as a ‘here i wana share this so if u wana try it, u know where to go’ spirit.

    Secondly egypt is way more accepting of foreigners be it practicing or otherwise compared to other countries where their ppl mainly stick to socializing or marrying within their own culture. that makes a significant different in the expreinces of foreigners living here.

    So the dynamics of egypt is quite different. Most pakistanis have only experienced pakistan or the gulf and those experiences can often be very different. so when they go to teh US and find a good practicing community bubble they think thats the BEST u can get anywhere.

    i just wanted to say u can get better by the will of Allah. Allah’s earth is vast.

    • UmmAbdullah

      September 17, 2011 at 7:55 AM

      oh yeh also u can become members of conservative sporting clubs which is a way more wholesome experience than anywhere in the west. it’ll have a masjid, and all sorts of playareas and sports for kids available.

      u can now easily live in the suburbs of cairo in varous compounds where its green /organized /clean/excellent security. some are affordable. some more expensive.

      i feel way more safe and there’s much less crime here compared to other places ive lived. its totally common for older ladies to live on their own here. in fact, my two neighbors are older ladies who both live by themselves.

      ur kids will never be visually assaulted by teenagers making out anywhere or barely dressed ladies. here, thre’s places for those ppl where they hang out, and there’s other places where yur’ll find families or more conservative ppl.

      is the dunya open to u here? constant distraction after distraction? somehow no subhanallah. its totally different from dubai in that sense. ive met some foreginers and then decided not to continue my friendship with them because their top concern was that egypt doesnt have ALL THE CHOICE of products available in dubai.

      so what does that mean? well that means those type of ppl end up leaving. u normally meet ppl who are here for their chidren, very goal oriented, insh’allah sincere ppl.

    • rookey2

      September 17, 2011 at 8:17 AM

      what is this my crib is more islamic than yours all about? may Allah forgive us all… what we should be concerned about is not about how easy it is to practice your deen or raise your kids but how much you are able to spread Islam and influence people. Rather than condemning a society for its ills, you should be asking yourself what you can do to remove those ills.

      And as you rightly said, Allah’s earth is vast so should we all constrict it by running to Egypt so that we can feel the ISLAMICITY of your society… every society has its challenges and it behoves the muslims there to find a way to solve it whether they are in Saudi, Qatar, Egypt, UK, US, Nigeria or South Africa.

      And by the way, if some muslims were not bold enough to leave there birthplace, there would have been no Islam in EGYPT

      • UmmAbdullah

        September 17, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        rookeye2 your reaction was exactly what i was referring to in my comments :-) thats what alot of ppl somehow tend to read or understand if any muslim suggests for one second they hey u might find a great place in such and such muslim society to raise your kids.

        -don’t assume there aren’t societal ills to be removed in egypt.
        -every person has a different role. for alot of parents, especially in their children’s younger years, one of their major goals is to raise strong muslims who can be leaders for the next generation. obviously not all muslims are parents of young children :-) or even parents at all.

        There is a famous hadith of the guy who murdered 99 ppl..and in the end he was travelling to be near a town i believe where it would be easier for him to worship Allah. if im wrong or misquoting please correct me.

        also, please quote to me where i suggested that ALL MUSLIMS move to egypt :-)

        i know because this is such a TABOO thing to even suggest out loud, the reacttion is normally very emotional and i accepted that.

        Would i get the same reaction if i suggested to some muslism to move to america or britian for instsance?

        maybe i am wrong, but something tells me the reaction of most ppl will not be the same :-)
        Should make us thing should it not?

        anybody who works with youth especially who go through public school knows the harm they come out with. are most of them fit to change the ills of their society and packed with islamic knoweldge or has the environment their parents blindly put them in overtaken them instead? this is for the majority. no doubt a minority overcome this. this it the minority who then give dawah…not the majority unfortunately.

        so lets get out of our politically correct rhetoric and face reality that differetn things can be benefit for different ppl. not everyone must continue to reside in teh west no matter what :-)

        • UmmAbdullah

          September 17, 2011 at 2:54 PM

          My parents and brother reside in the US. my mom learns and teaches quranic grammar classes and is a student of arabic for years. my brother works and is active in dawah and well known in some of the texas cities.

          would i suggest to them to leave everything and move to egypt? no. because it seems to me and Allah knows best that perhaps they can gain and do more good there right now in their position. and Allah knows best.

          i have freinds with young children who are practicing freinds with practicing husbands. their children are now going to public school. ive been to public school most of my life and i would never for a second want my children to go there. so it makes me very sad to know that this is the only choice available for many muslims who for one reason or another cannot homeschool.

          protecting your children’s deen is fard on the parents, not a fard kifaya.

          if i suggested to some parents they hey u might wana try moving closer to masjid A . it has a great environment for children or i suggested to person xyz that hey masjid B has a great environment for senior citizens, would it illicit the same reaction?

          i don’t believe its fardh to move from america for everyone. some ppl do have that opinon. i never did and it never convinced me. i rather prefer the view that different circumstances require different fatawas for different ppl. we need to know that not every issue is black n white. but one place can serve a certain purpose much better than another place.

          insh’allah ill make this my last post. i think ive made my point very clear for anyone insh’allah who can find some benefit in the informatin i shared. i don’t wish to argue with anyone. i don’t ask that u agree with me :-) i simply shared my opinions. yur free to have your own.

  29. Hasan

    September 19, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    and my home is where your country drops bombs everyday. Some around me don’t have a home anymore. You lost a friend. I lost two. You talk about your children growing up. imagine them growing in a world where drones hover over your home.
    I want to exist. I want the right to live, grow old, laugh, cry see my children grow too. A right which any human deserves but which your country seems to be taking from me.
    so if i call you a sell out. yes i think i do have the right to. You are a sellout not as a Muslim but as an American.

    • Carlos

      September 19, 2011 at 10:09 PM

      Please do not compare attacks by terrorists that target innocents with attacks by the US military that target terrorists. They are not morally equivalent.

      • Aly Balagamwala

        September 20, 2011 at 2:19 AM


        Not agreeing to what Hasan is saying, but I do disagree that US Military targets terrorists exclusively. If that was the case then the scores killed as “collateral damage” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Pakistan, etc would not be there.


      • Siraaj

        September 20, 2011 at 2:58 AM

        So hypothetically speaking, if I’m targeting 5 terrorists, and I kill 50 innocent civilians in the process, and this ratio repeats itself wherever I go, this is not immoral? A drunk driver also gets behind the wheel without the intent of murder, yet if he smashes and kills someone, he will still be imprisoned for manslaughter.

        I’m surprised the US hasn’t yet realized that when you kill a small group of terrorists and an exponential larger number of civilians, you’ve already recruited that many and more replacements for what you took out.


      • Hasan

        September 20, 2011 at 3:06 AM

        errr… i don’t remember making any such comparison and please don’t think that the US military is infallible. It has done its share of terrorism. im too lazy to give examples but would make the effort in case this debate continues.

    • Hena Zuberi

      September 11, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      Assalama alaykum,
      Totally agree with you Hasan and have worked hard to do what I can to protest and draw attention to the horrific policies of the US government. My family still lives in Pakistan, including my parents and siblings and even if they didn’t, I have the right to principled dissent in this country and continue to exercise that right.

      • Angry Muslimah

        September 12, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        i dont want to make anyone feel bad. so i am sorry can you please just delete my comment. i just feel too upset. i need to get a grip!

        • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          September 13, 2013 at 7:17 AM

          Dear Sister

          Your comment has been deleted. Jazakillahu Khairin for your apology. Sometimes we often let our emotions take us to extremes eventhough the underlying thoughts are genuine and valid.

          Also please do use your name or a valid kunyah to comply with the MM Comments Policy.


  30. Salah Din

    September 21, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    To the moderators,

    You can choose to delete my comments as you are the boss around here. I get this feeling that; I must agree with whatever author says as being right and can’t even criticise to what I see as wrong. May be this way someone could correct my thinking. However, I understand that I can’t excercise my freedom of speech no matter what any one says about a particular country, culture, religion or whatever. I e-mailed this article to 10 other people and they share the same view as mine that writter has made so many assumptions, sweeping generalisations and not very smartly tried to cash in on the death of those Muslims dying in our country to prove their loyalty to America.

    Please remove this label of “writter is always right” and see this article in different light. Besides, you know how those Muslims feel about you as the writter admits herself (sellouts). May Allah (swt) have mercy upon our Ummah if we have such people to represent us. (Amin)

    Salah Din.

  31. Pingback: #NeverForget: My Son's 9/11 Homework Project | Remembering What They Want Us to Forget -

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