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An open letter to the Taliban Leaders

  Dear Taliban leaders, I greet you in peace! Congratulations on the newfound power and I believe you will do everything to sustain and maintain it in a responsible manner with Allah’s, the most merciful,  help! Brothers, I reach out to you today to urge you for peace, peace in your own hearts and peace for your own people regardless of their gender and political opinions.   I urge you to let Allah take control! I urge you to seek His wisdom and guidance as you pray . Please remember that forgiveness is more valuable than punishment. I urge each one of you to take time to read the Holy Quran. Please remember as the ruler, you have much greater responsibility than as a fighter. I urge you to adhere to what Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said including about taking care of women and children.    I urge you to convince and compel your regional and grassroots leaders to follow your instructions of maintaining peace and non-violence. If you want the people of Afghanistan to follow your guidance, y
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Not all is lost in Afghanistan!

I feel sick to my stomach, like thousands of other people, as we see the visuals on television and internet coming from Afghanistan. It’s hard to even imagine the fear amongst the people in Afghanistan, both local and expats, who are living through the transition in power in the country.  Needless to say, I am afraid for the safety and well-being of those who are not seen as Taliban supporters especially the women and girls who are empowered to share their educated voice in the dialogue related to decisions about their lives and the fate of their beloved nation.  My family members have deployed to Afghanistan multiple times and I have had opportunities to learn about their experience as foreign soldiers in Afghanistan. I also have had conversations with friends who were born and raised in Afghanistan and have family members living in different parts of the country. I remember helping US Institute of Peace as they were finalizing a course on Engaging with Religious Leaders Overseas,

The Right Path and the Right Gait?

What is the right path? And who knows it? Even if you find it, How do you walk righteously on it?  What is the right pace?  Who knows the best gait for it? Is it the fastest sprinter, Or the most thoughtful wins it?  Is it an individual quest, Or we collectively walk on it? Can anyone critique the walk, Or the Creator only has the right?  Do all the walkers on the path look the same, Or different people walk on it? And the flowers and the weeds, Do they grow together on it?  Is it a mistake Or the Creator so designed it?  Does everyone has the view of the stars, Or only a few have the advantage for it? Is the focus on the destination absolute, Or can you care for the weak on it?  Is walking the most important, Or is it okay to rest on it?  What is the right path? And who knows it? Even if you find it, How do you walk righteously on it?

Ready to Wake Up?

God reinforced his greatness in a powerful way through the conversations with my dear brother Amjad Saleem, the works of Karen Armstrong, Isabel Wilkerson and mediations on the Bible as I was preparing for the last couple of sermons. While this poem was brewing in my heart for weeks, it was penned down in just few minutes... The bottom line is that God is greater than whatever we imagine God is! The one they call omnipresent, They try to captivate in religious cages, The one who is more fluid than the sunlight, They struggle to control through their holy pages! Sure, specific gatherings are pleasing, When they glorify the unseen One, But, all diverse cries raised up, Are also received with love in heaven!  What wise fools they are, They forget who is the master! They recreate and reconstruct, The original creator! The so-called leaders of people, Divide and part their followers, By separating themselves from their kin, The simple just follow the orders!  Time to embrace each other, Reg

Let's unshackle each other!

Anyone who thinks that it is only the slaves who lived in the chains is wrong! So many of us are in invisible shackles today, bound by hatred, racism, implicit biases, fears, jealousy and all kinds of other unnecessary negative feelings and emotions. Just like a pig feels happy in the swamp, we seem to be okay living with this filth! Some of us occasionally come out, take a bath and stay clean for some days and then go back to our inner rubbish and some have become very comfortable in the mire of hatred! It's time to stop complaining against the poor, whining about sharing with the single mom with two children seeking refuge at the border, suspecting a group of children standing in the corner and hating the white man just because he reminds of generations of oppression! Brothers and sisters, it is time to  break-free of bitterness and resentment and embrace forgiveness and love! Yes, some times it is very hard to forgive, especially when there is injustice and structural oppression

To you, Tat!

This poem is for a powerful woman in Louisiana. Her name is Arizola Spears and she is 92 years old. Throughout her life she always fought for civil rights and the right to vote for all. She had contracted COVID-19 a few weeks ago. But you know what, not only she  conquered  the virus, she went ahead and voted in these very important  presidential  elections in  the  United States. If she, at 92 after surviving corona virus, is not tired, how can we? Her  grit and grace inspires all around her and everyone that hears of her and what she has achieved!  Mrs. Arizola Spears I hardly know you, And we have never met Yet you inspire every bit of my being, Ever beautiful, Tat! I had heard of your strength, Your sophisticated style, Your hard earned stature in the society, And even in the storms, that resilient smile! I am in awe as I learn, the depth of your strength, the grandeur of your style, Your endurance and its length! Not even COVID-19 could stop you, You conquered the virus with elega


My husband and I have participated in peaceful protests several times and have never thrown a stone or burned anything and I have never seen another person walking by me do anything violent either. People standing up for basic human rights shouldn't be seen as a threat to law and order. It is a scared act done in love for fellow human beings. Yes, there are violent people who come in all colors and from all political affiliations and ALL of them should be brought to justice. We should NOT close our eyes when few protestors burn a building, it is not correct. Similarly, we should not look the other way when a boy walks by the protesters and kills them. And just like we say there was ONE person who shot and killed the protesters and NOT his entire group, we should be able to say only a FEW protesters burned the shops and only a handful of protests included violence. Let's at least agree to this! Now what is more serious from law and order and religious perspective I will leave it