The Smallest Miracle on Earth

Quran 27:18

“Until, when they came upon the valley of the ants, a female ant said, “O ants, enter your homes so that you do not be crushed by Solomon and his soldiers while they do not feel it.”

This Quranic verse is part of a small narrative involving King Solomon and his soldiers marching. They came upon a colony of ants, as the verse states, and almost crushed it. The interesting thing about this verse is that it specifies the gender of the ant in question, that was working in the colony and almost got crushed. It is well known today that male and female ants have different roles in the ant society. All male ants have wings, and all female ants (save for the Queen ant) do not have wings and work on the ground. Had the ant society Solomon’s soldiers almost crushed been male, they would’ve been able to fly away. However, as the verse states, they were close to getting crushed. One must conclude this particular group of ants was female. This verse was revealed to prophet Muhammad SAW 1400 years ago, long before science confirmed that female ants do not have wings (in the early 20th century).

And yes, ants do have homes. They are indeed very remarkable creatures. Older than the dinosaurs, and found everywhere on earth except for Antartica, ants have a very structured social order, with roles, duties, and dwellings. They are the only other animal on earth that practices agriculture, even domesticating and milking aphids. Ants are the smartest insect in the world and can live up to 30 years!

No wonder they’re the namesake of the 27th chapter of the Quran.

Sneak Peak of the Book I’m writing!

“Take the exit ramp onto Randall road.”

She turned her steering wheel and slowed down to exit the highway. Her knuckles ached and her fingertips were numb. On her right ring finger was an indent where previously a ring snugly sat, just a little bit too tight. She wondered if her mother would notice the indentation, and if she did, would she say something? Somehow mothers must just notice the tiniest things, she thought. The music she played while driving became a distant hum as her ears filled with sentences she anticipated to hear this afternoon. Once she got off the highway, her mind wandered as her hands and her feet led her vehicle to Copper Springs lane. Before she knew it, she was parking her car in front of her parents house, and her heart was beating so hard in her chest that she felt the veins in her neck throb as she twisted her head to look behind her while doing her best to parallel park her car straight next to the curb.  Continue reading Sneak Peak of the Book I’m writing!

Once Upon A Week

August 2016. First semester at UT. Saw an ad on campus for something called “Once Upon a Week”, a theater project where you write, rehearse, and perform a play within one week with a group of strangers. I decided, why the hell not… and ended up having a helluva good time. I couldn’t find the shaky, grainy footage I took of the performance, but the transcript is below.

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National and International Oil Companies and Domestic Welfare (My Capstone Senior Thesis Paper)

I worked on this research paper during my final semester at UT. It is in the field of international political economy, and I put my heart and soul into it. I’m extremely proud of myself that I was able to produce something this in-depth and well put. When I presented my paper to my class, I was voted in 1st place. Should you be interested in reading it, I have attached it below. Be warned, it is fairly lengthy (24 pages).

National and International Oil Companies and Domestic Welfare

If You Witness Wrongdoing

من رأى منكم منكراً فليغيره بيده، فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه، فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه، وذلك أضعف الإيمان

“If one of you witnesses wrongdoing, change it with your hand, if you are unable then with your tongue, if you are unable then with your heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

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To Drown

On a long car ride home, one of my sisters fell asleep and I took a picture of her. The look of calm on her face mesmerized me and I decided to paint it. I didn’t know where I was going with it or what I was trying to say. Then my life took some unexpected turns and I started to feel like I was drowning… in fears, sadness, possibility. Yet I was somehow still composed, refusing to be unsettled. I hope looking at this piece in the future reminds me of all that I’ve endured, and the grace within me to face anything that might come my way.

An Exercise in Reconciling Free Speech with Social Justice

         There was a point at which I realized what had happened. It was sometime after being asked leading questions to fit a neat narrative on conservative talk radio, essentially painting me as an unprincipled bridge. It was sometime before the end of Eugene Volken’s lecture about Free Speech on Campus. There was a point at which I realized the dilemma I could only see reflected in the enigma of a right wing campaign for more civil rights. At that point I asked myself: does free speech have to be the cost for social justice?

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Religious Appropriation

A letter we send, we as the sons of the Sadr movement to each dirty
Malikian, Hakeemian and Jafarian…

With the help of Allah, and after monitoring and mapping for months, all
emails of those who are helping the government of the criminal Al-Maliki have been hacked
by the electronic monitoring department of the Sadr movement, the national
movement that is a true Iraqi movement which rejects the American invasion. And thank
Allah, this is one of them.

All of you, the tails of the Invasion will die burning along with your
families.

May Allah quicken the return of “Al-Mehdi” and aid us in gaining victory over the oppressors.

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