“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.
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
My newest article is published! It is about the city-wide boil water notice that Austin had last month and how it relates to water scarcity as caused by climate change. You can read it here.
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)
Continue reading If You Witness Wrongdoing
The latest article I wrote for the Liberator was about online friends. You can read it here!
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?
Continue reading An Exercise in Reconciling Free Speech with Social Justice
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
May Allah quicken the return of “Al-Mehdi” and aid us in gaining victory over the oppressors.
Continue reading Religious Appropriation
I’m almost certain it was the 2011 visit, when I was 14. My two sisters, mother and I went to visit my maternal grandmother and our hometown Baghdad for the second time since our settlement in America. We were at Uncle Fahad’s house, the one adjacent to my grandmother’s (they shared a wall). All the adults were in the guest room drinking the late afternoon tea with biscuits and catching up. My budding introversion compelled me to get away from the noise for a little bit, so I was watching television in the living room. For about an hour, I was staring absentmindedly at the 20 inch screen, the oddity of my two passport identity consuming my thoughts.
I was brought back by a phrase I heard coming from the TV; “I didn’t have a morsel of bread to feed my kids.”
Continue reading On Feminine Terrorism
I’m in print! The Liberator magazine’s Spring 2017 issue was released earlier this month, with “Power” as the theme. It includes an article I wrote inspired by attending Trevor Noah’s latest stand-up comedy tour (Noah is The Daily Show’s latest host – replacing Jon Stewart). The full print issue can be viewed here in PDF format. “Continue Reading” to view my full article!
Continue reading A Night With Trevor Noah: The Liberator Spring 2017 Print Issue
This phrase from the Quran changed my life. Not only has it filled me with humility every day of the past 3 years, it also continues to remind me how small and insignificant my problems are in the grand scheme of things. This phrase has been the source of my happiness and the fuel that drives every thing I do, because I know that if I want to do anything of significance, it can’t come from a place of selfishness, competition or for material gain. Any success I acquire or accomplishments I achieve, any material wealth I accumulate will perish along with me, so I’ve decided to live this short life for things that won’t.
Before anything else, if you clicked on this article because you have no clue what a Hijab is, congratulations, you’re a (presumably) human adult with an intact curiosity. If you clicked on this article because you already know what it is, or you are a person who wears the Hijab then I’m about to drop some truth bombs you’ve all been waiting to hear. Continue reading 6 Things You Learn as a Hijabi in America
When I started writing this article I didn’t realize how much worse things were going to get. The Syrian people are experiencing a modern genocide, a near perfect mirror image of the ones the Kurds of Iraq suffered under Saddam. The governor of our state has decided to turn his back on the Syrian people. He has chosen nationalism over humanity. But he doesn’t speak for all Texans, and I hope the leaders of our community continue to echo that point.