Zahra Noorbakhsh takes NYC!

Comedian and Love InshAllah columnist Zahra Noorbakhsh takes on NYC at the Muslim Funny Fest!


#TheFirstTime

#TheFirstTime logo

Be a part of our crowdsourced project #TheFirstTime, a platform to anonymously ask your most pressing questions about sex:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M75HRBJ

When we started this website three years ago, we were inundated with questions from our readers about love, sex, and relationships – issues covered in our book, Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women. We realized that, for many of us, there isn’t a safe space to voice our most intimate concerns without fear of shame, humiliation, or judgment.

Recognizing that we all have questions – but not all of us have someone to turn to for answers – we launched an advice column. We enlisted the help of two thoughtful and wise friends – Miss Sunshine and Shy Desi Boy – who, over the years, have answered our readers’ burning questions about love and sex and everything in between.

Two years ago, our columnists answered a question from a young man who was “Clueless About [His] Wedding Night.” He wrote that he was at a loss as to what he should do once he and his wife were alone, but had no one he could turn to for advice. Our columnists answered his question with grace and honesty.

Since then, “Clueless About My Wedding Night” has become the single most viewed post on LoveInshAllah.com. It’s clear from the way in which this column has gone viral that there are many others out there who are also looking for answers about having sex for the first time.

We want to help.

Today marks the launch of our newest project, #TheFirstTime, an attempt to make sure you’re not clueless on your wedding night. We want to know: what questions do you have (or did you have) about having sex for the first time? What advice would you give your best friend on his/her wedding night? And, what resources do you wish you had before you had sex for the first time?

This is a crowd-sourced project so we need your help to complete this survey. This is an anonymous survey and we do not want identifying information.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M75HRBJ

We are excited to partner with HEART Women & Girls, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote the reproductive health and mental well-being of faith-based communities.

For more information, please contact us at advice@loveinshallah.com


Modern Romance

IMG_7543I gave up a lot of things I enjoyed when I became Muslim, including alcohol, drugs and pork. I gave those things up because they’re haram, but also because I personally believed giving them up would lead to beneficial changes in my life. I also gave them up because I think it’s good to give up something you enjoy each year, in order to not become too dependent on any one thing. I was convinced that leaving them behind was the right thing to do, and I haven’t been disappointed.

Dating, however, has still been a feature of my Muslim life. This is true not because I’m powerless to give it up, but because I think it’s beneficial for me in the long run. The more halal paths to marriage, in my eyes, won’t work for me.

The fact that I’ve basically given in to pursuing a haram (at least to some degree) path to marriage has been a constant source of reflection and concern. It’s also been a useful dilemma to have, however, as it has allowed me to realize just how drastically my conception of dating and relationships has changed in the last few years.

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36 Flavours of Self Loathing

Eds. Note: Key is taking July off to get married, mA! We pray for deep blessings, contentment & joy in her union, and are re-posting her very first column with us from April 2014.

Key Ballah

Key Ballah

36 Flavours of Self Loathing

1. In 2nd grade a boy called me fat, there hasn’t been a day since then, when I loved my body
completely.
2. At 18 I found myself locked in a restaurant freezer with a boss who was trying to use his
hands to convince me that sex with him was part of the job.
3. There were nights after you left, when I filled my bed with everything that you touched,
hoping to fill it with something familiar.
4. The moon warned me not to come see you that night, it hung low trying to touch me. When I
left you, it asked me how could I hate myself so much.
5. When you didn’t call I had to delete every memory of you I had, but you still
lingered in the cracks of my walls.
6. Someone once told me that my body was a war zone. The day that I finally
understood what that meant, I was bleeding from my forearms trying to recreate the crucifixion.
7. West Indian women are known for having children but being too strong to have men.
I’ve never understood the fear some people have of women who expect as opposed to women who hope.
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Advice: Letting go of my ex

letting-go

Ed note: Our dear columnists, Miss Sunshine & Shy Desi Boy, are back! Send them your sex, love & relationship questions to advice@loveinshallah.com. And check out our archives to read their previous columns.

Dear Miss Sunshine & Shy Desi Boy,

I am a 27 year old girl, ‘happily married’ with 2 children. I am a prominent Islamic speaker’s daughter. I wear hijab and strive to be a good Muslim. In college, I fell hard for a Non-Muslim guy. We talked for a couple of years, and eventually hooked up a couple of times. With him, when in private, I would remove my hijab. I did not lose my virginity to him (I wanted to share this with my husband); we shared a couple nights together, and those were the best nights I have ever had. To this day, I still think of those amazing nights. 

I know from some Facebook stalking that he is ‘happily married’ as well and his 2 children are born within days of mine. In my college days, I felt like I was a different person. I was tired of ‘being good.’ I was sick of the expectations Islam placed on me. I wanted to rebel. I was also in love with this guy. And he was in love with me too. Love makes you do some crazy things.

However, due to religious issues and general compatibility, we broke it off. He would not convert or change his ways, and I knew I needed to settle down with a Muslim man; I have prayed for guidance since then, and am much more settled now in my religion.

There are days in which I wallow. I am ‘happily married’ in that I love my spouse. I have never told my husband nor my best friends about me & my ex hooking up: I do not want my hubby to judge me or think that I am not his first. I do not want to expose my faults, and want to keep these sins a secret, and pray that Allah forgives me. I know I am my hubby’s first.

I am writing to ask, how do I efficiently move on and not think about my ex? There are months in which I am fine, and other days in which I feel like someone has punched me in the gut, days in which I am sore, days in which I miss the way my ex used to kiss me, the way my ex and me used to laugh together. Am I normal to still think of him from time to time? I feel like a horrible person in that Allah has given me so much, and yet there are days in which I eagerly yearn for the past.I also feel horribly guilty in that if someone were to look at me, they automatically think I am a ‘good’ person, a daughter of an Islamic speaker, and a good Muslim wife & mom. But deep down inside, I have deep, dark secrets.

I need help to move on.

Sincerely,
Preacher’s Daughter

Miss Sunshine replies:

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My Iranian Breakup

Zahra Noorbakhsh

Zahra Noorbakhsh

When I was invited to speak at a conference in Iran, I was asked by the organizers to take as much of my digital footprint down as possible. I took down my first LoveinshAllah.com column “My Infidel Husband,” postponed my next two columns, de-activated my website, and even untagged myself in podcast photos of “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim” on Facebook.

Then, two weeks before the conference, the organizers asked me to take down the New York Times article that features my story, “The Birds, the Bees, and My Hole”, from the anthology, Love Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women.

I almost wish I had made this ludicrous request to the New York Times. It could have been its own news story: “NY TIMES REMOVES ARTICLE FOR A WHILE BECAUSE COMEDIAN WHO WANTS TO GIVE SPEECH IN IRAN ASKED POLITELY.”

The conference and I broke up.

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Girl Bachelor

Zainab Chaudary

Zainab Chaudary

“I never shall be an old maid, because I have elected to be a Girl Bachelor. And as to regretting this choice, you know the saying of the philosopher, ‘whether you marry or not, you will regret it.’” – Neith Boyce

My friend Adam is a genius.

We’re very different, Adam and I: he is a critical and analytical thinker, I am an intuitive and emotive one. Science, reason, and skepticism trump all for him, whereas for me, all three lie under a dome of spirituality. He is more realist painting, I am more impressionist imprint. Though we often have spirited debates, we respect each other’s brains enough to maintain this friendship of nine years.

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