Zahra Noorbakhsh takes Manhattan

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

So, A Muslim and a Jewish Girl Get Up on Stage….

This slam poetry video is making the rounds and is too moving not to share.

Amina Iro and Hannah Halpern performed this piece at the Brave New Voices 2013 Slam in Washington, DC

There is nothing like a Muslim girl and a Jewish girl collectively breaking it down, powerfully explaining that the two identities have more in common than most realize.



We also take this opportunity to send our Jewish friends warm Passover greetings, and we are holding a good thought for the slain in Kansas City.  May Allah (swt) fill our hearts with peace so that we go out into the world and be a source of light. Ameen.

We originally spotted this at Upworthy. Go give them a visit! 

A Jewish Comic And A Muslim Researcher Walk Into A Party…

This is a story about a pair of unlikely partners.

One, Dalia Mogahed, is a Muslim policy analyst who advised President Obama in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The other, Judy Carter, is a Jewish comic and author who teaches people to make use of humor in public speaking.

Their introduction might sound like the setup to a corny joke.

Interest piqued? Listen to the rest of the NPR interview or read the transcript, here.

The Poetry of Motherhood: Waiting to Unfold

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Love, Inshallah reviews a beautiful collection of  poetry from poet, mother and rabbi, Rachel Barenblat. In her fourth poetry collection, Waiting To Unfold (April 2013, Phoenicia Publishing), Rabbi Barenblat documents her pregnancy and the first year of her son’s life through her powerful voice, unfurling the jubilations and challenges of motherhood.

A perfect Mother’s Day gift – purchase your copy, here!

Love, Inshallah (LA): You are a writer, a poet, and a Velveteen Rabbi. Tell us a little bit about the link between creativity and a woman’s spirituality.  Why is it important to write/speak/create art?

Rachel Barenblat (RB): For me, creativity is a tremendous spiritual gift. I’ve learned over the years that I am most spiritually healthy when I’m creating, which usually means writing poems. Having a regular writing practice gives me a creative outlet. And having a regular prayer practice gives me a spiritual outlet, too.

Some years ago, in my early 30s, I suffered from a few strokes, and the way I made it through that adventure (which was scary and unfamiliar) was through writing poems, and through working with my spiritual director on the spiritual qualities I needed most. For me, the two — writing and spiritual life — are deeply interconnected.

Jewish tradition says that God spoke the world into being, and that God continues to speak the world into being now. There’s a connection between words and creation, between words and life. When I write poems, I feel as though I’m connected with God — my words also create worlds, though on a much smaller scale! And when I became a mother, I felt a new kind of connection with God as the Parent of all creation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Faith, Marriage, and Scrabble


My fiancé Ahmed came to the US from his native Turkey in part to escape from the societal pressures of his culture. This resonated with me, because I left small-town Oklahoma for a similar reason. We both wanted to make our way in the world unfettered by other people’s expectations.

But, when it came time for him to propose, he ran it by his family. Naturally, they asked if I was a Muslim. When he said no, they gave him the skeptical eye, which annoyed him to no end. But he loved them and wanted to explain his decision in a language they could appreciate.

“One Surah of the Quran,” he told them, “says that sometimes what seems good is actually bad, and what seems bad is actually good. Maybe you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you love a thing but it is bad for you. Only Allah knows.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Love: Otis and Nitasha wedded bliss

Our contributor Asiila Imani shared this beautiful video of an interracial, interfaith, and multicultural wedding with us.

It’s the most joyful, moving and wonderful wedding video we’ve seen in a long time.

Congrats, Otis and Nitasha, wherever you are!

Otis & Nitasha : wedding highlights from Inkspot Crow Films on Vimeo.

Dating in Iran

My first long-term relationship was with an Iranian woman I met shortly after arriving for duty in Tehran as a draftee in the U.S. Army.   I was 24.   Though technically not a virgin, I was pretty inexperienced with the opposite sex.

In college I was too busy for dating.  There was a war underway.   A lottery for the draft assigned me the unlucky number of 29.   Any free time I had as a student at Kent State was spent manning anti-war literature tables, helping to organize and participate in demonstrations.

When I arrived at the bachelor quarters in Tehran, Iran I was instantly lonely.  How was I going to meet anyone?

Read the rest of this entry »