The Light of Karbala in our Community

Published on Islamic Insights on Oct. 29, 2015

The events of Karbala are more than just words on the page in a history book and the sobering tragedy that occurred on the day ofAshura (the tenth of Muharram) needs to be commemorated in a special way. The fifth Imam of Islam, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) is reported to have said, “If our Shia truly knew what happened in Karbala, they would die from grief.” We will never be able to experience the gravity of the tragedy of Karbala, but we can bring the events to life as much as possible.

Continue reading

A Successful Union

Published on Islamic Insights on September 15, 2015. 

It goes without saying that the marriage of Imam Ali (as) and Sayyida Fatima (as) was a perfect union from the time of its inception until their fateful deaths. The beauty of their marriage lies not only on the pious status of the elevated and immaculate individuals but in the success they achieved regardless of the circumstances around their nuptials. The metrics of success are not rooted in the monetary or temporal benefits a husband and wife can provide to each other, but the decisions made in life through the lens of Islam. There is no better example of a successful marriage by those standards than that of the Imam (as) and his beloved wife, Sayyida Fatima (as), who made the fundamental values of their marriage only to love each other for the sake of Allah (swt).

Continue reading

Visiting Imam Ridha (AS)

Published on Islamic Insights on August 25, 2015.

Growing up, my summers were filled with annual trips to Iran to visit my family and experience this culture I was born into, but for as long as I could remember, the memories surrounding my visits to the shrine of Imam Ridha (as) in Mashad were faint. I knew I had been there frequently, yet almost shamefully, the most I could remember were the fun hotels we would stay at when we visited with my grandparents. Those memories now don’t compare to my most recent visitation of the beloved and revered Imam Ridha (as).

Continue reading

The Enduring Patience of Imam al-Khadim (AS)

Published on Islamic Insights on May 14, 2015. 

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) is reported to have said, “Have patience in obeying and in not disobeying God, because this world is only a short period of time; you don’t feel the happiness and sorrow of what has passed and don’t know of what hasn’t come yet. Therefore, I have patience for what is now as if you were happy.” In a world that drowns us with temptations and distractions from our ultimate goals in life, it is difficult to always remember and embody the patience and tolerance of the seventh Imam of Islam, Musa al-Kadhim (as), but it is in those times we must reflect on his hardships and the hardships of our Islamic role models to allow us to persevere. Continue reading

Nepal: Understanding Tragedy and Lending a Helping Hand

Published April 29, 2015 by Islamic Insights

On April 25th, 2015, an earthquake struck Nepal just before noon local time followed by nearly two dozen aftershocks, including a magnitude-6.6 aftershock an hour afterwards. Hospitals were overflowing with injuries, homes were damaged, phone lines were jammed, and roads had gaping cracks running along them.

Continue reading

Palestine: A New Tide of Support

Published April 22, 2015 by Islamic Insights

From newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise that he will not allow a free Palestine to the United Nations report stating more Palestinian civilians were killed in 2014 than any other year since the devastating war of 1967, the need for international awareness and support for the Palestinian cause has been greater than ever. As the global support for Palestine continues to rise in popularity, the political sphere has slowly shifted to reflect those sentiments. Continue reading

Bahrain: The Struggle Continues

Published February 14, 2015 by Wilayah News

February 14th not only marks the most commercialized holiday of romance around the globe but also the least covered and strategically suppressed struggle for justice in Bahrain. Four years since Bahraini citizens have rightfully demanded reform and equality, the unrest on the small island in the Gulf continues.

Continue reading

Students Occupying UT Austin Decry School’s Privatization and Job Cutting Plan

Published April 29, 2014 by

For eighteen University of Texas at Austin students, occupying the school president’s office was the way to make their voices heard and their demands clear.

On Wednesday, April 23, students and demonstrators protested the proposed “Shared Services Plan” put forward by Accenture, a consulting and outsourcing firm. Demonstrators demanded that UT Austin President Bill Powers immediately halt the plan that would put 500 UT employees at risk of losing their jobs.

Continue reading

Researchers Work to See the Heart More Clearly and Save Lives

Published December 2, 2013 by Reporting Texas

“That’s your mitral valve,” said postdoctoral fellow Chung-Hao Lee, pointing to a 3D simulation that fills his computer screen with a pair of lips that flap open and then close, a rainbow of colors indicating how tightly. The display lies at the core of work by Lee and his colleagues at the department of biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin to improve the visibility of one of the heart’s trickiest pieces of real estate.

Continue reading

Mexican Dead Gone But Certainly Not Forgotten During Día de los Muertos

Published for Multimedia Newsroom, UT School of Journalism on November 13, 2013

The Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin creates community alters every year to honor the deceased.  Rhjaibeigi Photography.

The Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin creates community alters every year to honor the deceased.
Rhajibeigi Photography.

The altars have been dismantled, the face paint removed and the sugar skulls eaten, but planning for next year’s Día de los Muertos celebration is already underway.

Continue reading