Justice and the Public Good: Holistic Contextualization of Qur’anic Passages

By Misha Az-Zahra Disclaimer: This was originally written for thefatalfeminist. "Verily, we offered the Trust (amanah) to the Heavens and the Earth and the mountains--but they declined to bear it, for they feared it. But humankind undertook it. Verily, [humankind] was most unjust, ignorant."[1] The Qur'an's word for "trust" and "security," amanah in Arabic, comes from the same... Continue Reading →

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Guidance for Whom? Notes on Interpretation and Quranic Teachings

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم The Quran addresses mankind as a whole in many verses. Despite this, it asserts in the opening verses of Surah Baqarah that it is "a guide for those who are conscious of God"--those who have taqwa, piety. It also says that while believers are increased in faith by hearing its recitation, disbelievers... Continue Reading →

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Why Do They Hate Us? The Causes of Extremism

The title is taken from Mona Eltahawy, although this post has nothing to do with her. This article reflects my personal understanding of terrorism as of 6/8/2017. Disclaimer: Some material is quoted directly from ISIS propaganda, so don't read if it's too disturbing. When discussions on extremism take place, one of several possible reasons is usually cited... Continue Reading →

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ترجمہ  Exegesis: Urdu (4:32-37)

The following is a translation of Misha Az-Zahra's exegesis of Surah Nisa 32-37 into Urdu by Warda Q. ❤ This is part of an effort to create exegesis in languages other than English because translations of the Qur'an in most languages are lacking and much of the Muslim world does not speak English. There are... Continue Reading →

Notes on Methodology

Here, I present various differences in exegetical approach towards the Qur'an and assess their underlying weaknesses. I explain my approach to Qur'anic interpretation and expound upon the possibilities it puts forward. In addition, I trace the social and political implications of multiple hermeneutical pathways, discussing their consequences in both the legal and social spheres of... Continue Reading →


I want to build an Islamic school. This is a dream, of course, because I dream a lot. But this school will be coeducational. The floors will be made of glass like King Solomon's palace as described in the Qur'an (27:44). Copies of the Qur'an will adorn cherry-sandalwood bookshelves, including original copies without diacriticals. (Believe... Continue Reading →

Mildly Amusing Backlash

Lots of things have happened recently. Most of them involve angry men, ranting sheikhs, and fuming Muslim scholars. The first incident involves me. A certain man, ostensibly infuriated by my writing (as many people are), went so far as to track me down (which must have taken forever, because I write under a pen name) and send emails... Continue Reading →

Light, Dark, Forbidden to Angels

I want to discuss how we decide what is halal for us. When taking into account things that are universally forbidden, one might list murder--the taking of life. In that sense, then, is God a murderer? God takes our lives. Are angels murderers? The Qur'an says that angels are enlisted to take our souls at death and... Continue Reading →


A lovely reader of mine, who wishes to be known by the pseudonym Warda Q., recently sent me a transcript she made of a recording I did on the Prophet's Farewell Sermon. I was quite flattered, partly because I had been planning to take the audio file down (I really can't stand the sound of... Continue Reading →


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