Following last year’s launch of our revamped website, our Authors strove to cultivate a virtual mosque: answering fiqh (law) questions on pressing topics such as through the “Islam and the Internet” series, giving nasiha on building excellent character through articles such as the “How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart” series, and sparking rich discussions about culture through articles such as the Balancing Arabization series. In 2011, VirtualMosque.com launched an advice corner with dedicated counselors to answer your questions, we saw our first article authored entirely by you, the readers, on “Inspiring our Children to Pray,” launched our Twitter and Facebook accounts, and continued to give voice to inspiring conver(t)sations, from students in NYU to the incredible story of brother Wudhu Al-Amin. Any reflection on the past year would be remiss without a mention of our continued mourning of the unjust killing of Shaykh Emad Effad in Egypt, rahimuallah, reminding us that the struggle for justice and dignity never ceases. May we be inspired by the legacy of all great believers who came before us, and build a legacy of our own that shines with mercy, light and benefit to all humanity. The following is a list of 30 articles that were found to resonate most strongly with our readers. It is undoubtedly an incomplete list. What article sticks out in your memory from the past year? Leave a comment to let us know!
Courage Under Fire
Read more articles about the Ummah here
Why do people leave each other? & People leave each other. But do they return? – Reflections on grief, loss and disappointment that sparked an outpouring of responses appreciating the counsel to free oneself of worldly attachments.
Message from Cairo – One of the first of continued articles testifying first hand or reflecting and encouraging solidarity with the brave citizens of the Arab Spring.
The Legend of Captain Jack: From Birdy to Sparrow – An analysis of the real history of “Captain Jack” from the popular film “Pirates of the Caribbean” reveals a stunning story of conversion to Islam dating from the 16th. C.
Wifehood and motherhood are not the only ways to paradise – A critique of the messages the community sends single sisters, and a powerful reminder that Allah (swt) did NOT create women solely for the sake of wifehood or motherhood.
The Accident – The survival from a terrifying, near-death experience by the author reminds us that there is no such thing as “luck” and how to be prepared to face tribulation.
Keeping it Real, Keeping it Relevant
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Changing a New Muslims Name: Custom or Religion? – One article in a significant multi-part series urging for the balancing of Arabization when practicing Islam. It analyzes a number of practical topics faced by many, especially converts.
Distance in Marriage – One of the inaugural articles by “VMCounselors” providing specific, practical advice on how to save a marriage facing deep divisions.
From Facebook to God’s Book – Analyzes why many of us have an addictive relationship to social media as means to inspire us to have a much greater relationship with our friends in the Qur’an instead.
Question on Intercourse – A sensitive question addressed directly. A healthy sex life within the bounds of marriage is noted as important in order to battle with an increasingly sexualized and pornified society.
Someone Had to Say it!
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Being Religious Without Being A Jerk – An urgent reminder to the community that there is nothing that has gentleness except that it is beautified, and nothing that has harshness except that it becomes ugly.
Smiling and Saying Salaam -An inspiring call for each of us to BE the ones that spark joy and brotherhood wherever we go by smiling and saying salaam to one another.
12 Tips for the Convert Muslim – A dozen succinct tips stemming from hard-won wisdom of first-hand experience – relevant for converts and non-converts alike!
Does Islam Force Itself Upon Others? – A refutation of one of the most common, yet groundless, accusations being made against Islam utilizing cross-textual analysis.
Read more articles on Du`a’ here
Effectively Planning Your Du`a’ – Inspiring us to plan as carefully for our personal supplications to God as we do for other important things in our life such as job interviews or selecting our spouse.
A Sacred Conversation – Explaining the power of turning to ask from Allah at that time of the night when we can finally fully relax – when work ends, traffic sleeps, and silence is the only sound.
A Gift for the 27th Night: Ramadan Du’a’ with English Translation – A beautiful audio clip with translation for those of us who long so deeply to understand the clearly passionate and sincere du’a’s pouring through the speakers during Ramadan.
Salah: Life’s Forgotten Purpose – The importance of remembering prayer: We feed our bodies, because if we didn’t, we’d die. But why do so many of us starve our souls, forgetting that if we are not praying, our soul is dead?
Love & the Heart
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Al-Jabbar: Mending the Broken Hearts – One article in a popular series on achieving tranquility in the heart. Here, an exploration of ho Allah is Al-Jabbar – the One who is able to restore and mend what is broken. n someone else is faced with such a time of monumental hardship and change.
Take Back Your Heart – A reminder that when you reach rock bottom in the ocean of dunya – you can either drown – or you can gather pearls and rise back up by freeing your heart.
The Content of Character
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How does one soften their heart? – A practical list of actions to take in order to reach a heart brimming over with a sweetness of faith, mercy, and humility.
Thoughts on Parenting – How to bring your child up to be strong and therefore courageous. To know what is right and what is wrong and therefore be trustworthy. To be charismatic – and inspirational even!
30 Reasons to Avoid Being Angry and Argumentative -While it is natural and even our right to disagree and think critically, how to do so while maintaining a dignified and generous spirit and avoiding abrasiveness or condescension.
The Power of Words – From hot tears of pain to relief at a small kindness, a short, powerful personal story reminding us of the importance to wield the power of our words with kindness and wisdom.
In the Footsteps of the Righteous
Read more articles on Islamic Studies here
A Letter to the Aspiring Western Student of Islam – Advice for those who dream of escaping from the rat race and empty materialism of modern, fast-food culture and traveling to a traditional land of Islam.
Envisioning our Beloved – Considering how, when we love someone, we crave to know every detail of their waking (and perhaps even sleeping!) lives – and applying this towards better knowing our Prophet.
The Prophet and Food – Looking at the Prophetic example in food, especially in a time when many Americans and other people of opportunity throughout the world are dying from diet-related diseases.
Ten Principles for Those Seeking the Path of Allah– A carefully translated and abridged text by Webb Translators of Imam Ghazali’s advice to those on a path to God.