Studying other religions

I’ve noticed Muslims (at least in the west) avoid studying other religions, or do disparagingly so with an overly pronounced skepticism, supposedly because they fear weakening their own faith.

It’s illogical on multiple levels: how are Muslims going to believe the Divine Revelations were released in every language yet still disparage world religions they don’t recognize? Talk about cognitive dissonance.

But more to the point, when a Muslim’s faith is weak, there is no faster remedy to strengthen it than studying world religions with a deep respect. I’m serious. It’s like feeling homesick. The world is a gorgeous place, but occasionally, you want to fall asleep in your own bed. If you’ve never felt “at home” in Islam, exploring other religions may prompt you to recognize what home feels like.

I have not had a chance to post lengthily or respond to emails yet so I am providing quick responses to your inquiries about me

How are your earrings?

Good! I still haven’t yet repierced the lost upper double helix on the left ear, but my right ear has a helix, tragus, and daith piercing. They aren’t healing without complications because my hair notoriously wants to entangle and fully swallow any object in orbit, but they’re still healing pretty well.

How’s the vaginismus?

I’ve made a lot of progress.

How’s the book? (Are you on your first or second?)

You might have heard me make references to two books because I tend to work on multiple projects simultaneously, so yes, there are… three. The books are not exegetical. The first is still in editing (but it is complete). The second is coming along, and I’m very excited about it! The third is a page. That’s fiction. I also have a non-fiction memoir/travel book that should never see the light of day, probably. You should not ask about this except with grave concern.

There’s a possibility some of my short stories may surface at some point in the near future.*

*When a writer says “near future,” what she actually means is several months.

Are you aware that your professional twitter has a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT tone than your TFF twitter?

Yes. If you follow me on twitter @ my first and last name, that account is very dreamy. It’s nothing like TFF’s kill-you-with-a-look twitter. This is greatly amusing to my friends.

How’s your career?

I’m not sure what people are referring to when they ask this question. The books? Law school? My current profession? My unrealized dream to start a girl band? It’s safe to say I’m paying my dues in each one.

How’s studying for law school?

I’m very smart. And very undisciplined.

Where’s the guest post with Misha you were supposed to produce in June?

It’s coming I promise.

Did you register for the AWP like you promised?

Yes! See you in Oregon!


I just remembered I’m so extra that one time I accidentally knocked my phone into my headboard and then kissed the phone to “repair” the damage.

At least something is knocking into my headboard.

My birthday is March 8th.

Some of you have requested a mailing address to deliver gifts, and though I am deeply moved, I cannot safely provide one. I hope you understand! If you do still want to get me a present, please donate to Esq. Apprentice, an organization that helps low-income women of color become lawyers. The organization is local to me, headquartered in Oakland, my favorite city. It endeavors to make the law work for rather than against the poor. The joy of debate should not be denied to any woman who loves to argue as fiercely as me.

Your girl is also saving up for law school herself (or she thinks she is) so if you want to send her birthday money, you can do that too. She would be very flattered. Maybe even enough to stop annoying you by referring to herself in the third person.

And of course, as with every year on March 8th, I wish you a happy International Women’s Day.


This is a note that although my 15-year-old disciple, Misha, calls me Naia for a very specific reason, and that although you may see variations of this used in deliberately vague references to me (i.e. in fiction written by friends to obscure the inspiration), Naia is only for Misha to use interpersonally. My name is three syllables. It is unalterable. It should never be modified. Only three people in the entire world can call me Naia: my own mother (though she doesn’t and it would be strange), my 15-year-old disciple Misha, and the man I happen to marry. My closest friends don’t even call me Naia. My own children wouldn’t call me Naia. In fact, no one is actually supposed to even know it exists.

It is of extraordinary intimacy, and is never to be uttered audibly or in writing except to me in the circumstances described.