I love my community — American Muslims — with all my heart. Since high school, when I began to consciously explore the beliefs, history, traditions, and possibilities inherent in my religion, I have made other aspects of my identity (South Asian, Pakistani, Punjabi, etc.) subservient to being a Muslim who is a citizen of America. After all, I grew up in the US after arriving in NY at the age of just about 15 months. Being an American meant trying to understand local context and history just as much as learning the history of South Asia or Arabia.

My parents…


‘Now,’ said she. ‘I know the cause, or the chief cause, of your sickness. You have forgotten what you are.’ — Boethius

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” ― Socrates

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” — Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

“Tentative efforts lead to tentative outcomes. Therefore, give yourself fully to your endeavors. Decide to construct your character through excellent actions and determine to pay the price of a worthy goal. The trials you encounter will introduce you to your…


Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan — A Well Deserved Name

It must have been the summer of 1999. I don’t have a date but it was likely a Friday since I remember having my work bag with me. I’ve tried to find it by searching for a reference on the internet but couldn’t. Maybe there is an old ticket stub or a playbill somewhere in my boxes in New Jersey. But this memory doesn’t need a trinket to help me recall. I remember the substance of the night vividly.

I arrived at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95th Street straight after…


February is heavy on me.

The month starts with the celebration of my brother’s birthday, but it is also the month in which my mother, Abida Sultana Chowdhry (d. Feb 12, 1999), and my paternal aunt, Zakia Ashraf Mughal (d. Feb 6, 2012), left this world. The dates fall within just 6 days of each other.

My mother, Ammi in Urdu, commanded respect from her three sons. As the eldest of the three I benefited from about 23 years in her shade. 21 years after her passing her example continues to provide me with protection and inspiration — every day…


I wrote the following on February 26, 2010, the day Gai Eaton left this world, and shared it through my Facebook feed. I am posting here to share with a wider audience.

Charles Le Gai Eaton (Hassan Abdul Hakim)

I’ve been meaning to start writing in this “notes” space for a few months now. But each time there has been an interruption to the beginning. But today, as I prepare for the start of the work week here in Jeddah I learned of the passing of Charles Le Gai Eaton, aka Hassan Abdul Hakim. Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’oon. May God bless him. …


I landed in Dubai late in the evening. It was March; warm and sticky. The next two days were filled with a technology conference, some conference calls/meetings, catching up with a dear cousin of mine, and taking in what I could of JBR.

Dubai is very good at making things easy. That’s what seems to draw so many people to the Emirate. When they arrive they realize things aren't necessarily so easy. But that’s life, right? In any case, I had a brief wait to get my visa and, with no checked bags, I proceeded to call a car service.

Sajjad Chowdhry

Musings on religion, economics/globalization, business, culture and more. All views my own...

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