Making It Up as I Go Along: The Formation of a Muslim Chaplain


  • Mary Lahaj


Islam is the religion of my parents and grandparents. How do I manifest its true practice? After September 11, and after giving hundreds of speeches about Islam in large halls, I felt more like a talking head than a practicing Muslim. My spiritual journey was stalled: I needed to find a way to practice this religion by the heart and not by the head. I don't know how or when it happened, but my heart had developed a thick, impenetrable crust. Luckily, I was shown a possible means of excavating a compassionate heart and connecting deeply with others, one-on-one. The path led me in pursuit of clinical pastoral education.