Archives for 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I’m a big fan of thick, hearty, creamy soups.And now that it’s autumn, and butternut squash are in season, I’m once again on a quest to make this soup taste good.Last year I tried it a couple of times, and wasn’t satisfied with the sweetness of the squash or of the apples which many recipes called for.So after a lot of searching around online and in my fridge, I put together this spicy, thick concoction.If you prefer the unadulterated of butternut squash in your soup, go for a traditional recip … [Read more...]

The Great Reciter of Alexandria Part III

Umm Al Sa'ad of AlexandriaHer studentsWhen asked about her students Umm Al-Sa'ad said:"I remember every one of them, there were some who received Ijaaza in one of the recitations, and there were some (and they were very few) who received ijaaza in all ten recitations. They are the ones who received an ijaaza with a special seal that I have that I always keep with me, I never give it to anyone no matter how much I have trust in them."The happiest days for Umm Al-Sa'ad are the days of … [Read more...]

Umm Al Sa’ad- Part II

Umm Al-Sa'ad was born into a poor family in a town called Bandaariya, one of the towns of the larger city Munofiya (north of Cairo). She was afflicted by blindness shortly after her first year and, as was the practice of many in rural areas in dealing with blindness, her family sent her to learn the Quran. She completed her memorization in Alexandria at the age of 15. She then completed the memorization of the ten recitations of the Quran from Shaykha Nafeesa when she had reached the age of … [Read more...]

The Great Reciter of Alexandria Part I

This is a special three-part series translated from an Arabic article by one of our sisters. Stay tuned and enjoy!Translator's NoteIn sha'Allah, this message finds you all in the best state of health and iman. A long time ago, I was told of a great qari'ah, whom even men would travel for miles to hear her recite, learn from her and obtain her ijazah in one of the 10 qira'ahs. It was only mentioned in passing by the shaykh who was giving the lecture, and I tried, but failed to find out … [Read more...]

What’s Yours is Mine

I smile while I watch them playing in the park. Asmaa doing exactly what her older sister does, as if she’s her shadow. Nusayba comes down the slide, and there she is, right behind her. Nusayba runs to the only swing left and before she can even get to it, Asmaa is crying because she wants a swing too. At times it’s cute, like when Asmaa wakes up at 8:30 in the morning and doesn’t find her sister in the bunk above her, she runs out of the room and cries, “Where’s Nusayba?”.At times it can be ve … [Read more...]

Courage of the Early Morning

Napoleon supposedly first pronounced those words when he heard his soldiers boasting at night of the legendary acts of courage they hoped to perform in battle. It would remain to be seen, in those early hours of the morning before a battle, whether the courage was truly real or whether it would wither at its bidding.The courage of the early morning is becoming a central theme in my life, and not just because my two-year-old rises at 6:30 a.m. sharp every morning. I’ve always been a dreamer, a … [Read more...]

Thanks, Mom

My daughter, my sweetheart, wrote this poem to me and I thought to share it with you... Enjoy.Being born is not something to shareIn fact it is something to bearWhat if you had to take care of the baby all day long?Your husband doesn't care and is in Hong KongYour mother sometimes doesn't bear you anymoreAnd she always feels sour and soreOut of how mad she isThat her husband doesn't want to admit that the baby is also hisThe job is hardSo just let your mother sit in the … [Read more...]

A Ramadan Retreat

It was June when I received the first email about a Sisters Ramadan Retreat (sponsored by S.I.S.T.E.R.S).  I immediately thought back to last Ramadan when my son was four months old.  I wasn’t fasting at that time since my little nursling was 100% dependent on me for nutrition.  I remember that year being grateful for what I’d been given, but also looking forward to future years when I would have the opportunity to focus on my spiritual growth.  So this year, of course, I signed up on the spot, c … [Read more...]

Reflections on a Town Hall Meeting

When I entered the packed room with my husband I knew that it would be more of the same;a neatly wrapped package of sympathy and compassionate outpouring for the state of Israel. I was not disappointed—the congresswoman’s slideshow of her recent trip to Israel delivered just that. She chose her words and slides carefully, never once offending the overwhelming pro-Israeli audience – not an easy task for someone who has decided to support President Obama with his two state solution and end to set … [Read more...]

Shattered Glass

It was Friday night and my ten year-old son invited one of his best friends over for his first sleepover.  Naturally, the boys were excited and I let them stay up late.  I, on the other hand, was ready to sleep at 8:30.  I was very tired from a long week of not getting enough shut-eye and it had caught up to me.  I struggled to stay awake until the boys finally settled into bed.As I was saying goodnight and looking forward to crawling into my own bed, I heard a very loud crash coming from the … [Read more...]