The Magpie

My husband's work badge was missing. It was a weekend, so we weren't too worried. It would turn up somewhere.I was cleaning and searching at the same time. While making my daughter's bed, I noticed an unopened can of condensed milk wedged next to the wall. I grinned, my daughter loves to lick the spoon when I make Brazilian lemonade, so she must have been saving some for rough times. There was more. I reached down and found a glittery pipe cleaner, my metal measuring spoons, and .... the … [Read more...]

Hajj Chronicles II: The Little Things

It's the little things that people do, that have others praying for them, without them even realizing, and may be the reason they enter Paradise.While we were sitting in the Haram in Makkah, on the third floor, I noticed people fidgeting in front of me, and then slowly I noticed the crowds flicking a large cockroach or cricket-type bug around.  When you're sitting in a crowd of a million, there's no place for this insect to go but onto another person.  And so it got dangerously near me.  And … [Read more...]

The Silver Birch Tree

I love trees. I love to gaze at them, sit under them, draw them, study them, paint them, climb them and sometimes feel a peaceful solidarity with them. Growing up, I had a silver birch tree in our yard. In so many ways that tree was my first best friend. I had a blue and white swing set that was placed under the tree. I swang and swang and stared up at those lofty tree branches for most of my outdoor time. It was my club house, my fort, my place of peace and protection.I learned my first … [Read more...]

Friday Patty-Cake

A Father's ReflectionI opened my palms in prayer at the end of the Friday khutbah.  Along with a couple thousand other Jum’a-goers, I dutifully replied ameen after the Imam’s heartfelt and well spoken supplications.  Like everyone else, I certainly aim for God’s generous reply to my prayers.  God All-Knowing and full of Love for His creations knows best how to answer our prayers.This Friday however, the reply to my ameen was a generous slap on both my palms by none other than the gentle f … [Read more...]

Muslim Relief Efforts in Haiti

A convoy from Islamic Relief left for Haiti two days ago.  This is the first post from one member of this convoy, on their second day in the region.Day Two – January 17, 2010Santa Domingo, Dominion RepublicWe have hooked up with a British aid group called Muslim Hands and a Muslim group from Trinidad & Tobago. An operations base has been set up at a huge Islamic Center in Santa Domingo. Our assignment was to find any Muslim survivors in Port-au-Prince. Through our masjid contacts in Sa … [Read more...]

More Dialogue, Less Debate

In many places in the Muslim community, and indeed within many Muslim families, we are accepted and well-regarded when we keep in time to the beat. March to a different tune or sing solo and many individuals literally find themselves clobbered or trampled.It is usually much more subtle than I just described, but when some of us meet an idea that rubs us the wrong way, we immediately judge and go into a restrained yet aggressive debate mode. We think there is right, there is wrong, and it is … [Read more...]


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