Ramadan Inspiration

Dear Growmama readers, Ramadan is just around the corner! Are you ready for the hours of reading Quran, the nights of prayer, the streams of reward, the cooking and cleaning (maybe!) and the playful teaching of spirituality to our children? We invite all Growmama readers to tell us how they are preparing for Ramadan, whether as individuals, families, mothers, community leaders, or teachers. Posts should be 200-500 words and can include pictures, audio and video, practical ideas, words of … [Read more...]

The Day I Wrote a Check

(This post was written a couple of years ago and is dedicated to all mothers who've ever tried to write a check...) So, it's really busy business being a mommy. Whenever someone asks me what I do, I answer, "I'm 'just' a mother.' And then I explain that being a mommy is busy business, but I rack my brains to remember why it's a busy business... Can't I do more with my time? (Answer is yes, but when I can't....) So, this is why I can't do much more with my time.... Today I came to write a … [Read more...]

Teaching Responsibility

Teaching responsibility is not random or finite. And as much as we wish, it is not even tangible. It is the evolution of the building of the character and the guiding of the being that is your child. Perhaps "teaching" is the wrong word to begin with. It starts with that first spark of interest in the toddler mimicking what you do. He or she sees you sweep and wants to do the same...or to wipe the table or to fold the laundry. The child wants to do it because he / she loves you and wants to be … [Read more...]

The Stream

This stream I sit next to - does it realize where it is going?  Does it realize where it came from? Does it matter to it?   It is flowing right here, right now - so much energy, such force, such determination!  All in one direction - blind faith; no arguments.  It sees the rocks in the middle, the trees that grow inside the stream, all acting as obstacles, but it does not allow itself to stop herself.  She just flows with such grace, such beauty, such purity, such val ore!  As it … [Read more...]

The Cow Hike

When I was a kid, my dad used to take my brother and me on long hikes through the woods and cow fields near our home. We called it the Cow Hike. We would set out after dinner to give my mother some peaceful time alone. We would find wild raspberries and moo at the cows. During the summer it was one of our favorite activities. What was strange about the Cow Hike was that every single time we went we would somehow get separated from my father. What was even stranger, though, was that we would … [Read more...]

Beyond the Hijab Part II

It's been almost two months since I had the interviews and last month I met with the grade level team teachers at the schools that the principals had invited me to. My fears and nerves almost overcame me again as I looked at the school profiles online. There was very little, if any, diversity in teachers at the schools, and I couldn't detect a Muslim face or name. Would these teachers like me? Would I get any "looks" or raised eyebrows when I enter the room? Astaghfirullah. I quickly put my … [Read more...]

What Would Mariam Do? Part II

Part I Part II Third, as wives of Islamic workers and students, women who understand the significance of Islamic knowledge and work, are able to make personal sacrifices on its path, and also be truly supportive to their husbands, and their children’s role in it. How many husbands who are students of knowledge or busy in dawa cannot communicate their struggles and discuss their experiences and learnings with their wives because their wives simply don’t have even the Islamic vocabulary … [Read more...]

A Simple Gift

My mother watches my son while I’m at work. Last week, when I picked him up, she handed me a small gift bag. “What’s this?” I asked. There was no special occasion, and so if it was something she had bought for me while shopping, it didn’t need to be in a gift bag with tissue paper. “Just a simple gift,” she replied. I kissed her goodbye, thanked her, and was on my way. In the rush and commotion of putting my son in his carseat, I had placed the gift bag close to the door, on … [Read more...]

Defining A Child’s World

Not a linguist myself, I come from a family of linguists. Perhaps that is why I appreciate the power of language not only in conveying information but in shaping one's mind. Like all multi-lingual children, I grew up realizing that certain words in one of my languages did not have a translation or equivalent in another one. This conveyed to me not just a deficiency in vocabulary, but a void of ideas. That the Urdu word "nazar" has no English equivalent meant to me that it must be only South … [Read more...]