The Pacifier

The Pacifier. Yes, I capitalized the P. Where do I begin? My son hated it the day he was born. On day two, while getting circumcised, the doctor was trying to force it to stay in his mouth. I guess other baby boys don’t scream during the procedure. I thought the doctor was going to tape it over his mouth. My son must’ve gotten the point, because he suddenly took it. And kept it. Nineteen months later, I’m trying to take it away now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it’s always in … [Read more...]

Salah Club

Everyone likes to feel like they belong to something special. I noticed the children at Sunday school responded positively to our new pilot project “Salah Club.” Like many schools, we have a hard time settling the younger ones down for Zhur salah. One day I said, “All those in Salah Club, come join the line.” They proudly marched to their spots and stood attentively. I paused and thought to myself, “Wow. I think we’re on to something worth sharing.” For … [Read more...]

Babysitting

I attended a qiyam at the local masjid a while back and left my daughter at home so that I could focus and get the most out of a spiritual event that – although it should - does not happen very often.  As I went around, passing my salaams to friends and strangers alike I was asked over and over again, “Where’s your daughter?” to which I replied, “At home.” What followed was so funny and so telling; over and over again I was looked at and asked … [Read more...]

What Makes You Happy

I recently posed the question to my third grade students, “What makes you happy?” Anticipating answers such as, “my D.S.” or “silly bands”, I was surprised when they each answered something money couldn’t buy. “My family”, “watching the sunset”, “being with friends”, and “when my parents are proud of me”, were among the replies I received. I was impressed. So impressed in fact, that I decided we would write and publish a class book about what makes us happy. It also … [Read more...]

Picking Apart a Pomegranate

Many things remind me of fall. Stomping on crunchy leaves as a kid, volleyball practice as a high-schooler, and yams baking in the oven, always. These memories are cozy ones and are reignited as the humidity of summer is replaced with early morning dew. And maybe this one particular memory is so embedded in my mind because baba and I have made it tradition… Baba walks into my room. "I think you should put on a shirt that you don't really like. Or, one you don't mind staining." I rummage … [Read more...]

Acorns and Autumn

  Something trivial and maybe insignificant, but I was on a trip with a friend to a farm a while ago. She bought a couple of gourds and squashes, and I asked her what she was going to cook with them. She replied , "No, they're for decoration." For an instant, I was confused. My mind instantly associated the gourd decor with Halloween. But Alhamdulillah, I had a window of understanding opened, and a bit of stereotyping removed. I went to another farm a couple of weeks later, and on … [Read more...]


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