Then it Struck me: I am reborn…

 Since my son has opened his eyes to the new, blurry to his eyes, world, I started seeing the world differently. Throughout this last year and the years to come, I am being raised all over again along with my son. I am being recycled as a new human being, but this time with more patience, compassion and appreciation for the value of life. Motherhood has become a necessary ingredient defining me rather than just a name on a birth certificate. Having a child has made me value life. It has made m … [Read more...]

Defining the World, Defining You, My Son

  My eldest, who is fascinated with lists comparing largest tsunamis or most populated cities in the world, one day asks me at the dinner table, “Mama, what is the tallest building in New York City?” I look at him and hesitate, “Well, umm, it used to be these two buildings called the Twin Towers….” and I can see his eyes transfixed on me as he sees the caveat coming….”but it’s now the Empire State Building.”  And now he’s stopped eating and the inevitable question, “what happened?” I stare at him … [Read more...]

Remembering the Goal

Before getting married, marriage was all we thought about. We thought about it while attending conventions, walking to class, in class, leaving class, and surfing the Internet. “Who will complete half my deen?” It was an all-consuming thought that would sneak into our very core, putting our intentions into question. We even used to say, “Once I’m married, it will be so much easier to memorize Qur’an.” “Once I’m married, I can more easily work for the sake of Allah.” “Once I’m married, I can begin … [Read more...]

Our Choice: Public School

There is a fascinating thread on the GrowMama discussion board about the benefits of public schools versus alternative schooling. This piece was written before that discussion was underway and is not a response. We hope readers will share their thoughts on this topic in both the comment section of the blog and on the discussion board!My husband and I are committed to sending our daughter to public school. On a very rudimentary level, we took this for granted since we both went to public … [Read more...]

Dealing with Hate

At what age should we talk with our children about the hate and ignorance towards Muslims that does exist in our country, albeit among fringe extremist groups? When we saw the video below showing hate rallies in Orange County outside an ICNA fundraiser for a women's shelter, we were appalled. Elected officials spoke in slurs and death threats, and the crowd screamed insults at the children walking to the event.If one day we unexpectedly met such a rally at a mosque or community … [Read more...]

The Good Word

Many people lose their ability to speak after experiencing a stroke. My uncle was one of them, may Allah grant him a speedy recovery. They understand speech, but cannot formulate words, read or write due to ensuing damage in a particular region of the brain. They can, however, still curse. One explanation is that speech requires higher intellectual functions, whereas the ability to curse comes from a more primitive part of the brain. So, is it biologically easier for us to curse? I don’t know ab … [Read more...]

Wedding Jewels

Some brides have the honor (and accountability) to receive more than ample wedding jewelry.  Ornamented in heavy metal leaking with gems has never been a pleasant pass time of mine. However recently, it’s been a very nice mother-daughter time with my five year old.For years, I’ve had most of my wedding jewelry stored away safe and sound in a place far away from my mind. As little girls grow, you start to see their interests and mine was definitely inclined to glitter, glitter and glit … [Read more...]

I Took My Kids to Tahrir Square

Today, armed with two strollers and a diaper bag, my husband and I took our 3 kids age 1, 2.5, and 5 to Tahrir square. We were quite the sight amidst the thousands of protesters who smiled to the kids as they waved their Egyptian flags that we purchased on our way in. We were welcomed by everyone, and more than 30 people asked to take the kids pictures and gave them dates and other goodies.As we stood with the thousands of protesters chanting the slogans against the regime, I was uplifted by … [Read more...]

GrowMama Roundup: Talking to Kids About Current Events

Nusayba (5) draws her feelings about the protests in Egypt.This week, we asked two of our GrowMamas this question:"If you are talking to your children about the demonstrations in Egypt, how are you going about it?"Here are their responses:"I believe in discussing politics and world affairs with our children. If we want to raise children who are not only God conscious, but are also active and passionate about social justice and reform, then I think we best engage them. We should d … [Read more...]

Embracing Solitude

I seek silence. Away from my baby's incessant demands, away from the madness of world events, away from talking points and talking heads, away from analysts and experts, away from the clamor disguised as music, away from constructed noise channels that refuse to leave me alone.Even as I shut down everything around me, I don't revel in complete silence. The constant hum of electricity penetrates my senses, the distant wail of an ambulance speaks of an urgency far away, the banging of a … [Read more...]