Last Ten Days

We're in the last ten days of Ramadan and so much to be done.... Let's not forget the dua'a that the Prophet (pbuh) taught his beloved wife,  Aishah, for these blessed days and nights, "Allahuma innaka 'afun tuhibul 'afwa fa'fu 'anna- O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me. "Wishing you a blessed ten nights...~ GrowMama Team … [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 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...]

What Would Mariam Do? Part II

Part IPart IIThird, 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 to un … [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...]

Inheritance-Learn a Lesson

Read this sad story of an inheritance predicament and learn a lesson. When my husband’s father died more than thirty years ago, the inheritance was divided among his wife and three sons. (There are no daughters) My husband’s mother died a few years after that, and her inheritance was divided among the three sons. I say “divided,” but the inheritances were not actually physically divided; rather they were divided on a paper that the sons wrote themselves. It was something like this: one third of a … [Read more...]

Chronicles of a School Seeker III

Part IPart IIPart IIII continue my travels, this time to a Montessori school. The Montessori school is picture perfect to me. I look through the observation windows into the classrooms only to see primly dressed, neat, and clean children learning their little hearts and minds out. Oh, what glory! Here’s one boy placing cubes in descending order by size, there’s another, picking pom poms up by a little scooper, and there, over there, a girl reading a book all on her own, looking so pe … [Read more...]

Chronicles of the School Seeker II

Part IPart IINext leg of my journey, another Islamic school. We meet the principal, observe the class in session, pick the teacher’s brains again with questions. Nice, I think again. Friendly staff, colorful/creative classroom setup, a paced out school day. I leave the school hopeful, this is it. We walk to the car, my husband and I, to talk to it over. I point out to him how the school day is not too jam-packed with lessons and academics. There’s time for lunch, recess, snack, and … [Read more...]

Chronicles of the School Seeker I

I recently embarked on a grand journey of epic proportions, mind you, and it may finally be coming to an end. I made the preparations, consulted experienced travelers, and kept logs of my travels. What is it, you ask, am I referring to? To find the perfect schooling for my first born son. (Go ahead, laugh!)I first thought of beginning this journey when my son turned four years old. “So will he begin school this year?,” many people asked me. “School?” I thought, “So early? He’ll have the res … [Read more...]

The Great Gelatin Divide

“Do they have gelatin in their treats?”My son is four years old and full of wonder. The world must seem massive and wild through his eyes. There are so many trucks, trains, plants, animals, and, religions, to categorize. He comes from engineers on both sides, so this compulsion to organize and label, is not surprising to me. What is surprising is this need of his to flesh out the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims, before he can even read.Like any kid, he is attracted to sugar, an … [Read more...]