Trusting 100%

It’s easy to say that you trust Allah has a reason for everything, but it is not as easy to truly put your mind and heart at ease and accept plans that are already written for you.Early last year, my husband and I started looking to purchase a home. Each time we would see a home that fit our criteria, we would pray estekhara but would also do everything in our power to try to make it work out. Our hopes were put down twice. Both times, subhanallah, another contract would get put through on t … [Read more...]

What’s in the Soup?

During the last several months, I discovered the importance of “my time” during my work day. I have an hour lunch break and while some people would choose to socialize during this time, I have begun going out by myself for fresh air, coffee, and sometimes shopping. It has become a precious gift of solo time that I savor. If I need to run some errands then that’s what I do, but if I get an opportunity to reflect during this time, it’s even better.One day recently during one of these breaks I w … [Read more...]

Umm Hamza

Umm Hamza has been my friend for several years. We see each other once a week, every Thursday morning.Umm Hamza is divorced with three young sons. She works hard to make ends meet. She lives with her parents and sons, and, among other living expenses, she pays for her boys’ education, her mother’s and father’s medicines, and her grandmother’s, too, when the grandmother is staying with them here. These take up a great deal of her income.Umm Hamza’s sons go to a private Qur’an memorization … [Read more...]

The Stubborn Why

We’ve all done it, whether intentionally and out loud or in our minds and hearts. We’ve questioned a happening. Why? Why me? Why now?I was 25 weeks into my first pregnancy when things took a turn for the worst. Or so I thought, at the time. Baby’s movements came to a sudden halt. That’s when what I like to call “the stubborn why” began. I was calling the doctors frantically, demanding an answer. I was seen every day that week, but no one was able to satisfy my desperate need for answers. “Bab … [Read more...]

Small Steps in Women’s Rights

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson: I loved this book. I was so inspired that a man can give up so much and have such a passion for helping out people who live thousands of miles away from him, who have no 'physical' connection to him.  Give up his home?!  Not just his cup of Starbucks, but his home!  Amazing.Here was a scene from the book that really touched a chord with me. When Mortenson returned to Korphe after the bridge had been built, he noted that a dozen Korphe women were dressed in … [Read more...]

My Struggle with Infertility

When I got married at 19 years old, I didn’t expect or even plan on trying to have children right away. I was in college and my husband was just starting his career here in the US. But as a result of a routine doctor appointment, I happen to find out that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)-a condition that would make it very difficult for us to conceive, we were told (and that doctor was right). So, even though we weren’t planning on trying to conceive for some time, it suddenly became hig … [Read more...]

There’s No Other Name for Mama

I see her in the spaces she no longer occupies. Every room still holds outlines of her presence, and as I walk in, I feel like I just missed her. When I am still enough, I feel her being superimposed inside me; and she is breathing through my pores. Sometimes I want to rage against the thin veil that separates us. I know she is just on the other side, not so far away that her scent no longer lingers.Yet she is gone. And the irrevocable nature of her journey beckons me to examine mine. I … [Read more...]

One kid, Two Kids, Three Kids

I’m not sure when it starts, but at one point in a girl’s life she wishes, “I want to have ___ kids!”  She may even go further by saying how many boys and how many girls, and what she wants to name them.Then she gets married. And oh the pressures of having a baby or getting pregnant and when! Does she still have the same wish she did long ago?I remember saying I wanted four children. And if Allah would give me two boys and two girls, I would be so happy because that would be so perfect! … [Read more...]

The Passing of a Star

Aminah Assilmi passed away on March 5, 2010. She was the director of the International Union of Muslim Women, an internationally respected author, an advocate for women's rights, and a renowned speaker on Islam who educated Muslim and non-Muslim audiences alike. To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.For those of us who grew up in the nineties, her presence will be remembered and dearly missed. May Allah (swt) forgive her, shower His mercy on her, and grant her the highest level of … [Read more...]

Shy Mother, Shy Daughter

Around strangers, teachers, and acquaintances, my four and a half year old daughter is almost completely mute. Her fingers crammed in her mouth and her sullen eyes downcast, her pediatrician asked me if she was, “a little infantile, no?”The comment was annoying, but it did not trouble me. I know that my girl is exuberant and brazen around people she is comfortable with, which include a wide circle of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She throws her head back and laughs like a … [Read more...]