A Ramadan Retreat

It was June when I received the first email about a Sisters Ramadan Retreat (sponsored by S.I.S.T.E.R.S).  I immediately thought back to last Ramadan when my son was four months old.  I wasn’t fasting at that time since my little nursling was 100% dependent on me for nutrition.  I remember that year being grateful for what I’d been given, but also looking forward to future years when I would have the opportunity to focus on my spiritual growth.  So this year, of course, I signed up on the spot, c … [Read more...]

Shattered Glass

It was Friday night and my ten year-old son invited one of his best friends over for his first sleepover.  Naturally, the boys were excited and I let them stay up late.  I, on the other hand, was ready to sleep at 8:30.  I was very tired from a long week of not getting enough shut-eye and it had caught up to me.  I struggled to stay awake until the boys finally settled into bed.As I was saying goodnight and looking forward to crawling into my own bed, I heard a very loud crash coming from the … [Read more...]

Date Baskets

This project started out with us planning to give Ramadan Introduction gift baskets to our neighbors. But it became a double-project, the Ramadan Intro gift baskets as well as Ramadan Date gift baskets for both sets of grandparents alhamdulillah.  What better gift to give in Ramadan than dates, in hopes of earning the reward promised by our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): “He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him. And nothing will be subtracted fro … [Read more...]

A Daughter’s Essay

More than ten years ago, when my daughter was fifteen, she entered a writing contest. This is an excerpt from her entry:What Ramadan Means to MeThe abandoned soccer field is silent and empty except for a small crowd of children scrutinizing the horizon.  A few eager men and women stand a small distance away clutching binoculars in their gloved hands. A joyful shout arises suddenly from the shivering crowd of children.  “I found it! I found it!” exclaims an excited child and a finger poin … [Read more...]

Spoiling Love

Imagine you’re sleeping; you’re warm and cozy under a few soft blankets, dreaming of wonderful things and then all of a sudden you hear your husband vacuuming outside your bedroom door.  You jump up, open the door and tell him, “I was sleeping!”  To which he replies, “I know, that’s why I’m vacuuming.”  You, perplexed, ask him why he simply couldn’t wait till later.  He responds by saying that you need to learn to sleep through noise.  A bit crazy, isn’t it?  So why do we do this to our babies? … [Read more...]

The Joys of Mothering Twins

The following are true events, though they may not have necessarily happened in the sequence mentioned.Who can deny,Who can refute,That Baby’s actions,Are really cute?Imagine then,That you have not one,But two little babies,On the run.We start the morning,With warm oatmeal,This isn’t going well,I begin to feel.Then one grabs the spoon,Excited and squealing.Where’s the food gone?Onto the ceiling.Now they’re both off,To the shoe rack,To chew and gnaw, … [Read more...]

Remembrance

I had a spiritual experience sitting in a plastic chair in the kiddie play area of a fast food chain this week.  It was while rocking my baby’s car seat, trying to keep him asleep, with an eye on my two older children, all the while reflecting on a verse from the Qur’an.The morning began as usual, except I had to take my son and daughter to the dentist for a check-up, balancing the baby on one hip, pitifully trying to assuage them all at once.  The french fries and sugary drink were their gra … [Read more...]

The Quintessential Fairytale

Every time I walk into a store or pass by a television, I gingerly walk a minefield of tiaras, gallant princes, and Disney princesses. Their long flowing hair, beautiful voices, and sparkling eyes call out to us. My four-year-old daughter still does not know the difference between a princess and a bride, but even she stops in her tracks with a hypnotic, dreamy look when she catches a glimpse of Beauty and the Beast playing on the TVs at Costco. Ballroom dresses, long hair, and sparkles are wired … [Read more...]

Masjids & Mermaids

Fact: All living things can worship Allah SWT.Does that mean Dora, Diego, Ariel and Curious George worship Allah? Well, why not? In our children's minds, all these characters are living friends, comforting adventure companions. While many  make efforts to keep certain “influences” out of our homes and hearts, the reality is that even “non-tv watching”, masjid-going, homeschooled children are still infiltrated by the lure of Disney, Noggin and Sprout adventures.The timeless debate lingers… … [Read more...]

Baby Fat

I was listening to the radio the other day and there was a guest speaking about a Fat Acceptance Movement.  She spoke about how diets don’t work, how society judges fat people (she rejects the term ‘overweight’) as lazy and disgusting, and how people are afraid of and feel terrible if they’re not sporting a rock-hard body. Although I didn’t agree with everything she said, there was one point that resonated with me: it was her mantra to stop fighting your body and start accepting it.  This rem … [Read more...]