No Regrets

My husband has a wonderful trait-once he decides on something and goes through with it, he never regrets it. No matter how nagging I can get, asking him if perhaps we should have looked around for a better deal, perhaps we should have waited, perhaps.... He tells me, 'Khalass, it's over and I don't regret it.' And I love this trait about him, because it helps me feel better about some decisions I feel I may have forced him into!But a few months ago, I did something different. Something that … [Read more...]

Swimming Reflections

Goggles on, goggles off.  Close the life jacket, now open it - we don't need it.  Uh oh, potty!  Baby's cold, take her out of the water and wrap her up.  "Mama!  Look at me!"Ahhh, a nice relaxing trip to the pool.Did you ever notice how many bags we moms carry at one time?  Aside from jackets, strollers and snacks, that is.  How many arms and eyes do we actually have at our disposal?  How do we really manage so many things all at once?What will we do when the craziness of caring for o … [Read more...]

The List

Abu Said Al-Khudri narrated, "Once Allah's prophet went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) on Eid-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. He passed by the women and said, "O women! Give charity, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were from you." They asked, "Why is it so, Oh Allah's prophet?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands." (Al Bukhari Book 6, Hadith 301)When I first heard this hadith I freaked out. It’s easy to get trapped in the u … [Read more...]

Only When You’re Satisfied

Every. Single. Time.Every time I learn to be satisfied with what I have, Allah gives me better.I remember the first time I felt unhappy and dissatisfied was after I graduated from high school, and, as a non-Saudi living in Saudi Arabia, was not accepted into the university in Jeddah. The only option I saw in front of me was to study in a Qurán school. Oh God, I thought, this is the place all the old ladies and high school dropouts come to in the mornings. It’s not a place for someone who … [Read more...]

Beyond Words

My family and I recently returned from a 6-week visit to our native Egypt. While in Cairo, we spontaneously decided to take a short getaway to Hurghada-city of the Red Sea. We made reservations at the Hurghada Marriott and purchased round-trip bus tickets for the following week.We wasted no time the day we arrived. After checking into the hotel and changing everyone into their swimming attire we headed off to the beach where we would enjoy clean air, warm weather, and calm waters. As we … [Read more...]

The Wedding Speaker

She is the Wedding Speaker.  Perhaps that sounds unamazing or cliché to you, but to me and those who know her, it’s an amazing feat.I was speaking to a friend on the phone a few days before her wedding, and she asked me to give a small talk on her special day.  ‘Uhhhh, what about Um A?’ I asked.  She’s a happy speaker masha'Allah, and she always manages to make people smile.  And come to think of it, she’s the one who has been speaking at our community weddings for the past few years.  When I … [Read more...]

uranI Love my Dishes

I wish all my dishes, spoons, forks, and cups were disposable!!I wish they could invent disposable pots too. These are my wishes every time I go inside my kitchen and see the mountains and hills made by my dishes. Every day I wash the dishes then use them, then wash them again.I say Bismillah and start to wash the dishes. I remember the few times I go eat out, looking at the waiter take the dishes for someone else to wash. I also remember our dear sisters under fire who are forced to … [Read more...]

Resigning from the Etiquette Police

I give up. I’m surrendering.  I won’t do it any more—it’s an impossible mission.  It is no longer my responsibility if kids get hurt, property is damaged, our image gets tarnished, food gets wasted, or it’s noisy during Taraweeh prayer. Are you listening? I am officially resigning from my twenty-five year stint as a self-appointed member of the Etiquette Police.... I’m worn out. Exasperated.  Defeated.I have only myself to blame.  I took on the job thirty years ago when I reverted to Islam. N … [Read more...]

Tips for Teaching Quran to Young Children

The responsibility of teaching young children the Quran is a heavy weight on my shoulders. I imagine most Muslim parents feel this way.Part of my discomfort is that we are a non-Arabic speaking family. For years both my husband and I have struggled to memorize the Quran. I remind my self daily, despite the circumstances, that every Muslim is obliged to make attempts to learn and understand the book of Allah (swt) in the best way possible. I tell my five-year-old son and three-year-old … [Read more...]

Sunshine

Looking back now it’s funny to think that by my mid-twenties I had thought that all my exciting firsts were behind me.  However in the past 2.5 years I’ve experienced a lot of firsts that have pushed all my other firsts to second place.  Getting married, my first home, my first child and inevitably, my first emotional moment as a mother.I was singing to my little girl while changing her, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.  You make me happy when skies are grey.  You’ll never know dear, … [Read more...]