Blast from the Past: Acorns and Autumn

Something trivial and maybe insignificant, but I was on a trip with a friend to a farm a while ago. She bought a couple of gourds and squashes, and I asked her what she was going to cook with them. She replied , “No, they’re for decoration.” For an instant, I was confused. My mind instantly associated the gourd decor with Halloween.But Alhamdulillah, I had a window of understanding opened, and a bit of stereotyping removed.I went to another farm a couple of weeks later, and on leaving, th … [Read more...]

GrowMama Round Up: Talking to kids about friends with bad influences

A young girl asked her elder female relatives about advice for dealing with friends that are engaged in un-Islamic behavior, such as talking inappropriately to boys. She wanted to know how to make her friends stop without becoming alienated. Here are some responses that we hope give you ideas for how to advise your own children.A says:First of all your responsibility is for you to be pure and happy and follow the footsteps of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) without compromising your Islamic … [Read more...]

A House Concert

We recently attended a house concert by singer Dawud Wharnsby, hosted by our friends who graciously opened up their living room to more than twenty families. The radiant atmosphere and top-notch entertainment were second only to the faces of children rapt with attention.I'll try hard not to gush here, but our family was touched by the evening. It was refreshing to finally meet the down-to-earth, gentle entertainer who can make the audience laugh and sing and cry within the span of a few … [Read more...]

The Luxury of Choice

One of the basic attitudes a Muslim tries to embody is that obedience to Allah (swt) is a blessing from Allah (swt). We are not doing any favors to Allah by obeying Him; rather, we are honored by being allowed to be in His obedience. Feeling arrogant in our obedience is a trick of Shaitan, from which we ask protection.Sometimes I wonder, however, if we carry this attitude to other things beyond acts of obedience – praying, fasting… you know, the Islamic and religious “stuff.” Do we carry this … [Read more...]

Engendering American Values

"Would you like to buy some girl scout cookies?"For a hundred years, Girl Scouts have been asking this question with smiling faces- and one would be hard pressed to say "no" to any one of these uniformed diet-busters. As a veteran girl scout leader, I expect to have more than my share of (un)necessary calories each spring, but what I didn't expect was the additional rewards that come with scouting. For a mom of three boys and one girl, my daughter and I have found girl scouting to be the … [Read more...]

Intentional Eating: Meat, Less

A dear friend and I were sitting around the kitchen table as our two children were slowly getting to know one another. These two toddlers, both not even two yet, have already shown certain preferences when it comes to their food. Squeals of joy abounded when the pomegranate seeds emerged as my daughter shouted, "Maan!" and hastily made her way to the center of the table, leaving her half eaten clementine behind. I wondered, and still continue to do so, about the amount of variety I offer my … [Read more...]

Strawberry Picking

          Of all the bountiful blessings that summer brings, fresh fruits must be on the top of the list. How refreshing it is to bite into a ripe, sweet and juicy melon, cherry, nectarine, peach or strawberry! Beyond the bliss of eating fresh fruits is the experience of picking your own from a plant that is bent down with the prime pick of the season. For those who have never experienced this exciting routine, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs nationwide are trying to bring the expe … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Green Your Ramadan

A Green Ramadan is an opportunity to remember and respect our planet which, through the grace of Allah, provides us with the sustenance with which we nourish our bodies and community spirit during a month of fasting. Interacting mindfully with our environment is simply a manifestation of faith. As we refrain from food and drink this blessed Ramadan, let us reaffirm our sense of self-restraint and accountability to the Creator, the Provider of Sustenance.Eat Local & Organic. How much … [Read more...]