I’m Not Sorry We Aren’t Pretty Enough For You

After having two boys, I was thrilled to have a girl. Throughout my pregnancy, people reminded me to read Surah Yusuf lest I have an ugly child. Not to argue its merit, but I had always found this advice to be off-putting. It would be accompanied by an encouraging smile, which made me feel like my husband and I were ogres and that between the two of us only Surah Yusuf could save our poor child.I have a confession, I rarely read Surah Yusuf while pregnant. Beauty was never a huge priority … [Read more...]

The Children are Awake: Post-Inauguration Spiritual Lessons

We woke our children up with extra gentleness the morning after inauguration day. The night was too long, filled with sad, sleepless thoughts about the road ahead.Calls for optimism filled our social media feed, but many of us were still busy calming the anxiety within ourselves and our homes. We had some dark dreams that night, but it's morning now, the children are awake, and God is the light of the heavens and the earth.Islam teaches us that the wisest, purest, and bravest things … [Read more...]

Baby Blues: What I Wish I Had Known

The moment we all look forward to when we’re pregnant: holding our precious babies in our arms after they’re born. Our emotions are made up of some combination of joy, relief, comfort, longing, exhaustion, excitement, and anxiety to name a few. We hold this tiny human being that was living inside of us and we think “did this really just happen?” The concept of becoming a mother is phenomenal and miraculous to say the least. We spend nine months preparing everything we’re going to need for the bab … [Read more...]

The Day I Became a Trump Supporter

When I found out I was joining the Grow Mama team, I tried to think of a topic or theme to write about.  With all of the heart-wrenching news I come across on a daily basis, I wanted to write about something light and relatively mindless.  After some soul-searching, I settled on one of my most embarrassing yet wildly entertaining past times - celebrity news.And then Trump won. I decided to share an incident that shook and challenged me as a first-time mother.  I was picking up my son from da … [Read more...]

Holly Jolly Muslim

When I married my husband, people were very happy for us alhamdulillah, but as my husband comes from a Ukrainian Catholic family, there was one concern that seemed to come up again and again from people: “OMG! What are you going to do about Christmas?” “When you have kids, you’re not going to let them celebrate Christmas are you??” I had of course thought about this too but these questions only served to create anxiety. Looking back now I view those questions surrounding Christmas to be a bit sil … [Read more...]

To the working mother: you are not alone!

A dilemma many working mothers face: do I go back to work or do I stay home with my little one(s)? I remember having this internal dialogue for months during my maternity leave. The mere thought of leaving my child to the care of someone else for eight hours a day shook me to my core and left me feeling miserable for days on end.As my maternity leave came to an end, I couldn’t fathom not having the flexibility and spontaneity with which I was spending my days with my son. I began to stress a … [Read more...]

The Khan Chronicles: Adventures of a School Administrator and Her Two and a Half Children

My life and career as an educator has ensured that my list of “The Truly Shocking” has—for better or worse—dwindled with time. As a former elementary school principal and current high school vice principal, I’ve dealt with the full gamut of child-related issues. Just name it: crying children screaming for their mommies, fist fights breaking out in the cafeteria over ‘yo mama’ jokes, students struggling with mental health issues—I’ve seen it all.So you’ll forgive for once thinking that, as a b … [Read more...]

The Prayer that Shook a Dictatorship

Twelve years ago, I had the pleasure of experiencing the quintessential Egyptian Ramadan, a night in prayer behind Sheikh Mohamed Jebril in Egypt’s oldest mosque, the Mosque of Amr ibn al-‘As, on the holiest night of the year.  It was a night of peace, prayer and beauty followed by unplanned meetings with friends we hadn’t seen in so long, coming to experience the same Egyptian Ramadan night.Two nights ago, on the night of the 27th of Ramadan 2015, in the wee hours of the morning, my husband … [Read more...]

Ramadan is in the air!

My kids are still babies, the oldest is 6 (going on 16), but my nieces and nephews are newly minted teenagers. I have to say that, mashAllah, the good upbringing that their parents used to raise them is starting to blossom through their manners, priorities, and actions. In a group family message, they shared their resolutions for this Ramadan:Pray 8 rakat duha, daily Complete the Quran Watch the tongue and stay positive Do not touch anyone with anything that may hurt, annoy, or … [Read more...]

Rotten Oranges

Pfffft! My eighteen-month-old son, Ibrahim, spit an orange slice out of his mouth. A few seconds later, my husband, brother in law, and I spit ours out too, realizing that the orange tasted rotten. “How did Ibrahim realize that the orange was bad before us?” I wondered out loud. “I guess babies can sense when something isn’t right,” my husband answered.This incident stuck with me all evening. It reminded me that we are born with a natural instinct, or fitrah, to do right. Our fitrah innately … [Read more...]