Friday Patty-Cake

A Father's ReflectionI opened my palms in prayer at the end of the Friday khutbah.  Along with a couple thousand other Jum’a-goers, I dutifully replied ameen after the Imam’s heartfelt and well spoken supplications.  Like everyone else, I certainly aim for God’s generous reply to my prayers.  God All-Knowing and full of Love for His creations knows best how to answer our prayers.This Friday however, the reply to my ameen was a generous slap on both my palms by none other than the gentle f … [Read more...]

Muslim Relief Efforts in Haiti

A convoy from Islamic Relief left for Haiti two days ago.  This is the first post from one member of this convoy, on their second day in the region.Day Two – January 17, 2010Santa Domingo, Dominion RepublicWe have hooked up with a British aid group called Muslim Hands and a Muslim group from Trinidad & Tobago. An operations base has been set up at a huge Islamic Center in Santa Domingo. Our assignment was to find any Muslim survivors in Port-au-Prince. Through our masjid contacts in Sa … [Read more...]

Tea, Please

The right cup of tea at the right moment can turn your whole day around. It’s amazing how one sip of the warm brew can settle your nerves and remind you to breathe again. There are so many life events, milestones and deep conversations that are coupled with a cup of tea in hand. The fondest for me, are the moments with my parents.I once attended a tea party in my honor. I had just gotten married and moved to a new city. I didn’t know anyone well. The women were playing a game and asked me, “W … [Read more...]

As the Twins Get Older

The girls were sitting,On the trunk of the car,Looking at the world,Near and far,When one noticed the emblem,And asked what it was,I read, “Nissan”,And told them what it does.When they heard the word,They did something bizarre.They both stuck their tongues,Out really far.Puzzled, I asked them,What they were doing.They pointed once more,So I told them again.Both tongues came out,As if pulled by a cord,And I almost decided,This should just be ign … [Read more...]

Between These Four Walls

This may be categorized under the heading ‘too much information’ but I was in the bathroom the other day and on my way out, instead of opening the door, I just leaned on it. For about 10 minutes I just stood their frozen, paralyzed almost at the magnitude of the responsibilities that lie just outside the bathroom door. It was as if it had suddenly become a portal—instead of a potty—into a world of calm and I was unexpectedly in a place of serene solitude and I just wanted to stay there a little … [Read more...]

Tossing the Subscription

It felt like a turning point to me, but maybe I’m overanalyzing it. Going through the mail the other day, I came across the renewal card for my subscription to a parenting magazine I have been getting for what seems like a zillion years. And for the first time in five or six of those years, I threw it into the recycling pile without a moment’s thought. I knew without even thinking that I was done with being told month after month how to be the perfect parent.God knows I need all the par … [Read more...]

One True Love?

We do not do Disney Princesses. Growing up a tomboy and then into a student of social justice, I thought I had enough reasons to keep princess culture at bay. But I recently realized another one - the idea of a One True Love (OTL).There are the standard arguments centered around race/ethnicity and gender. Most Disney princesses are either White or Anglicized versions of other ethnicities which can be very harmful for the self-image of non-White young girls (remember the Clark doll … [Read more...]

Tale of a Kufi

I ran up the stairs to find my eight year olds’ knitted hat to keep his head warm during the chilly night ahead at soccer practice. Father and son stood at the bottom pleading with me to hurry or else they would be late.“What about your blue kufi, Zayd? It will just as easily keep your head warm.” My son looked down at his cleats, avoiding eye contact.The frantic mood at the bottom of the stairs turned to silence.Zayd replied in a low voice, “I don’t want to.”“Why?” I asked. … [Read more...]

Eid Mubarak from Jeddah

My husband and I have been living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for more than thirty years, alhamdulillah. We live in Safa District, in the northwest of this huge, sprawling city.We used to go, for both Eids, to the large outdoor prayer area beside the Airplane Roundabout. It was too far to walk, so we always drove. I mean that we rode and my husband drove since women are not allowed to drive here. Now the Airplane Roundabout has been demolished to make way for an overpass. The place is called … [Read more...]

The Appointed Days are Here

Dear mothers and sisters,Ramadan was a fleeting visitor that vanished as suddenly as it appeared, leaving us with sweet memories and mountains of reward or regrets. The month left us heart-broken, each for our own reasons. Some of us missed out on the great month, failing to invest in its nights and days. Others savored every moment, growing closer to Allah and increasing their worship. In those few special days, we lived with Allah, the Generous, the Giving; only He knew our sorrow when the … [Read more...]