To Him we belong, and to Him is our return.

Being pregnant was a surreal experience for me. I had never liked pets. You probably can’t see the connection between pets and pregnancy, but for a person who was never comfortable around little living, breathing creatures with anatomies that differed from mine, a slight stretch of the imagination is all you need to see what I mean. Plus the two were almost totally absent from my childhood. So when I felt the baby kick, and later hiccup, bend her elbows, and stretch her legs, I was in awe of … [Read more...]

The Paper Boy

It was near the end of last summer when my son Mahmood, then eleven years old, got excited about a simple flyer inserted into our local paper.  It was an announcement that a new newspaper carrier was needed for our street.  I, on the other hand, had reservations about the idea.  In my mind, taking on a newspaper route was a lot of work and involved a great deal of logistics.  I let him sleep on it and sure enough, his interest was still alive the next day.  So I told him to go ahead and … [Read more...]

Then it Struck me: I am reborn…

 Since my son has opened his eyes to the new, blurry to his eyes, world, I started seeing the world differently. Throughout this last year and the years to come, I am being raised all over again along with my son. I am being recycled as a new human being, but this time with more patience, compassion and appreciation for the value of life. Motherhood has become a necessary ingredient defining me rather than just a name on a birth certificate.  Having a child has made me value life. It has made … [Read more...]

Defining the World, Defining You, My Son

  My eldest, who is fascinated with lists comparing largest tsunamis or most populated cities in the world, one day asks me at the dinner table, “Mama, what is the tallest building in New York City?” I look at him and hesitate, “Well, umm, it used to be these two buildings called the Twin Towers….” and I can see his eyes transfixed on me as he sees the caveat coming….”but it’s now the Empire State Building.”  And now he’s stopped eating and the inevitable question, “what … [Read more...]

Dealing with Hate

At what age should we talk with our children about the hate and ignorance towards Muslims that does exist in our country, albeit among fringe extremist groups? When we saw the video below showing hate rallies in Orange County outside an ICNA fundraiser for a women's shelter, we were appalled. Elected officials spoke in slurs and death threats, and the crowd screamed insults at the children walking to the event. If one day we unexpectedly met such a rally at a mosque or community … [Read more...]

The Good Word

Many people lose their ability to speak after experiencing a stroke. My uncle was one of them, may Allah grant him a speedy recovery. They understand speech, but cannot formulate words, read or write due to ensuing damage in a particular region of the brain. They can, however, still curse. One explanation is that speech requires higher intellectual functions, whereas the ability to curse comes from a more primitive part of the brain. So, is it biologically easier for us to curse? I don’t know … [Read more...]


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