Courage of the Early Morning

Napoleon supposedly first pronounced those words when he heard his soldiers boasting at night of the legendary acts of courage they hoped to perform in battle. It would remain to be seen, in those early hours of the morning before a battle, whether the courage was truly real or whether it would wither at its bidding.The courage of the early morning is becoming a central theme in my life, and not just because my two-year-old rises at 6:30 a.m. sharp every morning. I’ve always been a dreamer, a … [Read more...]

Reflections on a Town Hall Meeting

When I entered the packed room with my husband I knew that it would be more of the same;a neatly wrapped package of sympathy and compassionate outpouring for the state of Israel. I was not disappointed—the congresswoman’s slideshow of her recent trip to Israel delivered just that. She chose her words and slides carefully, never once offending the overwhelming pro-Israeli audience – not an easy task for someone who has decided to support President Obama with his two state solution and end to set … [Read more...]

To Buy or Not to Buy… For Eid

We live in a consumer driven world. That means commercials on TV, on the internet, in school curriculums, through made up holidays, and especially through real ones that have lost their true meaning. Christmas now has just as much to do with Jesus as Labor Day does. Even Santa has lost his standing and has been replaced with penguins, polar bears and snowflakes so no one feels left out of the buying frenzy. Muslim parents try hard to “make up” for our kids not celebrating Christmas by turning Eid … [Read more...]

Modeling After the Greatest Role Model

I recently came across the story of one of the companions of Rasul (s.a.w.), Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman. He was of Makkan origin, but grew up in Madinah. Upon Rasul (s.a.w.)’s arrival to Madinah after the Hijrah (migration), Hudhayfah became closely attached to the Prophet. He participated in numerous battles with the Muslims.In the Battle of Uhud, during the confusion and disorder that ensued, Hudhayfah’s father was confused as an enemy and accidently killed by the Muslims. Hudhayfah did som … [Read more...]

Helping Others

Life is such a blessing and I want to live mine in such a way that I am always cognizant of how truly blessed I am. For me, that means making sure that helping others is a habitual aspect of my life.As a stay at home mom of two kids under age four, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that I can’t do much in terms of helping others because I have to take care of my children. Of course, that’s true. I can’t go wherever I want whenever I want. My first obligation is being a good mother. I can … [Read more...]

Setting SMART Goals for Ramadan

Click here for your goal-setting Ramadan Quran Bookmark.Nothing beats sitting down and writing out your goals in hopes of achieving them. In our preparation for this blessed month, let’s take out 15 minutes today for ourselves, in the quiet of our rooms, to think about what we want to accomplish during this Holy Month and what we want to carry over for the rest of the year. Let’s get introspective, let’s do some soul searching, let’s identify our faults, and let’s move forward with SMART goals … [Read more...]

The Swings

It was a sweltering hot summer day when I was visiting my parents at their home. It must have been at least 100 degrees outside and the AC in their brick house was out of order. My daughter was begging me to take her to the playground. I was already miserably hot, but I figured it couldn’t get much worse by stepping outside. We hopped in the car and drove a couple of miles to a local park.When we arrived, I immediately scanned the playground for a shady area where I could sit, but Duaa d … [Read more...]

Frustrated?

Did you ever get frustrated, angry and started shouting at your kids? I used to do so, sometimes, followed by a feeling of tremendous guilt. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to direct this energy. I tried many techniques to calm down, sometimes it worked and sometimes not.Then I heard a lecture by Sheikh Sudais [Imam of the Holy Mosque in Mecca], where he told mothers to watch what they say to their kids when they get angry. He mentioned a sto … [Read more...]

Investing in Ourselves

Laws of nature and our common sense tell us that if one constantly takes from a particular source without replenishing it, the source would eventually dry up, becoming empty and hollow. As mothers, though, we rarely apply this law to ourselves, probably because we don’t have the time or the luxury to do so.We are overwhelmed and preoccupied with the tarbiyah of children; tending to our everyday duties and errands; managing our homes; handling the unexpected circumstances that arise; and for m … [Read more...]

American Feminism

Give me a break. Sometimes I get so infuriated as an American Muslim woman. I am constantly bombarded with notions that I am oppressed because my religion asks me to behave and appear modestly. And it is not just that these notions are wrong – because Muslim men are asked the same thing and it is people and culture, not Islam, that oppresses women (something here isn’t fully clear).But what really irks me is how the “modern American woman” is flaunted in my face as the example of women’s libe … [Read more...]