Ramadan “Spiritual High” With Children: Is it Possible?

No one said being a mother was a walk in the park. No matter how much you read, talk, and try to learn about being a mother, motherhood is full of shocks and surprises. You learn on a day-to-day basis—if not by the hour—once you become a mother.Amidst all of the confusion, stress, anxiety, and chaos, we tend to forget ourselves. We forget that we actually matter: our lives and our connections with ourselves, our spouses, our families, and our friends matter. Most of all we often forget our co … [Read more...]

A Page From My Diary: My Children Are My Redemption

 I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I drove my parents crazy from around the time I turned thirteen. Like many young adults, I was immature and self absorbed. My heart aches when I think about the sleepless nights I must have caused them.Every time I pray—five times a day or more—I ask God to have mercy on them as they had mercy on me. I ask Him to forgive me for my ways.Last night at 2:30 am, my 9-month-old daughter, Zainab, woke up with stomach pains that made her wail. I … [Read more...]

Six Tips for Waking Up for Fajr When You Have Young Children

Sleepless nights. As I look back at the blur that was the first year of my children’s lives, I most vividly remember exhaustion. I reached a new level of “tired” that penetrated into my bones. When I thought I could not get more tired, my exhaustion reached a new peak. Yet as a practicing Muslim, I was supposed to find the will to get up and pray fajr in between my children’s night wakings. But how? How could I forgo sleep when it’s barely there in the first place?!It becomes an arduous inner … [Read more...]

Why I Never Prayed For a Son

Oh women!Allah raised your status from beneath the ground to the heavens. You were considered nothing— buried alive in Pre-Islamic Arabia— then He elevated you. You are the glad tidings to Jannah for your parents when you are born. You are a best friend to your siblings. You save your spouse from the fire of hell; you complete half his faith. It was for you the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) said, “paradise is beneath the feet of the mothers.”Jannah is guaranteed under your feet!So why, afte … [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...]

Guilt- A Very Powerful Feeling

I hate feeling guilty. It’s a gut-wrenching feeling of disappointment that I let someone down, that someone is upset at me. It’s a powerful feeling that gets hold of me and can make my mind spin in ten different directions. It makes me read people’s faces to make sure they aren’t too angry at something I may or may not have done. It makes me say extra sweet words (even if they were the ones who initiated the altercation), just to make the situation better. It makes me feel bad about myself. The … [Read more...]

Does Mama Know Best?

His eyes bulged, his jaw dropped, and he clapped his hands excitedly as he jumped up and down. And this was all before I took it out of the box. I had just bought my seventeen-month-old son, Ibrahim, a talking, singing Elmo. When I opened the box, Ibrahim grabbed Elmo and hugged him. They’ve been practically inseparable since. Elmo eats with him, sleeps with him, rides his toy car with him, and even takes medicine with him. Ibrahim was in love.When I saw Elmo at the store, I knew Ibrahim w … [Read more...]

GrowMama Blast from the Past: Salah Club

Everyone likes to feel like they belong to something special. I noticed the children at Sunday school responded positively to our new pilot project “Salah Club.” Like many schools, we have a hard time settling the younger ones down for Zhur salah. One day I said, “All those in Salah Club, come join the line.” They proudly marched to their spots and stood attentively. I paused and thought to myself, “Wow. I think we’re on to something worth sharing.” For six weeks we piloted a 30-minute session c … [Read more...]

God’s Mercy and Times of Hardship

Allah (swt) is more merciful to His believing slaves than a mother is to her child. I love my daughter, almost to a fault. The crinkle of her eyes when she laughs, the way her lips curve downwards when she is asleep. The new words she learns daily and the mischief she always seems to get into. She reminds me of her Baba, may Allah have mercy on him. But I sometimes make decisions that cause her distress. I take things away from her that I know will cause her harm. Not everything is a toy, not … [Read more...]