Pick Up Your Broken Heart

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, declared that indeed, “The Muslim Ummah is like one body. If the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain.” We find ourselves in collective pain as current world events are breaking the hearts of millions around the country. We are witnessing unbearable levels of suffering that our generation has never before faced. The list is long: Palestine, Burma, Iraq, Syria, CAR, and many more. Fa … [Read more...]

GrowMama Blast from the Past: Drawing a Hadith

I recently moved a bookshelf into my kitchen, so that the children could have easy access to drawing paper, colored pencils, pastels, markers, glue, scissors, as well as all of their school books (you know, in case they feel like doing a math lesson on their own). Drawing at the table has become the go-to activity when mama is busy cooking, cleaning, or just plain cranky. While this has resulted in quite a few unwanted scribbles and way too many cap-less markers, it has also released an exciting … [Read more...]

My Friend the Alcoholic

The scholars say “You are on the path  of your company, so choose them wisely.” I did choose wisely. I met a woman who was a good mother with a warm, charitable heart and a beautiful smile. She was my running partner for six years. We ran miles and miles through wooded paths along the West Virginia mountains. Some days we could hear morning dew trickle off the leaves and ricochet down lush, green foliage. The sun poked it’s rays through the forest canopy and our hands and face basked in it’s war … [Read more...]

Where My Roots Lie

The place where my grandfather lies, alongside his father and mother, their parents, my uncles, and generations of other relatives is in a patch of land on the hillside of a hamlet in the occupied West Bank. My last memory of him was seeing him leave to go “home” after being diagnosed with cancer almost 20 years ago. Standing now at the green gate where my roots lie, I see the sign for a prayer: “Peace be unto you, the people of this abode from the believers and those who submitted, and we are, b … [Read more...]

Blast from the Past: Acorns and Autumn

Something trivial and maybe insignificant, but I was on a trip with a friend to a farm a while ago. She bought a couple of gourds and squashes, and I asked her what she was going to cook with them. She replied , “No, they’re for decoration.” For an instant, I was confused. My mind instantly associated the gourd decor with Halloween.But Alhamdulillah, I had a window of understanding opened, and a bit of stereotyping removed.I went to another farm a couple of weeks later, and on leaving, th … [Read more...]

My Personal Struggle

 Several years ago I became a Muslim and began covering almost immediately. I remember the first day I walked out of my house wearing the scarf. The sun was shining, and I felt as though Allah was especially proud of me that day as the rays illuminated me. I also felt the eyes of the whole world on me, as though every  single person I crossed paths with was staring. Of course it was all in my head. Right? Even so, I felt proud of myself, beautiful and confident. However, as time passed, hijab b … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Gift

Growing up, I was a part of a big North Jersey Muslim community. There were Quran classes, sunday school, iftar parties, Ramadan and Eid prayers, and gatherings of all sorts at the masjid. On occasion, I would attended funeral prayers at our mosque. Sometimes it was for an older auntie or uncle I knew, but not too well. Sometimes it was for a stranger. In my carefree, unaffected, and apathetic youth, these funeral prayers were just another gathering. That all changed as I started to grow … [Read more...]

My Ramadan Guilt

I’ve never been to the masjid during Ramadan. It might sound unbelievable, but it’s true. Mother’s with small children might know what I am going through-  with the fasts being so long these past few years I find it almost impossible to get out of the house to go pray taraweeh. My daughter is six-years-old and while it may be arguable that she’s ready to be attending the masjid, I just don’t see how it’s possible. And that is what gives me “Ramadan Guilt” almost every year. I’ve read several ar … [Read more...]

The Ramadan Sale

I love a good sale.  When I had my second daughter I started what has become a close and personal relationship with online shopping.  I was able to try things on in the privacy of my own home and when things didn’t work out I simply returned them.  But most of all the deals were great.  I reassured my husband on more than one occasion that I was saving money, not spending it. But I’ve stopped online shopping now.  I’ve given up online sales for an even better sale: Ramadan.  Siraj Wahhaj once sa … [Read more...]

Celebrate Ramadan in the Prophet’s Way

Everyone knows that Ramadan is full of blessings and benefits for our minds, bodies, and souls. Even the little ones are aware of how special this month is. They eagerly want to get involved in the planning and preparing for all the festivities, participate in fasting, and join in the prayers and gatherings in the mosque. If we make it exciting and welcoming for them now, they will grow with beautiful memories of Ramadan being full of happiness, blessings, and togetherness. Some simple ways to … [Read more...]