Reason Number (insert high number here) I’m Grateful To Be Muslim

A generation ago there were two brothers in my family (my grandmother’s brothers). One was a laborer. The other was a doctor. They were both married. They were both alcoholics. The laborer lost his life to a failed liver (a direct result of his alcoholism). The doctor took his own life leaving behind his wife and children (although it is impossible to know the exact reason he committed this act, the increased depression that resulted from his addiction to alcohol was undoubtedly a f … [Read more...]

The Seeds of Taqwa

I recently came across an elementary student’s written reflections on how to improve her behavior. She wrote something to the effect: “I think I can improve my behavior by having more taqwa. When I have taqwa, I feel that Allah (SWT) is watching me. I also remember that my classmates are my brothers and sisters…”Allah is watching me. It sounds like a title of a children’s theme song. However, we as adults certainly need to be reminded of this. In the end, our actions, big or small, done … [Read more...]

Generosity

My husband was hospitalized last month with pneumonia. He had gone to work as usual but hadn’t slept well the night before and was feeling really unwell. In spite of my insistence that I call our son-in-law to take him to the hospital (women can’t drive here), he told me that he would go to the university clinic and see a doctor there. When his colleagues saw his condition, they bundled him into a car and took him straight to the university hospital.There had been a disastrous and unp … [Read more...]

Hajj Chronicles- Faces in the Crowd

I had the pleasure during my first Hajj experience to have a scholar accompany our Hajj group and give us tidbits that were so on the spot, so perfect for Hajj. During our travel from Medina to Makkah, our sheikh told us something that stuck in my mind,'Don't busy yourselves during tawaf staring at everything. Don't stare at the Ka'ba, don't stare at the skies around. But do stare at the people. Their faces will tell you stories....".And while he said this, a couple of the more experienced … [Read more...]

Everyday Dua

I had a hundred things to do in the next thirty minutes, and not a moment to spare to look for my daughter’s tiny missing earring. Besides, she had been romping in the snow and slept at her cousin’s house the night before. The earring could have fallen off two days ago.I had no time to look in her bed or on the floor. It was lost for sure. But I said the dua anyway. “O Allah, You are the One who brings people to a Day of which there is no doubt, so bring back to me what I have lost.” And then … [Read more...]

Angelina

Okay, so I never thought I would ever be writing about Angelina Jolie, but here goes.I found myself in a waiting room last week not really in the mood to read anything serious, so I picked up a “fluff” magazine. The picture of Michelle Obama caught my attention. It turned out that the magazine was running a special feature on the world’s top ten women in commemoration of International Women’s Day. So I read about how the world is in love with Michelle and then I turned the page and noticed … [Read more...]

Umm Al Sa’ad- Part II

Umm Al-Sa'ad was born into a poor family in a town called Bandaariya, one of the towns of the larger city Munofiya (north of Cairo). She was afflicted by blindness shortly after her first year and, as was the practice of many in rural areas in dealing with blindness, her family sent her to learn the Quran. She completed her memorization in Alexandria at the age of 15. She then completed the memorization of the ten recitations of the Quran from Shaykha Nafeesa when she had reached the age of … [Read more...]

The Great Reciter of Alexandria Part I

This is a special three-part series translated from an Arabic article by one of our sisters. Stay tuned and enjoy!Translator's NoteIn sha'Allah, this message finds you all in the best state of health and iman. A long time ago, I was told of a great qari'ah, whom even men would travel for miles to hear her recite, learn from her and obtain her ijazah in one of the 10 qira'ahs. It was only mentioned in passing by the shaykh who was giving the lecture, and I tried, but failed to find out … [Read more...]

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...]

Shattered Glass

It was Friday night and my ten year-old son invited one of his best friends over for his first sleepover.  Naturally, the boys were excited and I let them stay up late.  I, on the other hand, was ready to sleep at 8:30.  I was very tired from a long week of not getting enough shut-eye and it had caught up to me.  I struggled to stay awake until the boys finally settled into bed.As I was saying goodnight and looking forward to crawling into my own bed, I heard a very loud crash coming from the … [Read more...]