Old Friend

Procrastinating, I checked my SPAM folder, telling myself maybe something got misfiled. One thing led to another, and soon enough I was browsing an Islamic education website – the children’s section of course. And then there it was – the familiar name that appeared as the author of a new charming children’s book. I looked at the name again and realized that it was my old friend who had moved away about a year after both of our first children… Read more

There’s No Other Name for Mama

I see her in the spaces she no longer occupies. Every room still holds outlines of her presence, and as I walk in, I feel like I just missed her. When I am still enough, I feel her being superimposed inside me; and she is breathing through my pores. Sometimes I want to rage against the thin veil that separates us. I know she is just on the other side, not so far away that her scent no longer lingers…. Read more

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… Read more

One kid, Two Kids, Three Kids

I’m not sure when it starts, but at one point in a girl’s life she wishes, “I want to have ___ kids!”  She may even go further by saying how many boys and how many girls, and what she wants to name them. Then she gets married. And oh the pressures of having a baby or getting pregnant and when! Does she still have the same wish she did long ago? I remember saying I wanted four children. And if… Read more

Just A Snapshot

Although Fall is my favorite season I do love summer. Warm sunshine, BBQ’s and festivals make my world go ‘round during the summer months. Last year my family and I attended the annual Muslim Summer Festival with thousands of other Ottawans. It takes place at a park that backs on to a beach and with the 30-degree (celsius) weather we were having that day, I was certainly glad to take a break from the park and frolic in the water… Read more

The Passing of a Star

Aminah Assilmi passed away on March 5, 2010. She was the director of the International Union of Muslim Women, an internationally respected author, an advocate for women’s rights, and a renowned speaker on Islam who educated Muslim and non-Muslim audiences alike. To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. For those of us who grew up in the nineties, her presence will be remembered and dearly missed. May Allah (swt) forgive her, shower His mercy on her, and… Read more

Shy Mother, Shy Daughter

Around strangers, teachers, and acquaintances, my four and a half year old daughter is almost completely mute. Her fingers crammed in her mouth and her sullen eyes downcast, her pediatrician asked me if she was, “a little infantile, no?” The comment was annoying, but it did not trouble me. I know that my girl is exuberant and brazen around people she is comfortable with, which include a wide circle of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She throws her head… Read more

The Blissful Home

What is it that makes a house our home? Where does comfort, “Gemuetlichkeit”, come from? What are the things that make us feel cozy and warm? What is the secret of creating a soulful, welcoming atmosphere with a lovely spirit in our houses? I am a real home bird, a homebody that loves to be “chez moi”. With the (…) cold season and shifting more inside, I am asking myself often questions on how to beautify our own rooms and… 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…. Read more

Hard Work

I was always a smart student, in a sense. I could get A’s barely studying and figure out how to write the essay that would impress the instructor but take minimal effort from me. I knew all the shortcuts that would keep schoolwork down to a minimum, freeing up time for my real interests. For a time, as a mother, I looked for the perfect formula that would produce the best results in my children while taking minimal effort from… Read more

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