Friday Patty-Cake

A Father's ReflectionI opened my palms in prayer at the end of the Friday khutbah.  Along with a couple thousand other Jum’a-goers, I dutifully replied ameen after the Imam’s heartfelt and well spoken supplications.  Like everyone else, I certainly aim for God’s generous reply to my prayers.  God All-Knowing and full of Love for His creations knows best how to answer our prayers.This Friday however, the reply to my ameen was a generous slap on both my palms by none other than the gentle f … [Read more...]

Muslim Relief Efforts in Haiti

A convoy from Islamic Relief left for Haiti two days ago.  This is the first post from one member of this convoy, on their second day in the region.Day Two – January 17, 2010Santa Domingo, Dominion RepublicWe have hooked up with a British aid group called Muslim Hands and a Muslim group from Trinidad & Tobago. An operations base has been set up at a huge Islamic Center in Santa Domingo. Our assignment was to find any Muslim survivors in Port-au-Prince. Through our masjid contacts in Sa … [Read more...]

More Dialogue, Less Debate

In many places in the Muslim community, and indeed within many Muslim families, we are accepted and well-regarded when we keep in time to the beat. March to a different tune or sing solo and many individuals literally find themselves clobbered or trampled.It is usually much more subtle than I just described, but when some of us meet an idea that rubs us the wrong way, we immediately judge and go into a restrained yet aggressive debate mode. We think there is right, there is wrong, and it is … [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...]

Tea, Please

The right cup of tea at the right moment can turn your whole day around. It’s amazing how one sip of the warm brew can settle your nerves and remind you to breathe again. There are so many life events, milestones and deep conversations that are coupled with a cup of tea in hand. The fondest for me, are the moments with my parents.I once attended a tea party in my honor. I had just gotten married and moved to a new city. I didn’t know anyone well. The women were playing a game and asked me, “W … [Read more...]

As the Twins Get Older

The girls were sitting,On the trunk of the car,Looking at the world,Near and far,When one noticed the emblem,And asked what it was,I read, “Nissan”,And told them what it does.When they heard the word,They did something bizarre.They both stuck their tongues,Out really far.Puzzled, I asked them,What they were doing.They pointed once more,So I told them again.Both tongues came out,As if pulled by a cord,And I almost decided,This should just be ign … [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...]

By the Book

When I was expecting my first child seven years ago after years of trying to conceive, I was overwhelmed with emotion. From early on in my pregnancy, I was determined to be a well-informed mom, up-to-date on the newest and best child rearing practices out there. That Infancy & Childhood Development course I took as an undergrad student some years ago wasn’t going to cut it. I searched books and websites for good, solid information that would not only get me through pregnancy, labor, and d … [Read more...]

Between These Four Walls

This may be categorized under the heading ‘too much information’ but I was in the bathroom the other day and on my way out, instead of opening the door, I just leaned on it. For about 10 minutes I just stood their frozen, paralyzed almost at the magnitude of the responsibilities that lie just outside the bathroom door. It was as if it had suddenly become a portal—instead of a potty—into a world of calm and I was unexpectedly in a place of serene solitude and I just wanted to stay there a little … [Read more...]

Tossing the Subscription

It felt like a turning point to me, but maybe I’m overanalyzing it. Going through the mail the other day, I came across the renewal card for my subscription to a parenting magazine I have been getting for what seems like a zillion years. And for the first time in five or six of those years, I threw it into the recycling pile without a moment’s thought. I knew without even thinking that I was done with being told month after month how to be the perfect parent.God knows I need all the par … [Read more...]