Why I Took my Kids to See the Eid Sacrifice

Last Friday on Eid Al-Adha, Muslims sacrificed an animal by hand in the tradition of Prophet Abraham. The guidelines for sacrifice are precise--the animal should be well-fed, free of defects, comfortably cared for, and above a certain age. The knife should be sharp, the animal should be shielded from sight of any fellow creatures being sacrificed and spared any distress until the very last moment. A swift cut by human hand and pronouncement of the name of God, and it becomes sustenance for human … [Read more...]

Frequent Wandering

I lived in four different states over the last ten years. My first two children were born a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, the next two near the Gulf of Mexico, and now we're settled an hour's drive from the Great Lakes, always near open water alhamdulillah. All of my family members have lived a long drive or expensive plane trip away. The various phases of life, getting married, leaving family, having children, evolving in my activism and identity, feel like they all happened on the move. … [Read more...]

A House Concert

We recently attended a house concert by singer Dawud Wharnsby, hosted by our friends who graciously opened up their living room to more than twenty families. The radiant atmosphere and top-notch entertainment were second only to the faces of children rapt with attention. I'll try hard not to gush here, but our family was touched by the evening. It was refreshing to finally meet the down-to-earth, gentle entertainer who can make the audience laugh and sing and cry within the span of a few … [Read more...]

A Team Approach to Chores

Raising children who do housework without complaint and find pleasure in serving the family is a top priority for me. The developmental and spiritual effects of doing chores and sharing in the responsibility of the household are one of the most powerful teaching tools we have as parents, for both our daughters and our sons (I cannot emphasize the sons enough). Now to the practicality of getting kids to do chores! I tried lists, excel sheets, and a white board. I sewed a chore chart, with a … [Read more...]

Guilt and The Secret Formula

As parents, one of our deepest, most powerful desires in life is to raise our children to be God-fearing, principled, and successful in every sense of the word. Perhaps that is why motherhood is one of the most guilt-ridden jobs on earth. The sight of spoiled lettuce in the fridge or dirty fingernails is enough to make you feel like the worst mom ever. You just can’t escape the guilt—and when you do, you will find it in another’s eyes and hear it in her voice. Subjects like schooling, … [Read more...]

Silent Giants

I was recently listening to a series on great women in Islam, and was struck by the great names among scholars who were raised by single moms. Al-Bukhari, Imam Shafi’i, and others set off on their paths of greatness because of decisions made by their mothers. These women were so focused and hardworking that they resolved not to remarry in order to instead devote themselves entirely to their children. They are the silent makers of history, who took little credit for their effort and are never … [Read more...]


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