Rotten Oranges

Pfffft! My eighteen-month-old son, Ibrahim, spit an orange slice out of his mouth. A few seconds later, my husband, brother in law, and I spit ours out too, realizing that the orange tasted rotten. “How did Ibrahim realize that the orange was bad before us?” I wondered out loud. “I guess babies can sense when something isn’t right,” my husband answered.This incident stuck with me all evening. It reminded me that we are born with a natural instinct, or fitrah, to do right. Our fitrah innately … [Read more...]

A Private Sorrow

I have a sadness buried deep within my heart. It’s a private sorrow shared by many of us who don’t realize how we are ultimately connected, sisters in grief. Last year, just a week before Mother’s day, I had a miscarriage.I’m one of the lucky ones who has been already blessed with two children Alhumdulillah. Each time before, I got pregnant months, even weeks, within ‘deciding’ that we wanted a child. I was foolish and arrogant enough to think that it was up to us, specifically up to me, to t … [Read more...]

And the Minutes Tick By

I am waiting.I know the time will come. I just don't know when.I try to get things done, and piddle around finding things to do. I prepare as best as I can think of, yet I feel it's never enough.I know my life is going to change forever, yet in the back of my mind I feel calm.I finish some work, start some more, and keep on counting the days, wondering when. Always wondering.Who knew that awaiting birth was so similar to awaiting death?I know I am going to die. Every day … [Read more...]

Cupcakes for Two

I hated who I was when I became a mother for the first time. I was angry, low, stressed and I did not take care of myself mentally, spiritually or physically. I remember it being tough time for me and my marriage. I had become a negative person and pushed away a lot of family members. I fought with my husband daily. My daughter was born 2 months premature and I think I read too many books that made me paranoid. I hated listening to advice from family members and just wanted to “break free” from … [Read more...]

Recovering Lost Connections

I recently returned from a wedding where, for the first time, I made some observations from the lens of a mother. The groom was busy enjoying time with his bride, as usual, while his mom gracefully stood aside. After some time, he left to go to the men's party when his mother noticed he had forgotten to eat his meal. So she picked up his plate and ran after him, heals, ball gown, and all. It hit me. All too often, we overlook the fact that even though we may let our connection and consideration … [Read more...]

A Mother’s Wish

As my daughter approaches her first year I am astonished, mystified, bewildered (insert every adjective you can think of!) at how quickly time has passed.  Everyone tells you and everyone warns you but nothing prepares you for how quickly time races by once you have a child.  Looking back now I sometimes wonder if I wished my daughter through her first year and somehow wished the time away. When I was up every 2 hours to nurse my daughter, I wished she would sleep 6 hours straight.  Now looking … [Read more...]

How Can We Live?

The news of the unrest and violence in Egypt is inescapable. Much of the it has unfolded in full view of video cameras. I have seen bodies piled in the mosques, I have seen a woman in niqab shot to death by a sniper, I have seen grown men weeping over the bodies of their fallen sons. It is a tragedy on every level and it seems to be something that will not be resolved soon.A friend of mine asked today how one can cope with life in the face of such tragedy. Let's not forget, Egypt is only the … [Read more...]

The Everyday Struggle

Motherhood has been bogging me down lately. Now that I've said it, I can hopefully move on. How can I work on elevating my role as a mother when I am dealing with a 4 year old who now qualifies everything as boring? What a boring home! You’re the boring-est mom. Playing with you is so boring! A big THANK YOU to whoever taught her that word. In the low points, I wonder where I went wrong in her upbringing. Maybe she’s (gasp)…spoiled. Maybe it’s just a phase. I hope it’s just a phase. Still, even t … [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...]