Digging Deeper Into the Prophet’s Wisdom

Over two years after my father's passing, I reflected on the famous saying of the Prophet Muhammad, in which he advises us on what we can do for our loved ones after they have returned to Allah.  In the hadith, Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah's Messenger said, "When a human being dies, all of his deeds are terminated except for three: an ongoing sadaqah (charity), a knowledge (of Islam) from which others benefit, and a righteous child who makes dua for him."[Muslim and others] I thought of how … [Read more...]

Timeless Tales

A few weeks ago, as I prepared my two year old for bed, I decided to skip his usual truck book and switch it up with some quick storytelling.  As I lay him down and looked into his sleepy, glazed eyes, I opened up with a short re-telling of the story of the Elephant and Abraha.  My little one gazed at me with wide open eyes, enthralled, silent, listening intently. The next morning, on the way to school, my young son surprised me with a request, "Mama, can you tell me the story of the Elephant?" … [Read more...]

Grow Mama Blast From The Past: Pause

If I interrupt this silent reverenceWith a hurry up, come, what do you see?I divert her quiet moment with nature,And point it instead at me.At screens, voices, more stimulation,Questions, answers and explanationsBut what really matters, what makes it real,Is that here she learn to listen and feel.Touching the textures and rhythms of creationThis reverence may one day lead to worshipOne day she may hear the pulsing glorificationFrom rocks under foot and … [Read more...]

My (unsolicited) advice to new moms

I’ve got two kids, ages 5 and 3, so yes, I’m an expert on motherhood. Ok, I kid. But here’s what I’ve learned in the past few years. Just read my thoughts with  an open mind.1. Breastfeed your kids. Or don’t. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Or don’t. Do  what feels right to you, and eventually, you’ll see that it was right for YOU. Every mother out there figures out how to get into her groove. It takes some trial and  error, and lots of second-guessing yourself.2. Ask for help! People LOVE to hel … [Read more...]

My Secret Identity

There are some moments when I feel like I’ve got this whole ‘motherhood’ thing down. I’m whipping up fabulous meals to ravenous children. Potty training is a snap. I'm disciplining like a rock star.  I’m rocking, I’m strolling. I'm the best mom, ever! I’m so awesome, it literally hurts. And stings. Huh? And I turn over in bed to realize that there is a three-year-old ninja kicking me in the face. Where is my husband? Correctly assuming that a king sized bed is not sufficient for the two of us an … [Read more...]

The Courage to say “Help Me”

I clench my fists and grind my teeth, but I can tell already that I won’t be able to hold in the onslaught of anger. I’m tired, so tired of refereeing games and wrestling matches; the he took my, she hid my, he hit me, she ate my…. constant bludgeoning of my senses. Sometimes I can’t tell whether the wailing screech I hear is one of pained anguish, or hysterical laughter. The noise level beats me to my knees, and I beseech Allah for peace…. just as bedtime rolls around. I prepare to bask in the q … [Read more...]

Bloom Where You Are Planted

I felt the vibration again. No, it wasn’t my phone. I felt it inside my head, where it’s been happening for the last few days. The vibration would last for hours and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I would wake up in a panic attack, unable to breathe. I was gripped by fear while I was dying again. The emotions always came in one package; the label spelled death.It was the second year since I stopped taking happy pills.  I was making breakfast while grasping for breath, my head still … [Read more...]

Lean In, Lean Back, Reach Up, Fall Over

I washed my face for the third time that morning. “I can do this,” I thought to myself as I slowly clamored out of the bathroom, willing myself to drive to work. Even though it was still relatively early, I was going to explain my circumstances to my supervisor. As I made my way to his office, I found myself speaking to Allah in hushed tones;Please Allah don’t let me throw up in his office.Oh Allah, tell me what is the best thing to do...I am at a complete loss.Please guide me and give me s … [Read more...]

The Perfect Mom

Sometimes I wish I was her. The perfect mom. The one I see when I'm dropping off my girls to preschool. She's so put together, in her trendy outfit and make-up expertly applied. Wearing those cute high heels I saw at the mall the other day. The ones that were so hip, so expensive, so wrong for me.She's gives a perfect kiss to her perfect kid and is off to work at her important job, making some sort of contribution to society. She walks off with such confidence and assurance, KNOWING she knows … [Read more...]

The Entitled Ones

We want the best for our kids, so naturally we give them the best.  The best food, the best care, the best toys and gadgets.  We shower them with praise, make sure they know that we love them unconditionally, and buy them anything that our pocketbook can afford.  Unfortunately, sometimes we look back and wonder what went wrong.The society we live in is a privileged society that knows the value of children, the value of praise, and has no limitations on spending.  So why are we also a society wh … [Read more...]