Defining the World, Defining You, My Son

  My eldest, who is fascinated with lists comparing largest tsunamis or most populated cities in the world, one day asks me at the dinner table, “Mama, what is the tallest building in New York City?” I look at him and hesitate, “Well, umm, it used to be these two buildings called the Twin Towers….” and I can see his eyes transfixed on me as he sees the caveat coming….”but it’s now the Empire State Building.”  And now he’s stopped eating and the inevitable question, “what happened?” I stare at him … [Read more...]

Our Choice: Public School

There is a fascinating thread on the GrowMama discussion board about the benefits of public schools versus alternative schooling. This piece was written before that discussion was underway and is not a response. We hope readers will share their thoughts on this topic in both the comment section of the blog and on the discussion board!My husband and I are committed to sending our daughter to public school. On a very rudimentary level, we took this for granted since we both went to public … [Read more...]

Dealing with Hate

At what age should we talk with our children about the hate and ignorance towards Muslims that does exist in our country, albeit among fringe extremist groups? When we saw the video below showing hate rallies in Orange County outside an ICNA fundraiser for a women's shelter, we were appalled. Elected officials spoke in slurs and death threats, and the crowd screamed insults at the children walking to the event.If one day we unexpectedly met such a rally at a mosque or community … [Read more...]

The Good Word

Many people lose their ability to speak after experiencing a stroke. My uncle was one of them, may Allah grant him a speedy recovery. They understand speech, but cannot formulate words, read or write due to ensuing damage in a particular region of the brain. They can, however, still curse. One explanation is that speech requires higher intellectual functions, whereas the ability to curse comes from a more primitive part of the brain. So, is it biologically easier for us to curse? I don’t know ab … [Read more...]

A Mother’s Reflections on Freedom Uprisings

As mothers, we always think of the children first. We know behind the headlines there are children who do not understand, hiding behind thin walls that do not protect them from gunshots and shouting in the streets.  Our hearts break for them, and we imagine what their mothers feel. Still, I remind myself that if I am feeling this way, then Allah is infinitely more merciful than me. Even in the most frightening, dangerous places on earth, Allah swt sends His servants to comfort the innocent and … [Read more...]

Babysitting

I attended a qiyam at the local masjid a while back and left my daughter at home so that I could focus and get the most out of a spiritual event that – although it should - does not happen very often.  As I went around, passing my salaams to friends and strangers alike I was asked over and over again, “Where’s your daughter?” to which I replied, “At home.”What followed was so funny and so telling; over and over again I was looked at and asked … [Read more...]


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