Sweet and Sour

I roll out the prayer mat and place my feet, shoulder width apart, onto the rug. I pause and take a few deep breaths to focus on the act I am about to begin. I whisper Allah’s name over and over again until I feel the tension within break apart, feel my chest expand and my muscles loosen. I make my intention and raise my hands to my ears. Allahu Akbar. I move slowly through the first rakah, praying with the mindfulness that Allah is watching me. I move into sajdah, forehead and nose touching t … [Read more...]

The Cup

I usually don’t read parenting books. Not because I have anything against them per se, but when I’m not parenting, I’d rather not read about it. Plus, there are so many approaches out there, it often feels like I’m shouldering the burden of cynicism as I approach a specific methodology. Attach, but don’t attach too much for the sake of your sanity. Discipline, but fill their memory banks with a treasure trove of warm fuzzies. Stick to schedules; train your kids to be flexible. Be present, lean in … [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...]

Making a Splash in Community Development

As a child, I spent many summers visiting my grandparents in the Caribbean. I have fond memories of swimming in  a vast, indigo blue sea, under the piercing, bright sun. I loved the power of  waves, the feeling of buoyancy, the soft sand between my toes and the liberating sea breeze. In this sea, I fostered a deep love for all things water. As a university student, I noticed an unfortunate trend in our community amongst those with children. These families stayed close to home, and many were non … [Read more...]

Reclaiming Our Authority

  This year my family was blessed to experience another Ramadan. It was the first time in eleven years that I have actually made it to Taraweeh prayer. I never thought that time would come, but now my youngest (who just turned four) can actually behave while we pray. So I say to my sisters out there who have not seen the inside of a masjid for years, hang in there, your time will come. Happy as I was to be be there, I was shocked at the behavior of some kids at the masjid. I witnessed kids … [Read more...]

Begin with the Backyard

I have a well sustained reputation of being all thumbs in my garden and unfortunately, none of them are green!  Despite this fact, we decided to invest in a backyard garden and give ourselves and our children the invaluable experience of growing our own food. Perhaps it was because of my husband, who recently turned vegetarian or perhaps it was the beautiful spring weather in Northern California, or maybe even Michelle Obama's White House garden that everyone is talking about, but whatever the … [Read more...]