Salaam Alaikum! Yes, I know, the silence from this little corner of the Patheos world has been deafening. My poor little overwhelmed brain has been struggling to make my hands type out topical, fun, clever, and oh-so-inspiring articles for my blog. Allah knows there’s plenty to write about. Maybe that is the problem. I am so overwhelmed by what is going on in the world that I am paralyzed, like a deer caught in the headlights of an onrushing vehicle. Or maybe it’s the chronic sleep deprivation that Ramadan always brings. Well, who am I kidding, I’m always sleep-deprived, but it is worse this time of year because of the late hours and the extra early rising for suhoor. And the fact that I have two kids who still consistently wake up in the middle of the night and invade my bed.
When I was invited to bring my blog over to Patheos I was so flattered. “They like me, they really like me!” But the reality is I started to feel like I needed to be more, well, professional. More serious, more in-depth, more Muslim. No more trivial posts about family life. No more cute pictures of squirrels holding light sabers. I had arrived, and now that I was here I needed to be Mrs. Muslimah Superwoman, bearer of the torch for my people. Well, you know, to heck with that. I’m me. I’m the same crazy, opinionated, serious, trivial, pedantic, frenetic person I was when I was tapping away at the keys over yonder. Deal with it. Some days I’ll be profound, some days, not so much.
I have been busy. My husband and I have rededicated ourselves to making our house more Islamic. That’s such a generic word, but what does it mean? Well, we’ve always worked on the kids to teach them adab, manners. They know to say please and thank you, to say “Bismillah” before they eat or drink, and alhamdulillah when they sneeze (very cute when a two year old does it). But in addition, we wanted to work with them on all the “bookish” aspects of Islam. So now they are getting short (half hour) sit downs with me or my husband to learn about the prayer, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and the Qur’an. My oldest, Abdel Hamid, teaches his brothers as well. We are not just doing something new for Ramadan. We are, inshaAllah (God willing) creating a new routine that will carry on througout the year.
That’s what Ramadan is about. It is a time to reset and refocus, a time of thinking about where you are falling short and how you plan to fix it. With all that is going on around in the world, there is no excuse for us not preparing our kids to meet the challenges they’ll be facing later in life. And by later, I could mean next week, like for instance if they meet a bully on the bus or someone says an unkind word about my hijab when they’re around. We have to teach early and often, and of course we have to be good role models. You can’t tell your kid to go pray while you’re sitting on the sofa watching Dr. Phil chew out some lady for abandoning her kids to run off and fulfill her dream of being a nude barista.
I don’t have too much profound to say at the moment. Sometimes life isn’t terribly profound. A lot of life is trivia. That wonderful trivia of waking up at o-dark-thirty to force yourself to eat a couple of dates and a bowl of cornflakes while you nervously eye the clock. The trivia of trying to find your scarf so you can pray and go back to bed. The trivia of helping your children learn the proper words and motions for prayer, the trivia of kissing boo-boos and refereeing squabbles over toys. Making dinner. Stepping on Legos. Letting the cat fluff your lap. Tossing in a load of laundry. Doing it all over again. Yes, it’s trivia, but it’s certainly not trivial. It’s life. It’s not always blog-worthy, but sometimes I’ll blog about it evenso. And yes, I will sometimes post pictures of squirrels with lightsabers.