Ramadan Moonsighting; A Lesson in “Divide and Conquer”

Every year it's the same thing.  An epic battle rages on the internet between two different factions of Muslims.  I'm not talking Sunni vs Shia here - I'm talking about The Moonsighting Wars. Okay, here's the thing.  The Muslim religious calendar follows the lunar cycle.  We keep track of the moon and count the new month when the first sliver of a new moon is sighted every month.  I have a little calendar thingy on my iPhone.  It tells me that today is the sixteenth of the month of Sha'abaan.  T … [Read more...]

(Please Insert Catchy Blog Post Title Here)

Sigh.  I've been having a hard time writing lately.  It's gotten so bad that I find myself writing up posts and then deleting them time after time.  If I were using paper and pencil I'd have a two-foot-deep drift of crumpled-up pages around my desk.  It's not that I have nothing to write about.  The world is chock-full of interesting topics.  It's just that I can't wrap my brain around what I want to say.  Actually, I can SAY it but it's harder to write.  When you write, you have to type in relat … [Read more...]

Angelina Jolie – My first news, my first tears of the day

I woke up this morning at the usual time.  I slept on the couch last night.  Sometimes, when I'm very, very stressed, when life is getting to be to much and I'm in the midst of a maelstrom, I have to go sleep on the couch.  It is smaller, cozy, and the feeling of having the strong vertical back of the couch that I can back up against gives me a feeling of security.  Sleeping vulnerable on a flat mattress just doesn't cut it sometimes.  So I was asleep on the couch under a blanket that I croc … [Read more...]

One Pair of Shoes

I am an anti-fashionista.  I know nothing about style and I care nothing about style.  I shop at thrift stores.  I shop sales.  I buy for my kids first and myself last.  I buy cute dresses to wear around the house so I won't look like a schlub in front of hubby, but I don't obsess over shoes or drool over purses.  Do I have to turn in my woman card? Recently I was thinking about my shoes.  Those shoes, the ones in the picture.  I bought them from the thrift store sometime maybe last fall.  They … [Read more...]

They Buried the (Alleged) Bomber In My Backyard

And so it begins.  Someone finally stepped forward to bury the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston bomber who was killed during a confrontation with police.  His body was in limbo for a while because no cemetery in the Boston area wanted to take him.  The news came out, yesterday or today, can't remember, that someone had accepted the body and he has since been interred.  Well, turns out that the grave is in my area.  I live in Virginia about an hour north of Richmond.  The burial site … [Read more...]

And Now For Something Completely Different – a Craft Project I Did

I just have to share this because usually I'm not a crafty person.  First of all, I'm not terribly creative with "artsy" stuff.  Those genes went to my sister Trish, who is an accomplished artist .  Second, I often do not finish what I start.  ADD and all that.  So when I came up with an idea to make frames for my crochet work, I was tickled to be able to follow through and do it.So, here's the thing.  I am crocheting, and I have done several doilies lately.  Doilies tend to be circular.  Pic … [Read more...]

For my Muslim brothers and sisters in light of recent events:

If you are a Muslim or Muslimah disheartened by recent events in the U.S. and around the world, remember to hold fast to your faith.  If you are facing challenges in your life, hold fast to your faith.  Remember why you embraced Islam in the first place.  Whether you were born into a Muslim family or are a revert, at some point you made a conscious choice to say: Ash-hadu an la illah il Allah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadur RasoolAllah I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and I bear wi … [Read more...]

Tonight I Pray for Boston and the World

Not much profound to say today.  After this latest outrage, piled on top of oh-so-many outrages here and abroad, I can only pray.  Pray for Allah to bring murderers to justice wherever they are.  Pray for Allah to give comfort to the parents who have to bury a child.  Pray for those who are so misguided that they consider mass murder to be a valid political tool.  My heart goes out to the victims of the bombing in Boston.  My prayers are for all innocent victims here in the U.S. and abroad - the … [Read more...]

When “Bad” Things Happen to Good People

I think every person of faith has struggled with the issue of suffering.  Why do we suffer?  Why must we suffer?  What good is served by suffering?  If you are not currently suffering, if your life is going well and everything is coming up roses, it can seem very condescending to assure others that suffering is meaningful and being patient will be rewarded.  It is even harder when your loved one is in pain, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual.  What parent can stand by at ease when a child … [Read more...]

Mom, Dad, Please don’t be pissed off because your kid wants to be Muslim

I'm a revert.  I accepted Islam almost twenty years ago, standing in the front vestibule of the Islamic Center of Greater Kansas City, gently led through my saying of the Shahadah, my declaration of faith, by the Imaam, Adnan Bayazid, while a vacuum cleaner buzzed in the background.  Since then I've never looked back, and Islam is firmly ingrained in my mind and my heart.  I'm one of those "fundamentalist" Muslims.  I dress in long loose clothes, I cover my hair, my husband sports a beard, and I … [Read more...]