Happy Birthday Lil D – Not so Lil Anymore

Daanish 13 birthday

It isn’t a celebration unless we eat biryani, and that our family did – in two different continents.I woke yesterday morning to the sound of bleating goats in the front yard. Normally it would’ve been the sing-song sounds of Lil D roaming the house, as he gets up pretty much as early on the weekend as he does on the weekday. But he is not here with me. He is far, far away, like a line out of a fairy tale.I am in India. He is at home in Virginia with my parents. And I am not with him on th … [Read more...]

Ingratitude in the Face of Gratitude – the Autism Oxymoron

Daanish adn Dilshad nose to nose

I finally broke at 1:02 a.m. this morning – July 26, on the 17th fast of Ramadan the day before our big trip. The deluge began with this text to one of my best friends:“I am so sad to leave Lil D. Eff autism. Not fasting right now – I can say that, right?”To which my friend replied, “I’ve been waiting for this text …”And I answered, “Eff eff eff eff eff autism. He should be coming with me. … I should not be leaving my son for a month. … I’m feeling like a bad mom …”And we went bac … [Read more...]

The Fasting Project – Hopefully More Than Ramadan Tourism (List of Posts)

Ramadan meme_non fasters

If you scroll social media, read the plethora of Ramadan pieces out there or even spend time talking with fellow fasting Muslims, the majority of what you hear about the fasting experience is positive – yes, it’s hard, but Alhumdullilah (thanks be to God), it is going well. You’ll hear jokes for sure about the difficulties of getting up for suhoor (the pre-dawn, pre-fasting) meal or the mundane difficulties of fasting. (Ramadan breath anyone?)We Muslims also share a lot of quotes from the Qur … [Read more...]

The Fasting Project – Patheos Buddhist, News & Religion and Spirituality Channel Bloggers Fast for Ramadan

Ramadan ecard-not-lunch-together

I’m taking off my mom/autism/Muslim-American journalist hat right now and putting on my Patheos Muslim Channel Managing Editor hat to announce a Ramadan project we’re doing at our channel which, I hope, will help forge new and interesting interfaith learning sessions, bring the concept of fasting in Ramadan and all it means to a wider audience and help Muslims themselves reconnect with the beauty of this month.We are embarking on a Fasting Project (for the lack of a better title) this month a … [Read more...]

A Ramadan Prayer for Special Needs Families

Ramadan advent calendar

Am I preparing for Ramadan? Yes and no. With my in-laws out of town right now (it's the first Ramadan we're spending apart in several years), I am not worrying so much about pre-cooking and freezing things for dinner and iftaar (in efforts to free up my time from the kitchen during Ramadan). My nine-year-old plans to fast more this month with me ("Mamma, you've got to let me fast more than four times like I did last year," she says to me. Ok little girl, I think. Just you wait until you try and … [Read more...]

Remembering the Story of Isra and Miraj

Isra and Meraj

How are your Ramadan preps coming along? In less than 40 days, the holy month of Ramadan will be upon us, and the months preceding it—Rajab and Sha’baan – are great months to prepare, make up fasts, get into the right frame of mind, set our goals, to evaluate where we are now in our deen from last Ramadan and figure out where we want to be with this Ramadan and after.Near the end of the month of Rajab also comes the significant event from Islamic history known as Isra and Miraj, or the journ … [Read more...]

What Autism Can’t Take Away From Us – Our Kids

Ali kids in the fall

“What do you want for Eid, Mamma?”My daughter posed this question to me this morning as I drove her to her art camp. For once, we were alone in the car, with Lil D having gone to summer school an hour earlier and Hamza having been dropped at his summer camp by his father. Amal and I were enjoying a good mom-daughter conversation, and I was taking the opportunity to tell her how proud I was of her endeavors this Ramadan and her patience with her brothers, grandparents and us.I often dis … [Read more...]


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