On ISIS, Gaza and More – Holding On to Our Humanity as Muslims, as Humans

This artist transformed the hateful "N" graffiti (to denote Nassara, the Arabic word for Christians) to write the new message, "We are all Christians." The photographer adds: "We are against extremism, against the oppressive ISIS, sectarianism, We are all Iraqis today, we are all Christians."

It’s tempting to be an ostrich right now and bury one’s head in the sand to avoid the atrocities, horrors, difficulties and inhumanity we are witnessing around the world. From Syria to Gaza to Iraq to the Central African Republic to the Ukraine to Pakistan to Burma to violence in our own communities – I am left wondering why humans are doing such things to each other. Why? WHY? And Dear God, please shower your Mercy upon all who are suffering, who are persecuted, who are attacked, abused, kille … [Read more...]

Ramadan, Autism and the Trials of Our Hearts

Daanish_Maymont

At 4 a.m. there was a party going on at my house. With my nieces and nephew having spent the last 24 hours at our place having a sort of epic, ongoing Ramadan sleepover, and my sister-in-law and her husband coming over to do sehri (the pre-fasting meal) with us before taking their kids home – the atmosphere was noisy and fun.Come on, finish eating! There’s only a few minutes left!Quick, drink that water! Time’s almost up!Who’s coming to the masjid to pray fajr?And then through th … [Read more...]

A Prayer for Mercy

Masjid Al Aqsa

It used to be that the  month of Ramadan would come, and it would be like a signal for the conflicts and tensions of the world involving Muslims to miraculously die down. Well, maybe it was never like that, but it sure feels that way to me in my rose-tinted, clean-scented, Pollyanna of a memory. I mean, Shaitan is shackled this month, right? So that Muslims all over can focus on their ibadaat (worship) and be released from temptations?The devil may be shackled from personally tempting us, … [Read more...]

#Ramadan Reads – Join the National Campaign to Support Muslim Authors

Photo courtesy of Aisha Saeed

When novelist and #WeNeedDiverseBooks co-founder Aisha Saeed walked into her local Barnes & Noble ten days ago, she was surprised and thrilled to see a Ramadan book display for children. She wanted to buy all four books displayed, but after chatting with the bookseller, she realized that those were the only books in stock.If she bought those books, not only would they be sold out of all of their Ramadan-themed children’s books, but the Ramadan display would disappear too. Shockingly, her … [Read more...]

Ramadan, Fasting Soccer Players and the Story that Blew Up

Algerian Coach Vahid Halilhodzic. Photo courtesy of Getty.

Is your news feeds are clogged with articles about how Muslim footballers (soccer players) who have moved onto the knockout rounds in the World Cup will or will not be fasting in Ramadan? If not, then you aren't Muslim or you are not into the World Cup -- and I feel sorry for you. No, I'm kidding. Seriously though - this is like the latest and greatest new story for journalists to be covering at the World Cup. And the headlines, tweets, status updates, debates and comments are killing … [Read more...]

Praying for Ramadan Blessings and a Respite from Ramadan Despair in Autismland

Daanish on the RV

On a brilliant sunny afternoon, when the potted plants are certifiably glinting with shine and promise on my deck, when there is a buzz permeating the house as my children and my father-in-law eagerly wait for the evening so they can look for the moon in anticipation of the start of Ramadan, one would think that excitement and hopefulness would be the mainstays our collective family mood.And they are – for everyone else. And to an extent, I am excited too. I’m about ready to launch a great “3 … [Read more...]

The Worrywart

worry

The words have been stuck in my head for several days now. I mean, it’s who I am. It’s who so many of us are. But I don’t want to be defined that way.Mamma, you worry a lot. Like, you worry all the time. Why do you worry so much?My 10-year-old casually threw this comment out at me two weeks back after hearing me on the phone discussing my concerns about Lil D. I usually try not to discuss my myriads of daily concerns about him in front of the kids, but I guess I had been slipping.Why … [Read more...]


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