Fourteen

Usually you have the third row of the car all to yourself, but with your Nanajan (maternal grandfather) catching a ride with us, I’m sitting with you in the back, encroaching upon your space. But you don’t seem to mind. You are unexpectedly happy to have the company.So this is the perspective from where you sit every time. It’s bouncier back here, and though the people in the front – usually me and your Baba – are less than seven feet in front of you, somehow we seem far away, our voices muff … [Read more...]

How are We Handling the Charge Laid on Us?

Daanish through the window

The bombs are dropping in Gaza and people are dying. Syrians are being brutally massacred. In Iraq, Christians are being expelled and religious shrines destroyed by the so called “Islamic State of Iraq,” and so much strife is painting our domestic and global world with dark, troubling hues. All this as the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close with some of the holiest days of the year.And like so many of my friends – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and more – I am feeling overwhelmed and em … [Read more...]

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...]


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