Ali Family Autism Truths #23 – What is God’s Truth in All This?


April 23, 2015 -- Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #23It seems like we are always living waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even when things are relatively smooth and good, we wait, wondering when it will all fall apart.It's falling apart in front of my eyes.Something is distressing D right now, at the end of the day. Distressing him pretty badly. Something internal, perhaps something external, something I don't know how to fix. The shoe is dropping, and I can see that he is … [Read more...]

Ali Family Autism Truths #9 – The Best Muslim, the Innocence of Humanity


April 9, 2015, Autism Awareness Month, Autism Truths #9I’ve noticed a trend during the past few years of families performing Umrah during their kids’ spring breaks. I think it’s great – a wonderful way for families to come together for a moving, spiritual pilgrimage and introduce their children to some of what is most special, most beauteous, most humbling and true about Islam.Year after year, right before spring break rolls around, I get at least five or six messages/emails, or read on s … [Read more...]

The Ease and the Glory

When we first were officially told that D's diagnosis was autism, we were devastated. This may be insulting to some on the spectrum, but I'm keeping it real. There has been so much heartache mixed in with joy these past 11 years since that day that it all seems inexplicably intertwined.You can't have one without the other. As much as I've tried to lessen and alleviate D of the excruciating hard parts of autism, it's still there, perhaps to remind us that the beautiful moments and the joy are … [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


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...]