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...]

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...]

Envious of Each Other’s Struggles and the Place I Need to Be

Daanish through the window

How will they know they are accepted by Allah? When the joy from their blessings and the trouble and despair from their afflictions are the same to them. -- paraphrased from a saying of Rabiah al Basri - a sahabi (companion) of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).The Facebook statuses I am reading today, this Jummah (Friday) are so very real and raw and honest. Several friends who are in Jerusalem and tried to get to Masjid al Aqsa for Friday prayers wrote about how men under the age of 45 were de … [Read more...]

Autism Doesn’t End Like That

Daanish holding hands

So much -- and so little -- can happen in 30 days.The woods that spread out from our house are coming to life, with branches going from winter-bare to being covered in lush green. Spring is finally ushering its way in. I sat on our deck on April 2 – World Autism Day – devastated after a heartbreaking day of shocking news about you, and I watched you play. You swung back and forth on the hammock and jumped with abandon on our trampoline. The silence of our neighborhood was punctured by the hap … [Read more...]


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