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

A rare moment of holding hands as we leave his school.

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...]

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Yusuf Islam on Jimmy Fallon (Video)

Yusuf Islam

Come on, raise your hand -- you know you've been a fan of  Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) over the years! In anticipation of his induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the popular singer/songwriter appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," performing some of his most popular hits. Take a look:And one more!Like so many, I've loved Yusuf Islam's music over the years and have appreciated his Islamic journey, from when he turned away from the music of his past, to his … [Read more...]

Life Goes On


They prayed for my son at Friday prayers last week.Another milestone I never imagined would’ve happened as part of our parent-child journey. But life goes on.It seems altogether wrong and disloyal and nonsensical that life should be going on. We sat in the waiting room of the doctor’s office last week, making nervous small talk with my parents while we waited for the doctor to come out and give us Lil D’s test results. Husband and I had run through the scenarios in our head, from best cas … [Read more...]

It’s Ok to Say, Why?


Maybe I’m wrong. I could very well be entirely wrong on this, but I am reminded of a hadith saying that Allah (God) loves us 70 times more than our own mother. And so I feel I’m allowed to do this. We are all allowed to lift up our arms in anger and frustration to Him, to vent as we would vent to our mother, husband or best friend, and He will Love us just the same.That at times expressing my anger and frustration in no way takes away from the trust I have that there is something to all thi … [Read more...]

Br. Omar Suleiman Speaks About People with Special Needs and their Families

First I was tagged in the video. Then it was posted to my wall and sent to me via a private message from a friend. Then, every faith-based, especially Muslim-based special needs group I am a part of on Facebook posted this video posted to their respective walls. And though I'm not on Twitter hardly, I'm sure the link is being shared generously there. I'm talking about this video by Imam Omar Suleiman, director of the Islamic Learning Foundation and an instructor at Mishkah Univesity, Al Maghrib … [Read more...]