The Grinch Who Removed Christmas (and Rosh Hashanah and Easter)

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The verdict is in.Neither shall there be Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur - written on the public school calendar in Montgomery County, Maryland, that is.Muslims in Montgomery County have been petitioning the school board for years to add Eid (Eid-al-Adha in this case, since Eid-al-Fitr, which comes at the end of Ramadan, is currently in the summertime) to the school calendar. Finally, the school board voted 7-1 Tuesday not make Eid-al-Adha a student holiday but rather ... … [Read more...]

Raise Your Voice: An Eid Celebration for Special Needs Children

MAS DC 2014 Eid celebration

I can feel it. On more days than others, I can feel it. I can almost smell a change in the air, the movement towards action built on the weary shoulders of ongoing awareness. It’s starting to happen, all too much slowly for my impatient bones, but inch by inch, bit by bit. Not only are our Muslim communities starting to recognize and acknowledge the different needs and challenges of individuals and families with special needs, we are beginning to lay the path – brick by brick – to affect some rea … [Read more...]

An Eid without Lil D and Autism

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It was a pretty monumental end to Ramadan 2013 for our family, as we celebrated the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday here in Hyderabad, India, completing what was my first experience fasting and celebrating this Eid outside of the United States. My hands have mendhi (henna) on them, I ate more than my fair share of sheer khorma, and we met more family in one day on Eid than I ever have before. We managed to stuff the day with Eid prayers, Friday prayers, a stellar biryani lunch (natch) for any and all family … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday Lil D – Not so Lil Anymore

Daanish 13 birthday

It isn’t a celebration unless we eat biryani, and that our family did – in two different continents.I woke yesterday morning to the sound of bleating goats in the front yard. Normally it would’ve been the sing-song sounds of Lil D roaming the house, as he gets up pretty much as early on the weekend as he does on the weekday. But he is not here with me. He is far, far away, like a line out of a fairy tale.I am in India. He is at home in Virginia with my parents. And I am not with him on th … [Read more...]

Dating Life Again

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There comes a point when you’re coming through a tough, tough time, and even though things aren’t exactly easily manageable (forget great, or even really good) yet -- you decide that it’s time. It’s time to start dating life again. Because if you don’t start trying, you’ll never get out of your pajamas, make yourself presentable, get out of the house and become social again.As Ramadan came to a close last week and we neared the Eid-ul-fitr holiday, I made that decision. I chose to date life a … [Read more...]

A Special Eid for Autistic and Special Needs Children

MAS DC

Anyone who tries to connect that divide between raising an autistic child and adhering to faith traditions knows what a difficult task that is. And I’m not talking about crisis of faith, about those “What is God’s plan? or “Why my child?” or “Will my prayers ever be answered?” type of problems. I’m talking about including special needs children in faith practices and in houses of worship.Whether the child is high-functioning, moderate, or severely autistic, whether he can talk or not, if he h … [Read more...]

Miracles Do Happen

Muslims spend a lot of time gearing up for Ramadan and when the month comes, they often focus on amplifying their spirituality, ridding themselves of bad behaviors, and achieving a special God-consciousness. Truly, it’s a very special month that unites Muslims around the world around a very holy endeavor. But I think a lot of Muslims forget that the first ten days of Dhul Hijja, which is the last month on the Muslim hijri calendar and which lead up to the Hajj pilgrimage and the holiday of E … [Read more...]


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