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...]

Send Thanks

Lil D making an "acorn" for Thanksgiving with his therapist.

Shukar bhejo, which literally means to “send thanks,” or less literally, send thanks to God – is an Urdu phrase that has been uttered to me by my parents and in-laws and by me to myself, my husband and kids – for as long as I can remember.So this idea of giving thanks has never been harnessed to a single month or a day for me, which goes the same for so many around the world. Still, the Thanksgiving holiday is one I especially love, because although giving thanks is something I hope we can do … [Read more...]

The Inner Circle of Friends

friendship

This was the texting conversation had with a good friend of mine a few days after my family (and a few others) had enjoyed a dinner party at her place: Her- “Oh! And I found Lil D’s underpants. They were in the attic.”Me - “Ha! He went all the way up there? Embarrassing. You have a bathroom up there?”Her - “Yes we do. Don’t worry about it at all. I’ll give it to you next time.”Me - “Thanks. And I’m sorry about that.”Her - “Please, don’t even think about it.”Me - “That’s it – … [Read more...]

Ingratitude in the Face of Gratitude – the Autism Oxymoron

Daanish adn Dilshad nose to nose

I finally broke at 1:02 a.m. this morning – July 26, on the 17th fast of Ramadan the day before our big trip. The deluge began with this text to one of my best friends:“I am so sad to leave Lil D. Eff autism. Not fasting right now – I can say that, right?”To which my friend replied, “I’ve been waiting for this text …”And I answered, “Eff eff eff eff eff autism. He should be coming with me. … I should not be leaving my son for a month. … I’m feeling like a bad mom …”And we went bac … [Read more...]

In Autism Land, Who is the ‘Kismat-Wali’ (One with Good Fate)?

Daanish smiling

There is a phrase in Urdu – kismat-wali – meaning one who has good fate, who is blessed, very much like the word “kismet.” My mother-in-law called me kismat-wali. She is visiting her daughter these days, who has five children, works full-time and has leads an incredibly busy life. The classic Super Mom – that’s my sister-in-law. After spending some time with her and seeing how much she manages between the kids, her teaching job, cooking and housework, my mother-in-law remarked that I am a kis … [Read more...]

In Autism Land, What is a Good Day?

hamza's bismillah

The house was too quiet last night, as my husband and I sat on our couch after all kids were in bed, half asleep and tired from the past two weeks of activity. It was a good tired, as my husband remarked to me, “That went well. That was a lot of fun.”He was referring to the lead-up to our youngest son’s Bismillah ceremony, the Bismillah itself, and the week afterwards when his sister and her family stayed with us. The weekend of the Bismillah (a culturally-based religious ceremony where a chi … [Read more...]


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