D’s Declaration of Faith

Ali Family Autism Truths #17 - April 17, 2016I harbor secret fantasies of chartering a private plane and taking D for Umrah – the lesser pilgrimage to Makkah done during non-Hajj times.My friend, Joohi Tahir, executive director of MUHSEN (Muslims Understanding and Helping Special Education Needs), wrote a post for me about two years ago about how she and her family performed the Umrah with their autistic daughter Mehreen. The story is simply beautiful:Every step of this journey b … [Read more...]

Eid Mubarak and the Blessings of Family

Don’t ever take your family for granted.Ever. ********** The alarm on my phone beeped to wake me to get ready for Eid prayers. I swiped it to turn it off and noticed litany of messages, as usual. One stuck out at me – my sister in law messaging a group of us to tell us there had been a stampede in the Mina camps, and hundreds of Hajjis had died.Innal lilahi wa inna lilayhi raji’oon. From God we come and to God we return.If you are a believer like me then you believe that those who p … [Read more...]

Hajj 2014 – Never Say Never – Umrah with Our Autistic Daughter

This article is part of Patheos Muslim’s and Altmuslim’s Hajj 2014 reflection series, which is focusing on the good, the difficult and everything in between about the holy days of Dhul Hijjah, the Hajj pilgrimage and Eid ul Adha, the second major holiday for Muslims. Although this post is about an Umrah trip, it ties into the spirit of the Hajj.Editor's Note: This post is written by my friend and guest writer, Joohi Tahir, about the Umrah she and her family did a few years back. Joohi's daug … [Read more...]

#RaisingMuslimMen: Thanking Husain Abdullah for Living out His Faith

In 2012 NFL players and brothers Hamza and Husain Abdullah missed the season so they could take a month to perform the Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah and its surrounding regions. In a sport where players are vying to get signed, negotiating bigger contracts, fighting injuries and striving for top performances, these young Muslim men left their respective teams with no guarantee that they’d receive contracts again, just so they could perform the Hajj.Four words: Muslim male role models.For any … [Read more...]

Eyes Open to His Wisdom

The Hajjis are gathered on the plains of Arafat, the holiest, most wondrous day of the annual Hajj pilgrimage -- standing in prayer until the sun sets. Muslims are taught that God and his angels come down from the heavens and get as near as possible to the pilgrims, and He listens to the fervent, yearning prayers pouring forth from lips and hearts.And those prayers of Hajj pilgrims are surely answered, we are also taught. Because this pilgrimage, which able-body and financially-able Muslims … [Read more...]

The Hardest Hajj Lesson of All

I sit at the dinner table and watched my kids eat. Lil D, grasping a big body pillow in his left arm (that’s his thing these days – he walks around holding a pillow, sometimes two, so he can plank at will), plowing through his kichiri-keema . Amal, all smiles because Lil D is eating dinner at the same time as her. And Hamza, trying to finagle his father’s phone to play Angry Birds as he finishes his meal. These kids of mine. If I could just pause this moment and live in it forever …The miles … [Read more...]

Hajj Lessons: How to Improve our Ummah

This is a guest post from Hesham Hassaballa, who will soon be joining the Patheos family as a columnist.October 28 marked the first day of the last month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul Hijjah, and it marked the beginning of the Hajj season. Now, millions of elated pilgrims are descending upon the valley of Mecca to perform this truly amazing, once-in-a-lifetime event. I was blessed to perform the pilgrimage in 2003, and it was the most powerful spiritual experience of my life.When … [Read more...]


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