9/11 – How Do We Keep Praying When it Often Feels Like too Much?

Candle in the dark

A dear friend posted the question on social media last night – What is your 9/11 memory? The responses came flooding in, and as things are wont to happen in this day and age, my husband and I, sitting on opposite ends of the couch, both responded on our phones – our answers posting within seconds of each other.He at the hospital, the last year of residency in midtown Manhattan, in a patient’s room when they both turned to the television to witness the horrors occurring mere miles away. He and … [Read more...]

Embracing (and Including) Autism and Special Needs Families in Muslim Communities

crescent and star clouds

The day after speaking at the 50th annual Islamic Society of North American conference in Washington, D.C., I was back at home in my basement hanging with Lil D. He was roaming about, spinning his beads and calling “Maw-maw! Maw-maw! Maw-maw” – very much caught up in his stim and oblivious to the world. Every so often he stopped and would come close to me, put his face in mine and say nonsensical words like “Oweeowee owee. Maw-maw! Maw-maw!”As if to say – ok Mamma, you had an audience, you sa … [Read more...]

An Autism Unbound from the Rituals of Ramadan

Autism puzzle

In no way is he part of any of our Ramadan rituals.He does not get up for suhoor, the pre-dawn, pre-fast meal, because he is not obligated to fast nor can he tolerate fasting. And, to disrupt his sleep so that he could just join us at that early part of the morning would be asking for major trouble.He does not read the Quran (But we read it to him. He is nonverbal and can’t read English, let alone Arabic, but he can repeat an approximation of the shahada). He does not stand with his s … [Read more...]

The Fasting Project – Patheos Buddhist, News & Religion and Spirituality Channel Bloggers Fast for Ramadan

Ramadan ecard-not-lunch-together

I’m taking off my mom/autism/Muslim-American journalist hat right now and putting on my Patheos Muslim Channel Managing Editor hat to announce a Ramadan project we’re doing at our channel which, I hope, will help forge new and interesting interfaith learning sessions, bring the concept of fasting in Ramadan and all it means to a wider audience and help Muslims themselves reconnect with the beauty of this month.We are embarking on a Fasting Project (for the lack of a better title) this month a … [Read more...]

A Ramadan Prayer for Special Needs Families

Ramadan advent calendar

Am I preparing for Ramadan? Yes and no. With my in-laws out of town right now (it's the first Ramadan we're spending apart in several years), I am not worrying so much about pre-cooking and freezing things for dinner and iftaar (in efforts to free up my time from the kitchen during Ramadan). My nine-year-old plans to fast more this month with me ("Mamma, you've got to let me fast more than four times like I did last year," she says to me. Ok little girl, I think. Just you wait until you try and … [Read more...]

The 15th of Shabaan – Childhood Memories Versus Parenting Decisions

qurans-in-a-mosque

I have very vivid memories of the things we did on the 15th of Sha’ban growing up – we threw down hard on Shabaan, with extra ibadat (worship), nafil (extra) prayers and of course fatiha (reciting prayers over some food as an offering of blessings, not to be confused with the Al-Fatiha - the first surah in the Quran). I never questioned where what we did fell in the realm of Islamic practices. My parents did these things on this date and as their kids, we followed along.Shabaan is the eighth … [Read more...]

VIDEO – President Obama Delivers Speech on Drones, Guantanamo Bay and Addresses Muslims

barack-obama-drone-speech

When I heard that President Obama was going to speak today on drones, terrorism and Guantanamo Bay, you can be sure I marked my calendar. I supported this president through two terms, having major beefs with the GOP candidates. The 2012 Presidential campaign was a tough one, where I knew I had to lend s upport to Obama because I just couldn't accept how the GOP and party members felt about Muslims. But still, I had beefs with Obama's handling of various things, major beefs. The passage of the … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X