My Jihad is Autism, Faith and Everything In Between. What’s Yours?

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What’s your jihad?Mine is autism awareness and living with autism.My jihad is my son, Lil D, and helping him (and our family) overcome challenges brought on by his autism, helping him be as healthy as possible and finding out what we can do to make him happy. My jihad is making a place for him in this world, getting this world to accept him, care for him, and help him to succeed the best that he can.My jihad is my children -- raising proud, well-adjusted, Muslim-American children who … [Read more...]

Khateebs – Please Talk about Newtown Today

A short message from your friendly neighborhood  Muslimah Next Door.Khateebs (those who will be giving Friday khutabas, or sermons, today) -- please don't forget to mention that Muslims should make du'a for the children who perished last week in Newtown, Connecticut, and to make du'as for the community of Newtown. Whether you mention it in your khutbah, or afterwards when you make community announcements, please do it. I don't profess to know how relevant or not khutbas are across the … [Read more...]

Reflecting on the Holy Days, the Year of Autism, and One Resolution

Daanish smiling

Has it been a year already? Yes, one year has passed since witnessing the extraordinary miracle that united thousands in Central Virginia (where I live) to one singular purpose: Find the boy.Last year around this time, a young, nonverbal autistic boy – much like my own Lil D – disappeared on a family walk at a national battlefield park a half an hour away from where I live. As one day stretched into two, the police opened up their search to community volunteers, and thousands poured out to he … [Read more...]

Struggling to Illuminate the Darkness

Candle in the dark

What is this? What IS THIS?I am no longer desensitized, offering up moments of reflection on the physical violence and death and hateful rhetoric in Syria, Libya, Cairo, Pakistan or even here in the United States via platforms like Facebook and blogs – and then moving on with my life. This is how I’ve always approached the troubles of the world as a journalist/editor. Write, or find good people to write about what’s happening, what’s wrong, what’s right, what can improve, what is truthful, wh … [Read more...]

The View from Up Here – Personal, Global

My husband asked me last night what if I was going to write something about the 11th “anniversary” of the tragedy of 9/11. I thought, what is there to say that hasn’t already been said before? Where are we now as a world community, 11 years after that awful, fateful day? Where am I and my family in our lives now?On September 11, 2001, Lil D had just passed his one-year birthday. He was my only child at that point. We were one year away from a discussion with my pediatrician about my worries c … [Read more...]

Out of the Mouths of Babes

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We’re having Sunday morning conversation at our house, as my three kiddos (for once) sit together calmly at the dinner table with me and eat their breakfast. Lil D, who is hungry because we all slept in a little (though he awoke bright and early like he always does), is sitting down nicely and eating – no trying to run around and come back for bites, none of the recent rigmarole of me trying to make him sit down and eat with him resisting me at every step.A nice Sunday morning family bre … [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...]


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