It’s Ok to Say, Why?

why

Maybe I’m wrong. I could very well be entirely wrong on this, but I am reminded of a hadith saying that Allah (God) loves us 70 times more than our own mother. And so I feel I’m allowed to do this. We are all allowed to lift up our arms in anger and frustration to Him, to vent as we would vent to our mother, husband or best friend, and He will Love us just the same. That at times expressing my anger and frustration in no way takes away from the trust I have that there is something to all … [Read more...]

Do You Remember 13?

Lil D through the window

Do you remember 13? Seventh grade or eight grade maybe? A mixture of hormones, uncertainty, a growing sense of self and figuring out how to fit in with the right friends without compromising your true self? And what is that true self? Is it growing out of what your parents taught you, or is it developing independently apart from the external influences in your life? Do you remember 13? Not wanting to hang around your family all the time, wanting to be out of the house more, but you aren’t … [Read more...]

What is the Gift in All This?

Photo by DeAnna Nicole Photography

Sometimes the memories resurface with such veracity so as to take my breath away with the pain and utter helplessness I have tried to bury. Maybe we are not meant to forget our worst times. Maybe they are to be reminders so that we appreciate everything better that comes before and after, even when that better doesn’t seem good enough. I am sitting on our sofa in our family room settling in to watch some TV. The kids have gone to bed under protest. The house is quiet and I’ve turned the … [Read more...]

Are We Still Talking About the Hijab? Well, Yes

hijab meme

There's a lot brewing in the American autism community this week, and while I'm mulling things over and how I feel about it (it's coming in a later post, I promise), I thought I'd leave autism out of the picture today (gasp! Is that possible?) and share with you some interesting hijab-related articles that have come my way from some our wonderful Patheos bloggers. I rarely write about the hijab (headscarf) on my blog, because there are much better writers covering all angles of this … [Read more...]

What Do You Take for Granted? Lessons From the Special Needs Eid Celebration

holding hands

By Saman Qureshi This is a guest post by Saman Qureshi, a colleague and friend of mine who blogs at Biscuits and Banarsi. Saman attended the Islamic Relief USA Day of Dignity Eid Festival two weeks back, where she and her children happened to wander over to the Special Needs Eids celebration, hosted by MAS-DC (Muslim American Society, DC Chapter). I had planned to attend the event with Lil D and our family and has traveled to the Northern Virginia/DC/Maryland area that weekend to my mother's. … [Read more...]

A Special Eid for Special Needs Children – A Day of Dignity with Islamic Relief USA

Tawaf

There are a few activities we really look forward to every year with Lil D, events geared towards the special needs population that embrace them and cater to their different needs; events that make every effort of accommodation and celebrate individuals with different abilities. These are the events where we can take easy breaths and not worry over the thousand little details we usually worry about. The events where we can say, these is our tribe, and nothing my kid does or doesn’t do will … [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 … [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 … [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 … [Read more...]

Umar Lee Converts Back to Christianity

Prominent (former) American Muslim Umar Lee has converted back to Christianity, and the blogosphere and social networks are on fire. Lee was guided from "streets of St. Louis and a working Southern Baptist home to Islam as a teenager," according to his author profile on Amazon. He has been featured on the Voice of America, was a political correspondent for OnIslam.net  (where I worked as well for nearly eight years), and received a Brass Crescent Award for best blog series. In a video posted … [Read more...]