How Muhammad Ali’s Janaza Prayer is His Last Gift to Muslims and the World

Tomorrow our beloved champ, G.O.A.T. and one of the most influential American Muslims of our generation -- Muhammad Ali -- will be laid to rest and have the Janaza prayer performed. It is a supremely solemn and profound moment for so many - Black Muslims, American Muslims, Muslims in general, sports fans and people the world who all felt a connection to the People's Champ.It's also an intensely moving and significant moment because Ali passed away in the first week of Ramadan, a most holy … [Read more...]

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...]

On the Donald, Medicaid Waivers and What I’m Concerned About

I'll not sugar coat it - it's been a difficult month. I'd like to press forward, figure things out and move on. But it's not always that easy. Sometimes we are made to remember, to note it, to mark it down and to remember that which we'd rather not talk about.Case in point: the fight to get a medicaid waiver.I had our monthly visit with D's caseworker for his ID (intellectual disability) waiver today - he is on the wait list for this waiver, which would help get him more care giving … [Read more...]

A Blow to Christian-Muslim Interfaith Unity – Wheaton College Moves to Fire Prof. Larycia Hawkins

I am flummoxed and flabbergasted by the events of the last two weeks. - Professor Larycia Hawkins Wheaton College has begun the process of firing Professor Larycia Hawkins over her statements about Christians and Muslims worshiping the same God, after she donned a headscarf to show solidarity with Muslims at the start of December. The story broke in the news media and in social media earlier this week, with the Chicago Tribune reporting that the political science professor received word from W … [Read more...]

Wheaton’s Big Misstep in Muslim-Christian Show of Solidarity

Is the question really about whether Islam and Christianity can identify with each other? Or if Allah is the same as (or similar to) the God? Or if a political science professor at a private liberal Christian evangelical college has the right to don the hijab (head scarf) for Advent in solidarity with Muslims? Or if wearing that hijab is the right demonstration of solidarity with Muslims and Muslim women?Let’s backtrack a bit. Professor Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at W … [Read more...]

VIDEO: Discussing Faith in Times of Fear on Al Jazeera’s “The Stream”

Most days I get the kids up, make their lunches, drop them at the bus stop/take them to school, come back home and get on my laptop to start my day's work as the Managing Editor of Patheos Muslim, one of the faith channels at It's all largely behind the scenes work - watching what the latest news stories are, covering the issues Muslims in America are facing, facilitating discussions, talking with the writers and bloggers on my channel, promoting their work, helping them, pushing … [Read more...]

His Happily Ever After

So how is he doing?I pause at the question, put forth to me by D’s case worker. She and I meet four times a year to chat about D’s wellbeing, our challenges, what he needs, what he is struggling with, and what kind of supports he (and all of us) could use.Yeah, he’s fine, I say. Then I pause. He’s fine is my stock response – my saying everything is ok, when in fact “ok” becomes such a loaded word with things left said and unsaid.Wait, let me backtrack. Actually there’s a lot going on … [Read more...]