Hesham Hassaballa – Why I am a Muslim

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This is a guest post from Patheos Muslim Channel columnist Hesham Hassaballa. Patheos has asked bloggers to finish the sentence: Why I Am A …When this question was posed to me, I had to pause for a second and think: Why am I a Muslim? Indeed, I was raised Muslim, but I had a faith crisis during university years, and I still chose Islam after that crisis abated. Why?Well, its strict monotheism makes complete sense to me. Moreover, its culmination of all the Prophetic tradition -- from Ad … [Read more...]

A New Pope, A New Beginning and Pi in its Infinite Possibilities

Pope Francis I appears on the central balcony

3.14159265359 and so on and so on.Pi, in its infinite glory, on Pi day – March 14 – 3-14.On this day the new Pope Francis is already making his mark on the Catholic world and the world at large, proving, as my friend and fellow Patheos Catholic Channel blogger Joanne K. McPortland says, that this is a “good day to think about all that is infinitely unrepeatable.”As I said in my post in February when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, my area of expertise is Islam and Muslims … [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...]

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...]

Iftaar Interlude – Reviving an Old Tradition to Work Around Autism

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Home-based iftaar (fast-breaking) parties are pretty much out where we live, in lieu of large community-based potluck iftaars. But last year my husband and I decided to revive the tradition, because we wanted to bring our friends and family to our home to break their fast, and because we wanted to bring that feeling of  Ummah (Muslim community) home to Lil D, since he has been unable to attend the community iftaar events the past few years. (Too, big, too noisy, too chaotic, too much … [Read more...]


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