Answering the Prayer of A Mother, A Traveler, and One Who is Fasting

Mideast Saudi Hajj

Big day tomorrow. We’re off to the Washington, D.C. metro area for a follow up appointment with a specialist for Lil D. As we have traversed this panic-fueled, emotionally-laden path since last January to try and figure out why so many things had taken a turn for the worse with our 11-year-old son, why self-injurious behaviors and some OCD behaviors had taken over his life, why school and home life became so awful for him, our investigations led us from an in-hospital stay for  multiple … [Read more...]

Lean On Me

Family back shot

My mother always told me that one of our biggest fallacies is that when ten good things and one bad thing happens, we will fixate on the bad, worry about the bad, lose faith over the bad, get depressed over the bad, despair over the bad – and not remember the good. She is a smart woman. We’ve had a nice week or so with Lil D, sandwiched between two very, very awful incidences. And though I’m inviting trouble by writing this (telling you about the good days – because that always seems … [Read more...]

More Thoughts on Balancing Appreciation of Good Days with Wanting Better Good Days

good day

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude and good days since my last post, in which I reflected on Hamza’s Bismillah and the week afterwards with our family and Lil D, about being grateful for all that went well while still feeling unhappy about all Lil D missed. I am wondering that by the constant pursuit of “better good days,” am I hindering myself from appreciating what is good and peaceful about the moments at hand? Is there a danger in comparing good experiences with better ones … [Read more...]

The Bismillah – Preserving Dignity in an Autism Life

quran

Family and guests are arriving, the food is cooked to feed everyone at the house, the batwas (party favors) have been filled and labels added, the laddus (classic Indo-Pakistani dessert) are made, the decorations for the hall are ready, and the food for the party is coming together. It’s Bismillah time at our house. A Bismillah is a cultural/religious occasion (it’s not mandated in Islam), a ceremony that marks when a child is ready to learn how to read the Quran. Typically, it happens … [Read more...]

Lets Get Ready for Ramadan!

ramadan-charge

I took the kids (younger two) to Jummah (Friday) prayers today at one of our local mosques. The khutbah (sermon) was about making the most of the month of Sha’baan and preparing for the holy month of Ramadan. Sure comes up on you fast, doesn’t it? We are a month away from Ramadan (predicted to start on July 20, depending on the siting of the new moon) and aside from the hilarious spiritual discussion trolling the social networks about how a Muslim should handle the problem of opening night … [Read more...]

The Selfish Prayer and Fifth Grade Graduation

Daanish cake

We ate cake tonight, baked and decorated by our daughter for her big brother. We were celebrating Lil D’s fifth graduation with cake and biryani, and although he had eaten his meal half an hour before and had since retreated upstairs, it was still a celebration. I served the cake to the family on a familiar square yellow platter, decorated with red and blue large dots and covered with Arabic and English writing Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim -- In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most … [Read more...]

Moments of Autism Humor – Lil D Was Here

forks

Good morning, sunshine! Wake up my jaanus (darlings). Time for school. It's wakey wakey time! La illaha, illallah, Muhammad dur Rasullallah. This is what I say every morning, without fail for the past nine years, as I've woken up one, then two and now three children for school. It's become a routine, something that comforts all of them, even when they are grumpy, whiny or tired and not wanting to get up - a good morning greeting followed by the kalma, or shahada, which is a Muslim's … [Read more...]

Listening Link – Discussing Autism and Islam on ‘The Drew Marshall Show’

drew marshall logo

The Drew Marshall Show (touted as "Canada's Most Listened to Spiritual Talk Show") sent me an email last week, asking if I could recommend one of the great Muslim bloggers on Patheos' Muslim Portal to come on his show and be his featured "God blogger" for that week's segment. I pitched to him all the great bloggers we have on the portal that I edit and manage (Svend White, who writes "Akram's Razor," Nancy Shehata who writes at "Muslimah in Progress," Hesham A. Hassaballa, who's a columnist on … [Read more...]

Hijab and Modesty – Two Unique Perspectives (No, Really!)

hijab

When it comes to Muslim women and hijab (whether we're talking literally about wearing or not wearing the headscarf and other forms of modest dressing or about the act of modesty), the subject matter has been dissected to death - from how a woman dons the hijab (She's being too fashionable! Clothes are covering the body but are tight-fitting, so what's the point? A headscarf is not enough. You must wear a burqa.), to how others perceive the hijab (If you wear it, you're a "good Muslim woman," … [Read more...]

Hey Autism, Verily with Difficulty There is Ease

Daanish beach

Spring break on the beach: Are we a couple of free-wheeling college students on Daytona Beach? Nah. We’re a family of five (seven with my in-laws included) who decided to come to a beach in South Carolina because it seemed the only place that everyone, especially our eldest son, would have some fun. The question asked of me by so many leading up to this trip was: What do you think will happen? Meaning, our family’s life -- in a way -- has been held hostage the past several months by the … [Read more...]