Dear Pope Francis, Thanks for Bringing Love to Those with Autism

Photo courtesy of Associated Press.

I was sitting with a group of newcomers, reverts, new and old friends yesterday at a luncheon our halaqa (Islamic study group) had put together to reach out to anyone new to our community. In speaking with our small group about why we need to reach out to each other and stay connected, a sister in the group made an important observation (paraphrasing):It can be hard for reverts (converts to Islam) in our community. They can feel lost or disconnection. Not welcomed. The Christian community … [Read more...]

How are We Handling the Charge Laid on Us?

Daanish through the window

The bombs are dropping in Gaza and people are dying. Syrians are being brutally massacred. In Iraq, Christians are being expelled and religious shrines destroyed by the so called “Islamic State of Iraq,” and so much strife is painting our domestic and global world with dark, troubling hues. All this as the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close with some of the holiest days of the year.And like so many of my friends – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and more – I am feeling overwhelmed and em … [Read more...]

A Prayer for Mercy

Masjid Al Aqsa

It used to be that the  month of Ramadan would come, and it would be like a signal for the conflicts and tensions of the world involving Muslims to miraculously die down. Well, maybe it was never like that, but it sure feels that way to me in my rose-tinted, clean-scented, Pollyanna of a memory. I mean, Shaitan is shackled this month, right? So that Muslims all over can focus on their ibadaat (worship) and be released from temptations?The devil may be shackled from personally tempting us, … [Read more...]

Autism Doesn’t End Like That

A rare moment of holding hands as we leave his school.

So much -- and so little -- can happen in 30 days.The woods that spread out from our house are coming to life, with branches going from winter-bare to being covered in lush green. Spring is finally ushering its way in. I sat on our deck on April 2 – World Autism Day – devastated after a heartbreaking day of shocking news about you, and I watched you play. You swung back and forth on the hammock and jumped with abandon on our trampoline. The silence of our neighborhood was punctured by the hap … [Read more...]

Life Goes On

life-goes-on

They prayed for my son at Friday prayers last week.Another milestone I never imagined would’ve happened as part of our parent-child journey. But life goes on.It seems altogether wrong and disloyal and nonsensical that life should be going on. We sat in the waiting room of the doctor’s office last week, making nervous small talk with my parents while we waited for the doctor to come out and give us Lil D’s test results. Husband and I had run through the scenarios in our head, from best cas … [Read more...]

Send Thanks

Lil D making an "acorn" for Thanksgiving with his therapist.

Shukar bhejo, which literally means to “send thanks,” or less literally, send thanks to God – is an Urdu phrase that has been uttered to me by my parents and in-laws and by me to myself, my husband and kids – for as long as I can remember.So this idea of giving thanks has never been harnessed to a single month or a day for me, which goes the same for so many around the world. Still, the Thanksgiving holiday is one I especially love, because although giving thanks is something I hope we can do … [Read more...]

9/11 – How Do We Keep Praying When it Often Feels Like too Much?

Candle in the dark

A dear friend posted the question on social media last night – What is your 9/11 memory? The responses came flooding in, and as things are wont to happen in this day and age, my husband and I, sitting on opposite ends of the couch, both responded on our phones – our answers posting within seconds of each other.He at the hospital, the last year of residency in midtown Manhattan, in a patient’s room when they both turned to the television to witness the horrors occurring mere miles away. He and … [Read more...]


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