Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Yusuf Islam on Jimmy Fallon (Video)

Yusuf Islam

Come on, raise your hand -- you know you've been a fan of  Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) over the years! In anticipation of his induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the popular singer/songwriter appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," performing some of his most popular hits. Take a look: And one more! Like so many, I've loved Yusuf Islam's music over the years and have appreciated his Islamic journey, from when he turned away from the music of his past, to his … [Read more...]

You are Enduring Love

Dilshad and Daanish falls shot

My darling boy, The sun is shining and the air is warm with the scents and sounds of a spring most awaited. You are swinging in the hammock in the backyard, spinning your beads on a twig with your hoodie pulled over your head and sunglasses perched on your face. God, you are handsome. It seems fitting that on today, World Autism Day 2014, we have come to a point in our autism journey where the path has played a cruel, cruel trick on us. Where there seems to be no alternate route, where the … [Read more...]

Br. Omar Suleiman Speaks About People with Special Needs and their Families

First I was tagged in the video. Then it was posted to my wall and sent to me via a private message from a friend. Then, every faith-based, especially Muslim-based special needs group I am a part of on Facebook posted this video posted to their respective walls. And though I'm not on Twitter hardly, I'm sure the link is being shared generously there. I'm talking about this video by Imam Omar Suleiman, director of the Islamic Learning Foundation and an instructor at Mishkah Univesity, Al Maghrib … [Read more...]

Do You ‘Mawlid’ One Day, One Month or All the Time?

Prophet Muhammad love

We trotted out an old classic this past weekend in our home – The Message, directed by Moustapha Akkad in 1977, and gathered mine and my sister-in-law’s children for a viewing. Being that it’s the month of Rabi’Awwal, which is considered to be the birth-month of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), my sister-in-law thought it would be a good way to reintroduce our kids to his message and his struggles in bringing Islam to the world. I remembered watching this film as a child myself, and how … [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...]

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 – Hopefully More Than Ramadan Tourism (List of Posts)

Ramadan meme_non fasters

If you scroll social media, read the plethora of Ramadan pieces out there or even spend time talking with fellow fasting Muslims, the majority of what you hear about the fasting experience is positive – yes, it’s hard, but Alhumdullilah (thanks be to God), it is going well. You’ll hear jokes for sure about the difficulties of getting up for suhoor (the pre-dawn, pre-fasting) meal or the mundane difficulties of fasting. (Ramadan breath anyone?) We Muslims also share a lot of quotes from … [Read more...]

An Autism Unbound from the Rituals of Ramadan

Autism puzzle

In no way is he part of any of our Ramadan rituals. He does not get up for suhoor, the pre-dawn, pre-fast meal, because he is not obligated to fast nor can he tolerate fasting. And, to disrupt his sleep so that he could just join us at that early part of the morning would be asking for major trouble. He does not read the Quran (But we read it to him. He is nonverbal and can’t read English, let alone Arabic, but he can repeat an approximation of the shahada). He does not stand with his … [Read more...]

A Ramadan Prayer for Special Needs Families

Ramadan advent calendar

Am I preparing for Ramadan? Yes and no. With my in-laws out of town right now (it's the first Ramadan we're spending apart in several years), I am not worrying so much about pre-cooking and freezing things for dinner and iftaar (in efforts to free up my time from the kitchen during Ramadan). My nine-year-old plans to fast more this month with me ("Mamma, you've got to let me fast more than four times like I did last year," she says to me. Ok little girl, I think. Just you wait until you try and … [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...]