September 7, 2020

Today we are fighting both in the Black Lives Matter movement and through the pandemic, over who will live and who will die. Many are sacrificing themselves to protest against horrible police brutality and the death of young black men. Many are also suffering due to the pandemic, which affects everyone equally, rich, poor, all colors, cultures, nations, and religious faith. It does not discriminate against anyone, or where you catch it. You could be out protesting, standing up for... Read more

May 23, 2020

Within the night beneath the shadows of hemlock and spruce, there were mysteries and romance within the deep woods. I looked out the window as I did when I was a child, especially during the winter months when the full moon was up, and it cast deep shadows beneath the magnificent trees. The snow was sparkling. During the summer months in Massachusetts, there would be the buzzing of insects within the verdant fields of grass. Grasshoppers would hang and eat... Read more

April 12, 2020

The other day while gardening, I dug into the earth, a mound of loam, with a net. I sifted it into a pail, pulling out stones and weeds, and put the now clean soil into another big container, filling it up. Then we made slices of tomatoes, watching on YouTube how to grow tomatoes from seed; because of social isolation, we could not go to the stores to buy the plants. I felt very proud of myself, patting the black... Read more

March 28, 2020

Written by Iljas Baker I switch off the air conditioner, roll up the blind and then open the window. It’s still dark. I listen to the birds singing and calling. It’s early yet so they are not out in the numbers they will soon reach and the sounds have more silences between them it seems. I listen for the virus but it’s silent. I pray a prayer of the Prophet (PBUH): “We take refuge in God from God.” There is... Read more

March 15, 2020

All of us at one time or another throughout our lives suffer from some sort of loss. Loss comes in many forms, such as loss of family, livelihood, friends, death, health, and divorce. The tough question is, how do we develop gratitude after suffering from a broken heart or loss? I suffered loss at a very early age. I lost my mother who could not raise us due to postpartum depression, and a father that wanted to live his life... Read more

January 1, 2020

Spirituality can be a touchy subject. Our relationship with our Creator is such a sensitive thing, with its ups and downs, not to mention its secrets. So many secrets. Each of us messes up, yet somehow, we all manage to convince ourselves that we’re the only ones to ever have screwed up so badly. It’s a perfect formula for hopelessness: to throw in the towel and think, “Why bother trying when God will never forgive me?” I’ve been there. I... Read more

December 27, 2019

I sit here, just reflecting on life during a 16-hour flight to Doha, and then to Bangladesh. There is a sense of helplessness in trusting someone else to take responsibility for your life. We put our faith in the hands of someone else and their capabilities. I heard that an airplane is safer than driving in your own car, though. There, we take the faith of others and try to have faith in others. Many times, neither take responsibility, we... Read more

October 18, 2019

Today I dug out a rose that had been terribly neglected, to transplant.  It was difficult to dig out because it had been there a long time and the roots were very deep. There were branches and a big stone that I had a hard time getting my shovel through. Once I had dug it out, I had a big pot filled with faded sunflowers that I had to dig out also, so that I could place this neglected rose... Read more

September 9, 2019

Whenever I travel by plane, I always look down and see the patches of landscape; sometimes if the plane is flying low enough, you can see the houses and cars. Wherever you go, the architecture is different. I look at all these places, the landscape, the buildings and vehicles. I wonder about all the separate souls who inhabit them. Whenever I travel to various countries—and I have traveled many places—I notice people from all over the world at the airport.... Read more

August 1, 2019

I had a conversation with my daughter in Phoenix the other day about fashion—specifically, the hijab. It was just a normal fashion conversation that could happen between any mother and daughter anywhere in the world. I hadn’t given it much thought until I hung up and started smiling to myself. Suddenly, I realized how bizarre this conversation would probably have sounded to anyone other than the two of us. It was perhaps an everyday conversation between a Muslim mom and... Read more

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