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 Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 23 Jumada al-Thani 1435
I tear up as I lie in bed nursing my almost-2-year-old little girl. Her warm hands stroking my tummy while my arms blanket her as she drifts off to sleep. I knew that weaning her would be difficult for me, and now, I find myself turning to Allah, asking Him for the strength to get us both through this weaning process. I imagine that many mothers feel this way about weaning. Many of them have told me that when the time comes, they just knew that it was time. That they got to a point when they felt that it was enough. I haven’t reached that point.

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When I was growing up, my Iraqi-born mother responded to my requests to travel alone, consider schools out-of-state, or stay out late with friends with the same answer, “When you get married.” Once I got married, I’d be somebody else’s problem. Then, it wouldn’t be her place to tell me no. Then, it would be my husband’s job to worry about me.Marriage, in my adolescent mind, was the only way to an independent adulthood. Western culture may have referred to marriage as settling down, but I associated it with freedom ()

  Safe Spaces:  
Since 2012, I have dedicated my passion and time to a grassroots organization in Calgary, Alberta called the New Muslim Circle which provides support and a sense of community to new Muslims and seekers. Recently, a dear friend joined our weekly gatherings; my happiness to see her interest in our group was blunted by confusion when she approached me one day, worried that her choice of clothing wouldn’t be "appropriate" for a “Muslim” gathering and that she would be judged for her personal style choices. ()

Giving birth is, in so many ways, an act of faith. It involves a kind of radical trust in our bodies that I equate with tawakkul, trust in Allah, the One who made our bodies. For me, being a doula is also an act of faith. A doula is someone who supports and comforts a mother in childbirth, building a relationship with her over the weeks leading up to the delivery and sometimes continuing to support a new mother in the weeks that follow. ()

  Ask Salma  
Today Salma responds to a worried wife and a misunderstood child.


“Do you have any children?” a nice woman making small talk asks me. I reply pleasantly, “No, I don’t,” but my inner monologue is racing. “Children? I don’t have children because I don’t have a husband. I don’t have a husband because I never had a romantic relationship with a guy. I never had a boyfriend, I’ve never even been kissed and I’m way older than Drew Barrymore was when she was in that movie with Michael Vartan! I’m older than Jesus ( AS) when he was on this earth! Oh God, what if it’s too late for me to have children?“


  Modest Fashion   
The MODSHOP (http://www.modshop.us/) is an endeavor to provide modest, Fair Labor friendly fashion for the modern woman. The MODSHOP works with a variety of designers to provide anything from hijabs to bridal outfits to the woman seeking an answer to her modest fashion needs. Altmuslimah sat down with Sadeel Allam, the founder of the MODSHOP, to learn more about this niche business.


AltMuslimah's Shazia K. Farook spoke to Magari Hill of the Muslim Anti-Racism collaborative, an organization dedicated to strengthening dialogue between people of different backgrounds, and ways to eradicate racism from within the community.


In today's AskM column, M responds to two women dealing with confusion and ambiguity about the men in their lives.


I am alone.
Surrounded by friends and a community that should understand me
They know me as popular, confident, and happy – supposedly.
My sisters dress the same, look the same, and crack the same jokes as me.
Yet when I look their way, my reflection does not stare back at me. ()

<< From the Altmuslimah archives >> “Mommy, why are the women in the back?” my daughter asked me when she was just three years old. I wasn’t prepared for this. The truth is I had been hoping that she wouldn’t ask me because I wasn’t convinced that the women should be behind the men during prayer. I also knew that it wasn’t a requirement for congregational prayer. I felt conflicted because I wanted my beautiful, brilliant little girl to come to love prayer and praying in congregation. ()

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