God tests us in a myriad of ways, and one of his biggest tests is parenthood. Children are inherently innocent, and their minds are sponges, absorbing everything around them. As they grow and develop, they become what we model. It amazes me sometimes — no, all of the time —…Read More
I recently met author Sam’n Iqbal and artist Uzma Sabir to discuss the newest children’s book on the block, “Allah to Z: Activity Book.” Meeting at Sam’n’s home, I instantly picked up on the inspiration behind this book: a vibrant home dotted with artwork produced by her three adorable children. Uzma and Sam’n, themselves an energetic pair, sat down to discuss their book.Read More
Two years ago I pulled into the parking lot of a strip mall, parked my car close to one of several unmarked doors, and tried to brace myself for what would inevitably be the beginning of a daily separation with my children. The twins were just shy of turning four, and with an infant at home, I had my hands full. The time had come. They needed to start school… right?Read More
Some time ago, I complained to a friend that there were few good children’s books on Muslims or Islamic themes. I’m an American-born Muslim woman, and I was looking for books to share with my older daughter Maryam, then three. I wanted lively, upbeat bedtime books that would introduce her to our faith and identity while emphasizing universal values.
My friend, a thoughtful educator at a local Islamic school invited me to visit the school’s library. Unfortunately, that visit largely confirmed my dismal view.
Hena Khan is the author of Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns and Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story, two children’s books geared toward American Muslim children. Altmuslimah’s Asma Uddin speaks with Khan about Khan’s books, writing, parenthood, and growing up Muslim in America. Tell us your story –…Read More
I put Lil D on the bus this morning, like I do most school-day mornings. We walk out to the bus, often in semi-darkness before the day has broken, and I escort him to the steps of the bus. The bus matron takes over from there, guiding him to his seat and attaching his harness to the seat. Sometimes he is agitated, upset and crying. Other times he is calm and eager to go. As I silently pray Aytul Kursi (a verse from the Qur’an), I wave goodbye, tell him I love him, and wish him a good day at school. He jerkily waves back. And then he’s gone.Read More
Today is Mother’s Day and I have given serious thought to what I want as a present. I have pointed out things that I need and things that I don’t, but want anyway, to my progeny and their father. And I have a gorgeous white lace dress and a beautiful pair of five inch platform pumps hidden away in my laundry room – my Mother’s Day gift to myself.Read More
Men. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. Children. You can’t live with them and you can’t sell them on eBay. And sometimes, sometimes you really want to write that ad. But since that transaction would be illegal, I like to take a deep yoga breath and focus on turning the little people in my home into humans I would actually want to spend time with.Read More
Part of becoming a parent is that your life ends up delving into areas that you didn’t even realize existed when you were living unencumbered just a few years previously. One example of this is the personal hell I go through several times a day when attempting to change my two-year-old’s pull-up diapers (one that’s above-and-beyond the hell of, y’know, having to change diapers).Read More
Even small acts of mistreatment register in children’s impressionable, still-developing brains. While psychologists reassure us that children are adaptable and that parenting need only be “good-enough,” a pattern of mistreatment of a child can lead to an adult who believes it is acceptable to harm children “for their own good.” It can also lead to an adult who uses the Qur’an to justify abusing a spouse, or accepting abuse.Read More