mother

Raising My Son

Ever since November 7th, I have been struggling with sleepless nights. I toss and turn, thinking of my three-year-old son, worrying what this country has in store for him as an American Muslim. How can I help him navigate the bigotry and sheer ignorance he will surely encounter? How do I prepare…

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Choosing a childfree present

This piece is a follow up to the essay, “Accidentally Childfree”.
“Do you want to be in your marriage?” She asked me, matter-of-factly.
For months I wrestled with this question, always too afraid to broach it during daylight hours. But here we were, in her bright little office, and her words flooded the room.
On that day, I did not have an answer for her.

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The Week After Mother’s Day

Some days, like rain on the doorstep She’ll cover me With grace in all she offers On this past Sunday, Mother’s Day, social media was covered with sweet dedications, remembrances, and gorgeous photos of lovely women with their children. It was markedly joyful to see so many celebrate the women…

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Mothering in the Shadows

It’s late at night, or maybe the wee hours of the morning before dawn. It’s quiet, the kind of quiet where you can hear the breathing patterns of everyone in the house and the creaks in walls and ceilings like invisible footsteps. Soft, yellow light glows like a halo around…

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The Hajj of Betty Shabazz 50 Years Later

Betty, you’ll have to speak for yourself. — Juanita Poitier Betty churned with rage, grief, and despair in her early widowhood. The beasts had slunk from their pit and robbed her of her hero, provider, and spiritual counselor. They had robbed her children of their father, her family of its…

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Mommy, do you pray?

When Khaled and I were dating, the subject of children inevitably came up.  We discussed how many, what names we would like, and what religion we would raise them.  From the very beginning, I was set on them being raised with his religion–Islam.  Did I have a clear idea of…

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My mother’s daughter

Every relationship evolves throughout the course of its lifespan. Some grow and blossom, others die out when the time is right and some drag on when they should have ended long ago. I think most women can agree that there is however no relationship like the one you have with your own mother. As a child, she is there to nurture and care for you. Then as a teenager, the relationship takes on a layer of mistrust.

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Accidentally childfree

I never imagined that I would one day be discussing a childfree life, let alone my childfree life. I had never been taught to think of this as an option. We’re a family-centered lot, you see. So family-centered that any display of individual separateness is rarely encouraged. You belong to us and we belong to you. And in continuing this cycle of our us-ness, we must have children of our own, for our own.

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No less a child, no less a woman

Our culture is one of procreation; children are regarded as blessings from God, and we are told our progeny will spread Islam. Delaying marriage, waiting to begin a family, or experiencing infertility each amount to disregarding this sacred duty. While it is considered taboo in many cultures to remain childless- and the Muslim culture is no exception- what viable options exist for couples who are unable to conceive naturally, or choose not to adopt? What space does our culture provide for women who are either unable or unwilling to marry, choose to remain married without children or suffer from infertility?

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