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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book Author Umm Juwayriyah for Read Alouds






Hey everyone! As salamu alykum! I am now booking dates for 2017, enshallah! If you would like for  me to come to your Muslim school, daycare center, MSA banquet, Masjid fundraiser, sisters' event, youth retreat/program, -etc, shoot me an email for details.  

Read Alouds are just the beginning. I also offer an assortment of workshops, presentations, professional development trainings for educators onsite and online for you to choose from - or we can work together to develop something unique for your audience. 

Enshallah, I hope to see you all soon!






Saturday, December 24, 2016

The BIG End of the Year Book List: Islamic Fiction Edition




Here we are with just a couple of days left in 2016 and it's certainly a time for reflection. New lives were birthed, many lives sadly were also lost and returned back to their Creator. Through it all we prayed, fought through fear, created new loves, was inspired by people, travels, and good stories. I know I was! This was a dope year for Muslim authors and Islamic fiction, y'all. There were so many good books released - I'm talking instant classics! And there were lots of brand spanking new authors that  jumped into the canon to claim their right to share their stories. My Kindle is still stuffed because I bought more books than I could read. Now, I know that probably sounds bad, but I assure you,  I was working on my own writing. 2016 was very productive for me as well. Alhamduleelah, I finished writing three books and put a serious dent into a fourth book during NaNoWriMo. But we'll talk about alladat, enshallah, in 2017.

Back to these Islamic Fiction books by our fab Muslim Authors. Too often Muslims and non-Muslims alike can't find our literature and prose. We talked about this last year and unfortunately, it hasn't really changed this year. So these lists are really important not only for readers, but also for schools, colleges, and media to see the representation of Muslims in the arts. That said, it's really important that if you read this blog, hit the share button and send it to everybody. It's about sadaqah (charity), it's about representation, it's about liberation and it's bigger than all of us. 

Without further ado, it's The BIG End of the Year Book List: Islamic Fiction 2016 Edition + a few extra goodies. 

1. The White Elephant by Aishah Adams - New author, Aishah Adams, serves up a great story. In an age where divorce is rife and couples are frustrated and miserable, marital issues can no longer be swept aside. Just as an elephant in a room signifies an obvious problem that isn’t being addressed, Aishah Adams sheds light on marital matters which communities across the world would rather not talk about. 


2. Behind Picket Fences by Hend Hegazi. My home state sister does it again. I know it's that Massachusetts air, but truly sis. Hend can tell a story! This is one of those instant classics and enough feel good twists and turns to keep you turning the pages hoping for the best outcome. I would love to write the screenplay for this one, enshallah. Grab this book for a vacay read. "Behind Picket Fences is a fast moving, intricately weaved, and timely story about every day people navigating the realities of life. Author Hend Hegazi has crafted a story that is sure to entertain and make her readers reflect as well." - Umm Juwayriyah, author
   
3.It's Ramadan, Curious George by Hena Khan and H.A.Rey It's Curious George, so you couldn't go wrong here! We all grew up reading about the curious, sweet monkey get in and out of trouble! Throw Ramadan in the mix and his Muslim friend Kareem and you've got a winner.











4. Owl & Cat Ramadan Is...by Emma Apple. Speaking of winners, everything my sister paints, draws, and writes sings victory (mashallah)! This sweet story follows Owl & Cat, and "their family and friends as they celebrate the 30 days of the Islamic month of fasting. They learn that Ramadan is about patience, prayer, kindness and many wonderful traditions!"









5. Cinderella: An Islamic Tale by Fawzia Gilani Sis. Fawzia is a prolific children's writer. Even though she grinds hard, don't think for a second these new fairy tale books don't make the cut. "In this version we follow the trials and tribulations of the sweet, gentle, and pious Zahra when her parents die and she is left at the mercy of an uncaring stepmother and stepsisters. This is a well-crafted Islamic version of the classic tale in which faith, goodness, and prayer are rewarded in the end. The charming, richly detailed illustrations of Shireen Adams, set in medieval Andalusia, help bring the text to life."


6. His Other Wife by Umm Zakiyyah. She needs no introduction as she is prolific novelist and her stories are well loved,  alhamduleelah! You may have started reading this new 2016 book in her online group, but if you haven't read it in it's entirety yet - what  are you waiting for? Sisters, brothers, marriage guardians, and Imams talk about this ting in Islam called polygyny much, but how does it actually go down in the West? "Jacob and Deanna are a power couple. Aliyah is Deanna's best friend...whom Jacob wants to marry." Find out!







7. Nothing But Love: Is This Love Worth Fighting For? By Zaneefa Zaneer.  Sis. Zaneefa is another *new author* and her fave genre is romance! So decided to flip the script and spice up Islamic Fiction with a little love - halal style. If you haven't read any Islamic romance novels yet, Nothing But Love is good starting place. "Barakah has survived the unthinkable, but unresolved feelings of hurt and anger still plague her. And her trouble is far from finished when her friend's last will threatens to complicate her destiny further."





8.Destiny by Amina N.  Georgia, Stand up! Senegal, stand on up! Sister Amina is here for you and is a new author after my own heart! Destiny easily fits in the Islamic fiction category while still owning a strong narrative. This is a quick read and would be great for book clubs. And shout out to sis. Hend Hegazi for the editing.










9. The Broken Half by Sahar Abdulaziz This sister can write both children's books and deep, dark novels. If you are looking for contemporary women fiction with a slice of Muslim voices throw into the mix, The Broken Half will not disappoint you! " The Broken Half, is the harrowing story of a young American Muslim woman, Zahra, whose marriage has been anything but peaceful. Faced with the difficult and dangerous choice to either stay in her abusive marriage or leave, Zahra soon realizes each step she takes towards freedom is riddled with risky and uncertain repercussions."






10. Bismillah Soup by Asmaa Hussein. My kids love this book. I love this book. The story, the illustrations -- the story! I am so proud of Asmaa for this book. I am happy that my son loves to read it over and over again, each and every single night because he sees himself in the characters.  This is the caliber of story-telling that Muslim children deserve! Buy it for your kids or buy for yourself. Either way, you'll be happy you did. "A spinoff of the classic Stone Soup folktale, Bismillah Soup is a story about Hasan, a young Somali boy who ventures out to prepare a delicious feast for his mother. With a little bit of elbow grease, a lot of trust in God and the help of his friends and neighbours, Hasan quickly turns his idea into a magnificent plan and gathers the entire community together for a spectacular feast at the local mosque. Hasan's journey is full of unexpected twists and turns that lead him down a path of discovering what community, generosity and reliance on God truly mean."

11. Princess Diversity and the Golden Rule by Gulmakai Saleh. Sis. Gulmakai takes a spin on the golden rule and weaves a story that addresses bullying and diversity for a home run! Shout out to the talented Ms. Kat Phillips for the beautiful illustrations. Princess Diversity is great read-aloud book and  should be in every library and public and private school. Recommend you local libraries carry it or donate it to your favorite library or school today. 







12. Jannah Jewels Book 9: Surprise in Syria by Tayyeba Syed and Umm Nura. JJ is the chapter book series for bright, curious, fun, and adventurous Muslim girls! In book 9 the authors bring us to our beloved Syria in the Aleppo before the war. Readers get to read about what the city was like before the bombs when light, knowledge, kindness, and faith still reigned all while helping to solve a mystery. JJ is good reading and sets the bar high for tween Islamic fiction. 



13. Ayesha Dean - The Istanbul Intrigue by Melati Lum. We see you, Australia! Come on through and welcome your sis. Melati and her new tween fiction series. A criminal lawyer and mother, Melati's attention to detail and strong characterizations  will have fun with Ayesha Dean! "  Ayesha and her friends Sara and Jess jump at the chance of accompanying Ayesha's uncle on a trip from Australia to Istanbul. But when Ayesha discovers a mysterious note as a result of visiting an old bookshop, their relaxing holiday starts to get a whole lot more complicated!"






14. Spin - Off Cite: A Collection of Flash Fiction by Papatia Feauxzar Papatia is a hard working sister determined to hem the game up! From Islamic romance stories to tween fiction, she has a story to grab you in. So it is fantastic and super cool for her to put out Spin - Off Cite for her readers to taste a little bit of each one of her stories and spices. 









15. Hector Hectricity and the Missing Socks by Elizabeth Lymer.  If your kids love fun, silly, adventurous stories, this is book is a must have! Sis. Elizabeth is multi-talented. She writes poetry, rhymes, songs, and storybooks that all inclusive and yet still diverse, and that breaks down Islam for our children. Hector Hectricity and the Missing Socks, " A fun story for young children that shows how praying to Allah SWT, asking for help from others, and taking a good walk outdoors can help to overcome a sock monster." Make sure you request it at your local libraries and your favorite brick and mortar book store.




16. Mia Power: Helping The Soup Kitchen by Tauheedah Stephens.  I was in a writer's group with Tauheedah Stephens and didn't even know it. I stumbled upon some older books of hers and rushed to purchase them. A quick search for information on her brought me right back to my writer's group. Stehphens is carving out a really nice path for herself. Her style of writing is really fun. It's very reminiscence of Herman Parish and Lynne Avril's Amelia Bedelia series. The Mia crew will have your children giggling and learn a valuable lesson as well. Enshallah, we will get an interview with sis. Tauheedah in 2017.






17. Drummer Girl by Hiba Masood. One of the first children's books by Day Break Press and  the first release from sis. Hina Masood. Drummer Girl is "[t]he tale of a unique dream and the family that helped make it come true." Hina has crafted a beautifully simple bedtime story! Right now this book is only available from Day Break Press, but I am told that enshallah, it will be available on Amazon.com in 2017.




18. I'm So Angry by Sarah Javed. Another first time author author, Sister Sarah has been homeschooling blogger for some time. I'm So Angry addresses a common  issues that all parents deal: temper tantrums in our our little ones. Sis. Sarah has crafted a sweet story from an Islamic perspective and it would be a great resource in Muslim daycare centers, homeschooling families, and for read-alouds. 





19. Adam to Zamzam by Kareemah Alhark and Jamilah Alqarnain. This is another one of my son's favorite books to look through on his own before he drifts to sleep. It's bright and has lots of familiar word that helps Muslims preschoolers on the their way to reading. If you have preschoolers or work in a daycare center with Muslim children, Adam to Zamzam is a must have. 








20. The Shoulders On Which I Stand by Karimah Grayson. This is Muslim/Islamic Fiction and sis. Karimah does it well. Grayson tackles the education system, marital issues, and discrimination in this fast past novel. For avid reader looking for fast paced, engaging stories for vacation, this is one to have.  



21. No God But God: From the Streets to Salah by Jihada. Another new Muslimah author reppin' Philadelphia proudly with some urban Muslim/Islamic fiction. No God But God take you on an engaging ride as one women with many demons transforms her life from the high life of the streets to a more steady life in the masjid. This book definitely was reminiscent of Omar Tyree's Flyy Girl and Sista Souljah's Coldest Winter Ever. So if you love those classic Urban Fiction novels, Jihada is your author to watch. 








22. Ilyas and Duck in A Zakat Tale by Omer S. Khawaja. Loveable Ilyas and Duck are just a great series. Omer has done a great job creating characters that are relatable, cool, funny and able to teach morals to Muslim kids. All of the books are great for Muslim schools, Islamic Sunday schools programs, read-a-louds, and daycare centers. Enshallah, I hope to get an interview up on the blog with brother Omer in 2017- so watch out for that! 






Wait! Hold -up! I am not done yet! Extra! Extra! Read all about it!  I have a few non fiction books that I had to share on this list as well. I know everyone is not into fiction, so I hope these books hit the spot for you.

NON FICTION BOOKS


23. Muslim Cool by Su'ad Abdul Khabeer.  Dr. Su'ad's seminal work on race, faith, and Hip-Hop is an instant classic. Her ethnographic research from the lens of indigenous American Muslimah is ground breaking and is a critical need in academia. Enshallah, her work will open many doors for other indigenous American Muslims to follow.









24. Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World by Shelina Janmohammed. Sis. Shelina dives into analyzing the new generation of young Muslims, the talents, the struggles, and their growing faith in a world that is plagued with many challenges directly facing them. Generation M comes after her success first book, Love in a Headscrarf. 







25. Bismillah and Bean Pies: How Black American Crafted An Islamic Expression  Through Nationalism  by Asad El Malik. "Although its genesis is in the Nation of Islam, the bean pie has grown to be a part of every African American Islamic expression. It, more than any other item, symbolizes the unique Muslim culture developed by blacks in America. The bean pie in many ways mirrors Islam in black America. Both find their roots in black nationalism and are a deviation from the overarching black culture in the United States."


26. Random Lamentations, Protest Chants, and Affirmations: Selected Works from a Blackfemale/Muslim female. I grew up listening to lectures by this cherished elder sister. Sis. Islaah is an educator, a community organizer, a leader, a historian, and a poet who was gifted with the ability to draw you in. This book was a long time in the making. 40 years in the making actually and digs deep into the intricacies and nuances that the urban Muslim woman, specifically, the Black Muslim woman has had to learn live with, carry, and build on to resist and persist in faith. This is an instant classic and is an excellent resource for colleges, universities and those in academia interested in studying the history of the lives of Muslim women in America. 



27. Beneficial Herbs for Believing Women by Ameera Rahim and Ameer Rahim

 A new release from the dynamic duo that includes Tradional Homemaker,  master herbalist, and Habeebee Homeschooling advocates Ameera and Ameer Rahim. It is such an honor to add this book by these two, but unfortunately it is posthumous award for our dear brother Ameer Rahim, who passed away last week. We ask that the Most Merciful rewards him for his good and accepts him into paradise without reckoning. Beneficial Herbs for Believing Women is a resourceful book that every home should have on their bookshelves. 
If you would like to support Ameera, a mother of seven, in her recovery from her husband's death, please use the family's Go Fund Me page.



All right! That's it folks. Alhamduleelah, I am proud of every author on this list. As I stated before, 2016 was a dope year for Muslim authors. Enshallah, 2017 will be even better. If you're a Muslim author planning on releasing new material in 2017 and would like to be interviewed for the blog or have your Islamic fiction or non fiction book reviewed, please email me: ummjuwayriyah@gmail.com










Saturday, November 12, 2016

After Difficulty





It happened. You watched it on the television with your family or you followed it on the internet through your smartphone while you worked over-time. Maybe you didn't watch it at all. Maybe you went to bed exhausted from running errands, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of  everyone but yourself. Hours later the adhan on your clock/phone/desktop computer  flowed into your heart and ears and beckoned you out of your lush and warm bed. Like any early morning prayer soldier you made ablution, you prayed, and then the news hit you...


Trump had been elected the 45th president of the United States and you - YOU, American Muslim women and girls and babies....be afraid! Fear Trump! Cry! Check your surroundings! Fear! Don't go out alone! Fear! Your co-workers are mean muggin' again? They're plotting against you! Fear! Trump's supporters will get your babies at school! Fear! Take off your hijab! Fear! Make your daughters' take off their hijabs! Fear! Trump is coming! Fear! Don't pray in public! Fear! Don't pray at all! Fear! Fear Trump - wait?! What?

Hold up!

If you didn't know, please non-Muslim media - write this down: There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad ibn Abdullah, is His Slave and Messenger! Muslim women fear none but Allah!

But now, these people who are writing these articles, tips, reporting the news with these flat narratives about American Muslim women - who are they? Where did they come from? Are they even Muslim? Did they call for a American Muslim women get together on SKYPE or WhatsApp, in the basement of the masjid (#sideeye) or during someone's nikkah and decided it was okay to define us as so fragile? To shame us? To steal our voices? To scare us? Or is this really just a ploy to cancel all of the fall and winter hijab fashion shows with their rhetoric?!

What I know after being born, raised, and living as a Muslim for over 30 plus years is that American Muslim women are some of the strongest, faithful, giving, creative,  proud, resolute, "making things happen" and trendsetting women in the entire world. Our names, our clothing, our style, our vocabulary/slang has permeated all of America's cultural fabric! None of that happened by chance. Of course we believe our Creator, Allah, willed it, but we also know that generations and generations of American Muslims, men and women, struggled for it as it well!

Too often America - non Muslim Black Americans especially - and the world at large generally, forget or are just plan ignorant of the enslavement, the battles, the hiding, and even the escape of American Muslims and the powerful roles American Muslim women played and have maintained in our communities. They claim not to know the names of any important American Muslim women - except for recent immigrant Americans, yet are so quick to throw on a shirt emblazoned with Al Hajj Malik or Muhammad Ali's faces across them as if these dynamic American Muslim men became who they were without the influence of American Muslim women! Really?

When those first boats of slaves landed in Jamestown, Virginia in the early 1600's, Muslim women were aboard! They worked, they slaved, they endured, and they fought when and how they could  to maintain their faith so that many who have chosen not to continue to carry their faith today, can vote and live how they want. How quickly we forget that many American Muslim women suckled and cared for their masters' children just like Christian women did. How shameful that we don't recognize the accomplishments of American Muslim women from various ethnic backgrounds that have contributed to education, science, law, and fashion in America!

Oh, you're were too busy looking for one of those Muslim bean pies this fall? Well, what do you know, another sweet invention of American Muslims. And what's that, you don't want any pork in your collard greens so you are skipping over those "gentrified greens" Nieman Marcus is pushing and grabbing a platter made with Halal turkey ham and beef bacon from your local mosque, Karim? Thank an American Muslim woman! Looking for introductory Arabic class? Need to raise my money to pay the light bill at your local masjid or Islamic center? Someone to babysit during the weekend classes? You son is short on money needed to attend basketball camp? Your daughter is getting married and needs someone to sew her a modest and fashionable dress? Your ex-husband and his new wife is cutting up with you and they need some stern Islamic advice? Call your American Muslim mother, sister, aunty or grandmother to handle it.

See, the Muslim women that I know were not raised to hide their faith! They weren't raised to feel less than or cower in front of any men, be they kings or presidents! The American Muslim women that I know are business owners, lawyers, students, homemakers, and world travelers. They proudly take their Islam where ever they go. Any hardship they face, they plow through it with their heads held high. "Allah tests those whom He loves the most," a sister-friend just reminded as we discussed an interview for a job that she didn't get. Was it because of her hijab? Was it because she's Black-American? Was it because she took a couple of years away from working to raise her children? Was the H.R. rep an Islamophobic Trump supporter? Will she even find a job in the new Trump era?

Muslim women arrived with faith on ships as slaves to America and they were tested. My mother became a Muslim in Harlem, NY during Nixon's era and she was tested. I was born Muslim in the 80's during Reagan's presidency and I have weathered through many tests and I know many more are waiting. My oldest child was born in 2001 two months before 9/11. As an Afro-Arab Muslim American, she has lived through two  presidents, Bush, Jr. and Obama. Now Trump is coming. I know she will face some hardships in this world for sure. But I don't tell her to be afraid. I don't let her surround herself with those who question her ability to thrive and overcome challenges. I don't let others write her narrative! No! Not when she has two grandmothers on two sides of the world who have fought, loved, and prayer through everything for Allah. Not when she can see and learn from the resolve of American Muslim women  walking proudly throughout this earth and battling every single day for none, but Allah.

I whisper into my daughter's ears every night words of armor that American Muslim women from the days of old have passed down to us in Arabic and English:

"Verily, with every difficulty comes relief" (Qur'an 94:5)


American Muslim are not your sob story! We are prepared. We have faith. We have each other. We are resolute.

Sisters, don't try to dodge the difficulty because "they" want you to be afraid. Know that this life was created to be a test for the believers. Know that you are not ever alone! Know that a great line of American Muslim women have been tested before you. Stand tall and never doubt your gift of Eman. Trust in His Sovereignty and know that truly, there is but one Almighty King of all Kings and He is your greatest protector and friend. He only needs to say "Be" and  it is ---- ease and relief. Trust that it will reach us again!









Sunday, September 25, 2016

Nour Tagouri and The Sell-Out Culture Within Some Immigrant Muslim Communities.






Nour Tagouri is a young Libyan-American Muslimah Journalist and she is all the talk today. I actually heard about Ms. Tagouri a couple of years back around 2012. She made headlines after posting a picture of herself covered in hijab sitting at the anchor desk at a news station. She labeled her picture with "my dream". Muslims and non-Muslims alike shared the picture thousands of times and helped her picture go viral. 

I remember thinking how great it was to see a young Muslimah from an immigrant American community with goals that were non-typical of her culture. Many African and Middle Eastern families heavily guide their youth towards STEM subjects. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and even neighbors take great pride in boasting about their family and friends who go off to America, England, and other Western countries to become a doctor or engineer and lawyers, too. It is almost as if other professions don't exist. For many African and Middle Eastern families, other professions outside of the STEM field are not valued.

So again, it was really refreshing to see a young Muslimah from an immigrant background with a unique dream (to her community) and her chasing after it. Since 2012, Nour has made her run around Muslim American organizations, started writing for Huffington Post, spoke at TED, and the list of amazing "kick down the door and let me in" accomplishments go on and on.

As a born Muslim Black American writer, I have watched her rise and felt pride. Nour Tagouri is the next generation representing Muslimat everywhere in an industry that is super hard to crack into for women period. Being a hijab wearing Muslim woman just triples all of the obstacles. So yes, I watch her, I smile and I continue to pray for her success. 

But there is a down side of success. The higher you go, the more out there you get, the more temptation, culture vultures, "frenemies" and struggles you encounter. We, American Muslims, have sat back and watched Muslims in high places, too often from the first and second immigrant Muslim communities, endorse George W. Bush, appropriate narratives of American Muslims, exclude and or refuse to address the needs of indigenous Black, Latino, and White Muslims, create prayer spaces with collective Muslim money that ends up resembling country clubs for specific ethnicities, buying and operating liquor stores in minority communities, using Jumu'ah (Friday) sermons to pander to local law enforcement and politicians and the list of cringes goes on. 

Some times I can find excuses for the aforementioned behaviors. Then there are times when you see an immigrant Muslim make it really high some where - like become a politician or a writer or an actress or they come into some money and the spotlight is draped all over them. Then they say or do something that is so far to the left, weird, or just crazy careless to the plight of Muslims. Your heart sinks, your eyes roll, you suck your teeth and you turn off all social media and you exhale. Disappointment happens. It always happens. And yes, it hurts a little. But, we're humans and so are they. At the end of the day, we are a community, so we deal with the hurt as best as we can.

Nour Tagouri has had her moment. She climbed the mountain, she swung up to the top, she grabbed the spotlight and then -bam- she gave an interview (fully covered) to Playboy Magazine?!? Now, now, Muslims! Hang-on, you say! Playboy is a highly read magazine and it will of course give Miss Tagouri a ridiculous amount of exposure, and it will garner more awesome opportunities, enshallah. Focus, Muslims. It's JUST a magazine.

I gotta keep it 100.  I gotta call it like I see it. It's a sell-out!   It's her saying, "by any means necessary for my career!" It's that liquor store owned by immigrant Muslims on that avenue in the hood where drunks hang out and get stuff on credit because the immigrant Muslims are just striving to pull themselves up by their boot straps and claim their American dream. It's saying to heck with what Playboy represents or how they have historically objectified and victimized women. It's saying I am a Muslim woman, but I am really just like you (Playboy readers). I want to be like you even though everything this magazine represents is against my way of life. It's saying I value my fame, more than I value those little Muslim girls and boys in America and around the world looking up to me. It says don't worry about my standards, I can do this and win my own way. It's a sell-out.

Maybe I am overthinking this. I don't think I am though. I grew up in a predominately immigrant Muslim community in Western Massachusetts where indigenous Black, White, and Latino Americans are the minority. It is a city where the majority of Muslims first language isn't English. Where the board members were doctors and ....more doctors. Biryani, kunafa, and baklava were sold after Friday prayers, and undercover police officers and the mayor often stopped by to "answer community members concerns" and look for informants

 I am very certain that there is a sell-out culture within some immigrant Muslim communities. Miss Tagouri will be covered and supported by this community and many other Muslims who deem selling out acceptable because she has the spotlight. She is carving her own way they will say. She isn't a doctor or a lawyer. She is a journalist with the world's eyes in her hands. That's kinda like a doctor, right?

Hear me when I say this: I am not angry or calling for Miss Tagouri's hijabi card to be pulled. I still love her passion. I am still going to support her. But as a writer and storyteller, I know it is my job to address issues, inconsistencies, drama and write what I see so that our community can think about and discuss them. A Muslimah writer needs standards, I believe. I also believe as a Muslim, how you win is just as important as the win itself. I want Nour Tagouri to win and inshallah she will. Hopefully, in the future she will think more carefully about who she works with and the impact it has on the Muslim community. We need Muslim women leaders, not just leading Muslim women in our community.

Come correct, sis or one of your sisters with pens will call you on it! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Public School & Muslim Parenting: Advocate for Your Children Webinar

As salamu alykum!

I hope you all are enjoying the last days of summer vacation or if your summer vacation has ended that you have gone back into school, work, and your life refreshed, grateful, and ready to take on what Allah has waiting on you this upcoming fall and winter.

Now, back during Ramadham I promised more webinars and I aim to deliver. On August 12th at 6 pm EST I delivered The Public School & Muslim Parenting Series. Part 1. It was good talk about how to effectively advocate for your Muslim children! This is a really important subject and as an educator who has worked in public schools and private schools for the last decade, I chose the topic because I wanted to share with you some tips to get parents started on the right foot this school year. Furthermore, within this current Islamophobia storm in America, it's crucial that we make sure our children are safe not only from their peers, but from the adults working inside of the school system as well. 

The good news is that the webinar is now up LIVE on Youtube, so if you missed it, you didn't miss it! Pour some tea, grab a notebook and whenever you have a chance, take a listen. You don't even have to listen to it straight through. Chunk it up and make a weekend out of it. Additionally, I am working  now on collecting the information and formatting it into a FREE email book for everyone to download right from this blog! So make sure you sign up on the blog and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram. I love questions and feedback - so hit me up!

Finally, don't forget to sign up for my next webinar: Muslim Girls' Issues! I'd had to push the date back just a tad because I will be traveling at that time, enshallah! So you still have time to sign up for the LIVE and FREE webinar. 




Friday, July 8, 2016

Deep Waters: Umm Juwayriyah On The Murders of Black American Men by Police



In the name of the Most High


This is the weekend right after Eidul Fitr, the celebration after the completion of Ramadhan. I am in America vacationing with my family. It should be a celebratory time. It is not. The lost of life, innocent lives of Black men, once -- again  --- always stops me in my tracks. The trauma of knowing and now seeing live feeds of Black Americans killed/murdered/executed for existing by has forever scarred my core, colored my vision, and agitated my breathing. The tears of our mothers have poured for over 400 years, the waters are so deep and the pain is unbearable...


When The Most High instructed the mother of Mousa (Moses) to cast her baby into the river to safegaurd his life..
When the natives ran deep into the forrest and left their baby boys to hide them from the colonists...
When the chained slaves on boats dropped their babies and kids into the ocean....
That was protection. That was sacrifice. That was freedom. That was a teaching. That was trusting and believing that the suns are better off with the One who created their light than to be subjugated, hated, villified, bastardized and murdered in broad daylight.

They will not stop. They will not change. They will not leave yours free and mines dead. Run! Run! Look to the sky. Read the smoke signals filled with the fresh scent of death. Hide your suns, prepare your moons.

Monday, June 20, 2016

He Loves Me: A Ramadhan Journaling Entry




As salamu alykum! Ramadhan Mubarak! Alhamduleelah, today is the 15th day of fasting. We are at the half way mark. I always feel like it just zooms by. By now many of us who doubted ourselves because of the heat, work schedules, money issues, or children-husbands-wives-family issues have found that truly Allah is not only our Helper but that He also provides whatever we need. We can make it! We are knocking these days out, but more importantly we are fully submerged in that Ramadhan groove - soaring (enshallah).  This is the part of Ramadhan that I love the most. Allah reveals your weaknesses, your uglies, your beauty and your strengths and it just makes you want to bow down even more. Muslims we are a praying people, but there is no praying like that middle of night standing during Ramadhan prayer.  Even if you haven't prayed regularly during the year or haven't been to the masjid in years, have been engaged in things that you shouldn't have (we all do) --- this is OUR time to come back and seek Allah's forgiveness! He is waiting in these blessed days and nights to accept your prayers, repentance, your frustration, and disappointments because He Loves Me and You! Know that!

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah the Most High said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’”
[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

That beautiful and power hadeeth qudsi put me in the mood of writing some poetry in my journal the other night. Let me know what you think and if you feel like sharing one of your entries, I'd love to read it. 15 days to go! Keep writing, beloveds.



He loves me
This
 I know
Every struggle, every fight, every tear to fall throughout this life
He’s been there
The Most High
His Grace is so ripe
Even when I fall, get lost, turned the other way
 It’s never been in vain
He always softens the pain
He
 loves me
This I know
They’ve called me horrible names
Picked on my faults and thrown flames
Hoping to dim my faith
Break my resolve
Scare my soul
His Mercy
 Is always prevailing
His rope
 Is always extending
His Love
 Is true and
So fulfilling
And I
I can’t even bow my head low enough for His praise
I can’t do anything
perfectly
Weak and sinful
Prone to error yet 
He
Chose me
To believe
 to pray
to fast
to give
His names
 Inspires and strengthens me
Closer than the jugular vein
Where would I be
Without His guidance in my life
It’s not a thought
 It’s a Nightmare on Elm Street fear
Wudu – that’s purification for the sincere
Seeking it five times a day because
It nourishes
It humbles
It shields me
 He hears and loves when I call on Him
And No one gives to me like Him
No one listens to me like Him
No one has ever befriended me like Him
No one Loves me 
like Him
The Most High
He Loves Me
This I know 
Alhamduleelah.