Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holding a Baby

Yesterday, I was given the extreme privledge of holding a baby.

My friend came over and when her cell rang, I got to sneak the baby out of her arms.

I had already asked Mr. Boo if that would be alright with him.

She was truly that little bundle of joy. Her downy fluff of hair soft against my check. Her baby smell. Her tiny fingers grabbing mine.

Babies stop the world.

They do.

You hold a baby and you don't remember ills, bills, hurts, worries, fears, or any headline.

At the same time, I know that I don't wish for any more children. I don't. I have searched my mind and, even if my body is able, my mind can't fathom it.

There are men who talk to me about marriage. Some of those men want to have their own children. Nice men. And as nice as they are, I like myself more. I don't want any more children. Really. And I let those nice men walk away.

At the end of my friend's phone call, I got to give the baby back. I got to hug my toddler dude. That felt very special too. He could hug me back.

He's the only dude hugging me now.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Being Muslim on Black Friday


Happy Friday!
Listening to my favorite reciter of Quran, Mohammed Jebril. You can download him here.

Is it a, "Black Friday," for you? In the U.S., this is the biggest shopping day of the year. Thanksgiving is done and the mainstreamers must look forward to Christmas IMMEDIATELY. No time for advent--just ZOOOM ahead into the next gluttony.

I am not talking about all Christians. Really. I'm not. I'm talking about Americans who love consumption. There are a growing number of Christians who work to simplify the holidays. I used to be one of them.

So, "Black Friday," has gotten the nickname for it's ability to pull the stores ledgers out of the red and back into black, or profitable. It is the consumer's worship of the almighty dollar

Muslims worship Allah on Fridays with a special sermon, or khotba. The service is called Jumuah because that's the name for Friday in Arabic. Alhumdulillah, our largest masjid now has two Jumuah services: at 12:30PM in English, with the second Jumuah at 1:30PM in Arabic.

To find the information you need for your area, go to and type in your zip code. You might be surprised how many masjids there are in your area. The Jumuah service will most likely be around the same time for your masjid, since it timings for prayer in Islam are solar and not arbitrary.

If you go, inshahallah, wash up at home before arriving. Wash your hands, rinse your mouth and nose, face, touch with water the first third of your hair, take wet fingers to your ears, wash up to your elbows, then wipe water on the top of your right foot, then bottom of foot and the other one as well. This is called, "making wudu." It has to be done with the intention to get clean before meeting Allah in prayer. There are places to wash in the bathrooms at the masjid, but I think it's easier at home.

If you are a woman, there are different rules. Why? Because DUH! Men and women are different. Remember the special talk they gave us in sixth grade?

During menstruation time, you cannot get fully clean and therefore are absolved from trying to make wudu and praying. If a man were bleeding from a cut or injury, by the way, he also would be absolved from praying until the bleeding stopped. It is a mercy, not a punishment.

When choosing what to wear, if you want to wear pants, please wear a long top or tunic covers the crotch area (horrible sounding word, sorry) and backside, even if you bend over. If you don't have something like this in your wardrobe, wear a long skirt or dress, but be mindful of the side slits not showing too much. Long-sleeved shirt or jacket on top. Nothing is to show except face and hands.

So, let's talk about the scarf. Ya, even if you're not Muslim (yet) there must be a scarf on your head; hejab. Think a big wrap, like a pashmina, not a little bandana folded into a triangle. In equal halves upon your head, place the center of the scarf right in the middle of your forehead. Now, pin it under your chin. Tuck the fabric at your temples towards your ears. You can then pull it up towards your hairline. It should be tight without choking you at the neck. The fabric will stretch and form to you a bit within minutes. Throw one end over your shoulder and let the other fall upon your chest. It is a simple way to enter a masjid. You will show respect for the place and the people, and I guarantee that everyone will be fine with you. There are lots of fancy ways to wear scarves, but I'm just trying to get you in the door with an easy way.

Men enter into one area and women into another. If you arrive with some of the opposite sex, it's best to arrange where you are meeting afterwards. Downstairs? Parking lot? Store across the street? It is VERY crowded when the Jumuah service lets out. Try to pick a place away from the lobby and other common areas.

Those waiting for the Jumuah prayer should be sitting quietly, reading Quran for instance. Those who are disruptive, and they will be there too, are not doing the right thing. There should not be long conversations during this time. Children should not be allowed to run around and cause high blood pressure of those attending.

The Call to Prayer happens next. It can be some of the most beautiful sounds you ever hear. I swear to God. It can bring me to exaltation and nearly to tears. If you are blessed to hear such a sound, you will never forget it your whole life. Let the sounds fill you with the spirit of righteousness and transport you to that higher plane we all hope to achieve.

God is Great (4x)
Arabic transliteration: Allaahu Akbar

I bear witness that there is no other god but God (2x)
Arabic transliteration: Ashhadu Allah ilaaha illa-Lah

I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God(2x)
Arabic transliteration: Ash Hadu anna Muhamadar rasuulullah

Come to Prayer (2x)
Arabic transliteration: Hayya' alas Salaah

Come to Success (2x)
Arabic transliteration: Hayya' ala Falaah

God is Great (2x)
Arabic transliteration: Allaahu Akbar

There is no god but God
Arabic transliteration: Laa ilaaha illa-Lah

Then, there will be the khotba, or sermon. Hopefully, you'll be able to hear it in a language you understand. After the khotba, there is a short du'a, or prayer for the prophets, the Muslims, and the people of the world. After that, there will be another call for us to line up.

You will be standing shoulder to shoulder with someone you don't know. That is beautiful too. There is not a need in Islam to talk first and get to know someone in order to pray with them. In Christianity, there is this whole song and dance about seating in the pews and not sitting too close; not offending. Chances are, you will not know the person next to you, but you will feel the power of that unity like you never did sitting miles apart on a wooden bench back at the church.

How to pray? Just do as they do. Go down when they do, and come up when they do.

One thing that surprised me was that, on Fridays, the zuhr prayer, at mid-day, was only two rakhas. This again is a mercy from Allah. We have used our time to listen to a sermon, so the prayers are cut in half.

When you are done, there will still be others praying extra prayers. Please be careful not to walk infront of them. If necessary, simply sit there until they are done. It will be all of three minutes maximum.

After the service is done would be the time to talk to someone, if you wish. Introduce yourself. There is not a real sense of congregation in big city masjids, so they won't know that you are visiting. You will have to tell them that. Ask them what you want to know. They will gladly inshahallah tell you.

The whole Jumuah experience is about 30 minutes. Alhumdulillah it is the MOST painless worship experience I have ever had. If you have never been, then please do go.

Go today---on Black Friday. Do the opposite of the search out there in the malls and do the search inside. I know you will find more meaning when you go deeper into your soul than going deeper into your wallet.

May God guide you to the right path. Anything I have said correctly here is from Allah. Anything I have said which is incorrect comes from me.
Enjoy this Friday. T.G.I.F.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Interesting Articles

The Islamic Dictory Blog now has a link on this site under, "Searchers".

From there, I went to this wonderful BBC article about women taxi drivers in Iran. Why can't we start that here?!

From there, I read this fascinating article , again from the BBC, about re-packaging the Bible into versions people might actually read. Makes you love Islam and our Holy Quran more, wallahi.

Glory be to Allah

Word: Subhanallah

Meaning: Glory be to Allah (God).

True Form: سبحان الله

Please take a look at more words and their meanings in The Islamic Dictionary.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Subhanallah What a World!

Sometimes we think little.

We think of ourselves...and not even our whole selves. We examine the minutiae of our parts (or as I like to say, "gaze at our belly button lint").

There's a meditation exercise I like to do.

First, I see myself where I am. I have my eyes closed, but I imagine my immediate surroundings. Then, I pan up, like a camera on a boom is able to raise above me and capture me from up high. So, not only am I on a couch, but I'm in a living room, in my apartment.

Then I go beyond what the human eye could ever see. I imagine, with my mind, how above me is the roof. From the roof, I can see that I live in a building, in a neighborhood, in a city, in a country, on a continent, in a world, and finally in a universe.

Slowly, I floated out and then slowly I recollect myself. I come back to where I was in the room, and in my body. It puts things in perspective. We belong to a big world.



We belong to a big world.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Sometimes this means happiness and sometimes not. It really depends on our perspective, doesn't it? When we remember the big world and The Greatest, then we also find our gratefulness.

This Thanksgiving, Allah Subhana wa Tallah is arranging the three brightest objects in the night sky to come together: the crescent moon (and our symbol of Islam---HELLO!), Venus, and the largest planet Jupiter.

Read about Jupiter . It is fascinating. Maybe in school I didn't find the fascination, but now, as a Muslim, I am amazed at the universe. Jupiter is known for a swirling oval on its surface. It's a perpetual storm. Our earth...our super huge would fit twice inside just that oval.

Think bigger. Think brighter. Subhanallah! What a world!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Am I Anonymous?

My name is Yosra. I am not anonymous.

When I started my writing on the internet, I didn't put my name on my posts. I had a pseudonym and I was scared I could be find out. I wrote about things that upset me and hurt me. I was trying to find the joy, but haram was ruining my life.

That was then.

When I closed down that blog, I knew that I could never be that person on the internet again. Things in motion stay in motion. If I allowed my blog to be about all the upset and all the hurt and all the haram, then my life would be comprised first and foremost of this. I would cease to be happy in real life if my cyber existence was the ugly underbelly.

I made a bold move that day. I put my name on my product. Is it a product? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it feels like I'm an artist putting my signature on the canvas. Whatever it is that you are experiencing through this site, I need to feel that I'm proud of it. If ever you see that I deleted some post or some words within a post, then know that I no longer felt like those things represented who I want to be.

I want to be me.

I want to be proud of who I am.

I do not want to live in fear.

Last week, I got a well-meaning DO NOT POST comment from a Muslimah who thinks that she knows my identity. She warned me to be careful.

"Yosra, I'm not sure if you go by this name in real life and I didn't want to investigate any further to see if it was you because this would be a violation of your privacy and immoral. If I had an anonymous blog and someone could potentially figure out who I was I would want to know. I love you for the sake of Allah and would never want people to know your identity so that they could go around gossiping about you. Please try to hide your identity a bit more to protect yourself, sister."

She means well. I understand what she is saying. If I had an anonymous blog, that would make sense.

I feel, however, that I have made the switch slowly from being an anonymous blogger to being a blogger who is comfortable with being known. The process was gradual: first, I stopped writing every day about the nuances in my ups and downs (which guarantee a roller coaster ride for both writer and reader), then I stopped telling so much personal information about myself and others, and finally I am only telling that which I am comfortable speaking out about to the general public.

I'm no longer hiding. When we hide we aren't living fully. We are living in the half-life. Nothing half is worth having. It brings about feelings of secrecy and shame. Maybe I had to feel that way before, but I don't now.

This doesn't mean that I want to be found. There was a fellow Muslimah blogger who tracked down Vena from Thoughts of a First Wife. Vena had mentioned going somewhere. The fellow Muslimah blogger figured out (with help from some previous information) which town she must be in and looked her up. She called. That's creepy. Really. People, don't do that.

There was a turning point in my blogging life when I went for a charity walk organized by Matt Logelin. I had been commenting on his site for months. Would I actually be able to face other commentators in person? I was very nervous but I went. I was me. Many loving people met me that day. They met someone I was proud of being. Alhumdulillah.

So, this blog is written by me, Yosra, and at this point I'm now proud of both me and this blog.

Michael Jackson, Our Brother in Islam

Asalamu Alaykom Mikaeel,

I have loved you a long time. You have been both an inspiration and an injured soul on this earth. I'm not sure if you have also been an inflicter, but Allah knows.

Allah knows how you have been searching your whole life for that calm. I understand that Friday you took the shahaddah. Mashahallah. In that instant, everything changed for you and inshahallah changed for the better. Whatever has happened before is done and forgiven.

Every true Muslim must believe in the power of the shaddah as much as they believe in The Power of God.

There is the tale, from the time of The Prophet (pbuh) when on the battlefield a captured enemy of Islam said, "La illaha il Allah wa Muhammadar rasullulah."

The Muslim soldier killed him with his sword anyway.

Why? It was asked. Why kill a man who had taken the shahaddah and embraced Islam?

The answer was that the Muslim soldier doubted the man's intention.

The Muslim soldier was chastised severely for his mistake. W must never doubt those who take shahaddah.

We must believe those who take shahaddah. We must welcome them and pray for them. I hope inshahallah that all the Muslims in the world make du'a for your reversion to Islam and for you to be a beacon of light for others searching as well.

There are many jokes floating around about your new choice. That's OK. Let them do what they can to deride this new time in your life. If you are finally holding onto The Truth then nothing can hurt you unless Allah wishes for it.

Surround yourself with good people, like Jermaine, your brother who took shahaddah before you, and like nasheed artist Dawud Warnsby. Rid yourself of those who are false.

Throw away or give away that which is haram and harmful.

On behalf of us, your loving and forgiving Muslim brothers and sisters, I welcome you to Islam. I felt that Allah would someday soon pick a celebrity to help spread the message of Islam. I wasn't completely surprised that it was you.

Now that it is YOU...welcome.

May Allah calm your soul and cleanse your heart. May you become a better person each day with each good deed you accumulate now. May you raise your children in Islam and raise up many around the world to the right path as well. May we, your brothers and sisters, support you with every thought, word, and deed. Ameen.

My Best Wishes,

Sister Yosra

Saturday, November 22, 2008

When You Can't Be Cool

Doncha hate it when you can't be cool? know you are supposed to hang it all together and you put on your best game face, but the wrong thing gets said at the wrong time and...

you cry...

and you cry in public, when you are supposed to be happy...

but you don't feel happy and you loose it?
It was supposed to be a wedding shower. Simple.
The last wedding party I attended was mine.
A year ago.
I guess I'm not over it like I thought.
I prayed and then couldn't go back to the party.
It hurt.
If I had lost my husband to death, everyone would understand, but this? I don't think others are as compassionate.
The marriage didn't even last a year.
Living together didn't even go past four months.
But, the hope...
the hope was there,
the prayers were said,
and my love was fully given. I didn't hold back.
If you enter into life tenative and half-hearted, you experience a life which is tenative and half-hearted.
I live my life fully.
I cried tonight when I didn't know the tears were there.
I didn't know they were so many.
I walked home in the cold carrying the son from the marriage before.
Two very sad turns in my life.
Allah is the best of planners.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Islam and The Art of Pencil Sharpening

We had an art project today (making an art aquarium) which was on the heels of us making a book (The Barak Obama Story) so it was time to sharpen the colored pencils.
After a long day, it was me and a huge pile of pencils without points.
I zoned.
Sometimes, when you zone, you find God easier than if you focused.
I was dissapointed that one pencil wasn't sharpening well. It was being eaten up by the blades and was dissapearing before my eyes. I stopped. It wasn't worth my effort. I looked. "Made in China," was perhaps the reason why.
Yes, quality matters.
We all are dull and purposeless. We are all sharpened. It hurts. WALLAHI it hurts. But, if we are made of quality, then we don't just get eaten up and spit out. We are made better by the process.
We are then a tool to be used for something which will last beyond our boundaries of time or space.
I looked at the clock. It was time to catch my ride.
Still no car. Don't ask.
Come to find out that my ride was not happening on this cold, windy night. I walked. I walked because that's the way Allah was going to sharpen me tonight.
With each step, I felt like crying. Dang shoes! They are fine to work in, but horrible in which to go walking. I stopped the upset rising inside of me.
"Alhumdulillah," I spoke as I strode on faster. My big woolen throw from Wales was wrapping my chapped hands from the chill.
"Allahu Akbar," I said as I went up the hill. Yes, I was suffering, but if I can remember my love for Allah in that hard moment, then I am improving myself and proving my devotion. We can't just love God in the good times.
My little itsy bitsy hardship was nothing compared to Prophet Ayub "Job". He never lost his faith. He never forgot how Allah's plan is best. Didn't ask "Why?" Didn't say, "Why me?!"
If he could say, "Allahu Akbar," then certainly I can too.
It is truly left to been seen how Allah will use me once I am through this paring down but I put my trust in Allah that my future will be colorful, useful, and long-lasting. Inshahallah.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birds of a Feather

I left my apartment and went into the cold.

AbuBoo's visit was underway and I felt too sad to stay.

This was a day after meeting a man who wanted a babymaker.

This was three days after a man was supposed to fly from California, but didn't AND I was happy about that.

This was two months after meeting the man who flew in from the East Coast.

This was a year after I flew to Florida with my whole heart.

I walked around the neighborhood to get over all of this.

I looked up into the sky and saw two ducks flying.

Did I thank Allah Subhana wa Tallah for the beautiful nature?



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Two Parts to Shahaddah

There is no other God than God.


Mohammed is a Messenger of God.

Is he?

Do Muslims worship him?

NO! He is among the best of men, but he is a man.

Who is this man?

I'll wish peace upon him, as I do with all the prophets.

Historian Michael H. Hart, who is NOT a Muslim wrote about Prohet Mohammed in, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. Please do take the time to inform yourself better on such an often discussed figure. How much do you really know? Understand?

Then, consider reading Karen Armstrong's Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time. Again, she is NOT a Muslim. She is an aclaimed author. There is an excerpt from Chapter One. See what she has to say.

Eventually, you will have to answer whether or not Mohammed is a Messenger of God. You either figure it out now or on Judgement Day.

For me...

La illaha il Allah wa Muhammadar Rasullulah!

The Spread of Islam

I was talking to a lovely friend of mine yesterday. She is married to a Muslim man and is considering Islam for herself.

She told me something that happened to her recently.

Facebook, for her, has opened up a new portal into her old life. She has found friends on it from long ago. While looking through the photos posted from one of these old friends, she saw pictures of a Muslim wedding.

"What?!" she exclaimed. How could an Irish party animal end up at a Muslim wedding?!

She had a chance to ask him next time they were both on-line.

Seems that one of his buddies had met a Morrocan lady and through her had discovered Islam. Unbelievably, to her, it was the most fun-loving dude in the bunch. He took the shahaddah and then helped organize the big shindig in North Africa. Five Irish lads made the journey to celebrate with him--including the old friend she knows.

She had to ask, "How did the guys do with no alcohol at a party?!"

To her surprise, the answer was that they had the time of their lives and were up until 5:00 am. They ate, danced, talked, and laughed like never before.

My friend.
Her friend.

His friends.

This is the spread of Islam.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Islamic Phrases in Arab Places

There is a lot of culture in Islam as it gets practiced.
That is probably one of the biggest complaints of new reverts.
What is really Islam?
What is just the fluff from some national pysche?
I find this book fascinating.
You can browse through it electronically on line.
It's called Islam in Everyday Speech.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Changing My Name

I've changed my name so many times by now.
I have been:
my birth name with my last name from my father,
my first name with my new last name after marriage
(I sounded way Anglo),
my first name with my new last name after second marriage,
Yosra and that new last name after second marriage
(I was an Honorary Arab),
and now...
Yosra and my last name from my father. I'm a beautiful mix now.
It cost me about a hundred bucks and an appearance in court.
Want to change your name for FREE?

Here's what I just did:

1 Rock star name

Cinder Neon

(Name of first pet and current car)

2 Gangsta name

Peppermint Bon Bon Sugar

(fave ice cream flavor& fave kind of cookie)

3 Detective name

Hot Pink Porcupine

(favorite color and fave animal)

4 Soap opera name

Idris Northampton

(middle name and city where you were born)

7 Super hero name

The Hunter Green Chai Latte

( "the", 2nd favorite color and fave drink)

8 NASCAR name

Thomas John

(the first names of your grandfathers)

9 Disco name

Happy Dark Chocolate

(favorite perfume/cologne/scent and fave candy)

12 Spy name

Fall Sunflower

(your favorite season/holiday and fave flower)

13 Cartoon name

Honeycrisp Apple Tankie

(favorite fruit, one article of clothing you are wearing right now plus "ie" or "y")

14 Hippy name

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Oak

(what you ate for breakfast this morning and your favorite tree)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Little Housefly

I watched him in fascination; the little housefly at my window. He walked around the glass in apparent dissatisfaction with his locale. He wanted out. In some ways, I felt for him. I know how it is to be trapped.

I thought for a moment that I should just let him out. I wondered if I should take a little time and help him regain his freedom. He could live somewhere else and live happily.

Did I have the time? No.
Would he understand? No.

I would just be chasing him around the bathroom in hopes of helping, which would bring me nothing but frustration.

My little guy was suffering with a horrible cough and the warmth of the shower was clearing out his chest a bit. I needed to focus on him, my true concern. Then, he began to buzz around the room.
In a second I knew that the fly could bother my sick son and maybe even bringing disease to our home.
I couldn't imagine hurting the little fly while I felt sorry for him and his wasted efforts to escape. I sympathized with him. However, once I thought as the mother of my son, I had nothing but distain for his dirtiness.

Without another thought, the shampoo bottle came down, "BAM!"

He lay there on the bottom of the tub; dead. I let the water wash him away.

His wish was granted; he had his freedom. He was out of our apartment.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kanye West - Love Lock Down

I Don't Want to Lose You

"I don't want to lose you!"
If I only had a buck for every time I've heard that phrase spoken to me...but I don't so I'm poor-- but in many ways I'm rich.
I've had experiences throughout my life which I don't want to repeat, yet I seem to face again...and again. Why? I do look at how The Almighty wants us to learn and succeed in these lessons. When we don't do so well on the test, we get a chance to do-over. Isn't that a blessing? Ar-Rahman doesn't want us to fail, so we get another chance.
This phrase, "I don't want to lose you," has always come out of the mouth of a man who has done me wrong.
I think, "Awww! I'm his and he wants to keep me like a precious treasure."
What I should have thought was, "How dare you objectify me as your possession!"
Why didn't I get that figured out by the age of 40?
I think I did, but then had to learn it at a new, deeper level. We learn higher thinking while delving deeper, don't we? Each new experience revisits what we thought we knew but hadn't committed to in our core.
The core of my being still wants to be held and admired. And don't get all literal and think this means sexual gratification. I'm not so base. I mean that closeness of kindred souls. I trade almost everything in order to get that feeling fulfilled. That is Yosra...or it has been Yosra.
However, the mother of my son can't reconcile the horrible treatment. I can't. I can't have my son's mother treated like a whore, or a crazy b, or a piece of garbage easily dispossible. That's what saves me. That's how my son saves me and lifts me higher without being any older than three.
Being a single mother has hurt me; has made me feel so alone, so vulnerable, and so worried for the future. But being exactly this mother to my boy has challenged me to examine my real faith and turn to my Sustainer.
It is only The Most High who can never lose me. I belong to Him and Him alone. I do not belong to any man on earth. No man on earth deserves to possess me. I can share my time, my mind, and my love, and even my spirit. That inner core; that spirit is not for giving away. It isn't mine to give. That spirit is with Allah.
That makes non-observant men crazy. Men who are abusive, who don't fear Allah in their treatment of their woman, want to capture that kind of spirit and hold it in their hand. If you let them hold it, you might think they are gazing in admiration, but it is a vengeful moment right before they crush you.
If you were alone, you might crumble to think that a man with whom you had shared so much could be so cruel. But, for me? Alhumdulillah, I have my boy; my little love. And I have my big love for my God.
Allah knows every remark, every mean moment, and every intention. I'll leave those men to Allah.
As for the good men out there, you matchmakers should start sending me some names!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ask Forgiveness Twice

If you walked into a rich man's house and insulted his servant, what would you do? Once you realized your mistake, you would most likely apologize. Since you offended the servant, you would need to say your, "sorry," to him or her.

However, since you were a guest in the home of the powerful man, you would also need to turn to him and apologize.

It is the same with our dealings with servants of Allah.

If we have wronged anyone, we need to ask forgiveness twice.

I don't think it matters who is told first (the servant or The Master). What matters is that the words are spoken as soon as you know the problem. Small problems often grow larger if not dealt with apropriately.

If you are the servant who has been hurt, then it is within your rights to ask for an apology. It is also worth suggesting that the wrong-doer ask forgiveness from Allah subhana wa tallah.

May we all remember how easy it is to be kind and how needlessly complicated it is to perpetuate cruelty.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cure for Earache

Up at 1:30 this morning with a screaming kid.
Nothin' says, "I'm a mom!" like getting out of bed with a crazed kid in pain.

Since Mr. Boo has had a re-occuring cold and congestion, the best guess is always: earache and/or infection.

What to do? Not like I'm leaving the apartment for the Emergency Room. You nuts?! Even if I had a car (which I don't yet, but soon should, inshahallah), I can't afford it. Still haven't paid for my Florida moment of hypochondria.

So! What to do?!

First, prop him up. The drainage downward helps ease the pressure.

Next, I sprayed, "Simply Saline" up his nose, much to his dismay. It did unclog him more. It also woke the neighbors---not that the spray makes noise; it was the screaming from the kid. It really doesn't hurt.

I actually try every medicine I use on my kids. It helps me to know what it tastes like and feels like.

Well, the next idea was some Tylenol/Advil/pain reliever. He hated grape flavored medicine and he spit it all out. We tried cherry next. I use the dropper and aim for the side of his cheek. This is when I really hate being a single parent. I am grabbing octopus arms while I squeeze the junk out and being lightening quick and very hard-hearted. I have to do it. I have to deadened my emotions to get it done. Remember: this is all with four hours sleep.

Lastly, my favorite trick in the book. You ready? Wash and poke a potato and microwave for a minute. Place it in a sock, twist, tuck it in again, and once more so you have a few layers of sock between skin and potato. The moist steam heat still comes through. It shouldn't be too much, but check to make sure. Then, rest it on the painful area. I love it!

Now, Mr. Boo didn't want ANYTHING touching his ear, so I had to let him hold it first. Then, I asked him if I could put it on his cheek. Slowly, as we talked, I could move it towards his ear.

He is now beside me, in the big comfy chair, watching Jungle Book and occasionally laughing and giving commentary.

"That's not a, 'man cub,'! That's a baby cryin'!"

Subhanallah! After hardship indeed there is ease. We parents truly have to remember to keep going through the hard times with our kids. It never lasts forever...just like childhood illnesses and childhood itself. Hang in there and it subsides with Allah knowing every effort to take care of the amana (the blessing) that was given for your safe-keeping.

May Allah protect parents from sudden insanity in times of strife with their offspring. May those children grow healthy and strong--sometimes because of their parents' efforts and sometimes in spite of them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Barack is Mine!

The bodybuilders

and the salesmen,

the funked out playboys,

Desis who rank a "10"

You can have them.

'cause I'm satisfied.

I've got a man who is verifiable world-wide.

Ya, it ain't about the sexy.

Though he's mighty tall.

It's the spirit through his speech.

And I wonder at it all.

How much more wonderful can he really be?

Call me in four years and I'll know the reality.

I love him. I do! He's's true.

But I love his wife like a soul sister.

Love his kids.

I'll love his dog.

I'll love trusting our future

to the leader to get us through this fog.

He's a good man (Allah knows best)

and I can forget the rest.

Every man who's been a liar.

Every man who's been a thief.

Now that Barack is mine

I have regained this sweet belief.

Yes, President Obama is the proof

that good men do exist.

Now, if I could only keep the bad ones off my list.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Muslims Aren't Voting

Today is OUR Election Day and many American Muslims are not voting.
I don't get it.
I suppose that some are not voting out of apathy, which would make more sense if the last eight years hadn't seen so many attacks on our brothers and sisters through wars, and through Guantanamo, through unlawful loss of Civil Rights.
But some are not voting because they feel it goes against Islam to vote.

The sheik here has actually been quoted as saying that it's better if Muslims don't vote. His thought is that we will be held accountable for every bad deed done by the president we help elect. It's not haram to vote; it's just preferable not to.

The Republican Party doesn't understand Muslims or Muslim countries.

Muslims don't understand the Democrats.

It's sad.

We Muslims are a voting block to be reckoned with, yet many are given up our rights as citizens to those who would happily bomb Iran and nuke Mecca. Isn't there some moral imperative to have a voice in a democracy? Too many men, women, and children have died overseas at the hands of this administration.

Not to mention the fiasco of Hurricane Katrina!

And the fiscal upheaval!
Come on, Muslims!

We are bound to the laws of the land where we live. Right? And "NO!" We don't have a government based on Shariah Law, but deal with it! Live the way we live here and vote for the best candidate, who of course (GET REAL) is Senator Barrack Obama.

I've actually seen emails flying through the Muslim community which try to bring this fine man down. Bizarre. I don't know if these brothers and sisters haven't been here very long or what. He might not have every idea in line with your thinking, but he sure isn't John McCain.

He has had a global upbringing, in a multi-cultural family, with the best of education, a first-hand understanding of middle-class America, a solid faith, and experience helping people.

For me, I will vote inshahallah...once I find a ride to the polls. Still no car, but I have hopes for this weekend. If I have to, I will walk or take a cab in order to vote. Nothing is more important to me today.
To find where you vote go click on:
If you don't vote now, don't crab later.
And if you are thinking to leave a comment as to why you are not voting. FORGET ABOUT IT! I will not be publishing any of your comments. NOPE! You don't want a voice, Sista, so let's start with not giving you one on this forum. Like that? That seem fair? That's your idea, not mine. I'm just running with it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Muslims Who Stop Praying

She called me and she was happy at first, but then her words grew sadder and she started to cry. In all her upset, with all life's problems, she was searching for a solution.
She called me.
I knew that it was an honor which she was bestowing upon me.
It doesn't matter who she is. She could be you, if you weren't careful.
She had been the one who had advised me before, when I first reverted. Now it was my turn. Sisters in Islam are like this. We love each other truly and want the best for each other.
"You could pray together," I offered. "Let him feel that he is the leader once again and that you love him through Allah."
"Yosra, I haven't prayed in two years." She said this. She said this to me.
I was in shock.
There had been that time and I remembered it, when I first learned that she wasn't doing all her prayers. She had gotten busy chasing the American dream. She was having a tough time fitting the prayers into her life; her busy life. That was a long time ago. I thought she had fixed it! She hadn't.
She hadn't told me.
She hadn't told anyone else.
Her husband knew. He's the same husband she had used to plead with, in order to get him to pray. Eventually, he did pray, and then she stopped. Why didn't he just tell her, "STOP! Doing dishes and join me. Dishes can wait. Allah is more important than dishes."
Her mother must have known. She visited and she prays. Didn't she realize that her daughter wasn't praying? Why didn't she hug her and say, "Let me finish the cooking, while you do the prayer."
Didn't she ever hang out with her other Muslim friends over the prayer times? Why didn't they pull her aside and say, "Sister, let's pray together!"
In the end, however, there is no one to blame but ourselves.
It is so easy to say, "Later."
We have to remember that this prayer might be our last. We might not make it to the next prayer. Death is not something for only the elderly or the infirmed. If you KNEW death were coming for you before the next prayer, wouldn't you pray for Allah to forgive you and for Allah to protect your loved ones.
Even if we have another 50 years, does that mean we want the next years to be filled with misunderstandings? Jealousy? Hurt feelings? Anger? The fitnah in our lives comes from taking God out of our lives.
I told her, "Any man and woman can 'hook-up' in the U.S. and it can last for a few years. You don't want that. You don't want a relationship to just be here and gone. You want it to last and the only way it's going to last is to put Allah between you. And the best way to do that is to pray together. Call him---NO! Text him. Don't talk on the phone. Just ask him to please come back to lead you in prayer. Pray together and then ask him to forgive anything you did, or anything you said, which wasn't right.
Maybe he said things too which were wrong, but you can't control him. You can only control yourself. Be the best wife you can be and if that means you have to be the better one today, then do that. Maybe he'll be the better one another time. That's a marriage! You can't both be bad at the same time. Ask forgiveness of Allah and then ask him."
"And while you are at it, also thank Allah for all your blessings over these years, and ask Allah for protection; for your faith, you marriage and your children."
I'm not sure what she did. I have to call today and find out. Make du'a for her, please.
And if you are not praying...please start right now. Just wash and pray. Learn the lesson from this sad story and don't let it become yours.
11/07 Alhumdulillah! Alhumdulillah! Alhumdulillah! I got the call today. She is back to her prayers and back with her husband. Thank you for your du'as.