Saturday, December 1, 2007

Car wash

I took my two year old son to the car wash a couple of days ago and I was sitting inside the car and I realized I am enjoying it much more than my son was. Don't get me wrong, he was having fun but being strapped down in the car for such a long time isn't exactly an amusement park. I thought back to when my brother and I would scream "roller coaster!" as we go down the steep hill in the car in the neighborhood we grew up in. Or when we would really want to stay home from school so we can watch lamb chops and the elephant show and sesame street.
We were watching Barney and I am the one who wanted to finish the movie so I keep asking him if he wants to watch Barney.
What happens is we all have a childhood and most of us enjoyed our childhood. Then comes adolescence where everything is uncool and we pretend we don't go home and watch these things. Then comes the end of our adolescence where it becomes cool again to reminisce about the days you used to watch certain cartoons. Then if you're lucky you have kids so you can go back and relive your childhood through them.
I have not passed this stage yet so I do not know what comes next but I would assume our children's adolescence and sadness affect us because for a while we have no excuse to do those beloved childhood activities. But as our children near the end of their adolescence we realize we may get the chance through our grandchildren. May Allah give us that chance.
Or of course there is the easy way to ensure that we will always be around our exciting childhood memories which is to go into education and teaching.

Friday, August 31, 2007

God's Warriors

In senior year in high school there was a college/career day where we met with different university representitives and talked about our hopes and dreams for our careers. During that time I wanted to be an International Correspondant. I told one of the representitives that and he said, you'll be the next Christiane Amanpour. The truth is at the time I did not know who she was but I smiled and nodded at the representitive acting like I knew who he was talking about. But after that, I watched Christiane Amanpour in all the different places she reports from in awe. Sure enough I went to College and studied Journalism.
Nine years later, here I am hoping to be as far away from Christiane Amanpour and her likes. Through my experience with many I realized they have preconceived notions about our part of the world (the middle east) and simply act on it.
Last week, CNN featured Amanpour in a three part, 6 hour, documentary called "God's Warriors." Covering the three major religions in the world, Judaism, Christianity and of course Islam. In this documentary she had people talking about how they fight in the name of their religion.
Thinking finally someone will show terrorism has no religion and show Islam in a proper light.
I was thoroughly disappointed when I saw the documentary. All Amanpour succeeded in doing was bring out all the superficial topics that are controversial to people around the world about Islam showing them to be the core of the religion. While the documentary on Judaism was somewhat sympathetic to the "Jewish cause," showing that the terrorist activity that goes on by Jewish extremists was all in retaliation to Islamic terrorism, the completely unbalanced report did not miss a chance to paint Islam as the religion that calls for terrorism, violence and death.
During a segment in the part on Islam, she talks a lot about an Islamic personality who was sentenced to death in Egypt during the 60's. This person visited the US at a time in his life and then returned to his country saying the American Culture is dangerous and we must save our youth from this culture with the way the women dress and the drugs and alcohol. This man is portrayed as a terrorist who calls for the death of these he calls infedels. His call to keep Muslim youth away from popular American culture was translated into a death threat, which is not true. Meanwhile, Amanpour shows religious Christian groups all around the US saying the same thing about current American culture. Yet, when they say it it doesn't sound as violent, its actually portrayed as a form of cultural reform.
Amanpour when talking to the Muslims, is very aggressive pointing fingers of accusation and openly attacking certain beliefs. She does not do that with the other religions.
She also shows a lot of violent rituals done in Iran that certainly do not represent mainstream Islam, yet to an ignorant viewer they would seem to be normal Islamic practice.
Anyhow, the whole documentary was extremely disappointing and once again, Islam was wrongfully represented in the media adding fuel to an already uncontrollable fire against a religion that for so many years brought peace to a large part of the world.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


When I was in highschool my english teacher once asked me to print out the translation of the first words said to Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel.
Those words were an order from God to all humankind. They read as follows:
Read in the name of your lord who has created. Created man from but a clot of blood.
The first order was revealed over 1400 years ago yet the Muslim Ummah seems to weaken as the years go by. The weakness I am refering to is not a physical one but one far greater and more detremental to the unity of us as human beings. An intellectual weakness which gives way to many people to attack a religion which is flawless. Yet, because we choose to ignore the first order given to us, we automatically open the door to misunderstandings.
Ofcourse, there area people who read, Muslims who are avid readers. Yet, they read the wrong books. They choose to get their information from anything other than the Quran or the old books of prophetic narrations.
There are also the people who read so much that they believe that their minds are so enlightened that they can interpret Islamic texts on their own.
Then of course there are the people who simply choose to take the easy way out and take their religion and information from other people without actually looking at any documented proof. This maybe constitutes the majority of our society.
If we go back to the first order given to us from Above and actually follow it, I think we can prove that the Israeli leader who said he does not fear Arabs for they are a nation who does not read was wrong.

Monday, January 8, 2007

When I was young...

I remember when I was younger I would always tell my mother when I have a baby I want him to call me by my name...I dont want him to call me mama I can't imagine!
So I would tell my mom I don't care what I'm going to have him call me Sarah!
Ofcourse the years have come and gone and here I am a mother and my son is still learning how to talk...
He calls me Mama sometimes.
My mother was teaching him he would say DAYAA.
This morning I was praying and the room was dark cause I wanted to go back to sleep. AbdulRahman woke up and wanted to get out of bed so what does he say...
I have to admit I like Mama better..Like my mother told me when I was younger, when you hear the word Mama there is a certain feeling you get like an accomplishment or a sense of worth. I love it!
Another thing I used to say when I was younger in school was. "I never want to become a teacher."
Because my mother is a teacher people used to assume I'd be a teacher when I grow up. I would say NO WAY I don't want a life stuck in a classroom waking up so early in the morning and going from class to class all day long.
Now I'm all grown up and you guessed it! I want more than anything to become a teacher!
Again one of the most gratifying jobs is to teach to see progress in your student/s.
I teach a friend of mine English and just the change in pronouncing the TH was amazing for me.
Anyhow I'll try to keep track of the "nevers" I told my mother when I was younger and how they have changed!

Sunday, January 7, 2007


"If I had seen the Muslims before I saw Islam I probably would not have become Muslim."
A comment that one hears alot from Muslim reverts living in the Arab world.
On the other hand I'm reading a book about Muslim reverts in the West. A common aspect of their coming to Islam is the way the Muslims welcomed these women into the Masjid even before they were Muslim.
A reason many Muslim reverts become muslims in the west is because they see how the Muslims have such an organized way of life. They see how they have a close knit community.
They see how Muslims have such strong self control that is common in all people.
The problem is alot of these Muslim converts still want to move to a Muslim country to be able to hear the call to prayer in the streets. To be able to pass anyone by in the street and say Salam Alaikom and know that they understand you and answer back. To be able to find a masjid on every corner. Basically to practice their religion openly and with the least possible temptations.
What happens is they come to these countries and find temptations they would not think they would find in a Muslim country. They find extreme difficulty in making a living in these countries. The people are always skeptical over whether they are really Muslims or agents of the West. The cleanliness of course is another issue. Lying. And many more problems.
If Muslims acted the way the Quran and Sunnah tells us to act, the world would get a better picture of Muslims.
If Muslims everywhere were clean. Polite. Waited for their turn. Did not lie. Followed their religion closely as they were ordered to, then the way of life that Allah created and gave us guidelines to would be achieved.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Chance Meetings

I travelled alot when I was young. Lived in many different places and met many different people. Whenever I leave the country I lived in there are always a few people I imagine meeting by chance.
I put a scenario. I imagine what I'm gonna tell them and how they will react that I'm married, with a child, munaqaba...very different from what I was when I knew all these people!
Anyhow so you imagine meeting certain people but u end up meeting TOTALLY different people.
Like today, I never imagined I'd see my P.E teacher from 9 years ago! It was nice though because this chance meeting sort of reminded me how nice certain people are and how they really made a difference in my life even though it wasn't a very apparent one. However. now when I think of it he was one of the most positive influences in my junior and senior years in highschool!
Anyhow these chance encounters remind a person that good is in the people you least expect and you should never underestimate certain anyone's role in your life. Every person you ever met has a certain influence in your life. Many times its not the exact role you you think it is.