Review—Born with Wings by Daisy Khan

bornwithwings

While’s Daisy Khan’s life is fascinating and her work is admirable, her memoir is alienating and reads more like a résumé than a biography.

Born in Kashmir, Daisy Khan moved to the US in high school to study design. She went on to found WISE, the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality, an organization that works for women’s rights. Born with Wings is her memoir and first book.

The book tells Khan’s life story chronologically, with each chapter focusing on one event in her life: a specific problem she overcame or an issue she explored. Interspersed between the chapters are snippets that highlight specific initiatives of her own or of other women. For example, one snippet tells the story of Misbah, a Pakistani beautician who helps the survivors of acid attacks receive medical and cosmetic treatment and regain their confidence. Continue reading

Review—Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrated by Ebony Glenn

mommys-khimar-9781534400597_hr

In Mommy’s Khimar, a powerful new picture book for children 4–8, a little girl plays dress-up in her mom’s scarves, imagining she’s a queen, a superhero, and a mama bird. 

mommys-khimar-9781534400597.in01

Her favorite scarf is the yellow one, and when she wears it, it’s a cuddle from her mom. Even when she takes off her khimar, she carries her mother with her. Continue reading

Our Bookish Ramadan Traditions

Ramadan is just about a month away, so I wanted to share my family’s bookish traditions while there’s still plenty of time to prepare. And you know we have bookish Ramadan traditions in my house!

Here is the first:

img_20180411_181446.jpg

This is our cache of children’s Ramadan books that only come out during Ramadan. The kids are so excited every year when they come out—greeting old friends and meeting new ones. Last year The Jinni on the Roof was a new favorite. The story features parathas prominently, and I would reward the kids with a paratha each when they fasted. Continue reading

Review—A Quranic Odyssey: Towards Juz ‘Amma (Volume 1) by Umm Muhammed

41f+YKP8EZL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Towards Juz ‘Amma is a cute, sweet story about a family undergoing a hifdh journey. It is made up of 40 short chapters, with each one revolving around a specific teachable moment in the family’s life, usually between the mother and the children, but sometimes including other family members. The main characters are Pakistani mother Khadija, Italian father Abdurrahman, precocious five-year-old Ibrahim, and repetitive two-year-old Amna. Continue reading

Review/Discussion—Women in the Qur’an by Asma Lamrabet and translated by Myriam Francois-Cerrah

61-+N1-a+8L._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_

In her effort to deconstruct a patriarchal reading of the Qur’an, Asma Lamrabet offers up a new reading, but one that is neither evidence-based nor convincing.  

This book was frustrating for me. I really wanted to like it; I was hoping it would be able to offer newer, more progressive views on gender to replace older, problematic ones. While Lamrabet does offer many new interpretations, they are unsubstantiated, and for a Muslim, an interpretation is only as valuable as its evidence. 

Women in the Qur’an is made up of two parts:

  1. ”When the Qur’an Speaks of Women,” which retells the stories of specific women in the Qur’an (like Balkis, Umm Musa, and Maryam) and
  2. “When the Qur’an Speaks to Women,” which examines Allah’s interactions with women in the time of the Prophet (s) through the text of the Qur’an.

Continue reading

Creating a Muslim Little Library

I’m really happy to share my newest project with you today.

library1

This is a little library I’ve set up at our local women’s community center. (It’s basically a house dedicated to women’s activities run by a local masjid.) I thought it would be a great place to share my favorite reads with others and get fabulous recommendations as well. Continue reading