Yaseen’s Big Dream — A Review

A Ducktrinor Mom

New Release! Book Launch and Blog TourSummary: Yaseen has got some big dreams. He dreams of helping his family, his friends, and his community. But is it really possible for a kid like Yaseen to do all of those things? Of course it is! Read Yaseen’s Big Dream to follow him on an adventure unlike any other.

Author: Umm Juwayriyah

Illustrator: Azra Momin

Formatted by:Reyhana Ismail

Publisher: Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

Review: The first thing that crossed my mind after I read the already illustrated and designed Yaseen’s Big Dream by Umm Juwayriyah, I said to myself, “Yaseen’s Big Dream is a book that will inspire the Muslim Youth.” This is because Yaseen is an inspirational character who is loved, cherished and raised to believe that he can reach beyond the stars! He motivates and entertains the reader with his strong wills.

Additionally, he loves his family and they love him back, he stays…

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“Here With You” by Umm Afraz Muhammed — An Online Book Launch

here with you 4 13 19 book launch

Interviewer: Papatia Feauxzar at Fofky’s

Interviewee: Umm Afraz Muhammed

Here With You– An Interview with the Author

Umm Afraz has authored several short books on self-help but today she is at our bookstore to discuss her debut novel Here With You so she can give us some insights on her unique novel masha’Allah. Assalamu aleikum Umm Afraz, welcome to Fofky’s.

Q1 – Can you please give us some insights on the title of your book? Like why Here With You versus something more mothers-in-law related? It’s a romance story so I have some theories but I would love to hear from the mastermind herself.

A1 Wa alaykumussalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh Papatia. Jazakillahu khayran for having me on your blog ❤ . It is truly an honor <3. Okay, so I wanted to have a title that had an emotional connection – not only for the characters, but also for the audience. The phrase “here with you” could be understood in a romantic, platonic, parental love, or spiritual sense. It all depends on the context with which it is used.

Q2 – I liked how you portrayed the mother-in-law; she is not a bad person but there was discrepancy between her firm devotion in worship and her application of Islamic or courtesy sunnah manners towards her daughter-in-law. It portrays that many people with whom we don’t agree aren’t necessarily evil but simply imperfect Muslims. I found it relatable and realistic. Did you find emotionally easy or hard to pen her character based on your experience in marriage or scenarios you’ve witnessed in real life from people around you?

A2 – You are bang on! That was exactly how I wanted to portray Fatima. She is just like everyone else – trying to practice Islam whilst struggling with her humanly flaws – an imperfect Muslim. I think that is why she was fairly easy to characterize. She is someone we could all relate to.

Q3 – Aunties everywhere are inappropriate and especially during nikah related events where their intimacy innuendos are often raunchy. Have you ever witnessed them to relent? Now, it’s safe to say that sometimes they relay valuable info to the bride to take to the bedroom at times. And poor brides like Salma are usually left to their verbal claws. Do you think such customs should stop or do you think Aunties should carry on because it makes nikah related events fun?

A3 You know, when you think back, it seems funny. But when you are in that spot, undergoing that experience or even when you are in the environment listening to the comments and innuendos, it gets uncomfortable. I believe there should be a balance in joking. It is possible to make a joke while maintaining the dignity of the couple. And if there is any information to be given, it should be done in private. Wa Allahu Alam.

Q4 – Financial security, which is necessary as Islam is about the middle path, pushes many of our parents to steer us towards STEM fields. It has advantages and Disadvantages. Faisal was conflicted with such decisions made for him by his parents. I believe in getting a degree that will support your true passion later. But do you think that one can live off unpredictable art revenues without getting a formal education which can be a safety net?

A5We were raised to believe only STEM fields generate income, and arts/humanities field don’t produce as much. I agree a formal education would give the CV a boost, but I also believe that with the way the modern-world is proceeding, as long as you have the passion and you invest your time and efforts in it by continuous learning, and practicing what you are good at, you will earn enough. After all, rizq comes from Allah, and what is meant for you will never leave you unless Allah Wills it. In the end, it is all about practicing yourself and trusting Allah. What are your thoughts?

Papatia Feauxzar : I agree. At the end of the day, it’s about rizq. Masha’Allah.

Q5 – Do you have any questions for me about your book?

A5 – I would love to know what you thought about the story, the writing style, and any critical feedback that you have. Also, what is one scene that you felt closely connected to, and why?

Papatia Feauxzar : The writing style fits the genre of this book; smooth, sensual and emotional. If you had written an adventure book or sci-fi book like this, it wouldn’t have worked because these genres require fast-paced storytelling to keep the reader excited and tuned-in.

Now, I only found very few things (subjective by the way) to be unsatisfied about. For instance, I felt tremendously teased with the sultry romance of Faisal and Salma. I loved them both and the way he stood up for her when it came to his mother meddling. That was very relatable, alhamdullilah. That’s all.

Papatia Feauxzar : Umm Afraz, thank you for being with us.

Umm Afraz : Thank you Fofky’s! Much love, and God Bless <3!

Papatia Feauxzar : Aameen, likewise! Check out a review and a reading of Here With You below, thanks!

Summary:

Salma, a new bride who is happily married to her husband, moves into her in-laws’ house as part of their South Indian culture. A new life, a new beginning, and a new family in a new country. Staying in a place far away from her loved ones, with no one to rely on but her husband, she undergoes the realities of life living under the same roof as her mother-in-law. How will she cope with the lifestyle changes and the daily challenges? Will her dreams of having a good relationship with her mother-in-law come true? Or will she discover the dreaded monster-in-law?

Fatima wants to be a good mother-in-law to Salma and yearns for a good relationship with her. Life and time throw opportunities her way to prove herself. Would she take the right decisions and keep her best foot forward? Or would she succumb to her ego and cultural stereotypes?

This book is about the emotional tug-of-war between a daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law. Sandwiched between the two most important women of his life is Faisal, the son of one and husband of the other.

The story revolves around the lives of these three characters and the relationships they share with each other as they learn to stick together despite the ups and downs they face as a joint family.

Review: Salma is a such a sweetheart and a good mannered Muslimah masha’Allah. You will fall in love with her way to face adversity if your faith is a balm to your spirits or if your faith soothes your fiery nature when it’s appropriate. Her mother-in-law is also a steadfast woman albeit her other flaws. Their relationship was a very relatable one and not the worst when it comes to daughter-in-law and mother-in-law drama but still it’s a very challenging one. I loved the story the minute I read a snippet of it several years ago and I’m happy to see the author’s brilliant complete penned work. Salma’s husband, Faisal, is another relatable character masha’Allah. In his plight, you will realize that Allah is the best of planners and that to make omelets, you have to break eggs.

My favorite passage as usual dealt with finance and affirmed my point of views. “We may have seemed to live a luxurious life, but rarely do people understand that the struggles we experienced were the same as that of any other middle-class family. I found it unfair that just because we lived in a posh area, we were expected to live a posh life. Relatives back home were unwilling to comprehend the fact that foreign-residents like us suffered financial issues too. It was as if money rained upon us and we were expected to distribute it to every Ahmad, Muhammed, and Abdullah they recommended. And if we refused to support them financially, relations are severed, regardless of the ties of kinship that Islam asks us to uphold sincerely. Over the years, I’ve learnt that the world runs on money, and rarely on love.”

I agree, many people think that financially secured individuals also don’t have money issues. And when financially secured individuals can’t lend them money or refuse to be unnecessarily hustled, resentment ensues as if they are entitled to these bounties they sought. As Muslims, we need to stop making plans on other people’s assets or even Allah’s bounties. We need to accept what people give freely and let go of expectations and master the notion of rizq. Nothing belong to us, even ourselves, we don’t belong to ourselves.

The novel also delves into cultural and real Islam. That was refreshing alhamdullilah. In all, Afraz’s writing is very smooth, subtle, lovely and most of all soulful and soul searching. The pace was also to my liking. I finished the book in less than a day.

I definitely recommend this book to halal romance lovers and readers of Muslim women’s contemporary fiction. Bravo!

Rating: 4.5/5

Here With You‘s Reading by Umm Afraz Muhammed.

Click on picture to be redirected to YouTube.

Here With You ’s Reading by Umm Afraz Muhammad 4 17 19 pic

Direct YouTube link : https://youtu.be/BuNsb2ROx4w

EBook available on Amazon here.

Paperback available on Pothi here.

Original Source: Fofky’s Blog .

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The Tower’s Online Book Launch

the tower and jasmine

The Tower — An Interview with the Author

Shereen Malherbe’s second contemporary novel The Tower debuts this April 2019, and we’re excited to pick the author’s brain with the following interview. So let’s get to it insha’Allah.

Q1- Shereen, have you ever been to Syria and did you have to interview actual Syrians for this novel?

A1 – I haven’t ever been to Syria, but I did interview a range of people for the book. Especially refugees and migrants with experience of London like their expectations versus the reality. Interviewing helped me with my major plot points and I think that is the beauty of research. Often life is more interesting, and in this case, it was more harrowing, than fiction.

Q2 – I liked the plot of The Tower and the writing masha’Allah. It’s a very smooth novel that fits a night when you want your mind to unwind and lull a bit. So while you write this genre of books, what other types (genres) of books do you like reading?

A2 – Thank you. I think studying English Literature and making sure you read widely contributes to how smoothly you write. Dissecting books is an important part of creating your own! I have heard that what you read always contributes more to how you write, even subconsciously and I would go further to say it isn’t just what you read, it is everything you experience. And that experience can come through books. Personally, I enjoy reading different types of fiction, historical fiction, contemporary fiction and the classics.

Q3- The Tower was a bit of stranger than fiction occurrence; the attacks on Muslims in their places of worship or their residences is a reality. The greed and politics that let this happen was also exposed in your book. Do you think this will be an eye-opening experience for readers?

A3 – I hope that in some way, all reading experiences are eye opening in some ways. My editor and I discussed the way reality happened and was mirrored in a scene in my novel. I had drafted the idea over a year ago and I did debate excluding it. However, I am glad we didn’t. Often, when communities pick up on a certain environment, like in this case rising islamophobia, the consequences are often predictable and that is exactly what happened in The Tower.

Politics have played a part in this and therefore I wanted to reflect that. Although this is fiction, I believe it is important to reflect how communities are feeling and I wanted to bring some empathy, humanity and hope in an increasingly hostile world.

Q4 – Your Palestinian heritage merges with Syrian heritage in this book. Do you have any Syrian roots?

A4 – I don’t myself, but I am aware of refugees from Palestine to Syria, made refugees again after the war. In that way my heritage shares perspectives with this view of movement and shifting homelands which I wanted to explore throughout the book. I think most of us are capable of shared empathy despite where we are from and the global refugee crisis is affecting millions so we are all part of it in some way.

That is the beauty of fiction; it doesn’t matter where you are from, we all have shared experiences.

Q5 – What else do you want your readers to take away from The Tower?

A5 – It’s hard to really expect certain responses from readers so as a writer, I believe the finished novel belongs to the readers now. So, I don’t like to say what I expect readers to take from it because it will mean different things to different people. However, if I had to say something, I would hope that it offers, even in a small way, a different, positive perspective of how we can all contribute something good to the world.

Shereen, thank you for being with us.

Readers, please check out the review below of The Tower.

Online Book Launch ig the tower 4 10 19.png

 

The Tower published by Beacon Books is the second contemporary women’s fiction novel written by Shereen Malherbe; a British Palestinian writer based in both the UK and the United Arab Emirates. Shereen Malherbe is also a writer for Muslimah Media Watch, a forum for critiquing the images of Muslim women in the media and pop culture.

Book Summary

Reem is a Syrian refugee who has arrived in London, trying to discover the whereabouts of her 10-year old brother, Adar. Obsessed with history and consumed by her fragmented memories of home, Reem is also hiding secrets she hopes will never be revealed. After being placed in a tower block, she befriends Leah; a single mother who has been forced to leave her expensive South Kensington townhouse. Their unlikely friendship supports them as they attempt to find their place in a relentless, heaving city, and come to terms with the homes they left behind. Both bold and timely, The Tower shows how Reem and Leah’s lives change and intersect in the wake of individual and communal tragedy, as well as in their struggle to adapt to a rapidly shifting society.

In The Tower, Malherbe explores fictionalized real events and realities such as the Grenfell tower incident, the remnants of the war in the Middle East and women’s mental health like she did in her first novel Jasmine Falling .

Reem finds herself triggered by the apparition of her detractor out of nowhere. Secretly battling a possible gestation, domestic and emotional abuse, she can’t help but chase her brother’s ghost in London.

Reem also faces both hardship and ease while trying to communicate in English, while looking and finding a job and while carrying herself around because while some strangers might be kind to you, some won’t. And a Muslim woman wearing hijab is always targeted for some nonsense.

Thus, meeting Leah and the welcoming ummah in Reem’s new UK apartment building— the tower—and neighborhood brings her comfort until tragedies/blessings in disguise rip the little struggling pieces of her life she had left.

In the narrative of Leah, Malherbe lightly touches on the positive privilege this character brings to society and the self-discovery journey Leah treads. Leah finally finds her call and Reem gets a happy ending with a decent chap.

We can definitely say that Malherbe’s great narrative skills of the setting bring us to the scene, making The Tower a moving tale. The book shows that when stricken with deep love rejection, tremendous loss of family members, etc. human nature shows its resiliency by making an effort to survive the darkness.

Find it on Amazon here.

Rating: 4/5

Original Source : Fofky’s Blog .

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PRESS RELEASE FOR YASEEN’S BIG DREAM BY UMM JUWAYRIYAH

Assalamu aleikum,

You can read it here.

yaseen muslim mommy blog

Thank you for reading,

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Homeschooling Tips for Toddlers

A Ducktrinor Mom

Assalamu aleikum!

1441 ah homeschooling times

When you have little people around you, they mess with your stationary. All my markers are dried up or empty because the toddler prefers them to his own crayons. Now, I’m stuck with using his crayons for my own notes….smdh!

Anyway, the above list is a of pre-k milestone I found around to check if your kiddo is reasonably progressing before trying to enroll them. That said, I have found that from doctors to everybody else with an opinion about raising children, there is a great willingness to want to rush children into reaching certain milestones.

Alhamdullilah, we have checked all these milestones naturally without pressure. I have learned that children do things on their own time. You have to pray on it, leave it to Allah and finally show them regularly until one day, it clicks and they become independent with the task you want them…

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Ayesha Dean and The Seville Secret’s Online Book Launch!

A Ducktrinor Mom

ayesha graphic for fofkys book launch 4 6 19Interviewer: Papatia Feauxzar

Interviewee: Melati Lum

The Seville Secret — An Interview with the Author

Ayesha Dean is back with another mystery to resolve in The Seville Secret and our bookstore is excited to get an interview with the author.

Q1- Did you have to go on a literary pilgrimage for this second tome?

A1- Yes! Just like I drew on my visit to Istanbul with The Istanbul Intrigue, I did the same with some scenes in The Seville Secret, although I went there many years ago. The first time I visited Seville and Cordoba, I loved Andalusia so much that I found myself back there again a few years later, but I added Granada, Madrid, and Barcelona to our itinerary as well as returning to Seville and Cordoba. Making those trips and seeing so many sights of historical significance to Muslim rule in Andalusia touched me deeply. It felt…

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Ready for Ramadan 2019 : A Countdown and Review of Some Ramadan Books – III

A Ducktrinor Mom

Assalamu aleikum!

Check out two more books for #readyforramadan2019 below please.

jinni night of moonthe jinni on the rooftopSummary: Eight-year-old Raza is too young to fast, but he longs for the delicious parathas the grown-ups eat before dawn. The aroma of the flaky, golden bread tempts him. He cannot wait for the children’s breakfast, but he’ll get into trouble if anyone finds him up this early. Lying in bed, Raza hatches a plan. Will he get away with it? This is a delightful tale about a mischievous boy who learns the true meaning of Ramadan – patience and empathy.

Author: Natasha Rafi

Publisher: Pamir LLC

Review:The Jinni on the Roof is an hilarious story that portrays the level of genius of Raza, and his willingness to help his family during Ramadan. I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4.5/5

night of the moonSummary: …this sweet tale follows Yasmeen, a seven-year-old Pakistani-American girl, as she celebrates the Muslim holidays of Ramadan

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Hello Shaban!

Assalamu aleikum!

1441 AH SHABAN QUOTE

1441 AH is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/1441-AH-August-2019-2020/dp/1947148230 or  here.

 

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The Art of Mutual Destruction

The Art of Mutual Destruction Front Cover

The Art of Mutual Destruction by Neymat Raboobee at The Imperfect Muslimah is a tale woven with vengeance deeds. A love story set in rich crime boss underworld families, there is Iman, a mixed raced Blonde who is the jewel of her gangster grandfather Ibrahim Khan. There is also Iman’s mother who is physically abusive to her daughter she blames for ruining her life while her husband is a womanizer. Iman would do anything to get away from her Mom Aasia and her Politician stepfather.

Now, a few things were glossed over in this story like the setting (place) of the story and the world (the weather) around them. However, we get to just focus on the facts that truly move the story forward. We pick up on hints that money doesn’t make people happy and this is a tale about Rich People Problems. Though, the extent of the feudal families’s riches is not fully explained or given, we get the gist. They are rich folks who can make you disappear without anybody suspecting their involvement.

Some of the characters include Adam who has majorly sinned, Ali Cassim, Waseem, Shaida, James Blackwell and Kat. Ali has such a beautiful name and he is the total opposite. Shaida is lovely. Kat is loyal and pragmatic.

Raboobee is a storyteller, and she spins a tale that gives us a glimpse of what the private lives of hit-men and gangsters lives might look like. Do they have feelings? Do they hate their jobs? Do they want out? What originally drove them to that lifestyle? Do they believe in redemption or God? Are they practicing Believers? If you want to know, check out the book on Amazon today here. For another book by Raboobee check out this review.

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I-Intimacy by Carekhalifah – A Marriage Counseling Book

i intimacy picture

Assalamu aleikum!

I bought I-intimacy by  Ismail Shaikh back in May 2018, and I finally get a chance to share my brief thoughts with you. My version of I-Intimacy is a 293-page eBook with over easy-to-read 70 small chapters dealing with a wide range of issues commonly met in relationships of all types; husband/wife, parents/children, in-laws, toxic religious leaders, etc.

The main thing we should get from Shaikh’s book get is that charity starts at home, and the author expatiates this point by reminding the reader to revive the lost sunnah of sakinah, mawaddah and rahmah in our homes, relationships and marriages.

The book also delves in topics such as finances in a marriage and the salam rule. I didn’t agree with his finance stance as in a man can make a woman aware that he had to use her money.

A woman’s money is her money and no you can’t inform me that you dipped into my rizq without my prior consent. Men have been given many, many, many privileges by Allah and let us recognize that this a privilege that Allah allowed women that should not be trampled over. If you take the money that I don’t have any issue giving you, you have stepped on a major sacred boundary. Period :). Now, if I gave you a bank card linked to my account with your name on it, you don’t have to inform me or make me aware of your spending. My trust is implied by me giving you access to my money.

Now, that’s out there, I can resume and say that I enjoyed that Shaikh made the reader aware that if you truly wish peace upon your spouse by offering salams when you get home, don’t act in the way that contradicts the words you’re saying. It’s true. At least if you avoid people your soul doesn’t recognize, it’s easy to avoid sending them a salam because you aren’t even interacting with them to begin with. Therefore, your actions match the words you aren’t saying. But if you are going to salam me, it should at least come from a place of truth, love, peace, rahmah among other good things.

Another topic I appreciated is the drama triangle, co-dependency and victimhood topic. I completely agreed because I don’t have any tolerance for narcissism and manipulators of all kinds. That said, it’s not a bad thing in passing to validate the true hurt someone felt that you’ve witnessed or been told. Anyway, so check out the following quotes.

“It is important to take time to reflect on our need to rescue.”

“This is about taking care of a “victim,” who is not really a
victim.”

“…we should remember what the safety
instructions state before the airplane takes off: “When the
oxygen mask drops, put it on yourself before assisting
others.”

Toxic people will play the victim card time and time again when you already have enough to deal with on your plate and try to suck you into their never-ending dramas; don’t become co-dependent and fall for the charade. Protect your heart, energy and light.

Finally, it was also refreshing to read a book by a man who puts women on a pedestal through and through without undermining a men’s authority. It’s pretty much whatever works for you figuratively as in, is the woman from “Makkah” or “Madinah?”

“…We, the people of Quraish, used to have authority over
women, but when we came to live with the Ansar, we noticed
that the Ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so
our women started acquiring the habits of the Ansari
women…” (Al-Bukhari)

 

Read more at his website -> https://www.carekhalifah.com

Rating: 4/5

i intimacy picture 1

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Thought-Provokers: North Dallas

Assalamu aleikum!

Rejoice for they have been accepted in Jannah. On another note, please check an article where I was featured recently. Don’t call me haha! I don’t pick up my phone, lol!

Voyage Dallas.png

Wassalam,

Papatia

 

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Fofky’s Soap : An Easy Homemade Recipe

Assalamu aleikum!

fofkys soap final product

When we were children, the elders used to make this kind of soap called Kabakrou and we—the children—were charged to sell them in the neighborhood for 25 cents! The price has since increased to 50 cents these days. Anyway, it was mainly used to wash clothes and dishes. I intend to use this batch for kitchen purposes. I also added a few ingredients to make my own and substituted others in the process. My recipe is an adaptation of this one. For allergies reasons, any nut oil has been avoided.

Yield: 5 to 6 bars

Ingredients

fofkys soap and ingredients

To make soap, you just need caustic soda, oil and water. Every else is for cosmetic and preference purposes.

So to recap the ingredient picture, you will need:

– 2 cups of oil (I did half olive oil and half regular oil.)

– 1/4 cup caustic soda

– 3/4 cup warm water

– 1 mold for soap making

– 1 spatula you dedicate only to this soap making going forward (We don’t want food poisoning do we?)

– 1 pair of gloves

– Essential oils (Lavender oil has been used in this recipe.)

Procedure

In a pot, mix the water and caustic soda (Make sure to stand back a bit so that you don’t inhale the fumes.)

In another pot, pour the oil

Add the caustic soda to the oil and mix well for at least five minutes

Next, add the essential oil and mix the “potion” well

Then, pour the mixture into your soap molds and cover with a plastic wrap

Put the whole mold outside in an undisturbed area and let the content dry/cure for a week and half. After a week, you can flip the individual soap and let them cure for more days if you like. After a week or so, they can be ready to be used. It’s up to you to decide their readiness.

For an even easier Fofky’s recipe to make candles, please click here.

Happy Pampering!

Original source: Fofky’s Blog.

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Hello Rajab!

1441 ah quote rajab

1441 AH is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/1441-AH-August-2019-2020/dp/1947148230 or  here.

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Ready for Ramadan 2019 : A Countdown and Review of Some Ramadan Books – II

A Ducktrinor Mom

Assalamu aleikum!

ramadan moon lailahs lunch box

Welcome to another #readyforramadan2019 edition. Today, we have two books for you. Check them out!

Ramadan MoonSummary: Ramadan, the month of fasting, doesn’t begin all at once. It begins with a whisper And a prayer And a wish. Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramadan and the joyful days of Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the month of fasting as the most special time of year. This lyrical and inspiring picture book captures the wonder and joy of this great annual event, from the perspective of a child. Accompanied by Iranian inspired illustrations, the story follows the waxing of the moon from the first new crescent to full moon and waning until Eid is heralded by the first sighting of the second new moon. Written and illustrated by Muslims, this is a book for all children who celebrate Ramadan and those in the wider communities who want to understand…

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Accomplishments of Black Muslims in the Past 12+ Months

black-history

Black History like any other history occurs around the year and the clock. So check out some accomplishments made by well-known Black Muslims in the past twelve plus months.

January 2018: Muslim Writer Khadijah AbdulHaqq releases her groundbreaking children’s book Nanni’s Hijab

February 2018: The hashtag Black Muslim Reads drops

March 2018: Muslim Fashion Models Halima Aden and Kadija Diawara make headlines in Elle and Vogue Magazines respectively.

April 2018: Muslim Writer Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow releases her first children’s book Mommy’s Khimar

May 2018: Imam Omar Suleiman, Professor Su’ad Abdul Khabeer and Sherman Jackson among others are officially recognized by CNN’s as Top 25 Most Influential Muslims in America

June 2018: The hashtag Black Muslim Ramadan is in full swing

July 2018: Muslim Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad releases her memoir Proud

August 2018: Senator Ihlan Omar wins the Democratic primary in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District

September 2018: Fofky’s Kitchen; the First Ivorian cookbook in English is released

October 2018: Social Activist Margari Aziza expatiates on reforms for Mental Health campaigns

November 2018: Educator Umm Juwayriyah makes headlines for creating the first Muslim Fiction App

December 2018: Muslim Teens Amaya and Anwar Diggins are recognized as Top 6 Most Influential Youth

January 2019: Judge Walker-Diallo is named Supervising Judge of the Kings County (Brooklyn) Civil Court

February 2019: UK band Pearls of Islam releases its first album

These are just highlights and there are many more productive Black Muslims out there. Let’s keep chronicling and curating history for the next generation insha’Allah.

Black History Calendar

Original Article.

 

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Unlikely Friends — Pocono Liars Club

Irwin is not only the local Librarian; he’s also a book snob and an all-around grouch. There’s nothing he values more than his privacy. As a loner, he’s happy to be surrounded by books instead of subjected to the incessant blatherings of dysfunctional people. The one thing Irwin despises more than people is change. He’s […]

via Unlikely Friends — Pocono Liars Club

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Two Cute Books by Prolance You Need To Have!

A Ducktrinor Mom

Assalamu aleikum!

I have had the chance to read two children’s books recently published by Muslim Book Publisher Prolance, and I’m happy to share my honest thoughts with you. So here we go.

1. Friends of a Different Kind by Nayera Salam

Friends Launch PosterAge Range: 3+

Author: Nayera Salam

Illustrator: Jenny Reynish

Publisher: Prolance

Summary: Chocolate Chum is the luckiest dog in the neighborhood! He not only has many doggy friends but he has many pals of a different kind. Frogs, gnomes, cats and more. Meet them all in this story that teaches kids about inclusivity and diversity. From beginning to end, children and adults will be intrigued by the book’s message, the enchanting creatures, and the vivid imagery. Plus fun activities! Visit http://www.kidsbooksbynayera.com. Read-aloud version available.

Thoughts: I really loved Friends of a Different Kind; from the painting style to the rhymes, it was simply a delight…

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3 Books by Muslim Women to Inspire You in Marriage and Life

Ereader

Muslim women continue to unveil their true identities to the unbeknownst outside world which concluded what they are is simply oppressed and staid.

Here are three poignant anthologies that work to dispel the prejudice, show the Muslim woman’s pride, reclaim the Muslim woman’s narrative and reassert the Muslim woman’s voice in the process. Read your sisters’ words, be inspired and validated.

1. The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write

From established literary heavyweights to emerging spoken word artists, the writers in this ground-breaking collection blow away the narrow image of the Muslim Woman.

Hear from users of Islamic Tinder, a disenchanted Maulana working as a TV chat show host and a plastic surgeon blackmailed by MI6. Follow the career of an actress with Middle-Eastern heritage whose dreams of playing a ghostbuster flounder while being repeatedly cast as a jihadi bride. Among stories of honor killings and ill-fated love in besieged locations, we also find heart-warming connections and powerful challenges to the status quo. From Algiers to Brighton, these stories transcend time and place revealing just how varied the search for belonging can be. 

Triska Hamid’s short poem “London” is justifiable selfish. The reader realizes that while she may not call herself an English woman, she rightfully associates with being British. She loves London.

Fadia Faqir’s story “Under the Cypress” deals with bigotry, the circle of life and compassion among other things including magical realism.

In Amina Jama’s poem “Home, to a Man,” we relate to the advices and behaviors of moms and aunties. Immigrants will relate to the poem “The Things I Would Tell You” by Hibaq Osman. In all, this anthology is an eclectic writing style, testimony and non-monolithic sampling of the Muslim women of this era.

 

 2. Riding the Samoosa Express: Personal Narratives of Marriage and Beyond 

Riding the Samoosa Express is a metaphor to refer to the process of courtship, love, marriage, and beyond. It’s a well written tale sampling the diversity and the different faces the Indian Muslim women contributors experienced.

These personal narratives range from very funny tales like Farhana Ismail’s father’s izzat (honor) demands and Somayya Hansrod’s mishaps in the kitchen, to soul searching and self-actualization stories such as the ones of Yasmin Denat and many other anonymous and non-anonymous contributors. A very thought provocative compilation, Riding the Samoosa Express tell us that what may be true for one Muslim woman is not necessarily true or the norm for another Muslim woman. 

Each Muslim woman has a different life and a different culture. So, some of these stories mirror the lives of other Muslim women around the globe while many don’t. Many of the stories spoke to me. For instance, I felt the struggles of Zaheera Jina when she wished to be “Only Oomi” to her son while battling a PhD career in Mathematics.

Another story that spoke to me is the one of Nabeela Patel because of her open mind and religious tolerance of other faiths. I enjoyed her critical thinking and the way she ended her piece, “First, I need to blossom into a flower from a bud and settle into my own life. In this big, bad world I don’t know where I’ll end up, or who I will be, but I need to find that out first. I need to fathom the complex me, settle into my skin and breathe…”

3. Saffron: A Collection of Personal Narratives by Muslim Women

Saffron: A Collection of Personal Narratives by Muslim Women is an anthology of writing that draws on the lived realities of Muslim women.

Food and cooking, hardship and conflict, intimacy, baby-making, children, living with in-laws and self-esteem are some of the experiences unpacked in this collection of poignant personal narratives. This collection will remind and reassure that, although life brings with it many challenges, you as a woman are never alone in what you go through – many women share your experience.

Truly, in this anthology you will definitely realize that women all around you walk similar journeys with you. The testimonies are cryptic at times for the sake of privacy and revealing at other times for the sake of cautionary advice.

In all, all the stories complement one another. If you feel like one story left you thirsty, another will give you the closure you need. You will see an equal amount of beware-of-narcissistic-spouses and praise-able Muslim husbands like in “Khidmat in the Kitchen” by Aneesa Bodiat-Sujee.

There is also a healthy and classy dose of intimacy like in “Sublime Strawberries” by N. Moola. That’s essay 39 by the way, you have to read this sultry and cryptic romantic tale! From dealing with in-laws with diplomacy to infertility struggles, the WHOLE book rang true to me and here are some of the quotes I had to jot down:

Don’t let cooking takeover your life and don’t let the kitchen enslave you.” — Somayya Hansrod

This is a promise I made to myself before getting married. And I’m a good cook and a foodie.

“Food forces us to be present and connected in our marriages.” — Gouwa Gabier

In “Saffron,” Sumayya Mehtar said that, “… no marriage is all smooth sailing.” And I agree, you will simply realize that food has the power of mending relationships and helping you as a couple get passed the storm.

“Every newly married woman naively thinks that they are the first victim, history repeats itself with no solutions and deep sadness with no cures.” — Yumna Samaria

This is exactly where you see that other women work the journey with you and you aren’t alone. Reading the book will make you feel better and enjoy this group therapy it provides.

And of course my favorite, “Being a Muslim woman involves a perfect blend of saffron, rituals and philosophies.” —Dr. Zaheera Jina

Definitely! Without routines like daily plans, rituals like duas and dhikr, flavors like spices & teas and philosophies like inspirational quotes; I would be an unproductive mess and fit the stereotype about the Muslim woman as being a closed-minded individual.

There are many more passages in the book I found inspirational, and I hope you come to say the same too. These women hail from Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. Their common denominator is Islam and that alone makes their struggles and their wins relatable, and their book a must-read.

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Review: 1441 AH

JUMADA 2 1440 QUOTE

The Imperfect Muslimah

I was sent an electronic version of this planner in exchange for sharing my honest thoughts about it.

1441 AH half cover 1 8 19

I am mad over planners. Everyone and their grandmother knows that if you show me a year planner, or a journal, or even a tiny sad-looking notebook without even a proper hardcover, I am the one to pet it and coo over it. The illusion of productivity is like a siren’s call for me – add that to the residual trauma of having an amazing idea for a story or book or somewhere and having nowhere to write it down when I was younger and didn’t have a phone glued to my right hand and you’ve got a captive audience.

Djarabi Kitabs’ newest release is the 1441AH planner which runs from August 2019 to August 2020. You might be thinking what on Earth, why such a weird starting point?

Well, that’s because…

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Ready for Ramadan 2019 : A Countdown and Review of Some Ramadan Books

A Ducktrinor Mom

ramadan 1440 or 2019

Besides my personal stack of Ramadan books for children, I was surprised to find over twenty books dealing with Ramadan at my local library. They were written by Muslims and non-Muslims. While I was happy about the mix of the sources, I was also sad by the misrepresentation and false facts that seeped and got weaved in some of them. As Muslim parents, we have to make sure that we are aware of what is and what is not Ramadan and Islam. Below is part of my current stack. Alhamdullilah for a library.

ramadan books at fofkys

In this post, I will review some books and in the spirit of our countdown to the Sultan of the Months, I will review the others insha’Allah.

1. Ramadan (Celebrate the World) by Hannah Eliot

celebrate the world ramadanSummary: In the ninth month of the year, when the first crescent moon rises in the sky, it’s time to celebrate Ramadan!…

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