Ritual slaughter

Dec 01

In the UK, we always celebrated Eid ul Adha, commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his first-born son on God’s command, and his subsequent sacrifice of a sheep. The children knew all about Eid both from home and their madrassa. I would send off our money to the Islamic Relief development charity, knowing that somewhere in the world, an animal would be...

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Forwards and backwards

Nov 01

In South Africa, a Muslim pilot project has started – one that has nothing to do with aeroplanes. It is a dedicated after-school madrasah for children and adults with mental and physical learning disabilities. Their ages range from four to forty. Some of them can walk; several can talk. The students come to learn about and experience God’s creation in a simple way,...

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Choosing food, flats and family

Oct 01

One of the first things I noticed on our recent return to England was the choice: choice of breakfast cereal, choice of teabags, choice of fruit – and even a choice about where that fruit came from. Did I want my eggs free-range, organic, hand-reared, locally-reared, white, or off-white? Did I want normal Weetabix or the premier version? Did I want strawberries from...

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Just another flying lesson

Sep 01

Last month, on a quiet Saturday morning, I was anticipating an uneventful day. I dropped off two of the children at a weekly activity and made some routine stops at unexciting places like the Post Office that are just about manageable to visit with one child but rather more of a challenge with three. Their responsible father, Julian, was busy pursuing his new hobby,...

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Charity for the old and young

Aug 01

I left the children at home one evening recently – much to their disgust – to attend a local charity fundraising event. It was the celebration of a joint project between Muslims and Christians: the start of building an ‘old age’ day-care centre. (No political correctness here: old people are just called old, rather than ‘senior citizens’.) The occasion was...

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Dying to go to Heaven

Jul 01

My children love talking about death. Some may call it morbid. But with these kids, it is just another topic of conversation, much like discussing what’s for lunch, or who hit whom first -and who hit hardest. Safiyya was exposed to death from a young age. When she was just four years old, my friend’s little baby sadly died, around the time as another friend’s father...

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