Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

December 30, 2005

E.A.R. - Escaping Abusive Relationships

In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon You Assalamu Alaikum Insha'Allah this message finds you in the best of health and imaan, and NOT in need of any of the information or resources my new project aims to provide. Amin. However, I have been saddened and disturbed at the amount of communication I've read recently with regard to Muslimah's (and women in general) silently suffering inside abusive relationships. Even more disheartening is the fact that many sisters/women are consumed with the thought that they are helpless to escape. It is a sad fact that no matter what background you are from, what country you live in, or what religion you are affiliated with...abuse knows no boundaries. The information you will find here is just the beginning of a project that I hope, with your input, we can expand to include categories and or areas that will provide resources available GLOBALLY, so that no sister/woman ever feels she is alone, that she doesn't have a choice, or is helpless to escape…no matter where she lives. Insha'Allah. Please use the feedback form found here to send in your suggestions, links, stories, poems, news articles, etc., in support of E.A.R. - Escaping Abusive Relationships. Jazakallahu khayran for showing you care!! Ma'Salaama.

December 26, 2005

Southern Smile from Across the Miles

Digitally daughter sends holiday greetings from South Carolina. I hope your day was great! Judging from the pretty ring on your finger...I'm guessing it was! Love, Mom

December 25, 2005

How About an Eid Sale at Macy's?

By Sabiha Khan December 25, 2005 Christians no doubt welcome the movie version of C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," but many Muslims do as well. Neither my fellow Muslim moviegoer nor I was offended by any of the movie's Christian references, and, in fact, we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see smart storytelling on the big screen. That may come as a surprise in light of popular myths about Muslim beliefs and practices. But Islam teaches Muslims to respect and understand other religions, especially the religions of the people of the book, among them Christians and Jews. Many Muslim core values — freedom, justice and peace — are shared by followers of the world's other great religions. And Muslims revere Jesus as one prophet of God in a long line of such prophets, among them Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist and Muhammad. American Muslims believe that Christmas celebrations should not be watered down or banned because they might offend people of other faiths or non-faith. Acknowledging Christmas — or any other religious holiday — in the public square does not infringe on my sensibilities or my right to practice my religion. Indeed, many Muslim families will take their children to see the beautiful decorations of Christmas lights on homes to share the happiness they produce. Similarly, Muslims will play host to Muslim and non-Muslim friends during the Islamic celebrations of Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) and Eid-ul-Fitr (Festival of the Feast). Perhaps the talk about a movement to de-Christianize Christmas aims to scare people into thinking that Christianity itself is under attack. We should be wary of those who try to turn this emotional issue into a rallying point against non-Christians or even secular Christians who don't share the religious right's agenda. Many non-Christians merely want their religious holidays to receive the same recognition and acceptance as Christmas. For instance, why shouldn't Albertson's put lamb and hummus on sale during Ramadan? Or Macy's set aside a one-day blowout sale on clothing the day before Eid? Or the local elementary school stage an Eid production with traditional songs? The Constitution states that government may not endorse one religion over another. This does not preclude the public celebration of our country's many ethnic and religious holidays. In the movie "The Chronicles of Narnia," the evil White Witch turned Narnia into a perpetually cold and wintry land where Christmas was banned until she was defeated. What a sad, long winter it would be if we Americans unwittingly distilled our diverse religious celebrations into a neutral, nondescript "Happy Holiday.",0,5931968.story From the Los Angeles Times This material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, religious issues, etc. It is belived that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

December 24, 2005

A Little Something to Make You Go...Awwwwww!

I've been meaning to do a blog post on this all week! Take a peek at this's guaranteed to make you go, "Awwww!!" *wink* Enjoy!!

December 21, 2005

Here's a Thought...Volunteer Your Way Through the Holidays!

If you are a Muslim living in the United States, or a revert looking for a way to still share in the holiday spirit of peace and good will towards mankind, or just in need of something to help you get through the transition of feeling at a loss because: (1) You have no family or your family members are far away from you; either physically and/or emotionally; (2) You don't know any other Muslims in your community with whom you can associate to help you get past the holidays, since, as a Muslim you are not (or as a revert no longer) participating in the religious aspects of the holiday season, or "Christmas"; (3) You live in an area where there isn't a masjid nearby; (4) You want to maintain the essence of the "holiday" season by doing something positive for mankind in general; (5) You have some spare time on your hands; (6) You are simply looking for an opportunity to practice the Islamic teaching to occupy your time in doing good deeds, or; (7) You don't have any plans for Eid-ul-Adha! Please visit!! You can begin your search for volunteer opportunities right here: Customize your search to select from opportunities in categories like: Advocacy & Human Rights, Animals, Arts & Culture, Board Development, Children & Youth, Community, Computers & Technology, Crisis Support, Disabled, Education & Literacy, Emergency & Safety, Employment, Environment, Health & Medicine, Homeless & Housing, Hunger, Hurricane Relief, Immigrants & Refugees, International, Justice & Legal, Media & Broadcasting, Politics, Race & Ethnicity, Religion, Seniors, Sports & Recreation, and Women. You can even be a virtual volunteer! Just use the virtual opportunity search found here: As a virtual volunteer you can utilize your computer, Internet connection, phone, and/or fax. VolunteerMatch makes volunteering excuse free! To date VolunteerMatch has provided 2,349,861 referrals, and has offered 34,553 opportunities in association with 37,174 organizations!! Explore the multitude of opportunities available and see if there is a place where you can make a contribution today! Imagine the blessings to be found in representing Islam with the face of a Muslim, ready, willing, and able to show that we are truly a people of peace, love, kindness, understanding and charity. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Giving in charity is an obligation upon every Muslim". It was said (to him): "What about one who does not find (the means) to do so?'' He (PBUH) said, "Let him work with his hands, thus doing benefit to himself and give in charity.'' It was said to him: "What if he does not have (the means) to do so?'' He (PBUH) said, "Then let him assist the needy, the aggrieved.'' It was said: "What about if he cannot even do this?'' He (PBUH) said, "Then he should enjoin good.'' He was asked: "What if he cannot do that?'' He (the Prophet (PBUH)) said, "He should then abstain from evil, for verily, that is a charity from him." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] "Every good deed is charity." [Al-Bukhari] Happy Volunteering!!

December 20, 2005

How Many Countries Are in the World?

You know, I found this really cool little blog add-on, which some of you may have noticed, that tracks visitors by the country they've popped in from. This little gadget just fascinates me! So, on noticing that there have been visitors to my blog from 55 different countries, curiosity got the best of me, and I finally succumed to the itch and ran a search on the number of countries in the world. Many an astute geography student probably already knew the answer to this question, however, I am guessing that there are just as many of us out here that didn't already know the answer so here it is: P.S. You can get your own neocounter here. After the 14-day free trial period you'll have to subscribe if you want to maintain the full customizable version, otherwise, the neoboard will revert back to the "free" version. The good news is the subscription fee is nominal - $5.95 for 6 mos. or $8.95 for 12 mos. From Matt Rosenberg, Your Guide to Geography. May 3 2004 By Most Accounts, 193 is the Correct Answer. A very frequent geographical question is "How many countries are in the world?" Different numbers pop up when one inquires or reads about the number of countries in the world. Each source you use often yields a different answer. United Nations There are 191 members of the United Nations. Unfortunately, the number 191 is too often used to represent the number of countries in the world. Although this number represents almost all of the countries in the world, there is still one country (the Vatican City) that is independent and has chosen not to become a member of the U.N. U.S. Department of State The United States' State Department recognizes 192 independent countries around the world. Their list of 192 countries reflects the political agenda of the United States of America and its allies. Missing from the State Department's list is one entity that may or may not be considered a country, depending on who you talk to. The One Outsider Taiwan meets most of the requirements of independent country or state status. However, due to political reasons, it fails to be recognized by the United States and much of the rest of the world. Taiwan was actually a member of the United Nations (and even the Security Council) until 1971, when mainland China replaced Taiwan in the organization. Taiwan continues to press for full recognition by other countries, to become "part of the club" and fully recognized worldwide but China claims that Taiwan is simply a province of China. Thus... Your Guide considers there to be 193 countries, which is probably the best current answer to the question, "How many countries are in the world?" unless Taiwan is officially absorbed into China at some point, in which case the answer would be 192. However... Recognize that there are dozens of territories and colonies that are sometimes erroneously called "countries" but don't count at all - they're governed by other countries. Places commonly confused as being countries include Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England - sorry folks, they're not countries, states, or nation-states). ©2005 About, Inc., A part of the New York Times Company. All rights reserved.

December 14, 2005

Chillin' with the Birds on a Somber Afternoon

I've had pets of one kind or another throughout my life...the first being a beautiful grey kitten named Smokey. Then came along Suki, Peanut, Skeeter, Benji, Tracy, a second generation Benji and Tracy, Lacy, Charlie, King, and Kong, Myrtle, Blaze, Christy, Dancer, and Tigger...and I'm sure I've missed a few! *lol* But of all the animals I've had, from cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, horses, turtles, and even a squirrel, I've never had, but have always been fascinated by talking birds. I've known a few people over the years with birds that could talk, and have recently become keen to have one I could teach English to in order to have someone else to talk with besides my husband! *just kidding!!* So, anyhow, yesterday afternoon I was wandering around the souk and came upon a little shop where I stopped to hang out with the birds. The guy on the right (picture above), was absolutely entertaining...or that is...entertained with himself! *lol* This bird was just whistling up a storm, every kind of whistle you could imagine, and non-stop at that! I couldn't help but chuckle as I stood watching and listening...this, of course, peeking my interest once again in becoming a bird owner. *smile* But...for as much as I yearn in my heart to have a pet in my life again...the pain of the loss I felt when my last pet fell ill and had to be put to sleep...well...was just about more than I could take...and I just don't know if I can bring myself to subject my heart to that again... Owning a pet is a big responsibility...and my last experience showed me particularly, that if your life/living situation isn't stable, you shouldn't try to bring a pet into your home. It's not fair to the animal...and in the end only leads to heart-break. So, even though contemplating pet ownership again has been on my mind the last few days...I know it's not the best idea right now...and what makes the longing sort of worse is...every time I go outside I see cats...but there's not a single one that you could pick up and cuddle, because they're just 'yard' cats. Sad, it is. Just sad. Okay, time to take my melancholy self on off to bed. Besides, Windows is trying to install an update and I keep getting this little pop-up window telling me that in order to complete the installation Windows will be restarted in 4 minutes and 59 which you can click on the "restart now' button or the "restart later" button. Well...I've come to know, after clicking on "restart later" about a dozen times, that "later" is only like...five minutes! Annoying darn thing...later means LATER darn it! *lol* Alright...catchy'all later...

December 12, 2005

Scenes from an Afternoon Walk...(12/13/05)

I ventured out after Asr today on a quest to find a few items from a short mental list, and in keeping with my decision to turn left instead of right this trip *smile* I found myself in a bustling little neighborhood surrounded by small vegetable and fruit stands, bakeries, grocery stores, butcher markets, and a series of little walk-up restaurants (a/k/a a local souk!). It was such a nice afternoon, the weather amazing considering that it is mid-December; you don't even have to wear a sweater outside yet! Subhan'Allah. There were only a few things remaining on my shopping list when the adhan for Maghrib sounded. Deciding to scout out a masjid instead of waiting until I returned to the apartment for salat, I stopped to surmise my surroundings. One of the nice things about living in a country where Islam is the predominantly practiced religion is that you don't have to look too far to find a masjid! Al-hamdulillah! Turning to my left and then to my right, within eyesight of either direction I found the familiar minaret, the only thing left to do was make a decision as to which direction to walk. I started out the afternoon's adventure with a left turn, so it just somehow made sense to continue left. What I found inside the masjid was such a nice surprise, so much so that I just had to snap a few photos. I've been in many a masjid with tile lined walls, but the walls and ceilings of the entire three floors of this masjid were hand painted. It was simply beautiful. I hope you enjoy the pictures, insha'Allah.

December 11, 2005

Here's a Bright Idea...

Go to Yahoo or Google (whatever your favorite search engine might be) and type in the search box "*your name* Needs" ... the quotation marks are important because they make it an exact match. For instance, since I'm Aishah I'll type in: "Aishah Needs" Pick your 3 best results and enter them in the "comment" section. I think the name "Aishah" made my list short...there were only four results in the search: Here are my three: (1) Aishah needs to buck up! (2) Aishah needs some friends! (3) Aishah needs me to be able to run around with her! Okay...this is what I do in Egypt on a boring Sunday night, as I sit closed up in my room because the main part of the apartment is filled with people speaking Arabic and I don't...sweet's a good excuse to not have to *visit* for five hours! *lol*

December 07, 2005

What Are You Grateful For Today? (12/07/05)

Al-hamdulillah for new slippers! *smile* My dear sweet mother-in-law knitted these and presented them to me today! Awww...aren't they cute?! Now my toes are snug and warm! Thanks Mom! I'm also grateful today in knowing that my adopted daughter, Hanane, is on her way to Colorado with her husband to start a new and fresh chapter in their lives. I pray Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala allows their safe journey as they will be on the road for about four days, and I pray that the new opportunities they will find in Colorado will breathe new vitality into their relationship, and that all things good will be facilitated for them wish ease. Above all I wish for them peace and happiness in this life and in Jannah. Ameen. I love you for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala my daughter. ~Mum

The HollyDazzle Day

By: Pamela K. Taylor Okay, this is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard... Newport News, Virginia, is getting ready for their annual Christmas celebration, except they aren't calling it that. They're calling it "Hollydazzle". And instead of lighting the Christmas tree, they'll be lighting the "Tree of Illumination." Who do they think they are fooling? Does anyone really imagine that American Jews drape their menorahs with holly garlands during Hanukkah? Or that Muslims put up trees (of illumination or any other sort) to celebrate Eid? Or maybe that Hindus hang ornaments off the many arms of Kali each December? Of course not! And when all the folks gather around the tree down in Newport News, waiting for the firemen to light it up, will any of them really think how beautiful the Multi-faith Tree of Illumination is going to be? Heck, no! Christmas trees are Christmas trees; celebrations where you light trees are celebrations of Christmas. Changing the name doesn't change the nature of what you are doing; it just makes a mockery of multiculturalism and the separation of church and state. The government should either get out of the business of holiday celebrations or they should practice true multiculturalism. Since the vast majority of Americans do not want the government to stop celebrating events important to their lives -- even my atheist friends and family celebrate holidays like Christmas and Easter -- the solution, clearly, is not to eliminate holidays, but to have public celebrations that actually include other faiths. Pretending that Christian traditions can be universal under a different name won’t pass the muster. It offends Christians, who rightfully do not want their holidays watered down into some meaningless, politically correct verbiage. And it offends non-Christians because such renaming is clearly nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt by some to maintain the status quo – that is to have the government continue celebrating Christmas and acting as though Christianity were the state religion, just disguising it under obfuscating titles. True multiculturalism is welcoming many different celebrations, customs, and holidays. It’s lighting a Christmas Tree one week, and lighting a Menorah the next. It’s hanging Ramadan lanterns in October and Christmas decorations in December. Some public institutions are already doing this. My children's elementary school, for instance, had winter holiday parties that were truly celebrations of winter traditions. The walls of the school were decorated with posters depicting Divali, Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr (which at the time fell near Christmas), Chinese New Year, Kwanza, Hanukkah, and various incarnations of Christmas. The parties often included songs, games, or crafts from different cultures. Children were invited to talk about their own celebrations. Our federal government has demonstrated another model – maintaining Christian traditions, while adding celebrations of other faiths to the calendar. The President still lights the National Christmas Tree, and the White House still boasts the largest wreath in Washington DC. But the President also hosts an annual Ramadan Iftar – the dinner to break fast. During Hanukkah, the White House displays a Menorah and hosts lighting ceremonies. He sends greetings to the Chinese community on Chinese New Year, and the African American community on Kwanza. That is the way government celebrations should be handled – with acknowledgement of the diversity that makes this country vibrant, and with respect for the principle that the government should not prefer one religion to another. Whether it is in one unified celebration that incorporates aspects of many faiths, or in a multiplication of celebrations doesn’t really matter so long as it is a substantive move towards inclusiveness. Lip service – coming up with feel-good names that fool nobody, and don’t please anybody – simply isn’t good enough. Copyright @ 2005, Pamela K. Taylor Pamela K. Taylor has been writing since childhood. While she makes a living free-lancing, editing, and writing copy, her first love is fiction, particularly science fiction. She is currently shopping her first novel, Beyond the Pleiades, and simultaneously working on four more. She also serves as Publications Officer and Acting Director of Islamic Writer's Alliance. Visit Pamela K. Taylor on the web at or Author's Biography: Direct Link to Article:

December 06, 2005

Doing A Good Deed Amounts to Charity

On the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari who reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Sadaqah (alms) is enjoined on every Muslim." They (the people) said, "Suppose one cannot afford it?' He said, "He should work with his hands so that he may benefit himself and give in charity." They said, "If he cannot work or does not work?" He said, "Then he should help the oppressed unhappy person (by word or action or both)." They said, "If he does not do it?" He said, "Then he should enjoin what is good." They said, "If he does not do that?'' He said, "Then he should refrain from doing evil, for that will be considered for Him as a Sadaqah (charity)." (Reported by Imam Al-Bukhari Hadith no. 6022 and by Imam Muslim Hadith no. 1008)
  • The phrase “charity is incumbent on every Muslim” does not signify that giving charity is obligatory, rather it is, according to the unanimous agreement of scholars, a merit that every Muslim is encouraged to foster. Charity originlly signifies giving out of one’s property or money voluntarily. The obligatory Zakah can also be termed as Sadaqah (charity), to show that each giver of Zakah should be keen to achieve Sidq (truthfulness) when giving Zakah.
  • This Hadith states that every good deed or word is counted as a charity. Likewise, abstaining from doing evil is counted as a charity.
  • The Hadith also urges Muslims to work and earn lawfully, in order to have money from which one can give charity and save himself the humiliation caused by begging.
  • The Hadith urges Muslims to do good according to their means; if a certain good deed is difficult to achieve, one can turn to that which is easier for him.

December 04, 2005

There's no place like home...

I came across this image of a painting that reminded me so much of home...especially during this time of year, that I just couldn't help feeling compelled to share it with you! I was born and raised in Michigan, and spent many of those years living in the countryside of a small town. I remember many a winter day and scenes like the one depicted in this painting that reminded me so much of home... The house that we lived in was on lake front property, surrounded by woods and a wide variety of wildlife. I used to ride my horse on the winding trails of the surrounding area and I remember a stream similar to the one depicted in the painting. It was nice to be momentarily carried back to a place in time that seems now so far away, and the memory of moments where I experienced serenity much like that captured in this wonderful painting. Sunrise Splendor Observing the beauty of Yellowstone [National Park of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, USA] unfolding in the early morning glow, sunshine warming last night's extremely heavy frost is a sight few are privileged to see.

December 02, 2005

And the lights went out!

Okay, like it is 1:21 am Saturday morning here in Egypt. I have been working diligently on trying to get caught up on S4D new member introductions. In the background I've been watching a movie on cable. I'm about to finish the last introduction. The movie is in its, like, last, maybe 2 minutes. and the electricity goes out!!!! Hello!!!! Wait just a minute!!! That's not even nice!!! GRRRRRR!!!! So, two minutes into the next movie, opening credits still running... the electricity comes back. The good news is...the last new member intro has been sent out!!! I am caught up!!! Wahoo!! Yippee!! Hooray!

November 30, 2005

Jealousy and Envy; The Wolf Behind the Door

"There is no desirable form of jealousy except for two types: (1) a person to whom Allah has given the Qur'an and he recites it day and night, so when a person hears him he says, 'If only I were given the likes of what he has been given so that I may act upon it the way this person is.'; and (2) a person to whom Allah has bestowed wealth and he spends in the cause of Truth, so a person says, 'If only I were given the likes of what he has been given, so that I may act upon it the way this person is.'" [Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Number 544]  

And then there is undesirable envy, or jealousy. Jealousy and envy are among the most destructive emotions or feelings one can have towards another human being. They are often manifested as an evil wish towards others or in being happy when misfortune befalls them. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) warned against envy, He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

"Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood." [Abu Dawood]

The one who is jealous, hating the favors bestowed by Allah (swt) upon someone else, is an oppressor (which is forbidden; Hadith Qudsi 17), and one who will go beyond bounds to act, dictated by jealousy, is deserving of punishment unless he repents. 

The one affected by the oppressor should be patient of the harm afflicted upon him by the one who is jealous, and he should forgive and overlook, just as Allah (swt) said,

"Many of the People of the Book wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their own selves even after the truth has become clear to them. But forgive and overlook until Allah brings about His Command." [Surah al-Baqara 2:109]

"...Verily, he who fears Allâh with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allâh makes not the reward of the Muhsinûn (good-doers - see v.2:112) to be lost." [Surah Yusuf 12:90]

As for the person who is tried and harmed for choosing obedience to Allah, then he will be rewarded for the actual trial and it shall be written as a righteous action for him. Allah, the Most High, said, "That is because they suffer neither thirst nor fatigue, nor hunger in the Cause of Allah, nor do they take any step to raise the anger of disbelievers nor inflict any injury upon an enemy but it is written to their credit as a righteous deed. Indeed Allah wastes not the reward of the doers of good." [Surah at-Taubah 9:120] 

Jealousy is a sickness of the heart and soul of mankind and few of us are secure from it. On finding envy or jealousy in our hearts we should strive to snuff it out and treat it with patience and taqwa of Allah (swt), for that which we do not act upon in speech or action cannot harm us. Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger salla allahu alayhe wasalam said:

"Beware of oppression, for oppression will turn into excessive darkness on the Day of Resurrection; and beware of niggardliness, for niggardliness destroyed your predecessors." (Hadith 26:203; Muslim)

Commentary: This Hadith makes it abundantly clear that there will be utmost justice on the Day of Resurrection. So much so that Allah will redress even the grievance of the aggressed animals against the aggressors. Thus, this Hadith serves a severe warning for people. When animals, who are devoid of sense, will not be forgiven, how would mankind be, which is gifted with senses? The latter will not be pardoned if they are guilty of having been unjust to anyone without adequately compensating them.  

"Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak. From the evil of what He has created. And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness. And from the evil of the witchcrafts when they blow in the knots. And from the evil of the envier when he envies." [Surah al-Falaq 113:1-5]

"By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, none of you believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." [Bukhari Volume 1 Book 2 Number 12 and Hadith Qudsi 13]

Compiled by ~Aishah Illustration from: Brothers Grimm. Grimms' Fairy Tales [Little Red Riding Hood]. Ella Dolbear Lee, illustrator. Chicago: M. A. Donohue & Co., 1920.

November 29, 2005

Announcing! Subscribe to Aishah's Islamic Journey!

Announcing a new addition to Aishah's Islamic Journey Blog! Now you can sign up to receive email notifications whenever updates are posted! Sign up today by entering your email address in the subscripton field found to the right of the page underneath the visitor counter. See you again soon, insha'Allah!

November 28, 2005

What Are You Grateful For Today? (11/28/05)

Al-hamdulillah for the Love and Mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and New York! A sister from New York that was at my wedding 2½ years ago jumped right on out there, and stood beside me for the second time today! Subhan'Allah! Big Hug Habibti! And another sister living in New York that will return to Alexandria in March (cannot wait to meet her in person!!), rang my eldest daughter for me tonight as a surprise, gave Ashley the information for a calling card over the phone, and just a few minutes later we spoke to one another for the first time since I arrived in Egypt this September! What a wonderful evening of surprise blessings! The best and sweetest thing of all was hearing the laughter of my grandson (who just turned two this past Friday), and the sound of his voice when his mom handed him the phone and he said, "I love you!" Subhan'Allah! The love and support from my two dear sisters and friends, was right on time today, and a reaffirmation that after every hardship comes ease. Al-hamdulillah. I am grateful today for my brothers and sisters in Islam who truly know my heart. Jazakallahu khayran for your support. Ma'Salaama, ~Aishah

November 24, 2005

Just a Rant...and Co-Rant...on The "H" Word

Assalamu Alaikum! I found an article today that will be inserted under my opening comments that neatly summed up for me exactly why I resist posting material on the subject of hijab. (Okay, I did post one...) You see, in addition to the comments made in the article, what we have to realize is that we cannot cram Islam down the throats of those exploring or coming into it, or those who have lived in Muslim families but are just coming to a point in their own lives, where they have decided for themselves to truly embrace and begin to practice their religion. There is not a single one of us on the planet that is on the same level of development in their deen. Not a single one! And when we engage in arguments over-who-is-right-or-wrong-and-who's-idea-of-whoever's-interpretation-of-whatever-proof-they-want-to-present-is-the-only-one-we-should-follow... Astafurgallah al-azeem! Are we really helping or pushing away the sisters that are seeking guidance? Some reverts take hijab (in whatever form is for them at the time) on the very same day that they make their Shahada, and some sisters never wear it a day in their lives! Does that mean one is right and one is wrong, or that one is going to the Paradise and one is going to the hellfire? Who are we to say!?! Only Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows!!! Do you realize that even in Egypt it was not so long ago that the percentage of women wearing hijab was so small that it was more common to not see it than to see it!?!? In Egypt today, Al-hamdulillah, it is clearly evident that the people are seeking a return to Islam, and hijab is everywhere, in every shape, style and color. Al-hamdulillah! I, for one, see this as a great progress! And yes, one may wear it with jeans, and one may wear it with a skirt, and one may wear it in jelbab and one may wear it with an abaya...BUT ALLAH SUBHANAHAU WA TA'ALA IS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS OUR INTENTION!!! We must remember this first and foremost in our discussions, manners, and above all before we dare to spare one mili-second in judgment of another! As Muslims striving to perfect our deen we are all at different levels in our growth, so who are we to bemoan that this sister is wearing hijab one way, and that sister is wearing hijab another way, and that sister is not wearing it at all, and thereby judging that they are wrong just because they are not living up to our expectations in compliying with the multitude of varying interpretations of how we are to practice every single known facet of the religion??? Imagine how overwhelming this is to the new Muslimah?!?!? Al-hamdulillah that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is All-Knowing, Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful, Most Generous and Most Patient...just to name a few of the 99 different adjectives attributed to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala!

Food for thought: The Qur'an is a Message from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to humanity. It was transmitted to us in a chain starting from the Almighty Himself (swt) to the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (saas). It took 23 years (610 CE to 622 CE) to complete the revelation of the Qur'an; this in and of itself, is a perfect example of how long we might consider it could possibly begin to take for a revert or person just beginning to embrace Islam from his/her heart to fully develop in the deen! But honestly? Perfecting our deen is a lifelong process if you really think about it.

So imagine the revert who is bombarded in his/her first days, weeks, months, the first brothers and sisters telling them, you have to do this, and you have to do that...and all now! Imgaine if we truly knew the rate at which Islam loses reverts because of this bombardment of information and demands?!?!

We need to step back sometimes and consider at what point our discussions and arguments are doing more harm than good; bottom line.

And that's the end of my rant...I'll turn it over now to the sister who wrote the blog post from Living Tradition. Outside of what I just said, what she said wraps it up pretty tight. (continued here) Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

November 21, 2005

What Are You Grateful For Today?

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu! Today I was sooooooooo happy! Al-hamdulillah! And therefore I am officially launching the "What Are You Grateful for Today" post that my e-group members have now grown use to seeing pop into their inbox's now and again. It just serves as a reminder of the many blessings that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala bestows upon they big or small; sometimes it's the little things in life that mean the most. And today was one of those days. After only being able to speak to my heart-adopted daughter, Hanane (from Morocco) only one time during all of Ramadan, this morning the phone rang just shortly after fajr. With the hour being what it was...something told me that the call was for me. My mother-in-law answered the phone. For a minute or two I held my breath as it seemed she was chatting away with someone and perhaps, after all, the call was not for me. But knowing Hanane as I do, I am sure she was just offering a healthy greeting with the foresight of knowing that the woman answering the phone was my mother-in-law. Al-hamdulillah, my husband finally re-entered our room, having also risen to see who the caller was, and announced that the call was for me; the caller being Hanane. It was so nice to hear her excited little voice and to finally get the long overdue report of her current status. She has just returned from Morocco after a three-month hiatus, and Al-hamdulillah, even though she was gone so long, her employer allowed her to come straight back to work; that is how much she is respected. Subhan'Allah. *grins a motherly grin* We spoke of so many things, and yet it seemed nothing at all when suddenly the beep came on the line and our conversation was interrupted so that a recording could gently prompt us that we had one minute left to chat. With promises to talk again soon, insha'Allah our call came to an end. Is there someone who would be just as happy to hear from you? What are you waiting for?!?! Pick up the phone...and CALL! Don't procrastinate another minute! Every minute that we are blessed to have life is a minute for which we should be thankful, as each minute is ripe with opportunities for good deeds; don't let another one pass you by...a missed opportunity is a missed blessing, indeed! Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

November 19, 2005

"I'm a woman and I have a right to change my mind!"

I've been thinking a lot the last two days about the job I was offered this week, and it seems that I may be playing the, "I'm a woman and it's my right to change my mind" card. *lol* Life here in Egypt has been going along just fine without any added element potentially threatening to bring undue stress or strife into our lives, and thereby disrupting the balance of harmony we currently enjoy. I am perfectly content to be freely available and at the service of my husband and mother-in-law for whatever need they may have; I do it for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala – who is the Ultimate provider of all my needs, and upon whom I will continue to depend on to meet those needs, insha'Allah. My reward? The freedom of having the time to devote to my religion, and to taking care of my sisters; and to the writing that is a release for the boundless energy that leaps from my mind, through my fingers, onto my keyboard, and into the lives of the people I love for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. And there could be no greater blessing than someday hearing that any one of my immediate family members (small though the circle may be), might come to know, love and embrace Islam, merely because they've followed my journey…and even if they couldn't see or find Islam anywhere else…at least they had an opportunity to find it here…and maybe that is the reason for the separation we endure today. May they always know how much I love them for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Ameen. I also recall the sadness and emptiness I felt at different times when life got in the way of my ability to actively participate in the care and nurturing of the sisters in the e-group (S4D), and the sense of guilt that came along with that…knowing they are waiting for me always…subhan'Allah. There is also the 7-hour time difference between Egypt and the U.S. to consider, and how altering my schedule to accommodate working outside of home would affect my communications with friends and family. My husband is more inclined to think that it is the idea of having to report for duty at 8:00 AM that would dissuade me from taking the position, given my life-long propensity for running behind schedule. *lol* While that is something I would have to confront, the fact of the matter is, that if we put our minds to what we want to do, we generally succeed in achieving what we desire. I happen to have a life-long track record for that, so the starting time for my workday is not a primary factor in this decision. Al-hamdulillah, tonight the need to find some little thing to push me over the edge of making a final decision was fulfilled through the entry a new visitor on the website left in the guest book. The guest book entry read: I like the way you write. You are committed to your topics, thorough yet witty (sometimes downright hilarious) and entertaining. Keep up the good work! You see...its things like that, that'll make a person think twice about doing anything other than what they really enjoy. What I do is for a greater good, and it affects the lives of others in a positive and constructive way for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. My husband is always saying, "Allah bless you, Aishah." What greater blessing could there be? So to my husband I say, "Thank you for your generosity in allowing me to feel free to pursue what I do best. May Allah reward you with the success you seek for doing that which you enjoy, as well. I love you for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala." ~Aishah

November 18, 2005

Souk Ala'deen a Poem by Julinar Diab

Souk Ala’deen By Julinar Diab Small Aisles Over priced nuts Under priced spices Overseas stashes Expired Chocolates & Oh Fine English Toffees A worldview of Teas A True Sight of Coffees Roll back a few centuries To Colonized India Less divided Arabia To Ancient Turkish Delights Persian & English Treasures The lights are not too bright One can actually breathe Home felt organic mom & pop They way they used to be Decorated prayer rugs wait Skull caps & Miswaks lay Hand carved Maa’moul wood moulds Unique tools for Stuffing Squash De-Tal, boot legged T- Fal Pure Nablis Olive Oil Surprise Soap Next to the Ghee, clarified Samneh See the Henna and Hindi smiling girls On the box of Body care from a different world There are no commercials To intrude into your space But wait! In the Freezer Sheep brains! How old are those? Does your Feta Contain hormones? We do not know... We might not perceive and they Do not enquire; they proceed "Ma Lesh" The Olive, prized by even the youth Kalimata, Greek or West Bank, Gaza? Soft and firm hand made Pita Asian Nan, Baladi, Date filled, Roti Syrian, Cumin, Coriander, Curry Lebnaniya, Pakistaniya, & Arabi Jasmin, Egyptian, Golden, Basmati Filled wafers from Croatia & Bosnia Can be a risk: check for softness They have a no-return policy. The backbone comfort smell-inducer Travels from the back kitchen ovens Out into the entrance seemingly indifferent She is from Baghdad, Babylon Baby gone, Cradle drawn Cooking, Serving, Smiling, Working I gaze into her Blue-Grey eyes They are a foot deep and a mile wide They have stories to tell I can hear them, illuminating all sides She won’t complain, she hides it well Behind the counter and the apron Is a waiting soul, with a warm grin Come Back Again… To Aladdin's Market Copyright © 2005 - Julinar Diab - All rights reserved. Join Islamic Writers or Islamic Writer's Alliance.

Scenes From an Afternoon Walk - 11/18/05

I went down to the souk this afternoon to fetch some of that famous grilled chicken one of the vendor's down there does ever so nicely, masha'Allah! Well, while I was waiting for my order, I walked across from the shop to the sidewalk where I noticed there were a few empty chairs and a short, small, square-topped table. Deciding to just relax while I waited, I selected a chair and sat down. It was just a few minutes later that I could not help but notice that immediately to my left, but up from me just a little higher, sat four men enjoying an afternoon game of dominos. Subhan'Allah...the scene just begged to be photographed, so I stood, and removing my camera from it's little carrying pouch, I pantomined my indication to them that I would like to take a photo of them sitting together at their table, enjoying their hot tea and taking turns smoking this pipe thing (my husband is asleep and I can't ask him to remind me what the actual name of it is right now; if I get back to this later I will update the post to insert the correct term). They gestured back to me in reply indicating, "Permission granted!" and I snapped the shot. And there you have it...a lazy Jummah afternoon down at the souk with friends. Subhan'Allah. Next up is your neighborhood Egyptian Dry Cleaners. *lol* You'll enjoy this one...the question of the day being...what do they do if it rains? Well, the good news doesn't rain much here in Alexandria - and if it does...well, that's just a good excuse for a nice cup of hot tea! This is a shot of a busy intersection in Samoha, very similar to many seen in the in D.C., and almost identical to one back home called, "Five Points". What caught my eye was the masjid. Al-hamdulillah. Ah, and now we have Garfield's cousin; Cranky Sam. *lol* I spotted this orange beauty sitting on the ledge of a third floor balcony. Well, seeing a domesticated cat for the first time called for a photo, to be sure! This guy is just as irritated as I am that he can't catch a good nap because of all the street noise! Is that face priceless or what? As I approached the front of the apartment building where I live...well...there he was right in front of me, curled up, sound asleep...the homeless kitty. Unlike Cranky Sam, this little guy didn't have a care in the world; and could certainly care less about anything that might have been going on around him. Subhan'Allah! Now this little guy I was jealous of! *lol* Copyright © 2005 - Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

Oh My! Did I REALLY Accept a New Job?

Sunday will be my first day at a nearby private school teaching English to Egyptian kindergarten students! And how, exactly did I get roped into that? Only Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows! All I can say is I'll give this teaching thing a shot...I figure if nothing else it'll give me plenty of writing material! If I am able to fit writing into my schedule! Ugg! You know I am SERIOUSLY having issues with this! I am in a different mode now...I hit a comfort zone...I am content! Subhan'Allah. And why is it exactly that I am inviting stress into my life again? Twenty 4 & 5 year olds with names I will have an aneurysm trying to learn and as many sets of parents?? Hello!!! What am I thinking?!!? Calgon take me away! My husband said the good news is that I don't have to work...Al-hamdulillah...imagine that...for the first time in my adult life, and after having spent 22-years of it working...someone is telling me I don't have to...and I'm gonna do it anyway? I need serious help! laughs@self. Wallahi, all I know is that the door just fell flat open in front of it must be a sign. Guess all I can do now is say "Bismillah" and go! is 1:30 am Saturday...Sunday is already tomorrow!! Oh, my! PLEASE make dua for me sisters!!!! Heads up! I am updating the blog momentarily with some new photos in the latest of my "Scenes from an afternoon walk" post. I'm thinking to keep the recurring title and just add a new date to it so that anytime someone wants to visit the blog just to check for the new Egypt photos, they'll be able to find them easily, insha'Allah. Still got that darn "Faith of a Rabbit" article to write that is pounding away at my brain saying, "Let me out! Let me out!" I have an incredible photo that I took down at the souk last week to go with it, that is actually the inspiration for the story...*sigh*...time is slipping away...whah!!!!! Ma'Salaama, ~Aishah (Follow-up to this post located here.) Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

November 15, 2005

A Sad But True...Ramadan Survey

Usually when I am on Yahoo messenger my status is invisible. The reason for that is because if I make my presence known, I might as well just be in a position to sit in for the long-haul because I'll be working about 5 or 6 windows at a time for the next couple hours! *lol* But sometimes I like to let people know I'm out there because I have the time, and it is nice to catch up with everyone. However, invariably, after you've logged into available status, that's when, the uninvited, non-contact 'guests' decide to 'pop-in'. Now, to give Yahoo credit, they also automatically make very visible access to ways of blocking, viewing profiles, or even reporting intruders as spam. That's all well and good. But every now and then, short of the blocking or spam reporting, you get a persistent stream of these unwanted interruptions all because you've changed your status to allow your friends to see that you are online! So this past week (it was actually about October 23rd through the 30th, 2005), I just got curious, and started observing the flies landing in the proverbial web...and began asking questions, in my own little 'survey' of sorts. Of course, every one of these uninvited guests is male. Al-hamdulillah, the majority of uninvited guests respond in the affirmative when asked if they are Muslim. Surprisingly, when asked if they are married, when I would expect them to say no, they respond in the affirmative! Kudos to them! Al-hamdulillah, again, to the guys, when they respond affirmatively to the question of whether or not they are fasting; the majority were, indeed, fasting. And then I let them know: (1) I am also Muslim; (2) I am married; and (3) I am also fasting. At which point the nice practicing Muslim brother would politely bow out of the would think, eh? But the intruding guest persists..."Can we still talk?" "Can I get to know you better?" "Where do you live?" "What's your name?" and the like... Ugg! P-l-e-a-s-e!!! So, to round the survey right on out, I politely go in for the kill. And just for fun, here are some of the reactions. Conclusion: In every corner of the world there is a mission field... P.S. Above all, dear sisters…please beware of attempts by men like these who would endeavor to so easily lure you down a path that can lead to nothing good in the end… ===================================== VISITOR NO. 1 Visitor No. 1: hi hajjaaishah: hi hajjaaishah: Muslim hajjaaishah: Married Visitor No. 1: yes Visitor No. 1: i am muslim Visitor No. 1: divorced no kids hajjaaishah: misunderstood. I'm sorry. What I was conveying to you is that I am Muslim and I am married. Visitor No. 1: i knew what u stating by ur talk Visitor No. 1: i answered u back ..stating about me Visitor No. 1: do u have kids hajjaaishah: Umm...are you fasting this Ramadan? Visitor No. 1: yes Visitor No. 1: what about u ? hajjaaishah: Al-hamdulillah (for you) and yes (for me) hajjaaishah: Let me ask you a question. Visitor No. 1: ask hajjaaishah: If your wife were sitting at home and a strange man invited her to chat, would you be happy with that? hajjaaishah: (just curious) Visitor No. 1: see to talk frankly speaking Visitor No. 1: some husbands would agree for it as a game for joke hajjaaishah: like playing with fire? Visitor No. 1: ya hajjaaishah: Well, last time I checked...he who plays with fire gets burned. hajjaaishah: Personally, I'm striving for Jannah. hajjaaishah: I suggest you find something more constructive to do with your time this Ramadan, insha'Allah. hajjaaishah: May Allah subhanaahu wa ta'ala forgive you. Visitor No. 1: may i ask u a question ? Visitor No. 1: why u r here Visitor No. 1: ? hajjaaishah: I have a sisters e-group online. It has 172 members. Generally when I am online I chose to use the "invisible" status. But from time-to-time I allow myself to be visible in order to receive message from the sisters and other friends and family THAT ARE ON MY CONTACT LIST. You are not on my contact list; you are an uninvited intruder. And it is people like you that need something more constructive to do with their time. hajjaaishah: Try Salah hajjaaishah: That should keep you busy hajjaaishah: May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala guide you to the straight path. hajjaaishah: Ma'Salaama. Visitor No. 1: bye Additional survey results (14 total) can be viewed by clicking on the title to this post. Copyright © 2005 - Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

November 14, 2005

Prelude to a Shahada Story - Part Two

See post from Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005 for Part One or click on story title for link to permanent page for full story. Continuing where the poem left off... At the conclusion of the most beautiful and undeniably happiest year of my life, wallahi, my handsome pilot passed by me on the sidewalk one day between classes; he walking towards his dorm, me walking towards mine, which also happened to be in the direction of the campus chapel... [Sidebar: I didn't mention this before but I was raised Christian and had made a conscious decision to practice Christianity from the age of 11. This morphed into my attending Christian High School my junior and senior years, which led to my attendance at Cedarville University (Baptist), in Cedarville, Ohio.] ...What stood out as we passed by one another was the fact that he had he had not noticed me at all, his gaze towards the ground as he strode slowly, and silently in the opposite direction. I continued on my own path for several more steps, but the overwhelming compulsion to turn around and call after him overtook me. I turned around, and thankfully, there was scarcely anyone else on the same path, and I called out his name. There was a moment of hesitancy in his stride, as on hearing my voice, he glanced over his shoulder. Turning to face me, we began slowly walking toward one another. As he presented himself to me with downcast eyes, I prodded his attention with my gentle inquiry, "Is something wrong?" Little did I know...little did I know. He replied, "Yes." I offered, "Do you want to talk?" My question was silently answered as we began to slowly make our way toward the chapel. The auditorium was sparsely occupied and we found a quiet spot to sit down. (continued...) Copyright © 2005, Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

November 13, 2005

Prelude to a Shahada Story - Part One

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu. The other day I was chatting with a young woman from India who has asked me if I would be her writing mentor. Subhan'Allah, I was flattered, to say the least! In response to her asking me if I had ever written poetry, my mind drifted back. Before I moved to Washington, D.C. back in 2000, I did, indeed, have a book of poetry. It was a hard-cover, red volume with once blank pages. Through the years, from the time I was in the 5th grade in elementary school all the way through my sophomore year at University (when I lost my inspiration), I had, one by one, filled almost all of the book's pages. It was really something when my teenage daughter, Ashley, so many years later, found the book and began keeping it with her, reading each page over and over. Sometimes I found her keying the text into a document on the computer; or writing them over in one of her school notebooks. She never spoke to me of her feelings about the book, but I imagined it came as somewhat of a surprise to her that she found within its contents thoughts and feelings expressed from the heart of her mother, that she, herself, had also begun to feel (she was, Al-hamdulillah a late bloomer, and likely cringing as she reads this). *wink* Sadly, the book of poetry was lost somewhere in the transition of my move from South Carolina to the District of Columbia. I have, from time-to-time grieved its loss, but as I once said to my husband, it is my idea that in Jannah, my beloved horse, Christy, will greet me, insha'Allah. I will climb up on her back with the same ease as when I was just 15, and we will ride together for miles along the most beautiful shoreline imaginable (an unfulfilled fantasy). And during our walk Christy will recite back to me the poems of my book (existing at that phase of my life), that I used to recite to her on the lazy afternoons we spent together walking the trails in the nearby woods of the little community in Michigan where I lived during those lazy, carefree summer days of my high school years. So, anyhow, just a few minutes ago, I was lying down with part of my sweater over my head, trying to recover from a terrible headache, when suddenly one of the poems flooded back into my mind. I sat up with a start, determined to record the poem before memory escaped me once again. (continued...) Copyright © 2005, Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

November 12, 2005

Hijab in the Workplace

When I embraced Islam in April of 2002, I was still working away in the litigation department of a busy downtown Washington, D.C. lawfirm just four blocks from the White House.

During the first year-and-a-half that I worked with the firm I was just your regular American female dressing casual/professional for the office, always wearing my hair nicely styled, meticulously applied makeup, and sporting nails that were freshly manicured every other week in correlation with my pay dates. *lol* (Toes included!) 

So imagine being the proverbial "fly on the wall" the day I first walked into the offices where I was working wearing jelbab and hijab! It was the most incredible experience!

On the morning that I made the decision to wear my hijab to work a sign that I was doing the right thing came as I approached the mammoth glass doors to the main lobby of the office building.

As I reached to pull open one of the doors, the door opposite to me on the left began to push open simultaneously, and while everything that happened in those few moments passed so quickly that I did not even get a good glimpse of the person who spoke to me, barely even having a chance to respond because I was so stunned, what I heard clear as day were the words, "Assalamu Alaikum!" Subhan'Allah! That was the last thing I had expected to hear!

But, Al-hamdulillah, words and images that will remain forever embedded in my memory as I walked across the lobby, entered the mirrored elevator, pressed the "6" button for my floor, and gazed at my reflection on the elevator wall. My cheeks were flushed and my heart was racing as I contemplated what would happen once the doors opened and I stepped out...but having heard those words, I felt more like Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala was with me more than ever...and I was confident that I had made the right choice.

Thank goodness I chose my first day as one of the days in the middle of my boss's vacation because for the next two days I couldn't get one bit of work done for answering questions! Al-hamdulillah!

I never felt such wonderful support for a decision in my entire life! I was astounded! The reaction of my colleagues spoke volumes for the "diversity" policy that the firm is so well known for! Al-hamdulillah! Insha'Allah sisters young and old, new and re-newed (*smile*) you will wear your hijab with confidence, too! 

Copyright © 2005, Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.