A Woman’s Life

As a simple housewife, I always thought that without a career, I am incomplete and not good enough for my family. However, that changed and now I feel I have the most important duty to fulfill.

Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) always gave importance on how a woman should lead her life. Wearing rida and taking care of her home is a woman’s main aim in life. We have always been referred to the “umme labiba wasiyat.” Our beloved Aqa Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) has furthermore taught us how to create a healthy happy environment in the house. As we all know “health is wealth,” and in today’s times where people are health conscious, our beloved Moula TUS has taught us through simple ways how to attain that goal. Making roti, cooking food, and keeping the environment clean leads to a healthy life and keeps the family happy, too; a happy and healthy life leads to positive thinking. This is the most important duty/job given to a woman by our Aqa Moula (TUS), and I am proud to be a housewife. I have a 5 year old daughter who looks up to me, admires me, and enjoys helping me out with roti making, and that makes me proud. She as a girl at her own level understands the value of taking care of the home. I am truly thankful to my Moula Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) and his mansoos Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) for giving me the gift of family.

Jamila Badroudine

Meem-Beh

Rasullullah SAW said that the pursuit of ilm is wajib on both Muslim man and woman. Burhanuddin Moula RA gave so many women the opportunity to learn in Al Jamea tus Safiyah as well as in universities around the world. Women became ustaads, doctors, lawyers, engineers etc… Benefiting, ultimately, their own jaan. Today, Moula Mufaddal TUS  takes the same stance and emphasizes that women must acquire an education as it enriches their homes. It helps them be better mothers and aids in the tarbiyat of their farzando.

As a child people asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I knew from the start.  As the time approached to make that decision, I began to hear from others that Moula RA does not give raza to study psychology and several family members and friends were not as supportive of my career choice as I had hoped. I decided to araz Moula RA. The options I had were to become a special education teacher or what was really in my heart, a pediatric psychologist. Moula RA sagla ni dil ni waat to jaanej che. Three of my friends asked for the same raza, but Moula RA only granted this raza to me. He circled in red “pediatric psychology” and his initials were intricately formed and imprinted onto the arzi– meem beh. I had Moula’s RA dua with me, I did not need to convince anyone else.

What a great advantage I had over my peers. I began graduate school and there were several times after completing my Masters when I just wanted to give up on my doctorate. It was so hard to juggle so many roles– a mother, wife, madresah teacher, and doctoral student. As I tucked my 9 month old into bed, cleaned the kitchen, and said goodnight to my family, I closed my eyes for a moment before pulling another “all nighter”, and every time I would feel the barakat from Moula’s RA raza telling me that he has faith in my success. This thought got me through endless nights of studying, tests, presentations, and papers. HIS barakat is present in my every amal as a psychologist.

Much research has been devoted to involvement in religion as a protective factor from mental illness. The support system, sense of community and belonging, spirituality, and genuine concern for one another’s well being truly makes one feel good, and it is so easily obtained in our deen. Whether it be to call a sister to see how she is feeling or to deliver Faiz al mawaid ni thaali to another or to provide qardan to someone in need, Moula TUS has taught us ke “mumin bhai ane ben nu khabr pucho.” The connection I have with any mumin is because of my tie to Moula (ra). This tie unequivocally provides healing to the heart, mind, and soul.

Many people have asked me– “how do you hear all of these horrible stories as a psychologist working with kids? You must be a rock!” My response is that my profession requires much emotional presence and vulnerability– being a rock would not be beneficial. I listen to and become one with extremely traumatic stories resulting in vicarious trauma, and my work with the severely mentally ill population can easily cause burnout. This is when my aqido and iman strengthen.  I thank Allah TA for making me mumin and giving me Moula RA. I become mindful of all the neamato I have in my life je saglu Moula RA na sabab aj che– Moula Burhanuddin RA and now Moula Mufaddal TUS is my safe place. Without a question or doubt in my mind I say, Moula TUS haq che. Closing my eyes, Moula gives me grounding and I become rejuvenated with a coherent mind, prepared with what I’m faced with in my office. Patients give me the work, and Moula’s  “meem beh” gives me clarity and faith that I have the ability to treat them.

Dr. Alefiyah Bharmal
Fremont, California, USA

I Think I’ll Be A Duck

 My name is Duriya Shk Aziz Shakir and I live in Singapore. I am Senior Vice President and Publisher, International Education in a company that is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and media. In terms of education, I have a BA (English Language and Literature), MA (Education Planning and Policy), MBA and PhD (Applied Linguistics, Education Policy). However, what is more significant is that all of the above has been achieved with and due to the explicit raza mubarak and dua mubarak of Aqa Sydena Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb RA and in later days, Aqa Maula Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb TUS. The barakat of this raza mubarak and dua mubarak has ensured that my education and professional career have been driven by a singular motivation – the desire to do khidmat and devote my all to Aqa Mohammed Burhanuddin RA and now, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS. All the achievements have but been by-products and consequences of dua mubarak of both Maula. I never set out to be the great career woman – I have always been happiest at home, but I believe that both Maula have guided me in my education and career so that I may achieve my aim of khidmat and devotion to Maula and my family. I did not start out with lofty aims – I just wanted to do literature – but Maulas’ dua and raza mubarak have lifted the mundane and elevated it with divine noor and nazar.

 At age 18, with raza and dua mubarak of Aqa Mohammed Burhanuddin RA (the heart still baulks and is unaccepting of writing RA after Maula’s name), I got married and moved to Singapore. An all rounder and academic high performer thus far, I became a ‘drop out’ in my FYBA at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.  People – outsiders and well wishers – were shocked that my parents had made this decision for me, many advised them to reconsider – to not ‘destroy my future’.

 Then my two beloved sons happened. I was totally immersed in my family life. Totally happy being devoted wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law. Found plenty of things to do for intellectual satisfaction. Ten years after marriage, and two children later, I went back to school – with the raza mubarak of Aqa Burhanuddin RA.

 In my first year – it was the year 1415 – we lost our beloved Ummul Mumineen, Amatullah Aisaheba QR – and Maula Burhanuddin RA after this unbearable loss travelled to Karbala for Milaad e Maimoon. I was blessed to be able to join the safar mubarak. But it was one month before the first year exams. Leaving Karbala, I did araz to Maula RA for dua mubarak and He blessed me with a smile. Back in Singapore, tired from the journey via Amman, I fell very ill. Unable to study, I lost confidence in my ability to give the exam. My husband reassured me telling me that the worst that could happen would be that I would fail and even then, he would still love me so what did I have to lose! A few days before the exam, I was really panicked. I took vasila of Aqa Burhanuddin RA, did vuzu and went to bed. I awoke in the middle of the night – it was as if someone woke me up. I found questions formed in my mind. I wrote them down and then wrote out answers to those questions. It is nearly 20 years since, but I still remember vividly my shock as I picked up the exam paper – the very questions that had ‘appeared’ to me that night were on the paper. And I could exactly visualize the ‘model’ answers that I had written.  Thanks to Maula RA, for that paper, I scored full marks – unprecedented in the history of the university – but I know I had a guardian angel looking out for me.

 In my final year at university, I was offered a job as an Assistant Editor at Longman. I did araz for raza mubarak. Maula (RA) graciously granted raza with the caveat, “ Lihaz aney haya nu kheyaal rahey”. I graduated from university that year, summa cum laude and gold medalist – all because of the raza mubarak and dua of Aqa Maula RA. During the final year too, in 1997, Singapore was blessed with Maula’s RA safar to Singapore. During Maula’s RA visit to our home, I did araz to Maula RA asking whether I should do a fourth year Honours or finish the course in 3 years and go on to do a Masters. Maula RA said, “Bhai Qusai si rai keri ne pachi puch maney.” Shezada Qusai Bhaisaheb DM listened to what I had to say and his advice was to pursue a Masters. In Singapore itself, Maula RA gave raza mubarak for Masters.

 As Maula RA left Singapore, He left behind manifold barakat. One of which was the offer of a new, better paid job. Went to Nairobi for Ashara Mubaraka and there received raza mubarak, again with the same caveat. Was fortunate by then to have been granted sharaf of adna khidmat of Al Jamea tus Saifiyah by Omora al Jamea – and thus started my real education. As I was doing my Masters – my specialization was in Literature – I became increasingly uncomfortable – advanced literary studies requires you to look at every text as a human construct and asks you to deconstruct each text for ideology and motivations. Where does this end, I asked myself? How can every text be considered a human construct? What about kalemaat nooraniyah? I was disturbed to the point that I could not attend lectures any longer. Shazada Qusai Bhaisaheb advised me to change my specialization. So I did araz that I could do Materials Development in Language Teaching as a specialization. Maula RA granted raza mubarak and this led to success professionally as this soon became a qualification that was highly sought after.

 Within two and a half years, I went from Editor to Managing Editor – promoted four times in that period – I believe it was due to the barakat of Maula’s dua mubarak in both my studies and career. With a change in management at my workplace then, came a change in values and vision. I felt compelled to leave my job. Finding another job was not easy. But, the day after Ashura in the year 2001, Ashara Mubaraka was in Houston that year – I got a call from my former supervisor, offering me a job. Again, Maula’s raza mubarak was sought and granted, with the same caveat. The company sponsored my MBA, Maula RA granted raza mubarak.

Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to write a couple of textbooks. I did araz for raza mubarak with details of the royalty that was being offered. Maula RA said, “Itna thora kem aape che. Barabar apwa joiye.” Maula’s RA kelaam gave me the courage to go back and renegotiate with the publishers and I was given more royalty percentage.

Maula RA did Aid ul Adha in Dubai and my son Huzaifa was there. He did qadambosi of Shazada Qusai Bhaisaheb DM who asked him – Ammi PhD kivarey karey che? I was tired having come thus far. Did not want to study any more. However, my husband persisted – insisted that I should do it because he believed I had the capability to do it. So once again, Maula RA graciously granted raza mubarak. It gave me the greatest pleasure to complete my doctoral research and dedicate it to Maula RA as my personal celebration of Milaad e Meavi.

As I took raza for my viva, Ameer al Jamea, Shazada Qasimbhaisaheb Hakimuddin DM said to me,  “Take Maula’s RA photo with you and take barakat of his chehra Mubarak before answering each question.” And so I put the photo on the cover of my dissertation. At the station, awaiting the train to Leeds for my viva later in the morning, I was faced with the grim reality that the train was cancelled due to ‘inclement weather’.  I was advised to jump into another train and change trains mid way. Seated in the train, super panicked, not knowing if I would make it to my viva on time, I glanced at Maula’s photo and beseeched him for help. The gentleman seated across from me asked me what the matter was. I explained. He smiled and said he was the governor of the university. He called and informed staff that I might be delayed and organized for me to be picked up at the station and be brought to the university. Glancing at Maula’s RA photo as I gave each answer, I felt a sense of peace and calm, as I remembered obscure details of my research – which surprised even me.

And then, Ashara Mubaraka in the year of Milaad e Meavi – I was approached by my current company. As always, made araz in Hazrat Imamiyah for guidance. Maula RA gave raza mubarak with two caveats: You will not uproot yourself and your family. You will continue to do khidmat. The company, which is headquartered in New York, decided to set up a centre of excellence in research and development in education in Singapore.

But the pinnacle of all this, what has made the journey and the travails worthwhile is, that not soon after, I received the azeem and extraordinary sharaf of doing ziafat of Maula Mohammed Burhanuddin RA in my own personal capacity as muminaah, using my own savings. The feeling is incredible. There can be no greater happiness, no greater wish that can be fulfilled. I thought to myself then, as I do now, that there is nothing greater that I could ever ask of Allah t’ala.

And as was Maula Mohammed RA, so is Maula Mufaddal TUS. All through these years, Maula Mufaddal TUS has blessed me with his nazar, recognizing me always and calling me by name. What greater acknowledgement can there be? What greater privilege?

I don’t often share the story of my life for fear that people may think I am bragging. However, I have done so now, in shukur of the nemats both Maulas have showered on me and my family. One can recall one’s life in different ways – I recall mine through the Asharas I have attended and the blessings that Maula Mohammed RA and Maula Mufaddal TUS shower upon us.

When I was a very young child, I thought you could grow up to become any animal you wanted to be. I thought I would grow up to be a duck, and I spent many hours practicing my quack and my waddle. I realize only now, how Maula Mohammed RA has looked after the ‘daana paani’ of this betakh and I know that Maula Mufaddal TUS will continue to do so. May Allah t’ala grant our beloved Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb TUS long life ta rozay qiyamat. Ameen.

 Amate Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS

Duriya Shk Aziz

Singapore

A Teaching Mother

I am a loyal follower of the 53rd al Dai al Mutlaq, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS and an adnaa baandi of Moulatona Fatema SA.  I am also an educated woman living in America with a career in teaching high school science. To me, it is quite clear that Moulatona Fatema embodies the institution of womanhood. She was a wife, she was a mother and she also had an integral role, a ‘job’ if I may dare say, in the establishment of the world’s largest religion and the founding of Islam as we know it. She was, after all, Khulaasat al-Jowhar al-Islaami, the Quintessential Essence of Islam. So even though 1400 years have passed between her and us, I do not imagine a single Muslimah or Muminah would disagree that her example is one that should be followed and emulated. The very many bayaans that both Burhanuddin Moula RA and Mufaddal Moula TUS have given regarding the roles and responsibilities of a woman in Islam and their education are based upon the life and teachings of Moulatona Fatema.

As a single mother of two daughters, I understand the need to highlight the importance of women’s education. Having taken Arabic as an undergrad, my limited understanding of the language tells me that when Rasulallah SA has said that to seek ilm is farizat on every muslim and muslimah, the Arabic grammar would have encompassed the feminine gender along with the masculine even if the hadith had only included the word muslim. Yet, Rasulallah SA chose to use the word “muslimah” along with the word “muslim” highlighting the importance of a woman’s requirement to seek ilm. My daughters’ education is something that Rasulullah and my Moula TUS are both telling me is absolutely necessary.

Nourishment of the soul is not unlike nourishment of the body. Seeking knowledge is obligatory but this doesn’t mean that all knowledge is beneficiary, just as different types of food do not benefit the body equally; in fact, some can be quite the opposite. Burhanuddin Moula RA has given us guidance that any ilm that takes you astray from the right path is not beneficial. Mufaddal Moula’s TUS bayaan mubarak emphasizes this same reality. As any father who cares for his children, Moula TUS is guiding us and showing us that like all things in life, if education is left unchecked, then it may lead us away from our main purpose of existence: salvation.

Burhanuddin Moula and Mufaddal Moula gave me raza to pursue a career in teaching. Obviously then, Moula TUS is not saying that education need be restricted to only certain areas. General guidelines can often have exceptions on a case to case basis. No mother, let alone Muslimah mother, would deny the importance of their children’s upbringing and their role as a mother in it. This is about ensuring that our children, my two daughters, receive the love, care and nurturing they deserve. I chose my career in teaching for this very reason, so that I could have similar hours as they did and share in their vacations and holidays. These are my priorities, priorities that my Moula TUS and parents have taught me, for which I am truly grateful.

Rashida Sh Najmuddin

“Docter” Mom

Docter Mom

I am a woman who follows the teachings of Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin RA and his beloved mansoos (successor), Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS. I am also a physician, a mother, a wife, a community member, a cook, a biker, a hiker, and most recently a kayaker. My patients often ask me if I sew at home as I deftly repair defects caused by skin cancer. I say, the last time I tried to sew a button, I was flummoxed by a straight needle, so I guess I can’t do it all. (But yes, if push comes to shove, I can sew a button!)

I manage, enjoy and balance my very busy professional life with my personal life with ease due to the teachings of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS. With his guidance and blessings I can prioritize the many facets of my life and not neglect any particular aspect both physically and spiritually.

My daughter summarizes who I am very eloquently in her drawing (above). This picture would not exist if I was only a physician. I am a physician with dua and raza (blessing and sanction) of Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin RA and will always be more than simply a physician because of the guidance of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS.

Dr. Tasneem Shk. Aziz, USA

Education through Faith

Like so many of us, I grew up knowing only Burhanuddin Moula (ra) as my Dai, my roohani ma ane bawa. The tasbeeh of Moula Moula Moula surrounded me. I grew up in a small community, one that was well educated, well off, and very faithful. I would like to share two teachings of Burhanuddin Moula (ra) that have shaped my life:

  • Girls and boys alike should be educated, in deen and duniya
  • Be faithful to your place of residence, give back to your community

Language, history, philosophy and current affairs were my passion, and I tried to study these with regard to both deen and duniya. My extracurricular activities at school and university, as well as my current profession, were geared towards giving back to the community.

The ultimate lesson that I learned from Burhanuddin Moula (ra), was to take my faith with me everywhere. From madressa to sabaq to attending Asharah Mubaraka with Moula, I always felt empowered. I never felt that as a girl, a woman, there were paths I could not choose, dreams I could not aspire to. As long as I had faith, as long as my ilm and amal were in accord, the world was my oyster.

Today, I am an educated professional, who is also a mother and a wife. I face many challenges in merging these roles, more so in a country–unlike my hometown–mired in patriarchy. I do the best I can however, and try to remember everyday that my education, my skills are first and foremost to be used in serving my Moula and dawat, even if it is just in bringing up my children to do Moula’s ta3at.

I am thankful that my education and my work will benefit my children, not only financially, but also in having a strong, independent, articulate mother as a role model. The values that I learned, the ilm that I gleaned from my Moula, I will attempt to teach my children. My beautiful boys are your amaanat, Moula, and I am so, so thankful to have them in my life, and to have the chance to shape them into what you would want. At their birth, my father told me that their upbringing should reflect my shukr for this azeem nemat.

I miss you, Burhanuddin Moula. As Shehzada Qusai bhaisaheb’s son so eloquently recently said, my heart cannot accept that you are no longer here; however, in seeing Mufaddal Moula (tus), I see that he is indeed your Mansoos, your successor.

Meryam Electricwala, India

Political/Academic/Muslim/Artistic/Feminist/Woman

Born and raised in Houston, Texas but a frequent traveler to the East (including Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, and especially India), I am a Muslim American woman in all facets of the term. Certain aspects of myself—including my political identity and education—are unquestionably American. However, there is an equal part of me that is Muslim, a part that arguably strengthens the American part by feeding it values of self-discipline, humility, graciousness, and love and respect for others through the teachings of my religious community’s spiritual father, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS). In a post 9-11 U.S., it certainly has become a very particular experience to be a Muslim woman in America. There are new challenges to navigate everyday with unknowable social outcomes lying in the future that we have to feel out, day by day. Ironically, even though my faith, worn visibly over myself in the form of a rida (a specific type of hijab), might on some level be held responsible for non-Muslim Americans’ sometimes initial, sometimes persistent negative views of me, it is this faith itself that allows me the strength to be patient and understanding in the face of ignorance.

My interest in the way my non-Muslim American peers react to me in school and in a professional setting is what initially prompted my interest in studying cross-cultural human interactions, an interest that led to applying to a doctoral program in the social sciences. After earning my M.A. in English literature and teaching English both at the college level in the U.S. and to ESL writers overseas, I currently am a doctoral student at the University of Chicago’s department of Comparative Human Development. Additionally, I am a visual artist working (usually) in acrylic. My paintings, informed by my education, my experience, and my liberal feminist ideologies, hope to inspire conversation about many politically sensitive topics that are part of my quotidian life. With the guidance and love of both my religion and country, through my academic and artistic pursuits I hope to contribute to a wider understanding of one another as human beings and increase a genuine love and tolerance between American and Muslim cultures. Though some might say they are incompatible, the proof of my daily existence begs to differ: I embody both.

Tasneem Mandviwala, USA

The Thoughts of A Feminist

For long, I’ve thought of myself as a feminist. I’ve harbored hard-core feminist views, and yet, what I am about to say, will do nothing to my feminist orientations or to the fact that I’m a happy Dawoodi Bohra woman. It’s only going to augment it further; and I hope that’s going to be answer enough for people who want to use us as an excuse to make claims of legitimacy. We refuse to be taken hostage. Let this be a statement of emancipation: neither submission to orders from above, nor reaction to provocation.  Just an assertion of what a free woman of a modern Islamic community feels. Out of her own volition.

When Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin Aqa TUS edified us regarding the need to undertake domestic errands such as making roti, engaging in crafts such as crocheting topis or opting for home science as a discipline in the post-nass period, there was no coercion. There was no threat of any sort, there was hardly any headcount. This was tarbiyat; a fulfillment of a responsibility from someone who had taken the mantle and the role of the spiritual mother. At the risk of sounding harsh to someone who claims they are the roohani ma of mumineen (and therefore have a right to become Dai after Maulana Al Hayyul Muqaddas R.A), I’m going to say it out loud: tarbiyat was the urgent need and a very apt and responsible saheb accepted and carried it out, without any hubris or hesitation. Even in the most modern of worlds, you’ll find people who prefer the woman who provides maternal love and care over an unloving, abandoning biological mother any day. And so, we women, the moominaat, understood the message as it was articulated: whatever we did would be out of love: for our Maula, our families, our brethren in faith, and of course, ourselves.

The roti we would be rolling out would be “mohobbat ni roti”: whoever it fed, would feel the love that went in making it. To spread this message, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS could have opted for any of several measures: he could have issued firmaans to ensure we did the needful, or he could have nominated any or all Sayyedaat from his immediate or extended family to advocate and demonstrate the importance of roti-making to moominaat.  Instead, he TUS displayed the significance of the act of preparing roti by a symbolic gesture: he showed it himself. The mansoos of the Fatemi Dai showed us all the significance of one of the last actions of Maulatona Fatema A.S by himself executing it. Our real spiritual mother became a role model for all the daughters of his community in a seemingly menial errand. Because that is how a spiritual mother is supposed to be.

It so happens that a lot of dictums from Hudaat Kiraam A.S have essentially a way of proving themselves wise at the right time. That is to say, they may seem incredible at the time of implementation, but then, years unfold and history endorses the sagaciousness inherent in those commands. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin R.A made a call towards interest-free business practices and Qardan Hasanah decades ago. While some ignorant folk continue to view it negatively, the aftermath of the 2008 recession strengthened our faith in the wisdom of not only fiqhe Ahl il Bait AS , but that of the Dai that acted through that wisdom as well. It is this belief in the wisdom of Haq na Saheb that makes us willing participants in what secessionists foolishly deem subjugation.

Even the least clairvoyant of people can sense the incremental madness of the ages: as time passes, values become obsolete. The wholesome nature of humanity gets more polluted as time passes: relationships lose meaning, communication starts to become superficial, materiality takes precedence over spirituality.  Vices we knew not of ten years ago are becoming so normal, so common and accepted that it clearly feels like the world, specifically society, is going headlong into destruction.  It takes a lot of courage to divert a disaster. It takes an enormous amount of agility to do so in time. And if someone volunteers to do so, to throw an obstruction in the way of a vehicle that has gone out of control, there may be initially an outcry, but then, there’s bound to be a collective sigh of relief. There’s bound to be gratitude; all in good time.

So it may seem that certain freedoms are being curtailed, or certain impositions are being put in place, but those who have love, respect and trust for the person who takes those measures  accept these measures with full faith that at the heart of these decisions is their well-being, their dignity, their interest. They stand nothing to lose.  They can see the promise of health in the tabeeb-e-roohani’s prescription that is appropriate to the malady at hand. It’s as simple as that.

I, for one, am a relative novice at roti-making. I started it in response to Maula’s call towards the initiative. Although I’m not very regular with it, I have grown to love doing it. My rotis are becoming rounder, softer, and more palatable each time I pick the rolling-pin. I started late, and I was unforgivably bad at the beginning, but with every bowlful of flour I knead into dough, with every ball I flatten out, and with every roti that rises in some measure, I feel good. I feel good about someone consuming a product of my efforts, however small. I feel happy at the prospect that their innards will pray for the person who made this roti. I feel good that Maula has given me the sharaf to be part of such a noble initiative.

The mere act of kneading the dough is therapeutic: it’s a fantastic de-stressor. It softens the edges of women who have toughened in some ways, perhaps due to professional or academic reasons. Again, this experience is still a choice, an act of love, a personal decision. For this is an act of deen -Wa haliddeeno illal hub -And there is no ikrah in deen.

Anonymous

Words of Being: Writer, Editor, Speaker

A few years ago, I co-edited a book that was received very well by the media, and led to that volume becoming the first in a series of books. I have found tremendous satisfaction in the knowledge that my book series is fostering dialogue and understanding. It has become a platform for people of various faiths, professions, and opinions to voice their stories and, in doing so, engender the kind of positive change that I want to see in the world.

I am a writer and an editor, but I am also a wife and a mother. Balancing these roles- these professional and personal spheres- is essential. It isn’t always clear cut and it isn’t always simple, but it is always within my reach. To a very large degree, I credit my confidence in my ability to balance my various roles to the support I get from my husband, my family, and my community. Every move I make, I know that Aqa Moula (TUS) ni dua si, I am valued and supported. I am able to find a way to be present in the home and to partner with my husband in creating a happy, secure environment in which Deen is the focus and Duniya is given its due as well. I am also able to carve a professional niche for myself and be a living example to my children of a woman who can be personally and professionally fulfilled.
It is with the ne‘mat of our beloved Aqa Moula (TUS) that I achieve this balance.
Amte Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS,
Zahra Mulla Taher Suratwala, Chicago, IL, USA