Hello, I am #YourMuslimNeighbor

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are arrogant and boastful. (Qur’an, 4:36)

YourMuslimNeighbor

Do you know your neighbors? Are you friendly and speak together regularly? Have you helped them in their yard, pulling weeds or shoveling snow? Did you know that our neighbors have rights over us? Some include looking after their property, helping them when they are in need or ill, protecting their privacy, sharing food and resources, and even not being a nuisance. Of course respect is essential and should be extended to everyone we encounter.

I’ve lived in this home for two years, yet I’ve never introduced myself to the neighbors. I smile and wave hello, but never approached their doorstep to speak to them. This campaign stems from my own lack of taking initiative to meet my neighbors. How can I expect them to have good thoughts of us if they don’t actually know our family. They’ve seen me playing in the street with my daughters, but do they know that I make awesome chocolate chip cookies? We’ve passed each other coming to and from the community mailbox, but do they know my husband can offer them a great deal on a car from his lot? We both take daily walks, but do they know that my daughters are Girl Scouts and contribute regularly to the community?

On Wednesday, February 10, Deah Barakat (23), his wife Yusor Abu-Salha (21), and her sister Razan Abu-Salha (19), were shot and killed by their neighbor in their own home. The news has left the Muslim community devastated and frustrated. How can such wonderful individuals, that had so much to offer the world, be targeted for such a heinous crime?

I did not know them, though I can’t help but wish that I did. Yet even though they were strangers to me, they were still my brother and sisters in Islam. I wanted to honor their legacy and do something positive with their memories.

I urge us all to take initiative, if you have not already done so, to meet our neighbors. Take them a treat, a basket of fruit, or a sampling of our delicious dinner. Tell them a little bit about ourselves, where we work, about our kids,  our hobbies. Let them know we noticed their grass is a little long and we’d like to cut it for them. Offer to take in their garbage cans or pick up their newspaper from the driveway.

Our neighbors are not only the people we live next to, but it extends to our coworkers in the next cubicle, the other shops next to our own businesses. It’s reaching out the the parents in the next classroom. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is said to have defined the “neighbor” in these words: “Your neighbor is 40 houses ahead of you and 40 houses at your back, 40 houses to your left and 40 houses to your right.”

Together, we can begin to change the perception of Muslims starting in our own communities. We must stand up to be productive Muslim neighbors. It should be so that if anyone we deal with in our daily lives sees the negative image of Islam and Muslims portrayed in the media, that they do not believe it. “That’s not true, my neighbor is Muslim and they are none of those things.”

My mother has always reached out to our neighbors. I’ve grown up watching her take care of them and share her amazing homemade bread, amongst other things, with those in our neighborhood. Yet, as an adult I found myself too shy to follow her beautiful and gracious character. I start with myself. This is directly because of my own lack of connection. I will be the change I wish to see in the world. I will lead by example for my daughters. I will be a source of peace, kindness, and help for my entire community. My name is Amnah Ibrahim, I am your Muslim neighbor.

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Eid Gift Guide

7 Tips for Thoughtful and Creative Eid Gifts

Does shopping for Eid gifts stress you out? With the enormous amount of choices out there, it can be challenging to pick out gifts. These tips will help set you in the right direction so that you are actually excited to buy Eid gifts instead of dreading the task. 1. Be informed. Do you really know the child you’re buying the gift for? Likes and dislikes? Favorite hobbies and recent interests? Taking a couple of minutes to “interview” your recipient will shed a lot of light on the direction to take when purchasing the gift. If you generally have a difficult time picking something out, the child’s answers will narrow down your search considerably. 2. Be prepared. Gift items can … Continue reading

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Amani So big

Recenly on Disney Baby – September

Another full month worth of posts over at DisneyBaby. Check them out below. When Baby is Bigger Than You Realize   Amani’s Favorite Time: Tummy Time!  (lol, she looks so goofy in this pic.) The 5 Words I Love to Hear as a Busy Mom The Secret Reason Why My Babies Love Books Making it Work as an Active Mom to a Homebody Baby A Miracle While Grocery Shopping The Undeniable Love of a Big Sister Why Every Mom Needs Girl’s Night Out Why Fitting Room Nursing Sessions Are My Perfect Time-Out The Quirky Trick That Got Us Through Potty Training When Baby Shows Signs It’s Time to Transition to the Crib Head over and read more on each post.

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home school

Back to School 2014

This year, we’re not home schooling. It has been bittersweet, this past year and my decision. There are so many factors that have gone into this choice that I couldn’t possibly give you the full explanation. In the end, at this stage of my life, it was not something I could continue with. I definitely endorse home school with all the potential it offers. I hope one day to revisit the opportunity. I initially wrote out a detailed blog post going into my reasons, but ultimately decided that it was my personal choice that did not need explaining. “You can do anything, but not everything.” With that being said, we’ve been pretty excited about starting at a new school much … Continue reading

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amani rolls over

Recently On Disney Baby – July

Here’s a round-up of my posts over at Disney Baby for July. Finally got around to announcing her arrival. My month-by-month pregnancy pictures. Musing on the magic of newborns. Reflecting on how Baby Z is no longer my baby. A fun summer themed toddler gift. The significance and meaning behind the name “Amani“. Another take on Ramadan with a newborn. Sharing this special milestone, rolling over!    

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Baby Boy Mr Macho Carters Fall Style

Trendy and Ready For Fall with #CartersFallStyle + Giveaway!

Fall is my absolute favorite season! I love everything about it from the crisp weather to the bright colored foliage. I was thrilled to review Carter’s new fall line, available now in stores! Everything in the store is 40% off too! They have the best sales! Hurry, sale ends August 5. It was easy to scoop up an armful of great pieces including the cutest pajamas ever. We can all agree that Carter’s has the cutest pajamas, right? Right! This fall, Carter’s is all about mixing patterns. Camo, vintage florals, tomboy chic, and plaids are all hot right now. During my trip to my local Carter’s, I picked up a little of each! My oldest is crazy about camo ever … Continue reading

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why I write

Why I Write

I don’t consider myself a writer. At first, I couldn’t understand why Saira of Confessions of a Muslim Mommaholic even asked me to take part of a “writers chain letter”.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’ve always loved writing. Recently while browsing through the things I’ve saved since I was a young girl, I’ve found that most of the items I’ve held onto are things I’ve written; Essays, letters to cousins, stories written as a child. In school, I never viewed writing as something to do for the sake of completing an assignment. It was a chance for me to express myself and release some creativity. Over time on this blog, I’ve come … Continue reading

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Ramadan with a newborn

Ramadan and a Newborn

I’ve been waiting eagerly all year for two very exciting events to take place: Ramadan and the birth of Amani. Little did I know that when both coincided, they would compete for my attention and energy in ways I never imagined. Majority of the Ramadans during my married life, I’ve been either pregnant or nursing. I can count on a single hand the number of times I fasted along with everyone else during the past nine and a half years. Jenin was only a few months, perhaps 2 or 3, when I missed my first ever Eid prayer. I was weary from the uncelebrated effects of new motherhood, sleepless nights and postpartum hormone induced mood swings. I was in no … Continue reading

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birth announcement pillow

Uncommon Good Gifts You’ll Love to Give

I like to consider myself a great gift-giver.  Do people even say that about themselves? I just did, but give me a chance to explain.  I think I give great gifts because, when I have the time, I put a lot of thought and care into selecting and crafting a gift for the recipient.  It doesn’t require fancy or expensive items.  A great gift should simply be unique and truly speak to the recipient. I was all in when Uncommon Goods asked me check out their awesome personalized selection, gifts for women, and personalized jewelery. Uncommon Goods is one of those great companies that you can feel good about purchasing from and supporting.  They feature handcrafted and unique designs that … Continue reading

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Amani Birth Announcement

Our Newest Blessing

Announcing our newest blessing: Amani. On May 7, 2014, our family welcomed our fourth daughter. Born 7:51 pm weighing in at 7 pounds, measuring 19 inches. 10 fingers, 10 toes, and a good strong cry.  Born at home into a family eagerly awaiting her arrival, she has captured our hearts from her first breath.

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