Bait and Switch | Chapter 3: Commitment

“Marry you?” repeated Emma, blankly, as if she didn’t understand the words at all. She was so caught off guard by Sam’s spontaneous question that she looked completely bewildered.

“Well, not right away, of course,” explained Sam, rapidly. “I mean, we still need to get to know each other. And I know I need to prove myself to your parents . . . and to you. But I just want you to know that if we spend any more time together from now on, it’s because I intend to marry you someday. If you want to, of course.”

Emma continued to stare at him with a blank and unbelieving expression. Her mouth was even hanging open a little. Sam didn’t have any experience with marriage proposals, but he felt pretty sure that shocked silence wasn’t a good sign.

Bait and Switch | Chapter 2: Crucial Questions

“Now Sam, let me get to the point,” interrupted Hal. “I’ve met lots of people all over the world, including lots of Muslims . . . in Morocco, Saudi, Dubai, and Indonesia. Now, I know a little about Islam, but not a whole lot. But let me tell you a story that really makes me wonder about Muslim men’s beliefs. In Morocco, where we lived for two years, I had two neighbors, Nabil and Ridwan. Nabil was the nicest guy you’d ever meet. He always stopped by our house to offer us some sweets that his wife had baked, or to make some repairs to our house, or to smile and play with little Emma. I saw how he treated his wife and kids, and he was a great dad, always laughing and playing. He was kind to his wife, as far as I could see, and she was a happy, cheerful woman. But then there was Ridwan. I’ve never seen such a bully. His poor wife worked — and acted — and dressed — like a slave. She cleaned and cooked from dawn to dusk while he played checkers and drank tea and yelled. And he beat her. We heard her screams. That poor woman was scared of her own shadow because of that monster. He beat his teen-aged daughter, too, when he caught her outside without her headscarf. I finally confronted him, and he said it was his right as a Muslim man. Can you believe it? He said it was his job to teach them the right way to be Muslim, and that women had to obey the men in their lives. So I know, Sam, that there are two kinds of Muslim men, and, to be totally honest, I really need to know what kind you are.”

Bait and Switch | Chapter 1: Temptations at the Picnic

“Have a brewski?” asked a tall, young redhead whom Sam did not recognize. His name tag identified him as “Justin.” He held a bottle of beer out to Sam.

“Uh, no thanks,” said Sam.

“No, no, no,” insisted Justin. “You gotta have a beer. Trust me, man. Team building exercises are a lot more bearable if you have a buzz on. Come on, um. . . Abdul-Samad.” He had squinted like Alejandro had done, trying to read the doctored name tag.

“Really, I don’t want one,” protested Sam, waving away the bottle that Justin was trying to press into his hand.

“Are you an alcoholic or something?” asked Justin with interest. “My uncle’s an alcoholic and he won’t drink. Look, sorry dude. If you’re an alcoholic, you don’t have to take it.”

“I’m not an alcoholic,” whispered Sam, exasperated.

Colleagues who were standing nearby had begun to listen to the conversation with amused interest. Sam could feel his olive-toned face reddening. It was easier to take the beer. He would just hold it, like all the men around him. Hold it, like a prop in a play. It would make him fit in. He wouldn’t drink it, of course.

 Children At Tarawih Prayers?

“In 2007, our Southern California community was privileged to host renowned reciter of the Quran, Shaykh Mishary Rashid Alafasi, at a local masjid. The shaykh stayed throughout Ramadan and led the tarâwîḥ prayers, and thousands of Muslims traveled to the Islamic Center of Irvine to enjoy the unique and splendid experience. The masjid was filled far beyond its capacity, so spacious tents and enormous carpets were assembled to provide extra, outdoor prayer space for the worshipers.

For me, that Ramadan was especially meaningful because it was the first time our two eldest children (who were our only children, at the time) were mature enough to pray, with focus and patience, alongside my husband and me for more than a few rak¢ât. I enjoyed the serenity and beauty of those tarawîḥ prayers immensely . . . except when I was hit by a scooter.”

A Muslim Father’s Role in Breastfeeding

Beyond the essentials, what else can Muslim fathers do to ensure that their wives and children are going to have the best possible chance for a healthy, successful nursing relationship? And why should fathers invest so much in breastfeeding in the first place? We’ll look at a summary of the benefits of breastfeeding and then move to ways men can support their wives, Insha’Allah.