Meet Author: Sara Allen

As Salaamu Alaikum Sara Allen

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to interview with Mommy Muslim.

Q. I understand you are a writer. What type of books do you write?

A. (I write) contemporary romance and literature.

Q. That’s very interesting. Why did you decide to become an author?

A. My love of writing, reading and wanting to be my own boss. The need to build my dream no matter how long it took.

Q. What makes your books unique or special?

A. That the stories I write are different, thoughtful, and well represented. I never wanted to write a story that didn’t have a moral compass, or didn’t represent my beliefs. I also wanted to introduce readers to characters that could be someone they know, so there would be a connection, and a feeling that there was something in the story for them.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone going into this business?

A. Be yourself. Live with your truths. Accept that the road is long and difficult, but that the rewards are worthwhile. Learn everything you can to make yourself and your business better, more accepting and an asset; not only to you, but to your family. Never go down a road that you will be ashamed to be associated with in the future.

Q. This blog is about parenting. If you are a mom – describe how you balance work and family?

A. My family is everything to me; which is why I decided to be my own boss. Writing has given me the time to be a full time parent, while chasing my own goals. Now that my children are older, I’m stealing back a little more of my time each day. By being available for them, they haven’t resented my efforts. And I think that’s important. If you’re always unavailable for your children, they’ll grow up believing that you’re always unavailable. They’ll find avenues to release their grievances in ways that you never saw approaching. But, when you give them their time, and are there for them, willing to put your work aside, even if you’re in the middle of something crucial, they’ll grow to understand that they come first, as they should. I’m a single parent, and have been the main parent for a long time, so the onus is on me 24/7. It means that I don’t get the chance to put that aside, and now that they’re older, I hope they forgive me for the mistakes I made along the way.

Q. What role does your Islam play (if any) in your business?

A. Everything. I’m very conscious of what I write, and some situations that I put my characters into, I wouldn’t if they were Muslim. I don’t think that you can be Muslim and throw your Islamic beliefs over your shoulder because “its just a story”!!! Those things don’t make sense to me. I have to live with my truths, question my actions at the end of the day, and hopefully, wake up and live another day. I don’t do that without the understanding that my deeds are being recorded.

Q. Where can we purchase your books?

Q. Is their any other information or advice you would like to share with our readers?

A. I’d say, if you have a viable business idea, that you keep returning to year after year, go with it. Be like Khadijah (R.A.) and conduct your business because you have the heart and the means. It won’t always be easy, but the rewards are huge.

Be Sure to Check out Sara’s new “Man in Chains” Series selling on Amazon

Think and Write: Critical Thinking Writing prompt for teens

Salaams (peace),

Encourage your teen to think and respond critically when they respond to this Expository essay writing prompt. They should research Mr. Douglass’ life and his impact on this country. Inshaa Allah this essay will prompt honest discussion about the topic. Feel free to share your /their views in the comments below. you can also join the conversation in our facebook group: Mommy Muslim.

Think and Write – Writing Prompt for teens

Salaam (peace),

Encourage your teen to think and respond critically when they respond to this Compare and Contrast essay writing prompt. They should research this event and others like it. Inshaa Allah this essay will prompt honest discussion about the topic. Feel free to share your /their views in the comments below. you can also join the conversation in our facebook group: Mommy Muslim.

Sister Spotlight!

Meet Zainab Abbas.

Zainab Abbas is the owner and founder of SciTech2U Inc.Thank you Sister Zainab for taking time to complete this interview.

Q. Please describe your company for our readers.

A. We provide underrepresented, K-12 students access to quality, innovative STEAM education using experiential learning meant to engage and enrich their passion for STEAM.

Q. What made you decide to go into this line of work?

All too often, too many youth in our communities have encountered systemic racism that stifles their upward mobility, and in some cases, cost them their lives. One of the most pivotal solutions to addressing these challenges is to offer Black and Brown youth access to high-quality educational programs the likes of their White counterparts. I am committed to playing my part in leveling the playing field by producing high-quality STEAM programs.

I will never forget the day when I witnessed the heart wrenching moment my best student, who was African American, was taken away in handcuffs right out of my classroom where I taught biotechnology at a local college. I recall feeling helpless and an overwhelming sense of concern for this promising young Black man. Shortly after that experience, I founded SciTech2U to inspire young Black and Brown youth who are at risk of academic impoverishment to exciting ways of learning STEAM subjects.

Now more than ever, when teaching and learning are being challenged by the pandemic, Black and Brown youth and their families need us and programs like ours for support. Their parents will be challenged during the upcoming academic school year in making the transition from in-school learning to a virtual environment.

We want to ensure that all parents can afford to provide enriching, hands-on STEAM learning experiences for their children.

Q. What is unique in your approach?

We give our students a wet lab experience. They practice lab safety rules, our students work in a professional scientific notebook and our students are taught by scientists.

Q. What advice would you give to anyone going into this business?

A. Be patient, do not give up, reach out to local resources, make connections with similar organizations and strengthen your board (of directors).

Q. This blog is dedicated to mothers. How would you describe your work/life balance?

A. It is a tall task to do both. Stay organized and delegate responsibilities to your children. Involve them in the work you do, they will be more understanding and one of your biggest cheerleaders.

Q. What role does your Islam play (if any) in your business?

A. Dua (prayer). Any success that I achieve is from Allah. Allah makes the way. Dua, dua, dua , patience and steadfastness.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share with this audience. How can we find more information about your organization?

Please visit our website website http://scitech2u.org/services,YouTube channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_9UwgwEhdOBk5AC4tcOFcQ and Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/SciTech2u

Zainab Abbas, it has truly been a pleasure to meet you. We pray that Allah will bless you to be successful in all of your efforts, Ameen.

Do Muslims Celebrate Halloween?


The short answer is no.

There are some who are Muslim and do celebrate Halloween. But Halloween is not an Islamic holiday. Some people believe that this holiday started as a Celtic pagan practice to ward off evil spirits at the start of the new year. Others trace its’ roots back to the Christian “All Saint’s Day”, for others it was a way to remember the deceased. As the holiday spread, cultural practices influenced how it was celebrated in each country.

Anas Ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him said: “The Messenger of Allah s.a.w.s. came (to Madinah) and they (inhabitants of Madinah) had two days in which they used to (relax and) play. He s.a.w.s. asked: “What are these two days?” They said, “We used to play (on these two days) during the Jaahiliyah (pre-Islamic period). “The Messenger of Allah s.a.w.s. said: “Allah has given you something better instead of them: Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha.” [Abu Dawood]
Some Muslims will read this hadith and see it as a call to restrict our children from doing something enjoyable. But I read the hadith and say, how can we give them something better than this holiday? I believe that when you take something away from kids, you should try to replace it with something else. If it is possible, and sometimes it is.

Replacements for Halloween:
Some Muslims try to replace days like Halloween with Eid. They make Eid a day to give children candy and sweet treats. We often leave Eid celebrations with enough candy to last a year. (Especially since I put a lot of it up and only allot a small portion per day.) Many Christian churches have Hallelujah Night celebrations on Halloween. They try to offer something fun for their children to do that combines fellowship with treats and worship. A masjid that we attend has provided something similar for the children on this night. Their reasoning is: We want to give our children a reason to love the masjid. We want them to love coming here and being a part of this community. And it works. My kids love going there for the candy and playing games with their friends.

But what about the costumes?
I remember desperately wanting to dress up for Halloween. I never had that experience as a child, and I missed it. But why can’t our children dress up at other times of the year. Some people have suggested having them dress up as figures from Islamic history or modern-day role models. But most children are not excited to dress up as say, a famous civil rights leader. No matter how brilliant his accomplishments. The joy of childhood is found in their imaginations. Halloween gives them creative license to bring their imaginings to life. I recommend having a dress up party at any other time of the year. Encourage family and friends to come together. This relationship building is part of our deen. Allow them to share gifts, food and of course snacks. Share with those outside of your circle, by inviting indigent or refugee Muslim children. This sadaqa will teach them the importance of giving and sharing. You can also invite non-Muslim relatives and friends to your dress-up party. Bridge building is a large part of dawah. It helps others to understand that we love and enjoy the same kinds of things that they do.

But what if I just want to celebrate Halloween?
I am not a scholar nor an imam. I can’t give rulings on what is halal or haram. And the internet should not be the first resource for finding Islamic guidance. But I am a mother, and someone who was raised as a Muslim in a non-Muslim country. So I know the pressure you are under. Decorations go up and on sale sixty days before Halloween. I know how fun and exciting it looks and how hard it is to tell your children, no. This holiday was not practiced in Arabia during the time of the Prophet s.a.w.s. So any rulings that we have now are based off of the Prophet’s s.a.w.s. advice on similar subjects. The ulema study and review his sunnah and draw conclusions. (The overwhelming majority of the ulema state that it is forbidden because of: it has pagan roots, ties to Christian saints, and glorification of demons, and black magic.) For many this review and conclusion is enough. For others it is not. Ultimately, what you do or not do, is going to be your choice. I support you in your decision-making process. I make dua that Allah guides us all to those actions that are pleasing to Him, and turn us and our children away from anything that is displeasing to Him. Ameen