Sunday, April 3, 2011

What can we do as Nurses when we see sisters in need?

A woman called me out of the blue one night, clearly very upset and speaking a mile a minute.  It turns out she wanted to divorce her husband.  She was Pakistani and she said that her family had married her to a man who was "mentally incompetent" whether it was done on purpose or it was not she didn't know.  She wanted a divorce.  Of course this was not my area of expertise and I advised her to contact one of the Islamic Cultural Centers in the area.  But she persisted and I realized after a moment that she had probably heard as much as she could handle from men, and males and wanted to talk to a sister.  I understood.  There are times when even though the overwhelming majority of experts on Shari'a are men, sometimes a woman in trouble just needs another sister to talk to, and to sit with her.  And so I sat with her over the phone listening, merely listening to her. Realizing this was as much as I could do.  Please remember as you go through your life to take the time to sit with a sister, and never ever judge a sister based on gossip or what you think you know about Shari'a.  Be a good listener and lift her burden with your love and compassion.  We are told to care for one another.  And there is no better way to make sure that families remain intact and children safe then to give good direction and to stand with a sister in need.  One thing to always remember that when a person reaches out it's because they are exhausted or have exhausted everything close to them.  Muslim women are susceptible to emotional damage because they are so tender and deeply religious and fear not just upsetting family members but more so upsetting Allah if their conduct is not perfect.   Many fret and worry too much over every little thing.  I encourage women to form support groups, to have tea with one another and show kindness above all.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nurses doing the possible

There are so many ways nurses can contribute to the well being of a client in need. For example, recently an Iraqi refugee family came to my attention through a series of events. This family suffers from an genetic disease that calls for long term chronic interventions through the hospital. They had challenges emotionally and socially and any other way you could imagine. What could a nurse do? First of all nurses who understand Case Management are badly needed in cases like these. Most hospitals employ case managers, but when they don't, the community is the only resource left. Right now our economy is stretched beyong capacity and social services agencies and charitable agencies are fighting to meet the needs of people. Clients with the additional burden of illness are even harder to manage. Nurses can help by assisting in educating clients about their medications and regimens. On being compliant with appointments and treatments. Nurses can research unique and creative resources to help with balance and diet and assimilation.

The Muslim Nurses Association has reached out in its limited financial capacity to assist this family and to find other types of zakat for them. In the meantime there is a group of committed individuals providing ongoing volunteer care. We need translators, and drivers, and medically trained people to help with teaching. If you want to experience doing something that really counts, volunteer to help people who really are on the margins of our society.

If you wish to volunteer as a nurse to help needy families who have health challenges please contact the Muslim Nurses Association. We need nurses who can speak various languages; Arabic, Amharic, Farsi.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tea and Thee

Today I am nto having tea. The way I love it. English breakfast tea with cream and sugar, with toast lavished with butter and marmalade. I am not having tea today. Your tea is different. I sneak, I stand over you as make it. I see that each step is important and that to you, making tea is an art. It is meditation. The tea itself is beauty. I stand on tiptoe and open the container and the scent of it wafts up into my nostrils, tickling them, unexpected, making me dream. The smell of Cardomon shakes me up. I was not prepared for it. I see you shyly smile as I regain composure.

You boil the water, fresh water. It seems so. The air escapes the kettle hissing like a spoiled woman that you aren't attending to quickly enough. "Come, come on you silly man" The kettle hisses. I hate it for a moment, that it gets your attention, and touch. You grab it and pour it and as you pour your sweet breath comes softly from between your lips and sends part of the steam away.

The liquid is infused. It develops before my eyes like a photograph. Deep amber, deep smart, hard and hot amber the room is incensed with you. Your tea you call it, from your country. I hide behind my hands angry, peeved. You tell me stories of tea, of Samovars and nights of Hafiz and Sufi saints. Rumi and tea. I am jealous I refuse your offer of a sip.

You smile at me. Your black eyes full of humor. You know I will come to you, in a moment. In awhile. I can't resist your gentle way with tea, and words. I do snuggle against you and smell the tea on your breath as you talk about the Caspian sea. I fall asleep as you recite poems into my ear. The amber tea is reflecting the sun as I slip off. My anger assuaged. You arm under my head. Soon you are snoring too.

This poem is for all tea lovers. Lovers of poetry and long nights of stories.
This poem is for good health and a strong heart.


Sunday, May 17, 2009


Al hamdulilah, it's been a very busy time this year. So much change and growth. It's envigorating and its exhausting. The MNA is growing, but at a slow pace. I am thankful that its

a bit slower now because it makes it a bit more manageable.

We won't be sponsoring the Bone Marrow Stem Cell Donor Program this year. Pity, we did such a good job last year at the MCA Muslim Unity Day. They tell me that the cost was too high. Well, perhaps we can sponsor the Red Cross this year. There is always some good deed waiting to happen.

Please remember to make a donation to the Islamic Scholarship Fund. It's a truly good way to make a difference in the life of a Muslim scholar who works with the community. Contact


There was a report today that there was a demise related to the Swine Flu in New York. We send condolences to the family and we pray that Allah will protect us all. It seems that Mexico City was a brisk outbreak that petered out quite quickly, but there are still reports of Swine Flu all over the world and US so we are not out of the Class 5 ranking from the WHO. You can do alot of education for family, friends, and colleagues by going to the WHO website and downloading the information there and printing it and sharing it. We never want to panic and over react, but we do always want to stress preparedness.

Chicago is reeling from the numbers of school children murdered this year. Their Police and Public Health Department need all the help they can get right now figuring out what spurred this increase and how they should respond. Take a moment and consider that there are children in this country living in deplorable conditions at home, and attend schools where there is no safety and very little education. Lets support the people of Chicago getting a fix on whatever is causing this problem. No doubt prayer will also help.

Thanks for Listening!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Qurans for Hospitals

Have you ever considered that the majority if not all of American hospitals are only set up to assist Christian people when they have a spiritual crisis connected to their being hospitalized or having a loved one in the hospital. Bibles are always available and typically chapels in hospitals contain crosses and other Christian emblems. Are hospitals really doing all they can to serve the

2-6 million Muslims in this country?

Recently the MNA donated prayer rugs, Qurans and a Kufi and a scarf to several bay area hospitals. And five stones for Tayammum. MNA sees the need and realizes that outreach and collaboration will go a long way in making sure that Muslim patients get their needs met. And what about people who are curious or desirous of a Quran or Shahada in the hospital? Chaplains

who are trained in an Interfaith methodology will understand and be able to respond appropriately to any and all inquiries. They will have their resources to Mosques, and Imams ready and available.

I think hospitals believe that the Muslim community is monolithic and that all Muslims have large extended families to look after all their needs should a crisis arise. Like the rest of the communities Muslims come in all flavors. Many are single, students, and some are elderly and alone. These people may not have someone to bring them Halal meals, or their Quran. So our own community agencies must look out for the welfare of patients.

The Muslim Nurses Association has undertaken a Quran/Prayer rug drive that will continue until we have met our goal of one or more Qurans per East Bay hospital. You can help us meet that goal by donating money or a Quran or/and Prayer rug. Please contact this site if you desire to help.

Jazak allah Khair


Monday, December 1, 2008

Good Health From Honey Right in Oakland!

Not to long ago the alarm went out loud and clear...where have the honeybees gone? No one was sure really. Was it a virus?
Was it pesticides? Well it makes me very happy to announce that I found an entire store devoted to the honeybee, and perhaps will play a role in bringing back healthy beehive keeping and preserving natures most important insect, the bee. The store is located on 3622 Telegraph ave in Oakland. The amber light from the honey jars lights up the store. The owner and beekeeper Khaled is a very nice friendly man who loves talking about honey. He keeps beehives all over the bay area, so he's certain to have a stock of local, natural healthy honey for every purpose. Bee Healthy Honey Shop is a family owned business which started over two generations ago. They have over 100 years of experience in the natural honey preparation and beekeeping. Their products are fresh and clean. They have a hand cream called Queen of Sheba which is bees wax and olive oil with a mild scent of the Middle east. They carry Blackberry, Raspberry, Wild flower and Sage honey. The sage knocked my socks off! Mashallah! You can order this honey from anywhere in America and overseas. They also sell Honey comb! Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly, Bee Propolis and Bee was and as I mentioned earlier a wonderful skin cream. I recommend the skin cream to all my nurse friends!
Phone: 510-388-9112

Monday, July 7, 2008

Palestinian Boys Journey witht Maroteux-Lamy

His name is Amro and he was born in Palestine in Hebron. He was born with a disease called Maroteux-Lamy Syndrome. Patients with MPS VI lack an enzyme that breaks down a complex sugar (glycosaminoglycan). Without the enzyme the sugar remains in the cells and accumulates and causes connective tissue damage. The skeleton is most affected and heart valves, spleen liver and cornea. Children with this disease tend towards small stature. Childrens Hospital Oakland had had the first clinical trial of the drug Naglazyme in 2005. The food and drug administration approved Naglazyme for us in children ages five years and older. Childrens Oakand is the only site in the US and only one in three in the world doing early intervention trials. The drug is produced by a Novato based pharmaceutical company called BioMartin.

Amro was found living in Hebron and doctors from Hadassah hospital referred him to Childrens.

Amro and his father are living in Oakland while Amro undergoes treatment.