A little about me and how this blog came to be….
I’m a mother of 2 daughters who depending on the moment keep me on my toes, entertained, frustrated, joyful, and constantly endeavoring to deserve them. As a convert to Islam, whose family is Christian, I faced the same struggle many convert parents face when it comes to handling the holidays celebrated by our non-Muslim family members. In the spirit of wanting for others what you want for yourself, I had early on decided to celebrate Christmas with our Christian family members along with my children. At the same time, I educated them on the significance of Christmas for our Christian family members, explained why it is not a Muslim holiday, and discussed the importance of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) to Muslims. Every year we exchange gifts, attend celebratory dinners, and with our Christian family members, friends, and neighbors a Merry Christmas with love and respect. But then I found myself with another problem. I can’t speak to other countries, but in the United States, Christmas is big and everywhere from practically late October through December 25th. Christmas movies on TV, radio stations devoted to Christmas music, most businesses and streets going all out on decorations, parties at school, and on and on. And as my girls went from babies to little girls I thought how can I bring about for them this same sense of fun and festivity when celebrating our Muslim holidays?
So, I consulted Pinterest and Google and looked for examples of what other parents were doing to make Ramadan and Eid and other important days special. Two examples that I loved and kept coming back to (1) parents who would make a Ramadan basket for their children that would contain toys and books and other items that would engage them and inshaAllah keep them busy throughout Ramadan and (2) a lot of images of Christian parents and some Muslim parents who would create advent calendars or little envelopes with treats or messages to get kids excited for the build up to Christmas day or for Muslim kids excited for Ramadan and the build up to Eid. Eventually I decided on a combination of these two ideas and Ramadan Envelopes became a Ramadan tradition for our family.
So why the blog? Over the years I have had friends and strangers reach out with questions and requests for sources and some have asked if I could compile everything and create a list or website that shows all the envelope contents throughout the years. My oldest daughter has been taking AP Computer Principles and I figured I would capitalize on all that knowledge she has gained and ask her to put this blog together for me. The plan is for the blog to be a place that holds past years' envelopes and a place to discuss what’s in this year’s envelopes. Also, as my girls get older I am feeling sad that they are outgrowing children’s books and some of the craft ideas so I hope for this to be a place where I can continue to talk about ideas for younger kids. I decided to call the blog Parenting With Love and Iman (faith) because when all is said and done my hope, my intention, is that when my children look back on their childhoods and reflect on their relationship with their mama the first two words I want them to think of are love and iman.
I am so incredibly grateful to all the parents, bloggers, Instagrammers, and other resources that I have found through the years that have enabled me to fill our Ramadan envelopes with books, gifts, craft and recipe ideas, and my only goal with this blog is to hopefully pass that on to someone else.
Wishing you love and peace,