khaula mazhar:

I didn’t edit at all yesterday because my two friends came and dragged me out of the house. I hate them. Here is a funny little story by Meg. She has a great blog with lots of entertaining stuff about her adorable kids. Go and visit.

Originally posted on Dear Crazy Kids,:

Dear Kids,

Yesterday was a snow day. I was texting with your Aunt Bethie (in a different town and not snowed in) while you two and the puppy systematically destroyed a set of Lincoln logs. Bethie texted me her work number and told me to call her up since things were slow.

The phone rang and after a garbled introduction (I was in the basement with low reception), I said hello. Buddy immediately grabbed for the telephone.

Me: Ok, Buddy wants to say hi. (set to speaker phone)

Buddy: I Buddy!

Aunt Bethie: Well, hello Buddy!

Buddy: Dat Kitten! Dat Mommy! Dat Puppy! I pway wit bwocks!

Me: (taking phone back) Fabulous. Good job, Buddy. We’re all hunkered down over here. Kitten is building with the Lincoln logs, Puppy is eating the Lincoln logs and Buddy is throwing the Lincoln logs. Another typical day here.

Aunt Bethie: <laughs>

Me: Lord, I just cleaned…

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Notes from the Armchair #8: The Neil Gaiman Effect

khaula mazhar:

Going on a reblogging splurge because there’s no time to post anything myself while I edit my novel. I thought this was really interesting and might be useful for anyone else who is writing.

Originally posted on Red Sofa Literary:

By Laura Zats

This past week, #MSWL was trending on Twitter. Although #MSWL tweets are made throughout the year, semi-annually, there is a designated day where agents and editors use the hashtag to share their wishlists with the world. The abbreviation is short for ManuScript Wish List, and it’s my favorite day, because I get to ask the universe for a story I want to see in my heart of hearts, and I actually have a pretty good chance of getting it. 

If only manuscripts came in puppy form.

If only manuscripts came in puppy form.

The only way it could be better is if I asked for a pile of tiny pit bull puppies, received it, and then was able to earn royalties on them. Alas, I will just have to stick to accosting strangers’ dogs and cute Buzzfeed lists…

This #MSWL round, I found myself asking for, above all else, books with diversity.

Racial diversity…

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I Really Love Writing Query Letters

khaula mazhar:

I am editing and will soon be querying (hopefully) so I pulled this out to amuse you. And if you too are about to send out query letters, there are some helpful links here.

Originally posted on khaula mazhar:

Query letters are so much fun. I love them. Don’t be jealous because you don’t feel the same way. Query letters just make me want to …

There are so many rules there should be an encyclopedia just to contain them. And no matter how many times you write it out, somehow it just never seems to be quite right. And every agent wants it just a little different. You have to read through entire websites and at least five googled up interviews before you even attempt to write a query to a particular agent. That is a lot of fun. Especially in the summer vacation with kids in the house.

Anyways there are some sites I found really helpful and have been meaning to post them for quite a while. But I get distracted really easily. Did you know piranhas are really mean little buggers?

Oh and that Snooti  Snooki…

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#MSWL on Twitter


So did any of you visit (read: glue your eyeballs to) Twitter yesterday? If you didn’t get the chance you can still find out if agents want what you have. Go to twitter and in the search thingy type in #MSWL-Genre of your manuscript like this: #mswl-thriller or whatever.

I found there were some agents who wanted YA thrillers so I need to get editing and quit procrastinating. Keeping my fingers crossed. For all of us! Best of luck. 

Please don’t push your nestlings out of the nest!

sleeping with baby

(Image from The Guardian)

Co-Sleeping Benefits

You have brought your bundle of joy home from the hospital. You have a beautifully decorated room, and a crib you finally approved (your husband has still not recovered from your trip to nutsville). Now  if you put that tiny cherub in that crib with a monitor while you sleep in the next room….I don’t know who you are, but I will find you!

No, not after a couple of months either! I don’t care if you are the President’s personal secretary and need your space, sleep, silence, have to be fully functional the next day, whatever. You are a mother first. You signed up for this, you weren’t forced into it unless of course you are some weird real life version of Anastasia Steele or something creepy like that.

That gift of God has been inside you for nine months, listening to your heart, feeling your warmth, the closest any living thing will ever be to you (besides your mother). You can’t just snatch that away. I know what some of you may be thinking, it’s dangerous. That is why you were given common sense, now please start using it. You may have to make a few adjustments in your room, do it.

Studies have shown that co-sleeping is beneficial and children who co-sleep with their parents as infants are more independent and confident than those who didn’t get that security. Most Asian parents co-sleep with their infants and children usually move into their own beds when they are toddlers or a little older. Breast feeding and cuddling have both been linked to higher IQs in children. It is so much easier for Mommy if the child is sleeping with her. So before you decide to put your baby in a room by themselves, please do a little research.

Misconceptions 2

Jailed: Devout Muslim Jubel Miah admitted common assault by beating

Devout Muslim Jubel Miah battered wife and forced her to wear niqab

This was from The Telegraph (UK). There were many other articles on this guy all over the internet. They all started like this:

“Muslim Jubel Miah….”

All of them, I am not kidding.

Audio: Chilling 911 call made by suicidal father moments before he massacred family of five

The man was Bryan Sweatt. I don’t know if he was Catholic or Christian Or Jewish or Atheist. I also don’t care and neither should anyone else, he was a sick person and what he did can’t be used to judge whatever community he belonged to.

But if the guy is Muslim, then we read comments or even the point of view of the person writing the article, informing us that he did this because that is what Muslims do.

No they don’t. Not practicing, devout Muslims. Just the same as a devout, practicing Christian, or Jew or good person would never harm another person.

For one thing how do these people know he was devout? He was a drug dealer for God’s sakes! Islam discourages alcohol, what do you think it would say about drugs? Drugs are prohibited in Islam.

The other thing is he beat his wife. It is not allowed in Islam.

I know some there are so many people out there who will pull out their handy dandy notebook full of quotes. Quotes that are wrongly translated and shoved out into the world to promote hate. So here is that famous verse from the Holy Quran:

Oh you don’t know Arabic? Well here maybe this will help:


Explanation (tafsir) of Sura 4:34
“Men are the support of women as God gives some more means than others, and because they spend of their wealth (to provide for them). So women who are virtuous are obedient to God and guard the hidden as God has guarded it. As for women you feel are averse, talk to them suasively; then leave them alone in bed (without molesting them) and go to bed with them (when they are willing). If they open out to you, do not seek an excuse for blaming them. Surely God is sublime and great.” http://www.islamtomorrow.com/women/treatment.asp


Men are ordered by Islam to provide for women, women don’t have to work if they don’t want to. Just saying.


“Leave them alone in bed….” as in let them know you are upset and are sleeping ‘on the sofa tonight’. And by the way this was for women whose husbands realized they were being disloyal to them, not just because they burnt the toast in the morning. I think the guy has that right if he finds his wife is fooling around behind his back.


Even then God is saying give her a chance to come around and then if she does don’t blame her again for it. Unfortunately the word meaning ‘chastise’ is misinterpreted as ‘beat’ by people who like to beat their wives and people who like to trash Islam.


Oh yes there it is, the little handy dandy note book! Yes the punishment for adultery is death:


1. “If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.


2.”If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.


3. “If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.


But guess what ?

1. Deuteronomy 22:22


2.Leviticus 20:10


3.Deuteronomy 25:11-12


And under the Law of Moses death was by stoning.


The Noble Qur’an An-Nur 24:2


“The woman and the man guilty of adultery, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allâh, if you believe in Allâh and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. (This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime but if married persons commit it, the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allâh’s Law).”




The Noble Qur’an An-Nur 24:4


“And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them(accusers) with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever, they indeed are the Fâsiqûn (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).”


If there aren’t four witnesses there is no punishment!




The Noble Qur’an An-Nur 24:6-9


6. And for those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (i.e. testifies four times) by Allâh that he is one of those who speak the truth.


7. And the fifth (testimony) (should be) the invoking of the Curse of Allâh on him if he be of those who tell a lie (against her).


8. But it shall avert the punishment (of stoning to death) from her, if she bears witness four times by Allâh, that he (her husband) is telling a lie.


9. And the fifth (testimony) should be that the Wrath of Allâh be upon her if he (her husband) speaks the truth.


So the husband can testify, however if the wife says she didn’t do it, her testimony stands and there is no punishment. If the husband is found to be lying he gets the punishment instead and if the wife was lying but no one finds out her punishment is with God. And if a man is guilty he gets the same punishment.


So that was to take care of the handy dandy notebook quote for adultery. Now for how to treat women.


(From:http://www.unveilingislam.org/5WomenTreatWivesSADIQ.html) These are verses from Quran.


  1. To be free from bondage of slavery.   Ch.4:19
  2. To be treated kindly.  Ch.4:19
  3. To be treated with respect.  Ch.9:71
  4. To be kept in good-fellowship, or “let them go in kindness”.  Ch. 2:229
  5. To be set free in kindness (in cases of divorce) and not to be retained for injury. Ch.2:231
  6. To seek an arbiter, for her protection, if her husband fears desertion or rebellion by
    Ch. 4:35
  7. To seek an arbiter, for her protection, if she fears ii-usage or desertion from her


In his last sermon the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stressed on treating women with kindness:




 O my people!  You have certain rights over your wives and so have your wives over you—
They are the trust of Allah in your hands, so you must treat them with all kindness.”

” Admonish your wives with kindness.”
(Page 790, 8500 Precious Gems, Allahdin Publications)

“ A person who ill-treats his wife during the day and loves her at night, acts in complete
contradiction of the beauty of human nature.”
( Page 801,  8500 Precious Gems, – Allahdin Publications)

” Woman is fragile like glass, and men should therefore treat women with delicacy and
tenderness as they would handle an article made of glass.”
( Page 801, 8500 Precious Gems, Allahdin Publications)

“The more civil and the kinder is a Muslim to his wife, the more perfect of faith he has; fear God
with reference to two meek beings, woman and orphan.”


Jubel Miah forced his wife to wear a naqab (full face veil).


Quran 24:31


“And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and do not display their ornaments except what appears thereof, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or the male servants not having need (of women), or the children who have not attained knowledge of what is hidden of women; and let them not strike their feet so that what they hide of their ornaments may be known.”


And say to them. SAY. You can’t force them. 


My point is this, why the hell do the headlines mention this insane man is Muslim? Nothing he did was according to Islam. How many headlines mention the religion of murderers, rapists, pedophiles, drug dealers etc etc if they aren’t Muslim?





Iranian girls in veils

Iran Legalizes Marriage for Fathers and Adopted Daughters 13 Years Old

This heading is from the Bulletin of the  Oppression of Women

Just because they are Muslim and they have passed this law doesn’t mean what they are doing is allowed in Islam. It is NOT.

Iran passes ‘pedophilia’ law to let men marry adopted girls

This is from the Washington Times. And I can imagine all the women’s rights activists around the world bashing Muslims.

Listen western woman, many of us are oppressed, but it is not by Islam. It is by our men. Just like you. Like in medieval times when only priests and other religious figures had an education and used it to their advantage against the poor illiterate peasants, we Muslim women are guilty of not educating ourselves. Islam has given us many rights, we are sometimes stupid not to find out what they are, sometimes too weak or scared to raise a voice.

And yes I know you are going to throw quotes from the Holy Quran in my face and say “well what about this ?” with a smirk on your face. You are just picking up random quotes out of context because you haven’t bothered to take time out to get the whole story. So that is kind of like the poor peasant who just repeated to his family what the educated Priest told him, a half truth taken out of context meant to serve the Priest. Not the poor peasant.

I just want to share some things I felt would give a better picture of what Islam really is. And please remember I am not a religious scholar I won’t have a lot of answers on the tips of my fingers yes that is my fault, but how much of the Bible have you memorized? And please remember that before you go and bash Islam and show disrespect, a true Muslim will never disrespect the Bible or the Torah or any other Book, we have been forbidden to do so. The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) warned his followers:

‘Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech.  Do not eavesdrop; do not spy on one another; do not envy one another; do not forsake one another; do not hate one another.  Be, O slaves of God, brothers.” (Sahi Muslim)

Here is another example of very clear instructions of how to behave with followers of a different religion or who worship different gods : Chapter 109 of the Quran.

“Say: O you that reject faith! I do not worship that which you worship, nor will you worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which you have been wont to worship, nor will you worship that which I worship. To you be your Way (or religion) and to me mine.” (Quran 109:1-6)

It means simply you have your beliefs and I have mine, let’s not fight over it. This particular verse was for the idol worshippers of Mecca, as for Christians and Jews we believe in the same prophets and respect their books.

Now to show you the above headlines are not Islamic Practices:

According to Islamic Law, women cannot be forced to marry anyone without their consent.

A girl came to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

“What if my father married me off to a man while I disliked this, and my cousin came to ask for my hand?”

The Prophet responded, “There is no marriage. Marry whom you wish.”

The girl said: “Actually I accept this marriage but I wanted to let women know that parents have no right (to force a husband on them).” (Ibn Maja, No. 1873).

Similarly, al-Nisa’i relates on the authority of Khansa’ bint Khadham that she said, “My father married me off against my will (she was young), so I complained to the Prophet, and he said, ‘Do not marry her off against her will.’”

Ibn Abbas reported that a girl came to Muhammad (PBUH), and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her consent. The Messenger of God gave her the choice . . . (between accepting the marriage or invalidating it). (Ibn Hanbal No. 2469).


The consent of both the man and the women is an essential element of marriage, and the Quran gives women a substantial role in choosing their own life partners. It lays down:

“Do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree between themselves in a lawful manner.” [Noble Quran 2:232]

This is really clear that if a woman wants to marry someone, “do not prevent them..” Also the girl has to be old enough to have enough sense about marriage, which of course a young girl wouldn’t. The women jumping up and down in the back there? Yes I hear you, during the early years of Islam young girls were married off when they were very young as compared to today, but please remember that some girls mature before others, how many cases of pregnant fourteen year olds do you have here in Western society? Marriage guaranteed they wouldn’t be sleeping around and then having to take care of an unwanted baby or even  a painful abortion, they would be taken care of, the man was accountable. He had to take care of her and his children. And in any case if the girl didn’t give her consent there was no marriage anyways. Unfortunately many scholars (MEN!) put their own translations and explanations forward, and those are the ones that the media loves to quote. Also educated Muslims do not marry fourteen year olds. Uneducated corrupt, perverted old guys with Muslim names do. That does not make them Muslim.  The above verse and Hadiths are so clear. Please get facts from reliable, legitimate sources. So if a ten-year old is forced to marry a forty-year old guess what? That has nothing to do with Islam, she was exploited by cruel, God-less men.

Now rather than wasting time howling that Islam is oppressing women,  howl about how our men are misinterpreting it. And we Muslim women should start educating ourselves, leave behind our fears and step forward to fight against these confining cultural traditions.

(pic is from Bulletin of the Oppression of Women)