Mindful Mama Mentor
~ HUNTER CLARKE-FIELDS ~

Mommying While Muslim – Zaiba Hasan [361]
August 9, 2022

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What is it like to be an American Muslim mama trying to raise kids who are 100% American and Muslim? Is it possible to be a progressive and Muslim? Many of have many misperceptions (including me!), so I brought on Zaiba Hasan, host of the Mommying While Muslim podcast to talk about all this and more. 

Takeaways

  1. You can be progressive and Muslim
  2. American Muslim kids have to deal with the after affects of September 11
  3. Muslims come from many different cultures, which flavor their experience

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About Our Guest

There was no Ph.D. in parent and life coaching so she decided to create one herself! Zaiba has received training and/or certifications in the following:

  • Parent Coaching, from the Parent Coaching Institute with the Appreciative Inquiry Lens
  • Sleep Training for ages 0-18, from Family Sleep Services
  • Spiritual Mediation in Conflict Resolution, from Sufi University and the Karamah Institute
  • Positive Discipline, The Positive Discipline Association
  • Adolescent Brain Cognition, from the Mindfulness Institute
  • Getting mothers the support they need in the workplace from a Diversity & Inclusion perspective, from Cornell University

When she isn’t serving as a coaching catalyst for her clients she can be found on the baseball fields and basketball courts of the DMV area with her four children and husband of 23 plus years.

About Hunter Clarke-Fields

Hunter is the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, host of the Mindful Mama podcast and author of the bestselling book Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids. She helps parents bring more calm and peace into their daily lives. Hunter has over twenty years of experience in meditation practices and has taught mindfulness to thousands worldwide. She is the mother of two active daughters, who challenge her everyday to hone her craft!

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Transcript of this episode:

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

Mommying While Muslim – Zaiba Hasan [361]

[00:00:00] Hunter: You are one of the co-hosts yes. Of mommying. Muslim. And I wanna talk about that. First of all, I wanna ask you about like, why you wanted to start this. Also coming from the point of view that, a lot of non-Muslim Americans have probably including myself, have a lot of misconceptions about Muslim Americans and also.

Our ideas are very much colored by the media. Yes, my sister-in-law. But I’ve had some experiences that have opened my perception just a little bit, knowing that like in the media, this perception is that Every Muslim is like really devout and super, on the like conservative end. And, but yeah, I have a sister-in-law who’s she’s simply culturally Muslim because she was, she her father, she grew she’s Senegalese.

She grew up in Italy, but she’s San Louis, her family GL. And and so there, she just like the only reason I, cuz I tried to give her some bacon and she was like, no thanks.

[00:01:11] Zaiba Hasan: But you’re like, what do you, what, why don’t you wanna eat some pork today was super confused. Like, why are you saying no bacon is the best?

I know that was

[00:01:20] Hunter: the only sign I ever had. I was like, oh, I didn’t even realize. So there’s just. At least my understanding is just like any other religion, there’s a whole gamut from like culturally non-practicing to like really intense there’s that whole

[00:01:34] Zaiba Hasan: spectrum there. Hundred percent.

Okay. Good.

[00:01:37] Hunter: So I just wanted to get that out there. Cause I think that there’s like a weird perception out there. So why did you start mommy and

[00:01:43] Zaiba Hasan: mommying? Muslim. We talk about it a lot on the podcast, cuz it really was something I grew up biracial. My mom was a convert.

She is of Irish descent. My dad is SP. In the late seventies, early eighties as I’m gonna be dating myself and telling people how old I am over 40 and feeling fabulous. But it was just one of those things where, you know, I. Pass and that’s a term that a lot of DNI people use and diversity and inclusion wait D and I diversity and inclusion.

Okay. It’s so when you can pass for the majority population within the country. So for me, until somebody hears my name, they’re not quite sure what I am, who I am. So they just loop me into. Quote unquote normal. And one day we were traveling home from Chicago, which is where my family’s from.

I was traveling with my four kids. My oldest at the time was 14 14, at that stage where he looks like a man, not like a man that weird gangly Teenage phase . And I’m always the Cabos. I’m sure you probably have a similar system. So I’m in the Cabos. I’m with my younger one who was in the stroller at the time.

And I can’t believe he was in the stroller cuz he looks such like a, such a big boy now. And all of a sudden I was like, what is taking so long in the security guy was giving my son a hard time. So I had my daughter watch the younger two and I walked up and I’m like, is everything okay?

They’re like, he doesn’t have an ID. You guys can’t get past. And I’m like, he’s 14. He doesn’t need an ID. There’s no way he’s 14. And our last name is Hussam, which is a very obviously Muslim last name. And after 45 minutes of interrogation separating my kids. And essentially asking them like, how old is your brother, all these questions, because of course I’m not traveling with ID for him.

I had my ID and that’s pretty much about it. And we sat down, we finally got to the gate barely. And my oldest was what was that about? And then I realized at that time he was now being viewed as a Muslim man in America versus a Muslim boy. And his experiences are gonna be different than mine as a mom.

And I didn’t know. How to support him, cuz these types of microaggressions hadn’t necessarily happened to me at that point. In that capacity where I’m like, I can’t argue, you feel helpless cause I’m like, are they gonna take him somewhere? Like I’m gonna be by myself. What rights do I have? I had a childhood friend.

Her name is Dr. Ojay and I called her up and I’m like, is there a place where I can go and find answers? Cause he’s really concerned about this happening. And I don’t know how to help him. And she was like, she literally said to me, why are you not traveling with your passports? You need to be traveling with your passports because she is a very identifiably, Muslim woman and her family is as well.

And she has always had that experience of being stopped in. And so in my quest to essentially find the answers for myself, I recognize that we as American Muslim women and mothers in this country, meaning. Our parents might have come from another country, but we were born and raised here and our kids literally have zero relation to any other country, but America, we have we’re this really unique generation in trying to raise native born Muslims that are a hundred percent American, but they’re still being almost like What’s the word.

I can’t explain. Not that they’re being blamed, but they’re definitely being made to answer about an event September 11th, that happened before they were even born. And in trying to find the answers for myself, I realized there wasn’t any, so we decided to start one and funnily enough, we decided that’s how mommy Muslim podcast was born.

In a majority of our listeners were actually non-Muslim, which I thought was such. Happy accident, because I believe that because we feel very differently, it was men myself, and we bring a lot of American Muslim moms on the show that think very differently than we do. We’re providing an insight into what is actually.

American Muslims. And like you said, in the beginning where different shapes, sizes, cultures, colors, ethnicities, and we are so diverse. We’re probably one of the most ethnically diverse religions if we actually do the research on it. And a lot of people don’t know that because the media focuses on one demographic which is tends to be the golf Arabs, which none of, we’re not even Arab.

And so it’s one of those things where, put into this box and you don’t belong there. And our kids are like, I don’t even wanna be near the box. So how to support them while keeping their identity is very is something that we feel very strongly about at mommying.

Well, Muslim.

[00:06:55] Hunter: Yeah. That’s interesting cuz as a, like a minority religion, like there’s all these different people that you’re, that are, like you said, all the different shapes and sizes and colors and. And yet it’s not visible. The only visible piece of non Muslim sea is like a woman in a job

[00:07:16] Zaiba Hasan: scarf or whatever, or she’s being mistreated by her husband.

And she doesn’t have she’s quiet, but the majority of the women that I know are extremely loud. They’re in charge of their households. and it’s a very different situation. So we wanted to break down the barriers. We’ve given this accidental mic to, to break down some of these stereotypical barriers.

And we’re just running with it. We’re like we don’t represent all American Muslims, but if you need somebody, we will get it for you.

[00:07:44] Hunter: Do you see that like in the United States the, as the generations are progressing, that things are changing in like Islamic culture in the United States.

I’m just wondering about that because I’ve been doing some work for a conference that that a Parenting on conference that’s gonna be happening in Abu Dhabi. And that’d be great. There are some culturally sensitive yes. Topics a lot, but we can’t address. And we’re kinda like, we’re this I’m in this content group and I’m gonna be a speaker there, but I’m also like,

We’re also, we’re hoping to maybe address these maybe like in, in future years.

Warm up the audience. But

[00:08:30] Zaiba Hasan: I,

You don’t wanna shock people on your first hands no,

no,

[00:08:35] Hunter: exactly. Have you, are you, cuz like culture in, like at least in, in the United States, like culture’s progressing, like there’s people fighting for trans rights and queer rights and all of these different things and like we’re moving away from conservative, whatever religion they are.

Places. And are you seeing that, like the Islamic culture, at least around you guys and your, contemporaries is

[00:09:04] Zaiba Hasan: also changing? The funny thing is when you talk about the conservative Muslims, right? But when you actually go to the conservative principles of Islam and you go back to the time when it was starting to be developed, The things that make us Muslim today.

We’re Out of the ordinary for the time and the place, meaning it was really progressive at the time his wedding, it was extreme,

[00:09:34] Hunter: progressive. I didn’t know anything about it, but I took, and I’m not Christian. I was raised without a religion. So I took a world religions class. Yes. And like the, one of the first things he started talking about was Abraham.

And I had to be like, excuse me, who’s Abraham. I was like the only person you’re like, what’s going on? Can I just start? But like the whole idea. Like Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all connected by this figure. And then, it gets a little, like there are these, Jesus was super progressive and is a figure in Islam.

Yes. And then, Islam was super progressive for the time. Yes. Which is something also I learned on your podcast, listen, to the best of episode, it talked about how. Aah was like

[00:10:18] Zaiba Hasan: pro women’s pleasure. I was like, oh yeah, it was just like, fabulous. Those are our favorite episodes.

They’re like, that was, and that’s what happens like the patriarchal system that came onto Islam. Took a lot of that off and put this culture on top of the religion. And what I’m finding is because we’re so diverse. Culturally right here in the quote, unquote salad, melting pot, whatever the turn of phrases that we’re using right now in America, we can take the culture of back home.

Out and focus on what the religion ultimately stands for and what it needs to be. So I would argue that our kids are moving towards that progressive cult that progressive Islam. That is what it was supposed to be. If you took the culture out of it, because we don’t have a joint culture, whether it’s Arab or whatever, these kids have taken that off. And they’re like, okay, we’re American and we’re American Muslim. Like my daughter is. Literally, she woke up on her own. I couldn’t fast today. It’s Ramadan. So she woke up on her own this morning and made her breakfast. She did all that on her own.

I don’t say you have to fast or have to, but she understands the principle. She wants to do it. She feels empowered and she feels good when she does it. These kids are making those choices on their own because they’re reading about the why, and not being told you have to. So I would argue that these kids are actually really looking at.

Islam the way that it’s supposed to be portrayed. What is the spiritual aspect? Like I talk about this all the time on the podcast, we pray five times a day, right? A lot of people are like, what the heck are you doing? You’re so super conservative. And I want, and I tell people, I’m like, do you think God needs us to pray to him?

Regardless of what God he believe in he does not, but he recogniz. The weakness in us as humans to take those mindfulness breaks throughout the day, that has been scientifically proven to increase productivity, help with your brain synapses and to be able to like rest and recharge. Throughout the day. I view prayer as that my opportunity to rest and recharge.

It’s a great, and that’s how I teach my children. So do I think I’m gonna hell if I forget a prayer? No, but I know God knows I need to take a break and to pray. So I feel like these kids are getting that versus getting that if you like, how I was raised if you don’t pray, blah, blah, blah, but then your parents, aren’t telling you.

What was the meaning of prayer? What is that spiritual aspect behind it? Why do we fast? Is it just because we don’t want to eat and drink during the day? No. What are we trying to feel? What are we trying to embrace? Those are the things that these kids are actually moving towards that I think is an amazing thing.

Having. Frank conversations about sex and sexuality and dating and these types of things, which I have a feeling. Those are the types of topics you cannot talk about in Abu Dhabi, but being open and receptive to your children, recognizing that they’re sexual beings and giving them the power to be able to one explore that is a God given right to us.

As Muslims that we don’t talk about. Enough, but so my kids are very, unfortunately, probably way too open with me about these types of things, but I feel like I’d rather than ask me. Yeah. I’m like, I don’t need to know here you go. But the reality is you wanna create that open space of dialogue, cuz guess what?

Where else are they gonna get that information from? Other than from you. I would much rather them get it from trust or if it’s not for me a trusted source. And that’s what we at mommy Muslim have done is curated an amazing group of women that are experts in their field. And I feel like we’re breaking those stereotypes that we’ve been put into.

[00:14:33] Hunter: Yeah, that’s beautiful. I think that what I’m hearing you say is it’s like you are you’re taking these thing, these pieces that feed you, you’re taking these essentials, you’re taking the why, and you’re also growing with your kids and learning, cetera, and you’re, it’s not a rigid practice.

And that whole idea of the idea of it being modeled. Yes. Being, like understanding the why, like practices being modeled, practicing, understanding the why and not forcing. Yeah. It’s fascinating because we recently had Michelin Dule on who wrote hunt, gather parent. She went and talked to all these different indigenous cultures all around the world.

And some cultures like particularly mine cultures, like extremely helpful kids. And it was, that was part of the thing. It was like, you were, the kids were never forced. It was modeled. They were invited, they were told, you know why, but it was never forced. And then, and that’s that’s this beautiful key to.

Honoring yes, our children’s autonomy. And then and that when we honor their autonomy, then they can choose to be, to embrace their culture and the things that their parents are presenting. It’s not like a force. They have to push away

[00:15:55] Zaiba Hasan: from exactly. Exactly. And you’re practicing something, knowing the why.

How amazing is that it’s not, I’m just going through these rituals for the sake of going through these rituals, because this is what people do, but okay. Let’s go and explore. What is the reason? So even during this month of Ramadan, the whole point is to read the Quran, which is our our holy book.

And a lot of these people read it in the. Arabic. My kids do know Arabic. It is, but it’s obviously not their native language. So I force, that’s the one thing I do. I make them read it in English because I’m like, you have to know what you’re reading and if you have something that you don’t understand and you question it because it doesn’t make any sense.

Let’s go work together to figure out why that came and why that happened because how the grand was revealed. Was it what different different sections would come out at different times? And what was happening was a certain period of history. So I’m like, don’t just take it for a very sta go and read.

Why when it was revealed, why it was revealed, what was going on historically, and then you can go back and be like, oh, that’s why. So if you take anything, one snippet, one line out of context, anything without knowing the full story around it. It can be a negative or it can be positive and not necessarily be a positive thing.

So I really, and I feel like that is the new movement of parents here in America as American Muslims is to really force our kids to be like, okay, we want you to question. We want you to be like, okay, why is this happening? What. I say I was born Muslim, but as an adult chosen to be Muslim, I have my master’s in divinity.

I’ve read all the religions. I love it. We all have the same core, but ultimately for me, the path of getting to God is this path. But I feel like all the paths to get you to a higher spiritual. Being in essence, that’s the path you’re supposed to be on. This is the path that I’ve chosen. So I make my quit kids question.

And if you are questioning your faith, I don’t want you to fi follow something blindly. I want you to go in and research it and talk to me about it.

[00:18:12] Hunter: That’s beautiful. I love that. The whole idea of encouraging kids to question. Yes. Let’s do that. Let’s have them have more awareness.

Yes. Yes. So what are some of the biggest, what are some of the biggest challenges that Muslim families are facing in the United States that maybe non-Muslims are not gonna be aware

[00:18:34] Zaiba Hasan: of? Okay. And I’m gonna try not to cry. So my son I mentioned a little bit ahead of time that my son is going to college.

He was pretty good about I wanna do my own essays, blah, blah, blah. One day I happened to go. It was one of his essays was on the printer. I didn’t think about it. I picked it up and I was reading it. And the first line was I grew up in the shadow of the fallen towers. And as I read that, I was like, what.

Because he’s captain of the basketball team. He’s like one of those, he’s literally that kid, if you watch, high school musical teachers are high fiving him in the hallways and I’m like, oh, what, this is the experience that you had. And that, and I’m reading it. These kids are dealing with things.

That we, I thought we were protecting them from, but they’re dealing with them and it doesn’t matter how much they were removed. It doesn’t matter. The steps that we as American born Muslim, the original generation, passed the 1960s the immigration acts and all that happened after the civil rights movement.

Our parents were that first generation that immigrated here. They’re. American enough still. And they’re still having to identify, especially if my son is more of an olive tone complexion, he’s a little bit darker. So he’s still, obviously our last name is very Muslim. Last name. Everybody knows it from seeing it.

I didn’t real. I, as a mom, didn’t realize that even though you hear, microaggressions people, or somebody would say, oh, you speak English so well, I was born and raised here. Of course I speak English. I’m majored in journalism. I’m not quite sure what to tell you. I’m sorry. You’re surprised.

Or when they’re like, oh, which kids are yours? I’m like, you see the only two dark haired kids over there. Those are mine, little things like that, that you can chalk off and put under the, but I didn’t realize that my kids were experiencing that pretty firsthand. And I did a poor job in, I.

Giving them the tools that they needed to work through that obviously they’ve done it on their own. So I feel very proud of them for that, but in reading that essay, which really happened very recently was the first tangible sign that I saw that their experiencing a different America than their peers are.

[00:21:18] Hunter: So are they obviously you’re there’s challenges in the airport. Are they getting bullied at school? Are parents I imagine I would feel like if I was in that situation, I’d be like, oh, I wanna homeschool my kids. Imagine a bunch of parents might choose that.

Is that what. Is that

[00:21:39] Zaiba Hasan: happening. So I do think that happens to a lot of kids, so I don’t want to misrepresent that. It , it has not happened to my kids. Okay. And I do feel athletics for them has helped them cuz it put them in. I know this sounds terrible, but it puts them in a different category.

But it does put them in a category to help other Muslim kids, which they do. Cuz their thing is you can’t. You might feel like you can’t speak out, but I can cuz I have quote unquote street cred and I will do that for you. But that it does happen to a lot of children. And just in little things like this, so I’m on the interfaith interfaith committee here in the state of Virginia and somebody reached out to me yesterday, which I hadn’t been aware.

They’re like, do you know one of these AP tests is on E. I thought we fixed all either is our religious. It’s like one of our most, it’s the end of Armada, one of our religious and there’s no makeup dates for it. So he would have to miss. And I said, no, that can’t be possible that I’m going back. And I’m like, oh my God, sure enough.

That is the case. So it’s things like that we have to deal with. Now I have to go and connect her to the head of the voice to be like, okay, now we have to go to the high school. So we just have to do these extra steps versus spring break is during. You’re gonna get Easter taking, but now I have to go and reschedule a test that I need for college because it’s on my religious.

So I’m either choosing to celebrate with my family or I’m taking this test. I don’t. I don’t just automatically get that off. So literally this happens last night, so I’m at an event and somebody’s texting me like, who do I contact? I can’t go to the, my son cannot take this test and I need your help for whatever.

So I’m trying to connect them to different things, but why should our kids have to choose between celebrating Easter or Christmas and taking a test? Like we don’t have. That natural respect. I would say, even though I worked really hard on the calendar, but they got the calendar wrong and I was like, oh, so we had to go back.

And that was something I was working on until late last night to try to fix that because apparently it was through Fairfax county public school system was one of the largest public school systems in the United States. All these kids were taking a test on their religiou. Holiday. So now we had to go fix it.

So it’s things like that, that I would think you would take for granted, right? I’m gonna get Christmas off. I’m gonna get Easter off. I don’t have to worry about making up a test or whatever, because I’m doing this. Our students can’t do that and they have to be put in a position where they have to advocate for themselves for the basic things that other students are taking for granted.

[00:24:30] Hunter: It’s so frustrating. It’s so much of human conflicts really come to this, like in group

[00:24:35] Zaiba Hasan: outgroup thing, even within own culture and our own religion, so this is not just a cross, it’s a interreligious and interreligious situation. So trust me, if we don’t come from a place of commonality, there’s a lot of conflict.

[00:24:51] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. The it’s hard for us. It’s hard. I think it’s just hard for humans. We have to be in this place, right? Like I think we need to be in this place. Where we’re thinking globally, where we’re yes. We’re having compassion for people suffering in all kinds of different contexts, all around the world.

But it’s not, I think that’s not in some ways, very natural for humans, right? Like we evolved in hunter gatherer tribes where you had

[00:25:18] Zaiba Hasan: max 150 people and your entirely, it was literally in this geographical area. It’s only been in the last. 15 to 20 years that this explosion of, being a more global world because of access to information that we have because of the internet.

Yeah. So this is a very, so this next generation is a very unique generation because they don’t know what it’s like. So I feel like we’re in the middle. We knew the before and the after. And we can figure that out. I’m just lumping wind with me. You’re probably a lot younger and, but our kids.

Like it’s they’re like I saw AAC from some girl who’s in like Australia, like they, yeah. They have access to information that we don’t have. So they need to be equipped to be able to live in a global world because their world is global. It’s not just in the two mile radius of their house.

So having that opportunity to learn and understand other cultures I would say is a must now versus being like, oh, it would be. To know, no, I feel like you now need to know what other cultures are doing because our world is actually smaller than it was even 15 years ago. I

[00:26:32] Hunter: agree. And I think there’s a big backlash, right?

Obviously like globally, there’s a big backlash to let’s get more insular, right? Yeah. As we need to expand, it’s incredibly frustrating. And it’s

[00:26:45] Zaiba Hasan: fear based, right? Yeah. Like it’s because people are afraid of losing. Of losing what they know, not recognizing what you’re getting is so much better.

So if we are not fear based and if we’re like, you know what, like I get to know somebody like we’re literally having this conversation and we’re on different sides. We wouldn’t have had this conversation even five, 10 years ago. Like what a beautiful thing that is. For expanding connectivity. I just feel like if you embrace it, it could be so great.

It could be in a wonderful tool. Yeah.

[00:27:21] Hunter: Yeah, I agree. So what are, I would love to this for this episode to just empower my listener a little bit and just the idea that we can say, and maybe if we’re, if you’re an, a dear listener, if you’re a non-Muslim and you are in a conversation with some family, and you’ve got that, that uncle Joe, who’s got some bad ideas, What are some of the stereotypes that are out there and can you help us debunk some of those?

I think

[00:27:55] Zaiba Hasan: that might be really helpful. Give me, you just ask me it’s so funny because I, we always joke, like we actually had we went on a whole bunch of born again, Christian podcasts, and a lot of people were like, what are you doing? Why are you doing this? And we. We’re just gonna, and we’re like, you know what?

Throw whatever questions you have out of there, because this is the truth of it. You are thinking it whether or not you’re saying it. So I would much rather you say it and be able to understand, or even if you’re not convinced, we’re not trying to convince of anybody, but if you can hesitate.

to think something when somebody mentions or let’s say you have that uncle Joe at the tape, that’s I met a Muslim person. Trust me. I have had my uncle Joe’s. My mom’s family is is Irish Catholic. They weren’t necessarily, but they loved us and they might not have loved other Muslims, but we were family and they love us.

So I feel like I’m in a unique position because I’ve. Seen that side from that perspective and understanding that it is a very fear base. It’s like my mom thought my dad was the cutest Mexican guy she’d ever met. And she cuz she didn’t know what Pakistan was. Like. Her worldview really was in the south side of Chicago, where she was like, I. The only dark skinned people. I see other than African Americans at the time were Mexican Americans or Mexican immigrants. There weren’t that many Indians and Pakistanis in Chicago at that time. So you can’t fault somebody for not knowing. So the one thing I would say is.

There are no questions for us, at least as men, myself that are off limits. And we would much rather you ask us than think something or just, or go to a site where it has fake news. We all know those sites. I would much rather you talk to me and ask me and if we don’t know the answer, we can direct you to somebody who can answer those questions for you.

So the biggest thing I would say is. Ask, don’t be afraid, we’re, we’re just like you right now. I’m dealing with my poor cat. Who’s at the vet right now and might have to have surgery. So I’m watching my phone very closely. In the meantime, I have my four kids, like texting me. I’m very sign.

Is she okay? What’s going on? We have the same fears. And we’re literally gonna throw money at the problem to make sure this baby lives, and we love her and we’re just like everybody. We’re just like everybody else. And when we say Allah, which is God, it’s the same God that you pray to, or another, a Jewish person prays to, or a Christian person.

And actually if you study Buddhism and all that, that, that concept of a greater spiritual power, whatever you happen to call that person or that being, I wanna say. We’re praying to the same God . So I feel like that’s the number one thing that people don’t get. Yeah. They

[00:30:52] Hunter: think it’s something different, separate

[00:30:54] Zaiba Hasan: and different something separate.

And it’s not, it’s just the Arabic version for God.

[00:30:58] Hunter: Yeah, just, it’s just a translation thing. ,

[00:31:01] Zaiba Hasan: it’s a translation

[00:31:02] Hunter: thing. Yeah. Okay. That’s cool. That’s interesting. I have a question, so yes, ,

[00:31:08] Zaiba Hasan: I’m ready

[00:31:08] Hunter: for it. My daughter came out to me this year as a lesbian and I. Understand that in, in some parts of Christianity and in Islam, it’s considered it’s sin bad, et cetera.

It’s not accepted at all. And I’m wondering like for if that is the case, cuz I don’t really know about Islam. What, how what’s happening for American Muslim parents when they have kids who are queer and are, yeah.

[00:31:46] Zaiba Hasan: I’m glad you’re answering your ads, cuz believe it or not. We at mommy one Muslim get a lot of DMS from kids.

That are or fear that’s their words than mine, that they might be gay or lesbian. They would like us to talk about it so that their parents could get the answer. And honestly, that’s what we did. We had a full series on the LG. We were the first American Muslim pod, actually Muslim podcast period that had ever talked about it.

We literally, in one day lost 4,000 followers in one. From the hate. And we were just like, listen, whether you wanna believe it or not. Is. It’s been there since the beginning of a time. So you are in denial if you don’t think that’s the case. That’s one, two . I don’t pretend to be scholars on anything, but what we are moms who want to have a support system for marginalized members, even within our own community.

And that. Is the LGBTQ community. And we had a transgender woman come on there who, by the way, they’re, all one was a lesbian, one was a transgendered. One was she actually started a program for Muslim support. Like it’s a mosque. We wanted to be able to showcase. We’re not saying this is right, this is wrong.

This is, that’s not our job. Our job is not to judge you or to say, this is what God, but our job is to provide you an outlet, a community within a community so that you can go get the answers. And that’s what we did. And for every one listener that we lost. Because how dare you talk? Cuz I think a lot of people think if you talk about it, then all of a sudden your kid’s gonna be gay.

Your kid is either gay or they’re not. Okay. Let me just tell you that right now. So us talking about it is not gonna convert them. Okay. It’s just not gonna happen. But what we can do is help some kid that’s maybe, depressed, not knowing how to talk to their parents, not having a resource or support system.

If we’re able to provide that for them. That’s what we’re gonna. Did we get a lot of backlash within our community, a hundred percent. We did. Wow. And, but for everyone, like I said, for every one person, there were two people that are like, thank God you guys are coming out. Sorry, pun. I did not mean to make that pun, but you’re coming out with these resources for these kids because we’re desperate.

And who am I to sit there and say, if you’re a transgendered wo woman who, by the way, still identifies as a Muslim. Transgendered woman. I’m gonna support you. I’m gonna hold your hand. I can’t judge you. I don’t know what’s gonna happen to us when we die, but what I can do is hear on this earth.

If you need help, I’m gonna help you. And that’s what we try to do at mommy one Muslim. So we really do talk about these taboo topics that other people are like, who the heck are you to talk about it? Or like people are talking about it anyway. We might as well, bring it out in the open and share with you guys the resources that we are.

We’re uncovering while we’re trying to research this for our listeners. Wow. Good

[00:35:04] Hunter: for you. That’s awesome. I’m that’s a really brave choice. I think too. It was hard. I bet that was hard to

just,

[00:35:11] Zaiba Hasan: but we were looking, we were begging people to come and people just did not, they weren’t ready for it.

They weren’t ready. Took us two years. To find people open enough to be able to share their story. And I feel blessed that they shared their story with us cuz they felt safe to do so because we’ve heard horror stories that somebody. Would say I’m gonna come and help you, but then turned it around on them.

And we were like, no, we’re not doing that. We truly wanna help you. . So it took us two years to find people brave enough to come on the show. And we’re like, you don’t understand how many people you’re gonna be helping, cuz this is one of this and sex are the two things that people DM us about because they.

No. And that we get a lot of these emails and messages, and we really wanted to help these people. Cuz there were some kids that were like, I am so depressed, I’m contemplating suicide. And we were like, oh my God, we cannot. Help you, we wanna help you. So this was our version or our way of being able to help people on a broader scope.

We individually helped everybody that emailed us. I’m sure you do the same. If you’re like, oh my God, I have to do that. But in order to put it on a bigger platform, it took us a couple of years cuz we really wanted to handle it gracefully recognizing that we were gonna lose people along the way.

And we were okay with that. Wow.

[00:36:40] Hunter: Wow. That’s good. That’s good for you for doing that. I can imagine, that, that idea of having this open source of information for those, kids who are feeling unaccepted and that, maybe hating who they are because of. Not because of anything, that’s their fault.

It’s it’s heartbreaking to imagine that because obviously I can imagine that very clearly for my own daughter. Yeah, exactly. But yeah.

[00:37:15] Zaiba Hasan: Good and getting in the way of their or their spirituality, right? Yeah. So they’re saying I still feel Muslim yet people are saying. There’s something wrong with me.

Like you see what I’m saying? That’s a really hard thing cuz as a mom leaving,

[00:37:31] Hunter: they’re not accepted by it.

[00:37:32] Zaiba Hasan: Exactly. And they’re not accepted by that, but they’re like, but we still love God. So this is who I am. He made me this way. Why would he not love me? So there’s a very fine line and it’s unfortunately not even easy for people to talk about.

In other religions and cultures. Oh yeah. So I just feel like it’s a difficult thing for sure.

[00:37:56] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Obviously I, I haven’t had any, I haven’t drilled any Christians on the podcast about this, so I’m

[00:38:03] Zaiba Hasan: sorry. I’m like, I’m not sure, but I honestly, we love them. So like now we go to these podcast conference, they seek us out, they get excited.

They’re like, hi, how are you? And I’m like, you know what? Cause I, because again, we’re, we. We’re breaking the stereotypes of what they think like they’re like, are we allowed one guy it’s literally, before we started recording, we’re recording like this, are we allowed to talk to you without your husband present?

And we’re just like, what are you talking about right now? He was trying to be respectful, which not recognizing. Filled with microaggressions. That was, I don’t need permission from my husband to talk to you. You see what I’m saying? Like in a lot of the times it’s coming from ignorance and we have to take our own.

Viewpoint about it and try to give the person the benefit of the doubt. And sometimes it’s really hard to do, but I feel like if we can try, maybe it’ll make our lives just a little bit easier, just a little bit easier.

[00:39:09] Hunter: I’m sure it’s easy, a little easier already from the work that you’ve done for many people.

What can non-Muslim parents and listeners, how can they make it easier? Or how can we. Offer support for people who are like dealing with the, challenges and aggressions that you may not even be aware of.

[00:39:36] Zaiba Hasan: Recognizing. Okay. So first of all, when you’re watching the media or whatever the case may be, cause of course the it’s gonna, you’re gonna always show it’s, you’re not gonna show the everyday Muslims like myself taking out my garbage and going to a baseball game and doing that, like we’re boring, right?

That’s not gonna, that’s not gonna make news. For every, and by the way, I even have these conversations with my own kids. When things happen outside. So having those frame conversations with the kids being like, This is not always the case, or if they bring something home or they talk about something, why don’t we go and research?

It let’s go like tonight, we’re hosting an interfa. If , and I purposely invite some of the more conservative churches and stuff in the area. And sometimes people are like, why do you do that? And I’m like, because those are the people that we should be. They don’t have to come, but they have to see that we would love to invite you over and talk to you.

And we’re not trying to convert you or do any of those things, but really when you come and that’s why for our podcast, it’s so great. Cuz we’re talking from the perspective of a mother when you, it doesn’t matter what religion you are, we want what’s best for our children. And if you can come together on that, You really can bridge the gap.

And that’s what we’re trying to do on the podcast. That’s what we’re trying to do in general. So as a mom, just come as a mom, recognize I want the same thing for my children that you do, but by the way, not. In replacement of yours, but he should have, or she should have just a, just as much right.

To have a seat at the table. And if you are at a table and you look around and you’re like, huh, there’s a whole lot of people that look like me, maybe going outside of your comfort zone, in creating a space for somebody that might not look like you is probably the best thing that you can do. Not only for yourself, for your children and for future generations.

Yeah,

[00:41:36] Hunter: I think that makes sense. It it’s if you are in the, in group, it’s, everything’s easier for us, but it’s, I, at least as a white woman, I can say that it’s, everything’s easier, but we can. Specifically, seek out maybe different cultural events too, right?

Yeah. Or

[00:41:56] Zaiba Hasan: why not? You knows Hey, listen, this would be cool to learn about let’s do this, let’s do this instead. This is not something that’s covered in our classroom. Like maybe we can’t, we don’t have the funds for that, but maybe we can bring in a speaker that can talk about this from their perspective.

And there you could, everybody, especially if you’re coming from a place of privilege, You don’t realize what power you have you generically to be like, Hey, I want to bring somebody not as a token. And that’s the one thing I wanna tell people, but because I genuinely think that what you have to say deserves to be said so that we can be better off knowing you have a place of privilege.

And it’s, I would feel like an honor to do that. An easy

[00:42:41] Hunter: way. For many people to start, especially little kids is like books and resources. Any

[00:42:46] Zaiba Hasan: recommendations there? Oh, we have so many we’re so blessed right now. We’re at this stage where Hena K Omar Hoja, there’s all these people that are writing for that younger generation.

And of course, It’s regular tween kid type books, but the main character happens to be Muslim. Yeah. And you get a glimpse of, and so it’s so great for my kids to see that to see their representation on paper. But it’s so amazing to be able to have these in mainstream libraries because.

It’s not that it’s a book about Islam. It’s just that the main character happens to be Muslim going on these amazing adventures. That guess what you do, you would too, if you are, if you’re reading another book. So we are in a really amazing period right now where we have these American born authors that are writing books for a non-Muslim audience.

But still maintaining their identity. And I have to say we’re super blessed and I’m happy to provide you links, connections to whatever authors I have connections to because these people are doing amazing work. That’s great.

[00:44:00] Hunter: Why don’t we connect up with some of these links after the fact don’t listener will put them in the show notes for this episode at Mindful Mama mentor.com.

I know some, my kids love graphic novels and all that stuff. It just, it’s a way to normalize, create a mini culture in your home. That normalizes ideas. Yes. Even if the larger culture is not accepting, we, we can create a mini culture in our home. That is accepting. So cool. Exactly. I’ll say, but there’s so many things I wish I had time to talk to you about you guys Zeba is, has, is.

Has a training certification in spiritual mediation, in conflict resolution from Sufi university and the Karama Institute. She is also trained in positive discipline adolescent brain technician from the mindfulness Institute. I’m not even listening them all. I could talk to you about so many things cuz as those are all really fascinating ideas.

Yeah. I love for me

[00:45:02] Zaiba Hasan: each of them individually. I love them, but for me, cuz it is a very unique thing in our family. Cuz for me specifically, it was breaking generational trauma. I. And that was the, kind of the reason why I decided to go that route cuz within our own community, we don’t have those resources.

And it is a very unique subset, right? To be able to understand the cultural nuances. So I always joke, I didn’t have a, there wasn’t a PhD in Parenting, but being a parent saved my life. So I decided to create one for myself. And in doing and helping myself, my hopes is to help other American Muslim moms navigate this world.

Because. It’s a very different world than what our parents grew up in and how we grew up. And we have to adjust to raise the best children possible. Who still drive you nuts by the way. So no, one’s talking about perfect kids. Okay. We’re talking about being the perfect imperfect parent for your own children.

[00:46:01] Hunter: Amen to that. Amen to that. Zeba I could talk to you so much. I love connecting with you. We’re so Zeba is the cohost of the mommying Muslim podcast, you are obviously a podcast listener. Go check it out. That top five episode was. To me. And where else can people find out about what you’re doing and reach out?

[00:46:25] Zaiba Hasan: Right now we’re we’re, I’m at, I’m the owner CEO of emerge consulting solutions. And right now we’re really focusing on the family sleep initiative because if good restful sleep. Really is the cure for a lot of things. And in sleep and sleep issues is one of my major things and coming from it from a spiritual perspective and non-medication cuz unfortunately a lot of things that in my research I’m finding are people are medicating themselves to sleep and not getting the restorative sleep that they need.

So me consulting solutions, I believe we’re on all the, I’m not a social media person cuz that’s my whole, whole nother podcast. We’ll talk about the effects of social media on the brain, but on. My social media team is on there. So look us up. And we’re happy to

[00:47:11] Hunter: help you. Awesome. Zeba thank you so much

[00:47:14] Zaiba Hasan: for thank you,

[00:47:14] Hunter: hunter so much doing what you’ve

[00:47:16] Zaiba Hasan: done and oh, thank you for doing what you do.

And I love every I love it.

[00:47:22] Hunter: thank you. Thank you. It’s been really good to connect and I’m I just, I can’t wait to talk to you again more about all the 17 other

[00:47:30] Zaiba Hasan: things we could. Oh yes, absolutely. I’m here to help you, however you wanna be helped. All right. Okay. Thank you. Hunter.


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