Assalamu Alaikum,

It is ‘Back to School’ time. This time of year reminds me of the first verses of the Quran that were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists).
He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.
Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.
He has taught man that which he knew not…(Quran 96:1-5)

These verses emphasize the importance of learning. Learning isn’t limited to school, though that is where a lot of knowledge transfer occurs. ‘Back to School’ time presents a number of challenges for parents. We need to meet a more rigid schedule to send our children off to school on time, pick them up on time, and shuttle them to their various activities on time while still meeting all the other household needs. It also means we don’t have as much direct influence on them as we did over the summer when they were home most of the day. Stressful situations may result from peer pressure, being different, or health conditions. This issue discusses healthy snack options; how to deal with allergies and special dietary needs; and specific issues facing Muslim students.

Teaching our children to make healthy choices and living these healthy choices at home will help them when they go back to school. Rather than be stressed by any differences they see at school, they can influence their classmates to make better choices.

Discussing special needs with teachers and administrators allows them to provide the proper care and attention to our children. Educating the teachers and administrators about Islam and the need to take time off for Eids allows them to keep this in mind when scheduling assignments and exams.

Healthy living is a year-round exercise and maintaining those healthy habits does not need to be disrupted by being in school. We hope the ideas in this issue will help parents and children live a healthy, happy life.

Eid Mubarak to you all.


Roger M. Othman, managing editor