From dust to tribe . . .

Dust and Tribe (D&T) is the experience of growth through adventure.

Our fall and spring signature excursions are annual opportunities for Muslim men and women to push through the boundaries of supposed mental and physical limits into a new awareness of what we can be when we support one another.

It is where we discover what we are (dust) and what we become together (tribe).

Spring 2016: D&T Grrrl!

On April 22nd, fifteen women left for three days and two nights camped out on an island two-hours off the California coast. This blog is their story!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Two Weeks

The time will go by in the blink of an eye, sisters.

I hope you're all outfitted. Remember- those Amazon and REI deliveries take time.

I'm gearing up for a camp-out with my sister and daughters this weekend, insha Allah. I sent my girls a packing list. I picked up our food. And then I started sorting through my stuff. That's when I found that batteries left in my lantern had leaked. Looks like the acid may have fouled something in the lantern because it won't work even with new batteries. I've got a new one coming, wal-hamdu lillah, a Black Diamond Apollo, just like my last one:

Now I know not to store it with the batteries in there. That's a good lesson.

This is my learning time, for sure. I hope and pray that you are all learning things as well in preparing for your adventure.

I recently checked in with your Coyotes, Sisters Lobna, Syma, and Safia. I'm hearing wonderful things, masha Allah.

We now have some clan names!

Clan #2 is now Chumash Women. Pretty self explanatory, I think. This is a pragmatic group, for sure.

Clan #3 is now Dakota, a Sioux word that relates to "friend" or "ally." May you all come together in peace and friendliness, insha Allah.

Clan #1 is, for the time being, still Clan #1. Which isn't a terrible name, though perhaps a bit lacking in spirit and imagination. They're working on it.

Sisters Syma and Safia got together with Umm Iman recently at Irvine Regional Park. Here's what Sister Safia had to say about the experience:

I met up with Sister Syma and Sister Umm Iman and we brought a few of our friends and family. Sister Wanda was ready to come but she had a last minute emergency to tend to. While I was driving closer to the park, I did pass by a street named Wanda. Only God knows what that was supposed to mean, but I did miss her that much more. It’s amazing how we can miss people we haven’t even met yet.

We all met up at the cute little OC Zoo which is secretly situated in the lush green park. We are all mothers and when we met we exchanged introductions, gave hugs and praised each others children. We then separated a bit to make sure our children saw all the animals in the zoo.

Later, we decided to meet up outside on a bench. This is when things got really nice. While our children were riding scooters and making friends in their own way, I learned how we were all unknowingly connected to each other.
While drinks were served to the children with crackers and other yummy goodies, Sister Syma brought out these delicious chicken and cheese rolls beautifully displayed in a basket. She began to explain how she has to make her rolls in batches. The explanation seemed quite familiar, and I found out that her family is from Faisalbad in Pakistan- the same area as my husband’s family! Punjabi roots right there!
Then Sister Umm Iman chimes in talking about the sisters she knows and I began realizing how our friendships overlap with women I knew from school and even from back home. Much was shared making me feel that I'm not alone with having to deal with difficulties in life and how these tough experiences can make us feel more aware and appreciate our relationships even more.
In the end, I'm so glad that we met at the park. It was a beautiful experience. Not only did it make me feel even more excited to go on an amazing excursion with interesting sisters, but I now know that, insha Allah, I will be in good hands with all the warrior princesses!

Absolutely beautiful, masha Allah. Three women on a bench. A lot of power in that.

Speaking of beautiful, keep an eye out for this guy:

That's an island scrub jay, endemic to Santa Cruz Island. That means he doesn't live anywhere else on the planet. Think of all of the people in the world that will never lay eyes on this little beast.

But these scrub jays flit around and can be hard to spot. Nevermind. There are lots of endemic plants, flowers, and trees that don't move at all. You can find a list here.

Drink in your encounters with the island flora and fauna. Much has been lost from the island and what remains is fragile and precious. Let your experience of these things inform your sense of local conservation.

We are, after all, our mother's custodian.


  1. Nature never did betray the heart that loved her. -William Wordsworth

    Interestingly, Arabic for 'an important matter' (أمر), which ​also gives us 'leader' (أميرة)​,​ ​is rooted in the word for 'mother' (أم), whilst English 'matter' stems from the Latin '​mater'​ ​(mother) and originally signifies the solid, steadfast trunk of a tree, or the mother of all its branches.​ In a similar vein, perchance it is indeed an odd coincidence that 'brother' contains the word 'other' while Arabic for 'other' (آخر) contains the word 'brother' (أخ). All that to say: we got the same mother!

    1. You used the Arabic feminine for "leader." Brilliant!

      How I love you, Yusuf, my brother from another mother.

      And that love is yet another matter!

      The matter from which all branches and grows!

      The fruit of which we tend to and know!

      Apologies- I'm talking to my bro, girls.

      Now if you please, we're just about to drop pearls:

      We're talking about what it is to know, sis.

      We're talking about nothing else but gnosis.

    2. Yusuf!!!! The words connections are beautiful mashallah!! (BTW dont read my part in the blog)...great poetic rebuttle Ahmed very nice mashallah. Made me want to go back to my poetry roots...

  2. Nice poem.
    Did you draw that earth heart thing? So talented!

    1. Lol as usual making me laugh... At least he doesnt hug trees