Teranga means Hospitality


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Teranga means Hospitality

From the Mindworks Publishing travel guide book, Return To Glory: A Travel Guide for African Americans Returning To Roots by Queen Sheba D. Cisse: 

Inshaa’Allah you will experience a spiritual and physical journey like no other in the country of Teranga – Senegal. I am happy to guide your journey to the Motherland and wish for you what I wish for myself – sheer joy! I will share common-sense information to help with the practical aspects of your visit in the hopes that it will ease your arrival and welcome your long-awaited journey to a place where you once called home, and yet, still.

Senegal is a semitropical land, hot in the summer, with cool temperatures in the winter season. The women dress in exquisite fabrics and what I call “big style” on the head in enormous geles, elegantly balancing babies on their backs, and carrying bags of merchandise in two hands. It was a real wow moment – an absolutely eye-catching view – when I initially arrived to Senegal years ago. The men are often seen in long flowing garments called boubous (pronounced boo-boos) and they normally wear skullcaps upon their heads.

The French influence in Senegal is seen in some of the structures of the buildings in Dakar and in several other areas throughout the country . Senegal was part of French West Africa until 1960 when the country gained its independence.

I am also happy to say that the cuisine of the region is strictly Senegalese, meaning that it is a no-pork Teranga country, as the majority practice Islam and eating pork is forbidden. Fish is a major component of

Senegalese cuisine as are sweet potatoes, lentils, and peanuts, the primary crop of Senegal.

Benefits of expiating or visiting the Motherland  . . .

Respecting that the cradle of humanity  began in Africa,  we shall give honor.

We owe it to our ancestors to give back, affirm and acknowledge them; and we must educate our children and generations to come about our history.

To invest in the land and become an example of the change we want to see in the world .

To eat real, whole foods for improved physical health as many of the foods grown here are done so without chemicals, pesticides, hormone injections, etc.

To invest in and influence agricultural trade, education, philanthropic efforts and entrepreneurship among start-up businesses – this is something to investigate before you travel abroad.

Finally, the air is un-polluted and fresh here and the people are easy-going, friendly, and welcoming. The culture is very family oriented, and if you are Muslim like myself, you get to live Islam every day, all day, and are often involved in the traditions , wedding engagements, baby ceremonies, spiritual gatherings and funerals which are a huge deal to me!


Available on Amazon

Return to Glory: A Travel Guide for African Americans Returning to Roots is a book that has been written with joy because it acknowledges our ancestors that have played an important role in our spiritual growth as a people. We believe that the ancestors are alive in another dimension and that they play an important role for us, whether it be through angelic mentorship or as spiritual advisors. It was important for me to honor the souls who have paved the way for me to return to the African continent.

Much more than a mere travel guide, Return to Glory offers a wide range of information about travelling to the African continent, particularly to Senegal. You can learn about Senegalese culture and cuisine, get advice about what to pack and how to prepare for the journey, and receive a first-hand account of what it is like to return to the Motherland. 


An Excerpt from Full Circle


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From Chapter Eleven

“Daddy said to pray for Lindsey to be safe and to ask Allah to bring her home quickly,” Leotie whispered with her eyes lowered.

Corinne blinked away tears and stroked Leotie’s hair.

“That is a very nice prayer,” Corinne replied and allowed Abbie to light her candle. “I’m going to pray that prayer too, if that’s ok.”

Leotie nodded and held onto Corinne’s raincoat. Once the small tea candles were lit, people began releasing them to float upon the surface of the pond. Corinne walked over to the pond’s edge and crouched down to release her candle to float across the pool’s dark surface. A full moon hung high. Partially obscured by streaks of gray clouds against the blue-black sky, and Corinne was reminded of the majesty of the Creator – the Great Spirit – Allah, as Leotie had referred to Him, and she offered the supplication that Leotie had shared with her.

The pond gradually filled with lit candles, illuminating the surrounding bushes and trees and creating an atmosphere of calm serenity. The essence of sincere prayers was almost palpable as Corinne sat down upon the pond’s bank and reflected on the fleeting nature of existence. Minute by minute, day by day, with each passing season and every passing year, she – everyone here – inched closer and closer to the end. Life was too short to take for granted. Leotie climbed into Corinne’s lap and laid her head back against Corinne’s shoulder as she gazed out at the brightly lit pond. They sat like that for several minutes, with everyone quietly watching the candles ripple over the surface of the water and Corinne was so absorbed by her thoughts that she didn’t hear Delsin’s approach. He stepped into view at the corner of her eye and crouched over the edge of the pond to release a candle before sitting beside Corinne and Leotie on the damp grass.

“Daddy,” Leotie murmured sleepily when she saw him and climbed over into her father’s lap.

She held onto him tightly, resting her head in the crook of his neck, and didn’t let go. He and Corinne exchanged a sad smile before he looked away to stare into the trees beyond the water.

For more of Full Circle, Book One, email mindworkspublishing@gmail.com or place your order on Amazon.com. 

Full Circle (6)

Available in print and kindle format on Amazon.com

Full Circle is the first installment of The Yellow Butterfly book series, a work of contemporary fiction written about three Native American sisters. Full Circle, Book One, centers around the youngest sister, Corinne Shelton, and the challenges she faces upon returning to the reservation in Havenwood, WA after being away for college and graduate school. Like many young women today, she has to learn how to navigate life after being sheltered by the world of academia, and its not as easy as she expected it to be.

Islamic Nursery Rhymes by Elizabeth Lymer


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frontrevisionIslamic Nursery Rhymes is the top seller of all of our Mindworks Publishing books. Children and parents alike can delight in these beautifully crafted Islamic nursery rhymes with ease as they are designed to follow many of the familiar melodies of nursery rhymes that many of us parents grew up listening to.

The rhymes in the book are traditional nursery rhymes reworded with timeless Islamic meaning. For example, ‘Oranges and Lemons’ is an historical rhyme about ringing the bells of East London churches – and the version here, entitled ‘Assalam Alaykum’, is about mosques in East London spreading salaam (peace) and news of prayer time.

The illustrations by Fatimah De Vaux Davies are attractive and highly detailed to delight children and engage their interest in the actions of practicing Muslims. One illustration depicts Muslims gathering around a large Qur’an that is spilling out light. In another, Muslims are performing ritual prayers upon the earth, while boats sail, and airplanes and rockets fly.

These beautiful Islamic nursery rhymes can be used as remembrance of Allah and as a resource for developing pre-recitation skills before reading the Qur’an. An example of one of the rhymes is provided below and you can listen to author Elizabeth Lymer singing it and others here on her YouTube Channel.

The Muslims Round the World MP SQUARE

Fiction and Non-Fiction Books at Mindworks Publishing


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Winter-reading-yes-752x500In addition to our collection of children’s books, Mindworks Publishing has also produced Fiction and Non-Fiction Books. The titles and purchase links are provided below.  📚📚📚

Full Circle (6)       strivingcover       FrontCover

Cover Art, Luminous      Redemption Song

Find all of our books on Amazon or purchase directly through Paypal at https://www.paypal.me/mindworks. For more information and shipping costs for orders through PayPal send email to mindworkspublishing@gmail.com and visit our Facebook page for the PayPal price lists.





Give the gift of reading this holiday season!

It’s that wonderful time of the year again 🙂 I’ve been a Muslim for almost 20 years and I still get all warm and fuzzy once December rolls around. I may no longer celebrate the Christmas holiday personally, but I can appreciate the best of what Christmas has always represented to me: family, kindness, generosity, joy and good-will towards others. You can support Mindworks Publishing this year by giving the gift of reading through sharing our books with your loved ones – books that I believe represent all those things – family, kindness, generosity, joy, good-will towards others – and much more.

All of our books are available via Amazon and through Paypal at https://www.paypal.me/mindworks.

For more information send email to mindworkspublishing@gmail.com


Mindworks Publishing

MW Accepting Poetry Submissions

Peace and blessings! Mindworks Publishing is initiating a new project. The past year has been a difficult one, personally for me and for Mindworks, and after getting through this tough time, thanks and praise be to Allah (God), I wanted to put a project together that may help others who may be going through difficulty. Having faithful, loving women around me who prayed for me and gave me advice through my hard times was a key factor in my ability to stay hopeful and I believe even more in the power of community when it comes to supporting one another. This poetry anthology will be published, God-willing, with the intent to pass on the blessings that I received to others. Here are more details:
Submission Deadline: January 1, 2018
Themes: Faith, hope, patience, and courage
My goal for this anthology is to share poetry that can help people, specifically women, when they are going through difficult times in their lives, or when they are in need of positive advice/inspiration. All poetry should include at least one of the above mentioned themes. There is no restriction concerning length but all poems may be subject to editing (you will have a say in that process) and not all poems are guaranteed inclusion. Some of you may be familiar with our previous anthology, The Muslimah Speaks, which was very close to my heart but we had to retire the manuscript because it didn’t do well with sales. For this reason there will not be any payments involved if you submit your poetry. I will shoulder all costs for its printing and any money generated from sales will go towards supporting Mindworks Publishing. You will, however, be able to purchase printed copies at a reduced cost and you will receive a free e-book copy.
I haven’t had the chance to read through all of the poetry sent just yet but I will get to it this weekend and will reply to everyone via email.Thank you again for your support and may God accept this effort towards earning blessings for us and our families, amen. ❤️🙂
Email your submissions to mindworkspublishing@gmail.com and please share!

From Return to Glory: A Travel Guide For African Americans Returning to Roots


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Senegalese cuisine in my personal opinion is the best on the continent (even though I have not visited the whole of Africa at this writing). I have eaten many African dishes in the States from different associates of mine throughout the years, representing many different countries. Senegal cuisine, personally speaking, outdoes all! I am sure my son, Abdullah, will agree. Al Hamdulilah! I have had a personal cook everywhere I traveled to in Senegal over the years and I am inviting you to come take breakfast, lunch and/or dinner with me.

Setting the table is easy: a tablecloth or mat to place on the floor and one large bowl are all you need. No utensils, no chairs and no individual table mats. How simple is that!

Food is served out of a large communal bowl or platter which is the focal point of the meal. This common tradition connects family, elders and ancestors. Senegalese rarely do things by themselves and mealtime is no exception.

The vegetables and meat are placed into the center of the bed of rice. You may eat only what’s in front of you. It is custom to eat with the right hand only, as the left hand is considered unclean for eating purposes. The food is squished into a ball with the hand before eating. And yes, you may request a utensil until you get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect! My first experience with this was at home in the States. Throughout the meal you may be served with broken off bits of chicken, etc., by the person across from you or beside you. Laying your utensil down on the edge of the platter indicates you’ve had enough and often you may be prompted to continue. It’s really how I gained so much weight! This common gesture is the Alabama way of continued eating to please the cook.

Fresh juices made with natural herbs are great and very popular. My favorite is bissap (sorrel) with coconut juice, fresh ginger and mango.

I am also adding a word of caution: Do NOT use the ice in restaurants or elsewhere unless you know where the water came from — period!

Cheebu jen:

fish, rice and vegetables served at lunch time

1620921_597444680329590_923708687_nCheebu jen is the national dish of Senegal. This boldly flavored combination of fish, rice and vegetables simmered in tomato sauce is a hearty one–pot meal. You can make it with any fish or vegetables you have on hand, including potatoes, cassava, squash or pumpkin, and plantains.


Get your copy of Return to Glory today at the link below!


What are your children reading this summer?

Summer is well on it’s way and before you know it the new school year will be upon us. What are your children reading this summer to get ready? Here are some great reads from Mindworks Publishing for reinforcing Islamic and moral values with fun, color and meaningful stories. 🙂

aqoThe A Quranic Odyssey  chapter book series by Umm Muhemmed is the first of its kind at Mindworks Publishing. Khadijah is taking a hands-on approach to teaching her children Ibrahim and Amna to memorize verses from the Quran by utilizing their environment and every day tasks to reinforce the true meanings behind the words and lessons contained within. Written with humor and narrated through the voice of an American Muslim mother who is doing her best to balance family, work and religious duties, A Quranic Odyssey: Towards Juz Amma and Ya Seen: A Hifdh Journey in America are a great read for all ages!









Muslim Lullabies FRONTI can’t think of a better way to reach young children than with song and Author Elizabeth Lymer seems to have mastered the ability to write Islamic and religious nursery rhymes that engage young children with song while simultaneously teaching and inspiring them. Mindworks Publishing has been fortunate enough to be a part of Sister Elizabeth’s writing journey and has published five books of her nursery rhymes, two of which are coloring books!Muslim Lullabies Website image

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You Are Beautiful and Your Life Matters are two timely story books that address some of the challenges of racism in American society in a way that builds bridges of understanding, acceptance, compassion and peace.

Authors Robyn Abdusamad and F.A. Ibrahim have done a wonderful job at addressing this sensitive issue in a way that is easy for children to understand and implement.

Jim HartmanHijab has to be one of the most talked about and one of the most misunderstood aspects of Islam. We at Mindworks have made a conscious effort to promote understanding of hijab, not only because we are Muslim women who wear hijab but also because we see the need for a voice that speaks about hijab without judgement, bias, or negativity. Here are our story and coloring books on the topic.

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Beauty of Hijab







Spring is here!


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Spring is here! This time of year always reminds me of trips to the public library and enjoying a new book!

A lot of people utilize the spring weather for getting back on track with their exercise regimens, but did you know that reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body? Science has proven that reading can improve concentration, improve your memory and reduce stress?

And most significantly, one of the first commands to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was to read!

Pick up a book today, or give the gift of reading to someone! We hope you’ll consider and recommend our books in your efforts!

Peace and blessings to you!

Spring Into Books! (2)

Excerpt from Full Circle

Here’s an excerpt from my first attempt at contemporary women’s fiction. 🙂 The book is titled Full Circle and is the first installment of a series – I’ve already started working on book two. I hope you like it!Full Circle (6)

From Chapter Two

“Why didn’t you tell me that he was divorced?” Corinne demanded of Abbie later that night in her old bedroom as she undressed. “A little heads up would have been nice.”

“What?!” Abbie shouted back incredulously from where she lay sprawled upon Corinne’s bed flipping through a magazine, already in her pajamas. “This from the woman who refuses to even say his name? You get so weird when I even mention him. Tell me exactly how you would have expected me to share that little bit of information with you?”

Corinne tossed her discarded clothes into the empty clothes hamper by her closet and pulled on a pair of light gray sweatpants.

“You’ve managed to tell me everything else about him!” Corinne insisted angrily. “He’s the sheriff now, he’s still living on the ranch, and he comes over for dinner every Sunday . . . but nothing at all about his getting divorced from his wife!”

Abbie closed the magazine and rolled over onto her back to stare at Corinne with amusement and Corinne was transported back to the days of high school as she looked back at her older sister, laying there framed by the frilly white drapes upon Corinne’s canopy bed. Pulling on a faded, once violet colored, University of Washington t-shirt and dropping heavily onto the bed beside her sister, she suddenly felt depressed.

“You should have found a way to tell me, Abbie,” Corinne stated firmly. “You never seem to care about how I feel when it comes to him. You just flit around in your own little world and act as if there’s something wrong with me. This is important.”

“I do not!” Abbie objected and sat up on the bed. “You’ve said repeatedly for the past five years that you were over him so I took your word for it!”

“I am over him! So why didn’t you just tell me about the divorce if you took my word for it?” Corinne demanded again; she felt so confused and highly emotional – she hadn’t expected this at all.

Abbie jumped up from the bed and began walking towards the door.

“Because I didn’t want to get your hopes up, ok?” she answered angrily and opened the bedroom door to storm out.

Corinne sat there astounded for a minute before following Abbie out of the room and down the stairs.

“Well, thanks, a lot,” Corinne huffed as she pursued Abbie through the parlor and dining room to kitchen. “So you didn’t tell me because you thought I would make a fool of myself again.”

“I didn’t say that,” Abbie replied stiffly as she rummaged through the refrigerator for something to eat.

“But that’s what you meant,” Corinne accused and sat down at the kitchen table to glare at Abbie.

“No it isn’t, crazy-woman,” Abbie retorted and bit into a chunk of smoked salmon before putting it onto a plate beside several large spoonful’s of potato salad.

“Then what do you mean by ‘I didn’t want to get your hopes up,’” Corinne asked as tears began to inexplicably well in her eyes.

Abbie sighed deeply with exasperation and explained, “He was really into her, Cori. You only saw a glimpse of it. I’m kind of glad that you weren’t here. It turned my stomach to see the way April treated him and I know it would have only hurt you more to watch him. I personally don’t think he’s ready to move on and I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want you to think that I was trying to set you two up or anything; and he’s a Muslim now. He converted to the Islamic religion a few months ago and he doesn’t date. Ever. Believe me, just about every single female on the Res has tried to get him out on a date. I figured you’d get to see him soon enough and that you’d decide for yourself what you wanted to do when you got here.”

Abbie’s eyes were sincere and she had stopped eating to make her point clear. She continued solemnly.

“I’ve never thought that there was something wrong with you, Cori,” Abbie said gently and placed her hand over Corinne’s. “You’re my sister. I’m always going to be on your side. I just didn’t want to see you get hurt again.”

Corinne blinked away the tears and smiled half-heartedly. If Abbie was anything at all, it was brutally honest. Hearing her sister recount how much in love Delsin had been with April hurt, but she needed to know that. And Islam – wow. Apparently losing April had devastated him so much that he’d turned to religion, and knowing that he was likely in the middle of a spiritual journey made her feel as if she were being incredibly selfish for even having this conversation.

“Ok,” she finally responded to Abbie. “I’m sorry.”

Abbie smiled and waved her hand dismissively before replying.

“No apologies necessary,” she said and offered Corinne a spoonful of potato salad but Corinne turned up her nose: she was stuffed from eating all afternoon and evening, but Abbie, the bottomless pit that she was, could apparently still eat all day and all night.

“So he was really upset about the divorce?” Corinne probed and tried to appear casual in asking by centering the vase of yellow sunflowers and white lilies on the tabletop.

Abbie was inhaling her food and didn’t notice.

“Yeah,” she answered belatedly in mid-chew. “It was awful. We kept Leotie for a few days while he stayed with Matty at the beach house after he found out about it: the divorce. He hadn’t even known about the divorce until he was served papers when he was at work at the station. She’s such a witch.”

Corinne bit her lip and thought hard about that. She couldn’t deny that hearing about the divorce had given her a little hope, but at the same time, she’d seen for herself just how in love Delsin and April had been, at least how much in love they had appeared to be. She wouldn’t have stayed away for so long if she hadn’t witnessed it for herself. Now she found herself wanting to understand what had happened between them – as far as Corinne had been able to tell during the times when she had visited, the two of them had been mutually in love with one another, but that must not have been the case if April had filed for divorce; and this was the first that Corinne was hearing about April being a witch.

“Why did she file for divorce?” Corinne asked and this time she got Abbie’s full attention.

Abbie raised a perfectly tweezed eyebrow suspiciously and asked, “And why exactly do you want to know?”

Corinne shrugged indifferently and with her most innocent, wide-eyed expression answered, “Just curious. They both seemed so in love. I’m surprised, that’s all.”

Abbie didn’t buy it but shrugged and answered anyway.


For more you can get the book in e-book or paperback format at Amazon here . . .