Part I | Part II
This is the second part of this two part series for my fellow mothers to break an unyielding routine and infuse some meaning and order in to it. To read part one, please click here.
- Have the Correct Perception and Keep a Good Perspective
I find much solace in the Prophet’s ﷺ (peace be upon him) supplication where he seeks that God grants him a true perception of reality: “O Allah, allow us to perceive the true nature of our affairs.”
اللهم أرنا الاشياء كما هي
It is truly a blessing to be able to know the reality of the world, so that we give things around us their proper due, by neither negating the worth of what is important, nor venerating what is worthless. When our perception of the world is aligned with the true understanding of the nature of dunya (this life) then our outlook at life is grounded in a reliance on Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He). When we are afflicted with trying times, we are patient and find recourse through worship. When we are at ease, we are thankful and seek the pleasure of Allah (swt) through good deeds. The outward conditions of human beings are constantly changing and the best buffer to protect our hearts and ground our certainty in faith is beneficial knowledge. As mothers, we should seek beneficial knowledge to form and maintain a correct perception of the world and to adopt the correct and best perspective on affairs that affect our families. Beneficial knowledge incorporates both sacred knowledge and knowledge of the physical world. A believer can never divorce those two branches of knowledge from each other.
- Seek Beneficial Knowledge
In this age of specialization, we often confine ourselves to one field of study. We fail to read and cultivate our knowledge at every level: be it spiritual or intellectual. Our need to be independent thinkers is weakened. “Read” was the first word revealed to our Prophetﷺ. He was ordered to seek knowledge embedded in both the Qur’an and creation. Creation in itself is like a book which harbors tremendous lessons and which promotes spiritual growth and an unceasing curiosity for learning.
Abu Hurayrah radi allahu `anhu (may God be pleases with him) relates that the Prophet ﷺ said, “For him who embarks on the path of seeking knowledge, Allah will ease for him the way to paradise.”
Beneficial knowledge is rooted in taqwa. (God consciousness).
“Be conscious of Allah [taqwa] and Allah teaches you. And Allah is knowing of all things.” (Qur’an 2:282)
As mothers, we need the type of knowledge which will support our journey in raising a future generation. Personally, I take on many roles during the day: educator, counselor, advocate, caregiver and more! In other words, I am constantly trying to build my character, by seeking knowledge so that I assume those roles responsibly
This is by no means an easy task as relationships are problematic by nature. It is important to be patient, exercise judicious behavior and learn to choose battles wisely. Such responsibilities require that moms build character through an understanding of such qualities as giving good counsel, and enjoining good and forbidding evil. Seeking beneficial knowledge in a rapidly changing world, which harbors all kinds of moral “isms” and which also encompasses so much diversity entails that mothers keep up with current issues to their best abilities and make time to create an intimate relationship with the Qur’an.
اللِّهُم انّفَعنِي بِمَا عَلَّمتَنِي وعَلِّمنِيِ مَا يَنفَعنِي
The Prophet ﷺ used to say, “O Allah, benefit me with what You have taught me, and teach me what is beneficial for me, and increase me in knowledge.” (Al -Tirmidhi)
- Converse with the Qur’an through the Stories of the Prophets
Set time aside to develop an intimate relationship with the Qur’an. Maintaining a close relationship with the Qur’an through a thorough study of the stories of the prophets has influenced my character in unimaginable ways. The language of the Qur’an is universal and addresses all human beings in their varying constitutions; that by itself is a miracle. Delving into the trials of the prophets and learning how they manifested humility, patience and gratitude empowers the believer to build a strong character, armed with knowledge and certainty. Furthermore, the relationship that the prophets had with their Creator Who chose them for a great mission but also nurtured them and prepared them for such a task sheds light on His infinite mercy. He is Ar-Rab, the Lord who nurtures His servants and continuously guides them through His light.
لَقَدۡ كَانَ فِى قَصَصِہِمۡ عِبۡرَةٌ۬ لِّأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِۗ مَا كَانَ حَدِيثً۬ا يُفۡتَرَىٰ وَلَـٰڪِن تَصۡدِيقَ ٱلَّذِى بَيۡنَ يَدَيۡهِ وَتَفۡصِيلَ ڪُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ وَهُدً۬ى وَرَحۡمَةً۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يُؤۡمِنُونَ
“There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. Never was the Qur’an a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe.” (Qur’an 12:111)
Prophets are exemplars to humankind and their stories are packed with lessons relevant to all times and places. It is our responsibility to approach the Qur’an with the intention to start a personal dialogue with Allah (swt)—through those stories—and to make the relevant connections to our times and life circumstances. More importantly, in those stories, we find all the values necessary to raise a righteous generation.
“O Allah, make the Qur’an the sweet spring of our hearts, the light of our breasts and the removal of our woes.”
- Know that Faith is Experiential
It takes time to experience the different facets of belief. Each mother experiences faith differently, and her spiritual state will be more or less defined by her own cultural influences, educational background, and personality. The beauty of Islam lies in the fact that each one of us carries in her heart an understanding that God is personal, merciful and has perfect knowledge and full control of all affairs. Consequently, each mother should struggle in the ways that best befit the nature of her trials and always seek beneficial knowledge, which will increase her certainty and empower her own struggle.
I heard a sheikh once say, “Islam is bigger than Muslims,” in the sense that there is a place in it for all people with their diverse cultural practices, temperaments, weaknesses and strengths. We should be aware of this great quality of Islam, respect our own individuality, and find opportunities to learn and grow by sharing insights relevant to our unique human experiences while nurturing a strong sense of community.
اللهم ألف بين قلوبنا ، وأصلح ذات بينـنا ، واهدنا سبل السلام
“O Allah reconcile our hearts with love, resolve our broken affairs and guide us towards peace.”
- Visit the Mosque
Salman Al-Farsi reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever performs ablution well in his home and thereafter comes to the mosque, then he is the guest of Allah and it is a duty upon the host to honor his guest.”
As soon as I enter the mosque, I feel that peace and mercy have descended upon me. My host is generous, always ready to embrace me. It is usually a short visit but I am thankful for this feeling of solace and peace. I always leave uplifted as if the burden of the world has been removed from my chest. Whenever things get stressful, retreat for a short visit to the mosque.
اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِي قَلْبِي نُورًا وَفِي لِسَانِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ فِي سَمْعِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ فِي بَصَرِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ مِنْ خَلْفِي نُورًا وَمِنْ أَمَامِي نُورًا وَاجْعَلْ مِنْ فَوْقِي نُورًا وَمِنْ تَحْتِي نُورًا اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِنِي نُورًا
“O Allah, place within my heart light and upon my tongue light and within my ears light, and within my eyes light, and place behind me light and in front of me light and above me light and beneath me light. O Allah bestow upon me light.”
- Navigate your Way with Love
The basic binding force for any family is love. Tranquility, affection and mercy are the pillars through which marital love evolves. Eventually, this love grows to embrace all members of the family.
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (Qur’an 30:21)
Despite the struggles and trying nature of relationships, a mother’s role in any form or shape, should always be channeled through the qualities of affection and mercy. Such qualities breed patience and provide a sense of safety and tranquility at home. A safe environment sprung from love breeds a confident young generation with strong moral principles.
وَٱلَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبۡ لَنَا مِنۡ أَزۡوَٲجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّـٰتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعۡيُنٍ۬ وَٱجۡعَلۡنَا لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
“And those who say, ‘Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.’” (Qur’an 25:74)
The constant distractions and disorderly nature of the world can become challenging for mothers. An intelligent plan, which is constantly reassessed, modified and personalized, contributes positively to maintaining a sense of peace and calm. I have shared a few suggestions, which make up my personal plan and support my journey as a parent. Those suggestions are by no means comprehensive or work for everyone. Consequently, it is important for each mother to reflect upon her personal struggles and find the appropriate channels through which she can restore balance to her daily routine. However, to ensure a rewarding plan, I suggest that all mothers approach the world and their families through the lens of love and affection and dive into their maternal journeys with noble intentions and ample supplications.