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Practical Advice for Mothers

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Question:

Assalaamu ‘alaikum

Respected ‘Ulama

We run a WhatsApp Muslimah mothers’ group and these are a few common questions and challenges that we would really appreciate some advice regarding:

1. Motherhood is so consuming, and we’re so busy the entire day (and most of the night too) that we feel like our ‘ibaadah is slipping. Our namaaz is rushed and we are unable to concentrate properly because one child is always crying. We don’t get peace to read Quran properly or make extra zikr. Sometimes, we even have trouble getting up for Fajr because the baby is up all night. How do we balance being a mother and being a good Muslimah?

2. As women, we play many roles. Who should we give preference to between our children and our husbands?  Sometimes, they both need your attention at the same time. You don’t want do something wrong, but at that moment in time, you just don’t know who to see to first.

Example 1 - It happens often in the new-born stage, when they’re so dependent on us mothers to nurse and sleep, and literally no one else will do.

Example 2 - When there’s more than one child to see to, yet you’re just one person.

Example 3 - The baby is crying, but your husband wants his food, or the baby kept you up all night and you’re exhausted, but your husband calls you to the bed to fulfil his needs. Sometimes we end up having a negative feeling towards intimacy because of exhaustion, but we also understand that the husband has his needs.

At that given moment, who is priority? Baby or husband? And who should be seen to immediately? How do we cope and balance with being a good wife and a good mother?

3. We love our kids, but mothers get no breaks... We’re at it 24/7 and sometimes we really struggle and find it very overwhelming. Is it okay for us to say, “Today I’m tired and I just need a break or to take a timeout away from the kids to do something uplifting for myself.”? Is it OK to send the kids to their nani/dadi for the weekend, just so you can have a short break and have some time with your husband?

4. It’s so difficult bringing up our children in this time of fitnah. We obviously can’t keep them in a bubble, but we are also trying our best not to expose them to the wrong things. How do you specifically deal with relatives, especially close ones, exposing your kids to the wrong things? Or unconsciously teaching them inappropriate, un-Islamic things? What’s the best way to deal with the issue?

5. How does a haafizah of the Quraan Majeed juggle dhor and taraweeh with kids?

6. Any special advice/du‘aas for bringing children up in today’s time?

Jazakallah - may Allah Ta‘ala reward and accept all your efforts.

Answer:

Bismihi Ta‘ala

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Respected Sister in Islam

What mothers go through and what they endure for their children is really only known to them. However, it is due to what motherhood is all about that Allah Ta‘ala has given a mother such a very high position and status. May Allah Ta‘ala make all the tasks very easy and bless mothers with the highest rewards. The answers to your questions follow hereunder:

1. Allah Ta‘ala is All Knowing and All Seeing. The mothers’ inability to engage in extra ‘ibaadah due to attending to her child will not deprive her of the rewards of those aa’maal that she was punctual on before this situation. Nevertheless, do ensure that the fardh, waajib and as far as possible the sunnat muakkadah is completed. Make a short (not hasty) salaah if you have to (though you must ensure that all the postures are performed correctly in a calm manner). While busy with your chores, try to recite some tasbeehaat, durood shareef and istighfaar. Be very punctual on reciting the Tasbeeh Faatimi (33 times subhaanallah, 33 times, alhamdulillah and 34 times Allahu Akbar) before sleeping as this will be a means of physical strength as well. Try to recite even 1 or 2 pages of Quraan Majeed. Do what you can comfortably manage. Insha-Allah you will be rewarded for all your efforts and will not be deprived.

2. There is really no “first” between spouse and child. It is a matter of what is the priority at that moment. If a little baby is crying and requires immediate attention, that will be the priority. If the mother understands that the cry of the moment is not due to any immediate need, but rather in the manner that sometimes babies cry without any immediate need, the spouse can be seen to. Obviously, the spouse himself should also understand the needs of his own child and help in taking care. The least is that at such times, he should not be making demands on his wife.

The same principle applies when one has to attend to more than one child at the same time and nobody else is present to help. See to the one who needs the attention more urgently. You will not be accountable for delaying in attending to the other child, etc. in such a situation.

3. Occasionally, ON A GENERAL NOTE, to get someone to assist or, in the situation described, if the grand parents take them for a day or two is OK. This is provided that those who are assisting are ‘responsible’ in terms of Deen and dunya.

4. Do not leave the children unaccompanied with people who will expose them to wrong or harmful aspects. In situations where they will certainly be exposed to such family members who are not conscious and don’t give much concern to proper upbringing, advise them gently in a general manner that you do not allow your children certain aspects and request that they are not exposed to it. If a level headed senior family member could be approached to address common issues on a general note in the family that affect the upbringing of the children, insha-Allah it will be beneficial for all.

5. Make the taraaweeh short (“Alam Tara …”) and do the dhor out of salaah. When possible, do it in the nawaafil in manageable portions.

6. Daily make the following Quraanic du‘aas very earnestly after every salaah and even in the sajdahs of nafl salaah:

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖإِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ​

“O my Rabb, grant me from Your side a pure progeny. Verily, You are the One who listens to du‘aa.” (Surah Saaffat v37)

رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

“O my Rabb, bless me with a righteous child.” (Surah Saaffaat v100)

رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِيۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ​

“O My Rabb, make me steadfast in salaah, and my offspring as well. And, O our Rabb, accept my du‘aa.” (Surah Ebrahim v40)

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا​

“O our Rabb! Grant us spouses and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the righteous.” (Surah Furqaan v74)

Answered by:

Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama