Oh Eye! Others have eyes and Allah is the All-Seer and All- Knower of hearts and Conditioner of them.
I often think of things to write about but when I saw the “When I See a Mother”…forum entry (posted from the Holistic Mama blog on the GrowMama forum), this was an opportunity timely and close to my heart. Women are delicate beings who at times judge others harshly but wish not to be judged harshly. We can be self-centered and arrogant as the Holistic Mama alludes to in the classifications of “good” and “bad”. As Muslimahs we should make dua for our struggling sisters and not judge them. As Muslimahs, we should extend a smile and not a smug stare. As Muslimahs, we should perhaps maybe take it a step further and offer a kind word of encouragement whether the actions you witnessed could be classified as “bad” or “good”.
Over the years, I admit I have struggled to raise my children. And I admit even as a baby-wearing, co-sleeping, two- year-breast-feeding, home cooking, home schooling mama with no extended family or other support, I have grabbed my child, shouted during their tantrums and used modern technology so that I could take a nap. But I have never lost sight of my goals for my family or given up on the dream of creating a support network amongst my children in the absence of extended family or friends to support us. During long periods of my husband’s absence for business travel, I still co-slept, avoided ordering pizza, etc. Allah does not give us more than we can bear. I think of the advice that the Prophet SAW gave his daughter Fatima who asked for domestic help: Make dhikr. And I do.
I have reached out for help from my community in the form of “sisters’” groups or attending an Islamic school or two. Only to be mocked, shunned and pushed out. Alhamdulillah! This made me more determined to achieve my goal. I will make my children strong practicing Muslims. They will not be discouraged by “incidents” at the Islamic centers and within the community. They will use these as examples of how Muslims should not behave with each other. They will use these to strengthen bonds amongst themselves, their children and their children’s children, for generations to come Insha’Allah!
When we see others “successful” at parenting or “struggling”, we should smile and think but for the mercy of Allah that could be me. Want good in your heart for others, always go to sleep at night with the satisfaction of knowing you hold no ranker in your heart or arrogance amongst another daughter of Adam (AS). In humility your trust in Allah will flourish and with it your strength.
Cordelia Gaffar is a mom for peace, justice and honor amongst humanity. She is blessed with two boys and two girls and lives outside Shenandoah Valley in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.