I was told when I first got married, that my relationship with Allah would be different. That I would find a new “normal” and get accustomed to it. And that after having kids, a woman doesn’t have the time she used to have, to sit down for hours reading the Quran, or get up and pray every night while everyone else sleeps.
But no one ever told me I wouldn’t find my purple carpet.
Before I got married, I had a special place in my room, near my bed, on my purple carpet, where I could always connect with Allah. If I wanted to de-stress or complain to someone, or if I was worried or wanted something, I would stand in prayer, on my purple carpet, and immediately my tears would be released, and I would know that I was in the presence of Allah.
Every prayer, every supplication was done on my purple carpet, usually with just my nightlight on. The room would be dark, the house would be quiet, and it was just Allah and I. The sweetness was indescribable, and it never occurred to me that I would not find myself another place like that.
Right after my marriage, I searched our apartment for a similar place, where I could connect immediately with the One who hears me always, the One who knows what I’m going through. I lived for two years in that apartment and never found it.
Then we moved to our house and our twins were born, and try as I might, I was never able to find it. I tried praying in the living room. Not the same. Bedroom? Didn’t want my husband to see. Kids’ bedroom? Didn’t want to wake them. Dining room? Didn’t work. Basement? Too cold. Entryway? Too dirty. Every place in the house that I tried did not give me the same feeling as on my purple carpet, right by my bed.
I came to accept that being a wife and mother had taken me to a different level, where every action – with the right intention – was a form of worship, to be rewarded by Allah. But I sorely missed those sweet moments of closeness, of choking back the tears while I talked out loud to Allah, knowing He hears everything I say, and knows everything I do not say.
Until the day I was pushed to my limits.
It was one of those long days that every mother knows only too well, when my husband was late from work; the kids had been with me all day, and I was frazzled and needed to pop.
I searched in my mind what my options were, and I felt trapped. I couldn’t disappear; I couldn’t force the kids to be quiet and stop fighting; and no help was on the way.
So I turned upwards.
I started reciting Quran out loud. Right there, in the kitchen, at the sink, washing the mounds of dishes, with the kids around me fighting. I started reading verses I hadn’t recited in ages, but they were the ones that occurred to me at that moment. My heart was so clenched, and I was so desperate for help, that I recited in a voice other than the one I normally use to recite Quran; a sad, melancholy voice, pleading for help from Allah.
Relief washed over me immediately and my eyes filled with tears. As I continued to recite, I could feel my chest expanding, my heart beating slower, and a calm overcoming me. And the kids froze.
Then I realized it never was about where or when I stood to pray. Or who was awake or asleep. It was all about the Quran that I recited. The Quran that is not tied to any physical place, thankfully, but goes with me wherever I go.
Realizing that was a major breakthrough for me. And for my girls. They saw that reciting it had changed me, and brought me back from monsterhood to mamahood. My daughter (who had before hated listening to it and reciting Quran) started asking for me to read her those verses every night before bed, in the same voice I had used in the kitchen that evening. From that day one, nearly four months ago, she enthusiastically recites and memorizes Quran, along with her sister.
And now I know; I can connect with Allah whenever I need to, through His words. I’ll be standing right there, on my purple carpet.
Asiya lives in Virginia with her husband and twin daughters. She is an active MAS member, and enjoys homeschooling herself and her daughters.