I’ve never been to the masjid during Ramadan.
It might sound unbelievable, but it’s true. Mother’s with small children might know what I am going through- with the fasts being so long these past few years I find it almost impossible to get out of the house to go pray taraweeh. My daughter is six-years-old and while it may be arguable that she’s ready to be attending the masjid, I just don’t see how it’s possible. And that is what gives me “Ramadan Guilt” almost every year.
I’ve read several articles that say it’s better for a woman to pray at home and what we’re doing is commendable. It’s not easy to fast all day, cook a great meal and then deal with the post iftar kitchen disaster, all while trying to squeeze in prayers and other forms of worship, and most important to me, spend time with my daughter. However I ask myself at times am I doing enough? Is Allah pleased with me? Am I really reaping the benefits of this month by staying at home at night while my husband is at the masjid?
One beautiful aspect of our religion is the fact that actions are judged by intentions. To try to remove some of the guilt or sadness I have, I not only directly ask Allah to reward me for what I do around the house, but I now change my intention for everything. Whether it’s putting my daughter in bed right before Isha or washing the huge pile of dishes in my hot kitchen, my intentions are always to do this for the sake of Allah.
As mother’s we have to try to do the best we can in balancing our deen and our families. If you can make it to the masjid every taraweeh and Jumah, then MashAllah. But if you’re like me and have to choose, make the decision with hope that we’re rewarded just as much. I pray that when my little one is a little older, we’ll be able to go to the masjid together. Until then, I am trying to make the best of my Ramadans at home. Maybe next year, Inshalah.
Miriam is a recent college graduate with her B.S in Human Services and a mother to a six-year-old year old girl. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.