No one said being a mother was a walk in the park. No matter how much you read, talk, and try to learn about being a mother, motherhood is full of shocks and surprises. You learn on a day-to-day basis—if not by the hour—once you become a mother.
Amidst all of the confusion, stress, anxiety, and chaos, we tend to forget ourselves. We forget that we actually matter: our lives and our connections with ourselves, our spouses, our families, and our friends matter. Most of all we often forget our connection with our Creator, who bestowed us with the gift of motherhood.
Us mothers have it hard. We go nuts trying to perfect these beautiful creations of Allah in every way. In doing so, we tend to forget our connection with Allah himself.
Especially when the blessed month of Ramadan comes along, we feel like we aren’t doing enough to fulfill the right of this blessed month.
We feel like we can’t keep up with our recitation of Quran in the month of Quran. We simply are staying hungry without a real meaning to it or we are sleeping through the nights of Qadr because we are literally exhausted.
The most amazing thing in all of this (Ramadan or not) is that, in fact, “motherhood” is the biggest and greatest spiritual journey out there if only our niyah (intention) is in the right place.
The Prophet (pbuh) has said:
اِنَّمَا اَلاَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَاتِ
“Indeed, actions are according to intentions”.
Every day when we rise early in the morning, if we renew our intention as to why we are doing our daily tasks, our every action towards raising our children will become a means of worship and gaining closeness to Allah.
While we may not realize it, our entire day’s actions – from cooking, cleaning, feeding, bathing, and heck, changing those poopy diapers for our children – are all our journeys towards reviving our relationships with Allah.
Because our Beloved (pbuh) has said:
الا كُلُّكٌمْ رَاعٍ وَ كُلُّكُمْ مَسْؤُلٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ
“All of you are caretakers and all of you will be questioned about you responsibility”.
Thus as a parent, our responsibility is to take care of our children to the best of our ability.
So yes! Alhamdulillah for this perfect religion for imperfect people like myself and anyone who thinks we neglect our Creator while taking care of his creation.
My sisters, this IS our ebadah (worship), our means of closeness to Allah.
Another beautiful point that we constantly need to be reminded of is that the spirituality we crave that’s outside of taking care of our minions are those short, simple, yet sweet deeds advised to us by the Prophet of Allah (SAW), Our Prophet (SAW) on one occasion stated:
اَحَبُّ اَلاَعْمَالِ الى اللهَ اَدْوَمُهَا وَ اِنْ قَلَّ
Look at that. He is telling us:
“The best deed according to Allah is one you stay consistent with, even if it’s little”.
The five minutes you spend per day in self-reflection, or the five minutes you spend in just praising Allah (SWT), or sending salutations to The Prophet (SAW) or better yet, the time you spend simply performing your five daily prayers are more beloved to Him than spending hours which could overwhelm you.
On one occasion, The Prophet (pbuh) left his home for Fajr Prayer, leaving his wife who was already busy in worship and returned right before noon. On his arrival he saw she was on the same place he left her still engrossed in worship. He asked ‘Oh Juwariyah! Have you been here at this spot in worship since I left you at Fajr?” to which she replied, “Yes, Oh Prophet of Allah!” The Prophet of Allah then went on to explain, “I said four sentences, three times, after my Fajr prayer and received the same reward you did during this entire time” (which was approximately five hours).
The four sentences he recited were:
سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَ بِحَمْدِهِ عَدَدَ خَلْقِهِ وَ رِضَاءَ نَفْسِهِ وَ زِنَةِ عَرْشِهِ وَ
“Allah is free from imperfection and I begin with His praise, as many times as the number of His creatures, in accordance with His Good Pleasure, equal to the weight of His Throne and equal to the ink that may be used in recording the words (for His Praise)”
This goes to prove that in order to attain spiritual satisfaction and immense reward, there is no need for us to be spending hours upon hours in the remembrance of Allah. If we can, and are able to, then subhanAllah that is amazing. BUT, in reality, the majority of us mothers are so engrossed in our caretaking that it is extremely hard to spend that kind of time in spiritual solitude, connecting with our Lord.
So, dedicate even five short minutes of your day to the remembrance of Allah through short azkar, as I mentioned, or to reciting a Surah or two of Quraan, or simply use that time to connect your heart and tongue in dua’a after salah. Most importantly be consistent in your five salah, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and giving of regular charity.
Do zhikr or durood while whipping up your iftar and suhoor for the family and throw in a dua’a or two whenever you remember.
For example, one dua’a for the blessed month of Ramadan, which we should try and make every night is :
اللهم انك عفو كريم تحب العفو فاعفو عنّا
“O Allah, verily, You are forgiving and generous. You love to forgive, so forgive me.”
Reciting this regularly will allow us to achieve the honour of attaining the reward of the night of Qadr.
Above all else, renew your intention every single day and you will find the spiritual high you thought you were losing.
A humble request for dua’a from all you mothers who go above and beyond to meet your families needs during the blessed month and after.
Fatima Mulla Panchbhaya, a mother of three and resident of Toronto, Canada, pursued her advanced Islamic education in the U.K, where she graduated from a six year Islamic theology and jurisprudence course. Over the course of the six years, she completed comprehensive studies of Hadith, Quran, tafseer, aqaa’id, fiqh, Arabic grammar and academics. Over the years she has been teaching Islamic studies to sisters of various age groups in different masajid. Currently, she teaches youth and also helps with a small community Muslim youth club in her local area.