Motherhood is one of the most beautiful and humbling acts of ibadah and it is also one of our greatest tests. From the moment our child is growing in the womb we are entrusted with this precious gift from Allah (swt) and so begins the whirlwind of life as a mama.
No matter how practising we have been as a muslimah prior to motherhood, or even if we’ve not been practising at all, this new phase of life throws up a multitude of distractions that can take us away from our connection with Allah (swt) and as a result, we can be negligent with our obligatory acts of worship.
Our heart and mind can become devoid of faith and will power when the pressures of everyday life and duties of care towards the children, the wider family and the household become overwhelming. It seems like there’s too much to do, there’s not enough time and someone is always in need of us. Sleepless nights and endless breastfeeding mean energy levels are extremely low and waking up to pray fajr salah can seem like a burden, rather than a blessing.
These things are experienced by many mamas and we know that it’s completely normal for our imaan to fluctuate, there will undoubtedly be times when we feel more distant from our deen and struggle with attaching our hearts to the basics, such as praying our five daily prayers or reading Qur’an but what is important is that we don’t let the whispers of shaytan deviate us further until we find ourselves in complete despair.
It is completely natural to lose our energy and fall into lethargy but in these times we need to strive even harder with our obligatory acts of worship so that we don’t become lost.
The worst thing that we can do if we are falling or have somewhat already fallen off the path of our deen is to immerse ourselves in shame.
“Shame is that warm feeling that washes over us, making us feel small, flawed, and never good enough.” [Brene Brown]
When we feel like we are falling short, there can be an immense pressure to hide it, and in doing so, it is likely that we isolate ourselves from family or friends who we deem to be more righteous than us. We expect judgement and criticism from others but it’s very likely this is exactly what we’re giving to ourselves.
Perhaps your heart is heavy and you feel like you are drowning in sin, perhaps the pathway back to Allah may feel long and daunting, you may even feel that you aren’t worthy of walking it. But the month of mercy is almost upon us and whilst this may come with additional pressure for mothers, it’s also a direct invitation from your Lord. A month that can inspire you to build new habits, for you to see what you’re truly capable of, a time of reformation.
If you want to get back on track and there’s a yearning in your heart for something more, this is a sign of your imaan. This feeling is from Allah (swt) He has not abandoned you, despite your shortcomings and all you have to do is make a decision to start over, then make du’a for Allah (swt) to help and guide you.
There is no better time to turn to Allah than now, Ramadan is just a little over a month away, take this time to begin cultivating habits, renewing your intentions and preparing to immerse yourself in the blessings of the holy month.
Start with your Salah
This is the best gift you can give to yourself. If you haven’t prayed for a long time, or if your prayers are not consistent or on time, this is the foundation for everything else. This is where you should put your focus because this is what will help to shape your days.
“Some people feel better after they have prayed and some pray after they feel better. Both are aiming for the same target, but the latter option will leave you feeling utterly lost.” [Productive Muslim]
If we fail to be consistent in our salah or we give up when we aren’t feeling it, we are missing out on a great opportunity and the only one who ultimately suffers, is us.
It is us who are in need of Allah all of the time. So humble yourself and don’t let Shaytan trick you into believing that you can make it on your own. Because you can’t. You need Allah (swt) more than you need anything and anyone else in this world. So don’t cut the blessings in your life by cutting payer, see it as the lifeline that you need to get back on track.
Reconnect with the Qur’an
The Qur’an is a nourishment to your spiritual soul, it is like a medicine but our hearts can become so detached from it. Perhaps they were never attached in the first place. Approaching the Qur’an can feel daunting, you might find it hard to understand or read but trust that within its pages will be everything you ever needed. It truly is about unlocking the treasures and being open to receive, feeling like you are someone who deserves to receive, which of course, you are.
“Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable.” [Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 9]
Qari Is’haaq Jasat, author of My Quran Journal has offered these beautiful tips for reconnecting with the Qur’an.
“If you are a person who rarely touches the Qur’an or finds it somewhat daunting, these are simple 3 tips that can help you connect more with the Qur’an.
Intend to make the Qur’an your best friend:
The key to really benefiting from the Qur’an is to check your heart first, before you even touch Allah’s book. Ask yourself, honestly, why am I reading this book? Is it to just get some information and to let it drift away? Remember that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was described by his wife as a “walking Qur’an”: in other words, he didn’t just read and recite the Qur’an, he lived it. So, make the Qur’an your best friend! Don’t neglect it and look after it with your entire heart. Experience your sadness, happiness and success with the Qur’an every day.
Read just 5 minutes daily:
Too often, we think we should read the Qur’an for at least one whole hour. If you aren’t in the habit of reading regularly, this is too much. Start off with just five minutes daily. If you take care of step one, Insha Allah (God willing), you will notice that those five minutes will become ten, then half an hour, then an hour, and maybe even more!
Understand what you are reading:
Five minutes of reading the Qur’an in Arabic is good, but you need to understand what you’re reading. Make sure you have a good translation of the Qur’an in the language you understand best. Always try to read the translation of what you’ve read that day. The more you understand the Qur’an, the closer your relationship with the Qur’an will become.”
The company that you keep is also incredibly important
Surrounding yourselves with other muslim mamas that are striving in the way of Allah will help you immensely. This may mean you have to put yourself out there a little, it may mean you have to be brave enough to say that you are finding it hard to practise, but the right people will welcome you with open arms and will only want the best for you.
“Adhere to the Jama’ah (the group of believers), beware of separation, for indeed Shaitan is with one, and he is further away from two. Whoever wants the best place in Paradise, then let him stick to the Jama’ah.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi]
For the month of Ramadan there are so many ways that you can be inspired and reignite that spark. There are short digestible series available with platforms like Yaqeen Institute and social media accounts like Quranic Ocean also have wonderful reflections.
You don’t need to commit to everything or overwhelm yourself, remember that slow and steady wins the race in sha Allah. Make the intention to prioritise engaging with these bitesize spiritual nuggets over watching things you know in your heart will only leave you feeling more disconnected.
Why not join the Muslim Mamas Book Club, where we will be taking you on a nurturing journey of the soul through Sister Aliyah Umm Raiyaan’s new book Ramadan Refelections – a guided journal
Here are some words of encouragement from sister Aliyah;
“My dearest sister, your Lord wants you close to Him. Regardless of your age, wealth, status and level of faith, your Lord, Most Glorious is He, has extended a special invitation to come close to Him.
Sometimes we may feel we’re unworthy of an invitation from the King of Kings. Sometimes we feel we’ve made too many mistakes and our scales tip more towards sin than good deeds.
And still, despite how we see ourselves, Allah treats you as someone who is worthy through invitation to draw close to Him. What does this mean? It means your Rabb knows you; all of you – your good deeds, your mistakes, the times you try and the times you don’t. He knows you, accepts you, loves you and wants you to succeed with Him. He gives you life to witness Ramadan so that you may find Him and through finding Him, find a sweetness like no other.
When we look upon a mother who has been wronged by her child and yet still deeply adores that child, what do we think? Only a mother can love in such a way!
Let me tell you this: Your Lord loves you more, turns to you more and despite your past or present state, provides paths back to Him again and again. There is no greater love than this.
The invitation is there. My dear sister, how can you not respond to The Most Loving Host.”
Mamas, Allah can heal your heart, He can revive your tired soul, He can bring the spark of faith back into your life but you have to decide that your life and future are worthy of that investment. Let this Ramadan be the moment and why not start that from moment now?
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