Answered by Dr. Bano Murtaja
Question: Assalaamualykum wa rahmatullahi wabarakatuh, hope you are doing well.
Before having my 8 month old daughter I was able to offer my full prayers, do volunteer work, learn Islamic knowledge, and other things. After the baby, I’m barely able to do the obligatory worship. If I attend any lectures it’s difficult for me to concentrate. I feel I’m loosing out on what i was doing prior to being a mother. Also, I’m not able to be of as much service to my parents as I was before.
Another concern is with regards to food. How can I apply the hadith of eating (paraphrasing: a morsel of food is enough for a believer, and eat one third of your stomach leave other one third for drink and another for air), when I breastfeed and do house chores? Please advise me.
Answer: As salam alykum wa rahmatullahi Sister,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states. As a new mother myself, I completely understand your concerns. The difficulties you are facing, however, are a matter of perspective.
Allah knows best where we are best placed, and we should strive to do what is most pleasing to Allah in whatever we are placed in.
As a parent your increase is in other places, in service to your child. Worship and study can also be built in around your child’s needs. When s/he wakes at night take the opportunity to make dhikr or pray an extra two rakats, read and study with the baby, and listen to audio lectures while putting him/her to sleep, for example.
The care of your child is an obligation upon you, and this is where your focus should be, bi’idhnillah. It is in fulfilling this obligation that parents, and particularly mothers, have attained the station they have within Islam.
Taking care of your parents is important. When your child is so young it will be difficult to find the time to do this, but as s/he gets older – even a few months, it will be easier to spend more time with your parents, inshaAllah.
With regard to applying the hadith, it is important that you eat sufficient amounts to maintain your health and that of your baby. You can follow the hadith in principle, eating the amount you need and ensuring you do not eat so much that it interferes with your worship.
May the All Loving grant your ease and facilitation, and bless your child with the all that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) asked for and refuge from all that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) sought refuge from.