Cultivating Patience Through Your Small Children – Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil explores how having small children can build patience and help you get closer to Allah.patience

When you are a mother to small children, one crucial virtue is developed over the slow and inexorable passage of time – patience.

With little ones, everything is slowed down. They need so much support, from the minute they are born, to many years after that.

Gratitude

Having little children also gives me so many things to feel grateful for. Basic acts that I once took for granted are suddenly so precious. Sleeping for long stretches at night, eating a meal or drinking hot tea without interruption – these are the small blessings that I didn’t even realise were blessings, until I had one baby, and then another.

I became a mother upon the arrival of my first daughter, in June 2015. I have been either pregnant, breastfeeding, or both, ever since. Because of this, I have been living in a very different, almost altered, state of reality. The potent combination of oxytocin, broken sleep, cuddles and tantrums have been the ultimate crucible for the straitening of my nafs.

I will surface out of this, some day, and I pray that the version of myself will be kinder, more patient, more resilient, and more grateful. Most of all, I hope I will sleep better.

Losing Control

Before I had children, I was impatient. I liked to feel in control. I liked life to go ‘to plan’. I was a meticulous planner, and I realised now how much I relied on external calm to help me attain some measure of internal calm. It would never last, of course. Allah Most High always sent me something to knock the wind out of me – again.

Now I’ve come to realise that with raising little ones, there is no control. There is only surrender, and embracing the chaos.

Babies Without Schedules

While I was a fresh-faced undergrad, I knew a mother who smiled at my carefully curated study timetables. She smiled, chuckled, then said, “Babies have their own schedule.” I had no idea what she meant. Ten years later, and I finally do.

Resistance to Reality Causes Stress

Stress is resistance to reality. And I can make a tough afternoon with my girls even harder by wishing I were somewhere else. What actually helps is taking a deep breath, exhaling, and accepting that this is hard, and asking myself – what do I need to nourish myself, right now? Often, everything feels worse when I’ve forgotten to eat, in the rush of feeding my kids. Filling my own self-care cup is the best way for me to meet the needs of my small children.

Accept the Untouched Planner

I don’t have a planner anymore. Actually, I do, but I rarely get the chance to use it. My eldest daughter draws cats on the mostly untouched pages, and she was so excited to see how I had circled her birth date in June, and wrote “My baby turns 4!”. She insisted that I write it again, so I did.

Something so unremarkable to me – writing words on paper – utterly enthrals her. And that’s one of the many gifts of having such little children. There are so many firsts, and everything is a marvel. They slow us down, and bring us the gift of the present moment. Babies and small children are masters of mindfulness. It’s up to us to choose to be open to what they have to teach us, every day.


Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.


 

Cultivating Gratitude in Our Lives – Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil explores ways for us to begin cultivating gratitude in our day-to-day lives.cultivating gratitude

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an;

“Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad). And We seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health with calamities so that they might believe with humility.” (Sura al-An’am, 6:42)

Overcoming Tribulation

We are all walking a challenging path in this dunya. No matter who you are, no matter where you find yourself in your life, please know that you are not alone. Lean on your support network; we were created to be social beings.

Allah places difficulty in our lives as a way to help us grow. How we choose to respond to our difficulties is up to us.

Facing Reality

“I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship Me.” (Sura al-Dhariyat, 51:56)

Outwardly, it may not look like it, but each of us is carrying a story. We are all the products of our different circumstances, and we are all headed to that same, inexorable final destination – a meeting with our Creator.

Everything in this life that happens to us is an opportunity to draw closer to Allah, or further away. None of us can control so many things in our life – the kind of family we are born into, the weather, what happens at work or school – but we can choose how we respond.

Gratitude

“(Recall the time) when your Lord declared, ‘If you express gratitude, I shall certainly give you more, and if you are ungrateful, then My punishment is severe.'” (Sura Ibrahim, 14:7)

No matter how difficult things may feel for you right now, I invite you to ask yourself – what is one thing you can be grateful for? And when you can name one, then name another. Aim to find at least five specific things you can feel grateful for, and take a moment to truly let that sink in.

There is so much we all take for granted, until it is taken away.

Falling Back Into Childhood Patterns

So many of our problematic behavioural patterns begin from coping mechanisms in childhood. What may have worked to help us survive childhood end up working against us, when we become adults.

It takes awareness, hard work and often, professional support, to help rewire an adult brain. But it is possible. Change, through Allah’s help, is always possible.

Teaching Gratitude to Children

Teach the habit of gratitude to your children. Make it a daily bonding practice, perhaps at dinner time, or during your bedtime routine. Depending on the age and temperament of your child or children, you can make it into a game and ask them to describe three things they are happy about. What are three things they can say alhamdulilah for? The tasty meal Mama cooked, the way Baba helped put them to sleep and the company of sibling(s) to play with.

As your children grow older, you can help them create their own gratitude journals. The act of writing down what they’re grateful for makes it all the more real. This also becomes a wonderful way for you, the parent, to also grow your gratitude muscle.

Children learn from who we are – not always from what we say. And when they see us work hard to be grateful, no matter how difficult the circumstances – they will take after us. What blessed seeds to plant within the heart of our children. May the next generation have hearts full of gratitude and love for Allah and His Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.


Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.


 

Learn to Live – 04 – Interview with Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

In this episode, Ustadha Raidah tells us about the reasons why she went on a  path of seeking sacred knowledge. She talks about the benefits of moving to Amman, Jordan for her studies. Ustadha Raidah also talks about where and how she was brought up, relating this to why the prioritization of sacred knowledge is so important in our children’s education. She ends with the story of how she joined the SeekersHub Answers service.

This interview with Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil is part of a series we’re calling “Learn to Live” – where we’ll be exploring the journey of the student of knowledge — by speaking with the teachers and students who are traveling that path. We’ll explore what inspired them to pursue the path of knowledge. We’ll chronicle some of their stories and experiences along the way, and we’ll ask them to share their best advice for the student’s of today.

Checkout all of the SeekersGuidance podcasts by visiting seekershub.fm