Surrogate Motherhood

Question: Is it permissible to be or request someone to be a surrogate mother for one? Who is considered the birth mother?


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

It is not permissible to have a woman be the surrogate mother of one’s child or to provide that service for someone. This would be the same whether the father impregnated the surrogate mother or the mother’s egg was fertilized by him and then transferred to the surrogate mother.

Please see:

That said, if the fertilized egg were transferred to the surrogate mother, the actual mother whose egg was used would be the mother of the baby and not the surrogate mother. (Hashiyat al-Rashidi)

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

When Can a Father Stop Providing for His Children?

Question: I want to know how long is a father responsible for providing for children. If a father is shrugging responsibility towards his children and citing that the children’s mother had done injustice to him, is it justified? What are the conditions under which the father can stop taking responsibility for his children?


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question.

A father’s responsibility

A man must provide for his children the basics of food, clothing, shelter, and basic Islamic education, as evidenced in the Qur’an.  Please see the details here in full:

Shrugging off responsibility

If a man claims that the mother of his children has done some injustice to him, he would have to be more specific. If she cut ties with him and ran away with the children, then yes, he would no longer be responsible for them. But if the injustice was something like the mother disrespecting the father, then his obligation of providing for them is not lifted. Doing so would be sinful.

Child support

If the parents are divorced, I recommend that the matter be taken to a local court to ensure that the father pays child support. If the parents are not divorced, I am not sure what course can be taken to make him pay his dues. Perhaps one can have a third party speak to him, or you can discuss the matter with a counselor or ask a family lawyer. It is obligatory for him to seek employment to provide child support. (Kifayat al-Akhyar 525; Mughni al-Muhtaj 5/185)

If the father is simply impoverished and unable to earn, perhaps he, or his wife, can request zakat funds or speak to a local masjid. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad


Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

How Can I Help My Child With Homework Without Getting Angry?

Question: I have only one child; she is eleven years old, Alhamdulillah.  When I assist her with school work, I regret that I lack patience.  I raise my voice, and at times get angry in a manner that I am immediately ashamed of thereafter. Do you have any practical tips?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. Being impatient with a child can lead to anxiety, frustration, depression, and worst of all, making your child into an angry person, and the cycle repeats. Make a resolve right now to aid your child in becoming an independent and confident person and learn to control yourself instead of controlling her. Did you know that a child who sees parents express a lot of anger at home performs worse in school? See the references below for more.


First, read these articles and implement the tips:

Please consider taking the free courses below here at Seekers, and implement the knowledge that you learn:

Going forward

In short, renew your intention to embrace excellence with your child, and ask Allah to guide you to every step. Hand over your weakness to Him and ask Him to improve you as a person and your parenting. Really, we are all in this situation with you. Our imperfections make us human, but our repentance and getting up again after we fall can make us the best of servants. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, told us, “All the sons of Adam are sinners, but the best of sinners are those who repent.“ [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Darimi]

Please listen to this podcast on patience:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next and embody us all with the very noble quality of patience.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Ten Ways to Benefit for Menstruating Women in Ramadan

Dread your period during the blessed month of Ramadan? Feel like you’re missing out on all the worship? Nour Merza gives women ten practical ways to spiritually benefit from this blessed month.

Every Ramadan, most women will have about a week in which they are unable to join in the major religious practices of the holy month: fasting and praying. When their menstrual period begins many women find that their level of engagement with the high spiritual atmosphere of the month drops. The same goes for those whose postnatal bleeding coincides with Ramadan. For many of these women, frustration and a sense of lacking spirituality sets in. This, however, shouldn’t be the case.

Menstruation, postnatal bleeding, and other uniquely feminine concerns are all part of Allah’s creation, which He created in perfect wisdom. They are not a punishment for women wanting to draw near their Lord. They are just part of the special package of blessings, opportunities, and challenges that Allaj has given uniquely to women. To refrain from ritual prayer (the salat) and ritual fasting (the sawm) during this time is actually considered a form of worship, and, if done with the intention of obeying Allah, it earns women good deeds.

In order to take full advantage of the blessed month of Ramadan, however, menstruating women and those with postnatal bleeding can do more than refraining from ritual prayer and ritual fasting to draw near Allah. Below are ten ways that women unable to fast can boost their spirituality during this special month.

1. Increase the Remembrance of Allah

In the Hanafi school, it is recommended for menstruating women to make wudu, wear their prayer clothes, and sit on their prayer mat while doing dhikr during the time they would normally be praying. This would be especially good to do in Ramadan, a time of special focus on worship. In addition to the adhkar that are well-known sunnas – such as subhan Allah, alhamdulliLlah and Allahu akbar. If you have a litany from a shaykh and are allowed to repeat it more than once a day, try to do it twice or three times for increased blessings. Dhikr has a special way of touching the heart, and by invoking Allah’s names whenever you can during this unique month you create the space, insha Allah, for beautiful spiritual openings. See: The Effects of Various Dhikr – Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

2. Increase Supplication 

Supplication (dua) is something we do very little of these days, but speaking directly to your Lord is one of the most intimate ways to connect with Him. The beauty of supplication is that you can make it in any place or time. Take this opportunity to ask your Lord for all that you need in your life, and to draw near Him through either repeating the beautiful supplications of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, or reaching out to Allah with your own unique words. See: Ten Powerful Duas That Will Change Your Life

3. Feed Others

Whether it be your family, neighbors, community members, or the poor, use the time you are not fasting to make meals that fill the stomachs and souls of those around you. Recite the peace and blessings  (salawat) on the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, while making the food, as this imbues the food with spiritual benefit as well. Consider sponsoring iftar at your local mosque one evening with some other women who are in your situation, or volunteering at a local soup kitchen. 

4. Gain Islamic Knowledge

Use the extra time and energy you have from not fasting and praying to increase your knowledge of the faith. Listen to scholars discussing timely issues on our SeekersGuidance podcasts, form a small circle of non-fasting women who can commit to reading a book on Islam and discuss it together, or take some time to read articles on the religion from trusted online sources, such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s blog or Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad’s article collection at See also: Importance of Intention in Seeking Knowledge.

5. Increase your Charity

We are surrounded by countless blessings, so make sure to spread those blessings in the month of Ramadan. Give money to a good cause, such as supporting Syrian refugees, helping a local poor family with school fees, or supporting students of Islamic knowledge through SeekersGuidance. In a very busy world, we may have little opportunity to give our time to help others in charity – giving money takes minimal time, but brings great benefit. See: Eligible Zakat Recipients, Giving Locally vs. Abroad, Charity to a Mosque, and Proper Handling of Donations.

6. Make Your Responsibilities a Form of Worship

Sometimes, women are overwhelmed by the responsibilities of the home and young children, and cannot make time to do things like study or sponsor an iftar. In these circumstances, renew your intention regarding your role as a mother and a wife. See these demanding and time-consuming roles for what they are: responsibilities that you are fulfilling to please Allah, which makes them a type of worship. Ask Allah to accept all your work as worship, and approach all that you do in this way. This will make even the most mundane of tasks, such as changing another diaper, cleaning up another spilled cup of apple juice, or making yet another dinner a way for you to gain the pleasure of your Lord. See: Balancing Worship and Caring for a New Child.

7. Listen to the Quran

Although the Hanafi school holds that women cannot touch the mushaf or recite the Qur’an while experiencing menses or postpartum bleeding, they are able to listen to the recitation of the Qur’an. Doing so offers much benefit in a month that has such a heavy emphasis on reciting the book. You can take special time out of your day to listen to it, such as while children are napping, or you can listen to it while in the midst of cooking or cleaning the house. See also: Listening to Qur’an While Occupied With Other Tasks

8. Increase Repentance

Ramadan is an excellent time to increase repentance to Allah. Use moments when others are praying or breaking their fast to ask Allah to forgive you and your loved ones and to keep you from returning to sin. All we have is a gift from Allah, so even forgetting that for a moment is a deed worth asking forgiveness from. Know that Allah is the Forgiving, and trust that, as our scholars have said, the moment you ask for forgiveness you are truly forgiven. See also: Damaged Inner State? Imam Ghazali on Repentance

9. Babysit to Help Mothers Worship

Mothers with young children often find it difficult to go to the mosque because they worry that their kids will disturb others who are praying. Since you don’t need to be at the mosque, volunteer a night or two (or more) to babysit the children of a young mother who would love to go pray tarawih. If you have young children of your own, you can tell the mother to bring her kids to your house before the prayer. By helping this woman worship, you will gain the same good deeds she gets from going to that prayer. See: I Love Being A Woman.

10. Spread Love and Light

Use the extra time and energy you have to share the joys of Ramadan and Eid with your non-Muslim friends, peers, and neighbors. Invite a work colleague for an iftar, make a special Ramadan dish and give it to a neighbor, or take time to make special cookies or gift bags for peers at the office or in school to hand out during Eid. By sharing these happy moments with friends and colleagues in the non-Muslim community, you counter the negative narratives about Islam in the media. More than that, however, you become someone who creates bonds in an increasingly isolated world, reflecting the beauty of the Prophetic light to all those around you. See: How Can Muslims Become More Effective Community Members?


Raising a Believing Generation by Habib Umar bin Hafiz: Intentions and Supplications

(Four) Intentions and Supplications

Shaykh Amin Buxton

Children are a trust (amanah) that Allah most High has gifted us with. Raising believing children is a huge challenge and every pious parent passionately prays that they will be able to do so. We are blessed to have such guidance from one of the most illuminated scholars of our time; Habib Umar bin Hafiz. We will explore insights from Habib Umar bin Hafiz on how to raise the next generation of believers.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz is a master of the science of tarbiyah – nurturing of the human soul in the pursuit of perfection. Here, he turns his attention to tarbiyah as it applies to raising the next generation of strong believers.

Exploring Abdullah Nasih Ulwan’s work “Child Education in Islam”, he gives important insights and principles that any parent, carer, or educator can make good use of. The journey starts with considerations to be taken before embarking on the journey of parenthood and even marriage itself.

Intentions have a huge impact on our actions and have consequences both in this life and for eternity. We examine the effect intentions have when it comes to having children and what we intend and wish for our children. We look at the supplications which God’s pious servants make either to be blessed with children or to bless the children they already had.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Marry a woman who will bear many children and one who will be a loving wife because your number will be a source of pride to me in front of the other nations on the Day of Judgement.” [Abu Dawud]

 This hadith teaches us that one of our intentions in getting married should be to have children who will be a source of pride and joy for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). We know that the pleasure of God and the pleasure of the Prophet are one and the same, so if you please the Prophet you please God Himself. This makes us realize the greatness and significance of having children.

Podcast Series based on the same topic – Believing Future

Sayyidah Hanna’s Intention

God tells us about the intention of Sayyidah Hanna – the mother of Maryam (may Allah be pleased with her). Sayyidah Hanna dedicated the child in her womb to the service of God and her words are recorded in the Quran: “Lord, I have vowed to You, in dedication, what is in my womb for Your service. So accept this of me, for You hear and know all things” [Qur’an, 3:35].

Assuming that it would be a male child, she dedicated it to the service of the scholars and worshippers in the Temple in Jerusalem. She did not want the child to bring her any worldly benefit, to bring in an income, or to support her. She wanted its only role to be one of service.

When she ended up giving birth to a female child she wondered how a young woman could serve in the Temple, having to come and go amongst the men who taught and worshipped there.

But Allah accepted her intention due to its sincerity and caused her to be remembered in the Qur’an until the end of time. She said: ‘I name her Mary and I commend her and her offspring to Your protection from the accursed Satan.” Her Lord graciously accepted her and made her grow in goodness’ [Qur’an, 3:36-37]. 

But Maryam is not the only fruit of her dedication: from Maryam comes Prophet Jesus and all the blessings which he brings. In fact, it is he who will save this nation from the Antichrist at the end of time. Thus the very fate of not just the Children of Israel but also the nation of Muhammad is tied up in that one intention.


The Prayer of Zakariya

Allah then tells us how He entrusts Maryam to the charge of the Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him). Zakariya witnesses the miracle of this young girl receiving provision directly from God. Upon witnessing this, he prays then and there that he be blessed with a child:

‘Lord, from Your grace grant me virtuous offspring: You hear every prayer .’ [Qur’an, 3:38]

This is a prayer which we should use to call upon God with repeatedly, not just if we wish to have children, but also if we already have them, in the hope that they are pure and virtuous. It shows us that the desire of God’s chosen servants is for good, pure, and virtuous children. Unfortunately, this purity is not a concern for many Muslims whose main concern is for their children to be successful in a worldly sense. 


The Supplication of God’s Chosen Servants

Another important supplication that should be often on our tongues comes at the end of Surat al-Furqan where we find a beautiful description of God’s chosen servants. The final quality mentioned is that they say repeatedly:

“Our Lord, let our spouses and children be the delight of our eyes. Make us good examples to the pious” [Qur’an, 25:74].

The request of the people that God loves is that their spouses and their children be a source of joy to them in this life and the next. We know from how they are described in the previous verses that they would not take delight in anything worldly regarding their children.

Their joy is in the piety and uprightness of their children which will allow them to be reunited in Paradise. They do not only want them to be a joy to their eyes but also to the eyes of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the pious. 

 This is not to say that good intentions are sufficient on their own. Parents must also fulfill their responsibilities in raising their children for which they will be accountable: “Allah will certainly ask every person about what was placed in their care – did they take care of it or did they neglect it. He will ask a man about his household” (Ibn Hibban).

But when the parents have good intentions when having children and are prepared to give children the best upbringing, the children are a source of great blessings.


About the Author

Shaykh Amin Buxton was born in London. He converted to Islam in 1999 and read Arabic and Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London. He also studied the Islamic sciences in a traditional setting in both Syria and Yemen. He has edited and translated a number of books which include Imam al-Haddad’s ‘Beneficial Counsels’ and Umar al-Khatib’s ‘Prophetic Guidance’. Since 2017 he has resided with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is involved in several educational and social initiatives including New to Islam Edinburgh and Rafah International. Shaykh Amin Buxton is producing a podcast for SeekersGuidance and is one of our esteemed internal scholars


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Should I Abort My Illegitimate Child if the Baby’s Father Has Run Away?


I am a 23-year-old girl and have been intimate with a man who has been Muslim for two years. I have found out I am pregnant. Once I told him this, he messaged me, “On the Holy Quran I am never having any children with you. I will never be there for you, and the child will never know me.” I really want to keep this baby, but my child will never have a father or family as I will lose them too. What do I do? Will Allah forgive me if I have an abortion?


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am so terribly sorry for the pain that you are going through and for finding out that the baby’s father is a flake. The absolute best answer that I can give you is here, please read it fully:



If a woman wants to abort because the child would be illegitimate, and she would not have support, it would not be a valid reason to abort. Please see the details here:


Involve Your Parents

This is a very, very sensitive topic, and your circumstances are very challenging. Despite this, you should communicate the problem to your parents. You absolutely cannot go through this alone. A pregnancy requires all kinds of support and help, and when they get past the shock and emotion, they will actually think things through with you, by the grace of Allah, and help you.


Allah’s Mercy

Allah is Merciful and forgives all sins, place your trust in Him and repent sincerely. See the details here:
Please supplicate to Allah to help you navigate this difficult time and apply the tips given above at the link. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad


Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Is It Selfish To Not Want Children?

Question: I am 30 and decided not to have kids because of the abysmal state of my mental health. I do not have anything to offer and do not want them to become emotionally/spiritually void like me or suffer neglect. My husband is nice and primarily does all the work, but he is not an intellectual or logical planning type, so he cannot raise them himself. He says is okay with the decision, but says “Ameen” to relatives making dua for kids. Am I sinning and being selfish?


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The short answer is yes. You are being selfish and potentially sinning by refusing to give your husband children. He has every right to leave you, and this is valid grounds for divorce.



The benefits of having children are plentiful, some of them being: they give you a new perspective on your priorities, they teach you about yourself, they help bond your marriage, they bring out the best (and worst) in you, and generally things change and improve in one’s life from the blessing of a child.

The religious virtues of having children are great, including the fact that a child who prays for you after you are gone will be a continual charity for you. Please see those details here:

The Prophetic command was to have many children so that he, Allah bless him and grant him peace, could boast about our numbers on the Day of Judgment. Raising a child to believe in Allah and His Messenger is no light matter and it should be the goal of every logical or intellectual Muslim parent.



As for your feelings of inadequacy, rest assured that we are all in the same boat. None of us is perfect, and most parents pray to Allah that He guides them to be the best people they can be and to protect them from every harm. If you feel that your mental health should be diagnosed or if you need medication, please consult a medical professional. It is important to deal with that in the correct way.

The situation that you describe with your husband seems to me to be the perfect fit for parenthood. You can be the logical one that leads the way and sets their goals, and your husband can be the one who does the heavy lifting of their physical care. If you are both happy with this arrangement and agree to it, then I feel that you should proceed.


Pray and Learn

As usual with any big decision, pray Istikhara and ask Allah to open your heart to this idea if that is what He really wants from you. Communicate to Him about your shortcomings and ask him to help you overcome them and send you that which will make your family whole and committed to Allah’s pleasure.

Please take a course on raising children and basic fiqh to ensure that you are proceeding with full knowledge of your responsibilities and the rights of children. May Allah grant you children that will be the coolness of your eyes, a means of continual charity, and a reason for your eternal happiness.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

Can a Dead Fetus Be Buried Along With Its Mother?

Question: Can a dead fetus be buried along with its mother?


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Yes, when a woman dies while pregnant and a fetus dies inside her, they do not have to be buried separately.

If, however, the woman dies and the fetus is still alive, the baby must be aborted. If then the baby is born by a cesarean section from the dead mother, shows signs of life, and then dies, it must be washed and prayed over, and it also must be shrouded and have its own burial. (Bushra al-Karim, Ba-Ishn)

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.


Ten Things Children Can Learn from the Coronavirus

Ten Things Children Can Learn from the Coronavirus

By Hosai Mojaddidi

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate


Earlier this evening, my husband was talking to the kids over dinner about the coronavirus (COVID-19) when the topic of how it started came up. He told them about the “wet markets” in China and further explained how different people across the world eat wild animals or bushmeat to survive.

Despite my subtle attempt to change the subject, which I found too revolting over dinner, they were eager to hear all the gory details about different types of animals that humans were known to eat.

I eventually walked away but first asked my husband to teach the boys about the incredible wisdom of our faith in prohibiting the consumption of specific types of animals, mainly carnivorous ones. 

Right now we have a golden opportunity as parents to make the most of this global catastrophe. Here are some ideas:

  1. Teach children about the fiqh of food consumption which includes the different categories of permissible/impermissible meat.
  2. Teach children and re-emphasize the importance of cleanliness in Islam, not just to wash their hands frequently.
  3. Teach children the importance of wanting for “your brother what you want for yourself,” and sharing/caring in this “nafsy nafsy” climate.
  4. Teach children the power of the prayer of Istikhara in times of uncertainty.
  5. Teach children that despite technology, modern science, etc., human beings will ALWAYS be weak and dependent on God, and this is PROOF. When a small invisible virus can bring the world to its knees, never underestimate the power of Allah. We will always be in need of Him whereas He is free of all needs!
  6. Teach children the value of time, because they will feel it being stretched in the next few weeks, months, etc.
  7. Teach children the value of the elderly, for they have been unjustly erased in our world and now many people will live to regret pushing them away.
  8. Teach children the value of their Masjid and community centers as events will be shut down and they will realize how much value being with fellow community members even for a few hours every week brought to their lives.
  9. Teach children the importance of saying “Bismillah,” and “Insha Allah”, as anything void of the name of Allah has no blessing.
  10. Teach children that this world is temporal, death is a transition and NOT an end, and no matter how one dies or when, the only thing that matters is that they die with the testification of faith (shahada) upon their lips.

May Allah increase us all, draw us closer to Him, and protect us from harm. Ameen.


About the Author

“For over 20 years I’ve had the honor of serving the Muslim communities in the greater Bay Area and Orange County/LA areas as an organizer, teacher, spiritual counselor, mentor, and mental health advocate.”

In 1996, Sister Hosai began to take classes at Zaytuna College, as well as help organize events and eventually became a recognized activist in the community. One of her main areas of focus was to help create a strong sisterhood for the women in the community by leading halaqas (spiritual study circles). In addition, she organized support groups, offered individual spiritual counseling & mentoring, and couples’ spiritual therapy.

In 2010 sister Hosai launched the website MH4M ( and began writing and sharing useful guidance on social media. The website gathered a global audience quickly.

Sister Hosai teaches at MCC Easy Bay monthy, as well as offering workshops and other talks to Islamic schools and masjids for the greater community. She shares timeless and practical advice through her social media channels.



Cultivating Patience Through Your Young Children

Trust in Allah

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 young 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.


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 realize 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, someday, 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 realized 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 realize 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 resistant 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 enthralls 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.