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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 (www.mentalhealth4muslims.com) 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.

Source: http://hosaimojaddidi.com/about/

 

Raising a Believing Generation by Habib Umar bin Hafiz: Choosing a Spouse

Raising a Believing Generation

(Two) Making Religion the First Criteria

 By 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.

Our faith is the most important thing that we have. It is what enables us to have the best of lives in this world and the next. It should therefore be the main concern when it comes to choosing a spouse.

(One) The Purpose and Benefits of Marriage


What is meant by religion here is that both parties have a sound understanding of Islam, a full commitment to the rulings & principles of the Sacred Law, and practically apply its noble teachings & etiquettes. This understanding of Islam is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah as understood by the scholars who are the heirs to this tradition. It does not come from popular culture or custom.

Furthermore, the outward semblance of religiosity is not sufficient. A man once came to Sayyiduna Umar bin al-Khattab to attest to the uprightness of his friend. Sayyiduna Umar asked him: “Are you his neighbour? Have you ever travelled with him? Have you ever been in business with him?”

The man replied in the negative to all three questions so Umar concluded: “In that case, you don’t know him.”

It is in these situations – living next door to a person, travelling with them and doing business with them – that people’s true qualities come out. People are often seen to be ‘religious’ on the basis of a few outward practices, but their character and dealings may be completely contrary to Islamic teachings. The Prophet clarified this when he said: “Allah does not look at your outward appearance or your bodies. He looks at your hearts and your actions” (Muslim).

The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned the things that people generally seek in a spouse: “A woman is married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, and her religion.” Wealth, lineage and beauty are legitimate qualities to seek but they are of course temporal and limited to this life. Religion is mentioned last implying that some people make it the final and least and important consideration. Then the Prophet said: “So choose the one with religion” (Bukhari and Muslim), clarifying that this should be the deciding factor when choosing a spouse.

In another hadith, he said: “If a person whose religion and character you are satisfied with comes to you with a proposal, accept his proposal.” Here the only qualities he mentioned were religion and character. Religion could be understood to be outward practice – fulfillment of obligations and avoiding prohibitions – and character could be understood to be the inward reality of faith. When these two come together in a potential spouse the marriage will be built upon firm foundations. The Prophet went on to mention the consequences of turning down such a proposal: “If you do not, trials will afflict the earth and corruption will become widespread” (Tirmidhi). This is the sincere advice of the Prophet and we have seen the effects in societies where this advice has been ignored and where the main criteria for marriage are financial or social.

In Surat al-Qasas, the daughter of Sayyiduna Shu’ayb says to her father regarding Sayyiduna Musa: “Father, hire him: a strong, trustworthy man is the best to hire” (Qur’an, 28:26). Once he knows Musa’s qualities, Shu’ayb offers him the hand of one of his daughters in marriage. Shu’ayb’s daughter describes Musa as trustworthy or ‘amin’ in Arabic which is of course how the Prophet was known in Mecca in his youth. It was that quality that attracted the attention of Sayyidah Khadijah and led in part to their marriage.

Conversely, it has been narrated that “if a guardian marries a woman who is in his care to a corrupt man, he has cut the ties of kinship with her”. It is as if he has cut ties with her by marrying her to a man who has no taqwa. Instead of that marriage being a means of connection, it is the opposite. Instead of connecting two families to each other and connecting to God, those connections are being severed. It can have disastrous consequences not just in this life but in the next. A man told Imam Hasan al-Basri that several people had asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage and he asked him who he should choose.

Hasan said: “Marry to her someone who has taqwa: if he loves her, he will honour her and if he doesn’t, he won’t wrong her.” It is customary for the father to say to the groom just before contracting the marriage: “I am marrying my daughter to you on the basis of God’s command – to treat her well as long as you remain married and if not, to release her with excellence and kindness.” 


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.

Raising a Believing Generation by Habib Umar bin Hafiz: On Marriage

Raising a Believing Generation

(One) The Purpose and Benefits of Marriage 

Compiled, translated and summarized by 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. The first of the series ‘Raising a Believing Generation’ explores the purposes and benefits of marriage. 


The Purpose and Benefits of Marriage

The process of raising a child does not begin when the child is born. It is the state of the mother and the father, their marriage and the household they have established which dictates how the child will be raised. For this reason, it is important to briefly explore some benefits of marriage. 

 

Human Nature

Marriage allows people to fulfill many of their needs as human beings, whether those needs be physical, psychological or emotional.  Islam does not encourage monasticism but instead recognizes human needs and channels them in the best way. The desire to marry is an aspect of the fitrah – a person’s primary nature that knows, recognizes, and inclines towards all that is good, beautiful, and pure. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is the perfect example of balance in every one of his roles and actions. In a famous hadith, three men came to ask the Prophet’s wives about his worship and private life. When the three men were told about it, they deemed his worship to be little and thought they needed to do more than him since his station was far higher than theirs. One of them said he would pray all night and never sleep; another said he would fast every single day; the third said he would remain celibate and never marry. When the Prophet heard this he said to them: “I swear by God that I have more fear of God and more awareness of Him than you, yet I fast some days and not others, I pray (in the night) and also sleep and I marry women. Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

 

Preserving the Human Race

Through marriage, the human race continues to exist and flourish. Allah points to this in several verses of the Quran:

It is God who has given you spouses from amongst yourselves and through them, He has given you children and grandchildren and provided you with good things (Quran, 16:72).

People, be mindful of your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them spread countless men and women far and wide (Quran, 4:1).

 

Preserving Lineage

Through marriage, the lineage or ancestral line is defined. One of the overriding aims of the Shariah, the Sacred Law, is to preserve the honor and status of children and this explains why marriage is legislated.

 

Protecting Society from Immorality

Through marriage, society is protected from immorality and social disunity. This is illustrated in the statement of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): “Young people: whoever among you is able to marry should do so, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty. Whoever is not able to marry should fast, as fasting diminishes sexual urge.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: “If a person whose religion and character you are satisfied with comes to you with a proposal, accept his proposal. If you do not, trials will afflict the earth and corruption will become widespread.” (Tirmidhi)

 

Spiritual and Psychological Balance and Wellbeing

A good spouse is a source of tranquillity and peace for the other. Allah says:

Among His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquillity, and He placed between you affection and mercy. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect. (Quran, 30:21)

It is He who created you all from one soul, and from it made its mate so that he might find comfort and peace in her (Quran, 7:189)

The Arabic word for tranquillity is sakinah or sukun and derivatives of it are used in both these verses. It denotes stillness after motion. Marriage should provide this stillness, calm, and comfort to both spouses psychologically, spiritually, and physically. This state is then conducive to raising children.


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.

 

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.

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 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.

My Teenage Son Is Not a Good Muslim

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My teenage son is not practicing Islam as his parents are. He doesn’t pray, he avoids wudu, he is into music too much. He listens to us for a few days then goes back to his attitude. He snaps at us, gets angry, and avoids the family. My husband nearly hit him recently because he disrespected me and his sister. We are sorrowful that we don’t have Allah’s blessings in our home. I supplicate to Allah five times a day for him. I read Qur’anic translations to him but he is not interested. How do we bring him back to Islam?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum sister,

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your challenge to make your son understand the importance of praying and being with the family. This world has a way to rope teenagers in, with peer pressure and the desire to try new things and be different.

The absolute best possible advice I can give you is to read this article by Hina Khan-Mukhtar: Parenting: Planting the seeds of prayer in our young ones

It is never too late for a person to change, but keep in mind that children who rebel in their teenage years may need time. They might find their guidance before they are twenty, or perhaps much later.

Your job as a parent is to connect with them emotionally and start bonding with them. After this bond is established, your understanding and respect for each other will increase. You need that respect and love as a stepping stone to start speaking to your son about his religion. This love and respect will also enable him to want to spend time with the family.

Another thing that you should always do is to befriend good religious influential people. Keep them around you and your home. Pray together as a family and avoid the haram in your home as much as possible. Pray on time, cover correctly, pay zakat, don’t ingest anything unlawful and safeguard yourself from backbiting or usury. Take a free course on Seekers to learn your personally obligatory knowledge. These things will ensure that you have barakah in your home no matter what your son is doing.

Never give up on your du`as. Allah hears all that you ask and He will decide what to give you and when. Be patient until then and be kind to him. Also be grateful that he is not involved in much worse things, like drugs or sex.

Please see the links below for more information. May Allah reward you.

How to Counsel a Teenager with Religious Shortcomings?
I Struggle with My Prayers and Am so Worried About My Family Members Who Do Not Pray. What Do I Do?
My Teenager Is Disrespectful and Has No Empathy. What Do I Do?

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

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. Afterwards, 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.

A Nursing Mother’s Ramadan Reflections, by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil thought she knew what a challenging fasting day was…until she became a mother and began nursing her baby.

I thought that my hardest Ramadans were the ones I spent in Jordan, as a young student of knowledge. The days were incredibly long, and the blistering summer heat was like nothing I’d ever felt before. I missed the comfort of my mother’s cooking, and the familiar faces of my family and friends. In place of the loved ones I left behind, Allah blessed me with the warm company of new friends. May Allah reward the families who opened their homes to me, especially during Ramadan.
Almost a decade later, I find myself faced with an entirely different set of circumstances. I am married, living in Malaysia and nursing my baby daughter. She is almost one, and I am so grateful that she enjoys eating solids. Fiqh rulings about fasting while breastfeeding have taken a whole new meaning for me. Once, I would have thought it impossible. Nursing mothers like myself often experience a hunger that accompanies nursing a baby. Despite that, I’m realising how much Allah sustains my baby daughter and me, from heartbeat to heartbeat. Is it easy to fast while nursing a baby? Absolutely not. It’s humbling, it’s exhausting, it’s possible, and for now at least, I’ll keep going.

Tips for nursing mums:

1)   Drink plenty of water after iftar, alongside chia seeds soaked overnight.
2)   Have a solid suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and ask Allah to sustain you.
3)   Nap during the day when your baby naps!
4)   Express milk after suhoor or iftar, or both, if you need to.
5)   If you start getting unwell or your milk supply drops enough to impact on your baby’s nourishment, then know that it’s OK to stop fasting. Pay it back later, and look at the rules of fidyah for your school of thought. Some women can fast while nursing, while others can’t. Allah knows.

Extra Worship Is Another Matter

This Ramadan, I haven’t been able to step into a masjid, because my baby daughter doesn’t sleep through the night. Some nights, she can stay asleep for long stretches, and other nights, she wakes up continuously. I’ve made my peace with that. Instead of the luxury of hours of tarawih like in days gone by, I have precious moments of solitude as my daughter sleeps, or plays with her father and grandmother. These are the moments where I close my eyes and remember the power of intention. Every day looking after my baby is a day spent in love and service, for the sake of Allah Most High. Keeping connected to that intention is challenging, even on the best of days. What’s helped me stay present with that intention is listening to the SeekersHub Ramadan Podcasts in between putting her to sleep, feeding her, and playing with her. Mercy, forgiveness, and salvation – we are all in need.
May Allah help us make the most of the days we have left, help us be of service to others, and help us be pleased with His Decree.

Resources for seekers

10 Ways of Benefit for Menstruating Women in Ramadan

10 Ways of 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 you could otherwise do? Nour Merza gives women 10 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. Many women, when their menstrual period begins, 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 God has given uniquely to women. To refrain from ritual prayer (the salaat) and ritual fasting (the sawm) during this time is actually considered a form of worship, and, if done with the intention of obeying God, 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 God. Below are ten ways that women unable to fast can boost their spirituality during this special month.

1. Increase the Remembrance of God

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 subhanAllah, 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 God’s names whenever you can during this unique month you create the space, inshaAllah, for beautiful spiritual openings. See: The Effects of Various Dhikr – Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad

2. Increase Supplication 

Supplication (duaa) 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 or reaching out to God with your own unique words. See: Ten Powerful Du’as 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. See also: “Manifesting Mercy: Feeding Your Way to God” – Nader Khan at Brampton Islamic Centre.

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 masud.co.uk. 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 programs like SeekersGuidance #SpreadLight campaign. 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 God, which makes them a type of worship. Ask God 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 Quran while experiencing menses or postpartum bleeding, they are able to listen to the recitation of the Quran. 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 God. Use moments when others are praying or breaking their fast to ask God 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 God 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 taraweeh. 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?

Resources for Seekers

Parenting – A Reader

Parenting can be a challenging endeavour. This reader gathers various resources on parenting from an Islamic perspective.

General Guidance

Rights of Children in Detail 

Islamic Parenting: Ten Keys to Raising Righteous Children – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Raising Muslim Children On The Straight Path-Shaykh Walead Mosaad

Ibn Khaldun on the Instruction of Children and its Different Method

Traditional Methods of Raising Children 

When Should Children Start Praying?

Helping our children find the light in dark times, by Hina Khan-Mukhtar

Six Steps to Instilling the Attribute of Courage in Muslim Children 

Rethinking Our Actions and How They Affect Our Children

Raising Children With A Sound Heart – Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

The Sunnas of Parenting

40 Hadiths on Parenting

How To Make the Prophet Muhammad Real for Small Children

Raising Your Children with Deen & Dunya – Radio Interview with Hina Khan-Mukhtar 

Our Children: Nurturing the Prophet’s ﷺ Spiritual Intelligence

Explaining a Hadith on Disciplining Children 

The Prophet Muhammad’s Love, Concern, & Kindness for Children

Playing with your Children – Advice from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz

 

Parenting in Challenging Situations

Parenting in the Age of Social Media, by Ustadha Rania Awaad and Hosai Mojaddidi

A Ragged Shirt and Toast Crust: Raising Successful Children

How Do We Deal With Parents Who Emotionally Abuse Their Children

How Can I Raise My Children in the West?

Who Gets Custody of the Children After a Divorce?

Is There a Dua Protecting Children from Bad Intentions of People?

How Do I Protect my Children from Bad Influences in Society?

How To Talk To Children About Death

How Is a Child with Autism Viewed in Islam?

Fitrah and What Happens to Children Who Die Before Puberty 

How to Raise Children in Difficult Environments?

Why Worry About Children If We Know They Will Go to Paradise?

Wanting Children and Infertility

Is It Obligatory to Try to Have Children?

Infertility: Why does Allah Not Bless Some With Children 

Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a

My Husband Doesn’t Want to Have Kids. What Can I Do?

Supplications for Having Children and For Dealing With Pain

Is It Obligatory to Try to Have Children? 

The Virtues of Having Children and Stillbirth

Reflections on 2018 – Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

As December draws to a close, Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil gives some reflections on 2018 and the growth that she and her family experienced.

I started to write this article when my daughters were asleep. Almost a year ago, my younger one was born in January.  Now I have an 11 month old and a 3.5 year old. It has been both a wonderful and challenging year of growth, for all of us.

Childhood beliefs

I am now a lot more forgiving of my own parents, who had six children in twelve years. My mother migrated to Sydney with us while my father stayed in Singapore to financially support us. These facts alone explain so much about my childhood beliefs. From a very young age, I learned that parental love and attention are scarce, and how stressful it can feel to be part of a racial and religious minority.

Now that I am raising two little girls in Malaysia, I hope to impart different messages to my daughters. I hope that they will learn that there will always be enough love, for both of them, and that Islam is something that adds hope, meaning and direction to their lives.

Divided Heart 

When I had only one daughter, she had my undivided attention. Now, I am always torn between both of them. Part of me feels guilty that even from my pregnancy, I struggled to be present with my second baby, like I was with my first. I try to make peace with the fact that it will never be the same, and I pray that Allah will fill in the blanks.

Ups and Downs of Parenting 

The upside of having two kids is how much they love, play and laugh with each other. It warms my heart to see my eldest daughter feed her baby sister, help change her diaper, or sing to her. Watching my baby try to copy her oldest sister – from pretending to read and even to write – never fails to make me smile.

But, because we are in the dunya, it is never perfect. I am so tired, every day. There are times when I wonder if I will ever sleep well again.

The importance of self-care

My biggest lesson from 2018 year is this – when I look after myself, I can look after everyone else better. When I neglect my self-care, I am more irritable, and less able to attend to the endless needs in my household. I am not only a mother to my children, I am also a wife, a daughter-in-law, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.

Looking forward to 2019

I hope that with the gift of 2019, I will be better able to ask for help when I need it. I plan to create a better routine for myself, my daughters, and the rest of my household. I plan to exercise more self-compassion when I make mistakes. I plan to be able to spend more quality time with my husband. I plan for longer hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Most of all, I pray for Allah to accept my good deeds, forgive my mistakes, and increase me in gratitude for His innumerable blessings in my life.


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.


Prophetic Parenting: Q&A – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The Prophetic Parenting series, taught by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani,  covers 40 Hadiths on raising righteous Muslim children. This segment of the Prophetic Parenting series covers some commonly asked questions and answers.

What are the three aspects of parenting?

They are tarbiya (upbringing) ta’deeb (instilling of adab) and ta’leem (teaching). These must come in order, and parents must have a plan for what they want for their children, and have goals. By raising them with concern, children will be led to have good character.

To what extent are we responsible for the choices of our children when they grow up?

We are responsible for taking the means that we can, but we cannot control outcomes. Normally, if the right means are taken with the right intentions, we can be reasonably sure to expect the right results. However, if you took the means but yet they drift, your responsibility remains to advise, and be of sincere concern.  You can do this without imposing on them or being overbearing.

If two parents do not agree, what should they do?

All affairs have to be through mutual consultation, with each other and with trusted elders and scholars. They should agree to have a healthy marriage, and how to discuss issues that come up in a respectful and safe manner.

About the Series

As Muslims, we take family and our children seriously. We seek clarity and guidance to raise upright, righteous, successful Muslim children who love Allah and His Messenger, peace be upon him. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani will cover 40 hadiths on parenting.

Beginning with how to choose a spouse while keeping in mind future parenting, to raising and educating children from when they’re small to when they are young adults. We will also see beautiful, faith-inspiring examples of the Prophet’s mercy, gentleness, wisdom, and excellence in his own parenting and dealing with children–while inculcating in them the highest of aspiration, discipline, curiosity, intelligence, and spiritual resolve.