1) Allah’s deeds-recording system based on intentions
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Allah says, ‘If My slave intends to do a bad deed then (O Angels) do not write it unless he does it; if he does it, then write it as it is, but if he refrains from doing it for My Sake, then write it as a good deed (in his account). (On the other hand) if he intends to do a good deed, but does not do it, then write a good deed (in his account), and if he does it, then write it for him (in his account) as 10 good deeds up to 700 times.'” [Sahih al-Bukhari 7501]
We berate ourselves so much, and all these things really eat at our self-worth, but subhaanAllah, our Lord is SO Merciful! I wish we could show even the part of that mercy to ourselves.
Imagine that you thought of making a nice healthy meal, but you ended up with the leftovers. You felt like a failure. The society called you lazy. Your family is probably disappointed, too. But Allah…SubhaanAllah – He rewarded you just when you thought you’d do something good.
Imagine that one of your children is hanging onto your legs. One child is constantly asking questions while another is crying. And you’re trying to cook. Your heartbeat goes fast, your breathing goes faster, and your body tells you to shout. You want to yell at everyone to just stop. But you stopped yourself instead. and You didn’t solve anything, really, but you also didn’t make it worse. And Allah…SubhaanAllah – He rewarded you for not doing what you thought you would.
Our intentions make SUCH a huge difference. Each thought process is rewarded. SubhaanAllah!
Now think of all the good things you planned you’d do, and you tried your best too (in whatever capacity you could), but you had zero results to show for! Yet your hasanaat are increasing without you even knowing. Simply because you thought you’d do something good. Or stopped yourself from whatever bad you thought you’d do!
Now, rewind and think of all the things you put yourself down for, and allow yourself to feel joy in the reward system by Allah. You may have zero results in dunya, but in shaa Allah a scale full of hasanaat in Aakhirah!
2) Small things matter (even the ones that are not appreciated by everyone)
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “A person while walking along the path saw the branches of a tree lying there. He said: By Allah, I shall remove these from this so that these may not do harm to the Muslims, and he was admitted to Paradise.” [Sahih Muslim 1914c]
RESTORE. The word that defines parenting your little ones. And probably the answer to “But what do you even do all day long?”
Restoration doesn’t tick checklists. It doesn’t seem progressive. It may even make you feel like a failure. It feels like you’re constantly taking 10 steps back – living your life in the rewind mode. The feeling that you’re unable to achieve anything in life because you are always restoring things to what they were.
Restoring your health and energy.
Restoring the peace around.
Restoring your home – undoing the mess all day long. Picking up all the things stranded around.
Every single day, you strive to make your space safe for your little Muslims. To the world, you probably don’t do anything all day long because you have nothing to show for, but to Allah, you earn Jannah with every harmful thing you pick up from the path! 💖 so take your Jannah mama! From the One Who values you even when all you did was RESTORE…
May Allah make us mindful of each struggle we go through in this world so we can pave our path to Jannah by just turning our intention.
3) Simplicity saves time and energy (especially when you have little kids)
Prophet ﷺ asked for sauce and was told that there was nothing except vinegar (with bread). He asked for it & began to eat from it saying, “How excellent is vinegar!” [Muslim]
May we aim for and be happy with low dunya standards like this too. It helps us spend time WITH our families instead of spending all our time FOR them.
For eg: You spend all your time earning for your family – so much so that you have no time left to spend WITH them (necessity is an entirely different scenario).
You spend all your time serving the needs of your family (washing, cooking, cleaning for them) that you have no time left to spend with them.
We often see examples in the sunnah where Muhammad ﷺ spent time WITH his family (listening to their stories, talking to them, noticing them so much that he knew what they liked or disliked and how they expressed it even when they didn’t use words – he even knew from where his wife drank or ate so he could do the same – it takes an immense amount of mindfulness to be THIS present – and the list goes on) and he also spent time FOR them (helping them in house chores etc.)
When we think of giving time to our relationships, we give everything to the time and not the relationship itself. Does it make sense?
If your family members can learn self-sufficiency, all of you will be able to spend more time WITH each other instead of FOR each other.
If you can spend more time with them by cooking simpler meals or eating dinner as breakfast again, eating raw fruits/veggies, nuts, seeds, dates, milk, yogurt etc. (that you won’t have to cook) as lunch, then you may cut half of your kitchen time in shaa Allah.
4) We are responsible and we will be questioned about our responsibility
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “Each of you is a shepherd, and each of you is responsible for his flock…a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock; a woman is a shepherdess in charge of her husband’s house and children and she is responsible for them; and a man’s slave is a shepherd in charge of his master’s property and he is responsible for it. So each of you is a shepherd, and each of you is responsible for his flock.” [Sunan Abi Dawud 2928]
To the fathers of this Ummah..
I don’t normally write posts for you because it’s just your wives who follow this account for parenting advice. Even though the tarbiyyah of your children lies upon your shoulders as well, they happily carry it all (by reading books on child psychology, gaining knowledge on brain development, following Islamic parenting accounts, signing up for Islamic courses, etc.) to ease your burdens. I pray that all of you are doing the same for them too.
Although, the amount of messages I receive day in and day out is disheartening, to say the least. Your wives don’t complain about you. They just complain about themselves. They don’t blame you. They just blame themselves when they’re stretched too thin or have too much on their plate to be the patient mother they want to be. And in all of these conversations, I can sometimes sense an absent father, but I’m afraid to say it because I don’t want to shake the foundations of your home. I end up making dua for them and for you to step up.
You are more than just the money you make. Your worth is beyond what you earn. Your duty is that of a raa’ee and a qawwam on top of that. If you Google the qualities of a leader, you will find many leads on how you can step up. And more so, if you read the seerah.
As @mums_unstuck mentioned: “A good father facilitates the environment so that the mother of his children can be a good mother…she WANTS to be an amazing mum…When she is supported…when her home is filled with mutual cooperation and love, she can do what she needs to do as that mother…”
May Allah help you heal from what hurt you so you don’t bleed on the people who didn’t cut you…
5) Allah’s mercy for my children is bigger than what I feel for them
Muhammad ﷺ said: “Verily, there are 100 (parts of) mercy for Allah, and it is one part of this mercy by virtue of which there is mutual love between the people and 99 reserved for the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim 2753a]
I’m reminded of Allah’s infinite mercy in this postpartum period. When Allah lets you take a break from His obligations when no one else will do that. We are expected to be present for each of our other obligations, but the Most Merciful Lord relieves us of His obligation because He knows that showing up physically in this difficult period of life won’t be easy. On top of that, He also made it known to all, so no one else would pressurize or judge us for taking a break. Because He knows that we are still worshipping Him by taking care of the amaanah He gave us.
It’s a lesson for us all on what to learn from our Merciful Lord. What a contrast between the Creator and the creation! In the eyes of others, perhaps you are expected to still cook, clean, organise, manage, and do everything just like before, but Allah knows He has given your body a bigger job to do and hence out of everyone, YOU could use a break – when the rest of the world is still expected to stand in front of Him 5 times a day!
6) Our time with our children is short (it passes so quickly)
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “The hour shall not be established until time is constricted, and the year is like a month, a month is like the week, and the week is like the day, and the day is like the hour, and the hour is like the flare of the fire.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2332]
Some days, I sit with my 7yr old at Fajr time with warm honey water and just look at her while she talks. I miss these moments with my eldest because now that she is independent in a lot of things, it sometimes feels like this connection is not really needed anymore – especially when you have other young kids to tend to (who demand all of your energy because they’re completely dependent on you). So Fajr time is when I get to slow down and listen to all her stories that I am unable to during the day while doing chores and childcare (I have a 7yr old, 4yr old, and a 1yr old). May Allah put barakah in our time and I pray that Allah helps us build habits that BRING barakah in our time too.
7) Patience will yield results! (in shaa Allah)
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Islam began as something strange and will go back to being strange, so glad tidings to the strangers.” [Sunan Ibn Majah 3986]
I asked Allah to help me raise ghurabaa and He gave me strong-willed children. Children that pushed all my buttons until I ran out of patience…
Islam began among a few individuals, then it spread and prevailed, then it will reduce in numbers until there are only a few left, as it was in the beginning. So Glad tidings to the strangers. فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاءِ
Ghurabaa who will require a strong will, who will not be threatened into “listening”. Ghurabaa who are not afraid to be yelled at – they can not be easily beaten into submission. Those who know their fitra and they stick to it because they aren’t people-pleasers. Ghurabaa who are comfortable with pushing back against the status quo and willing to follow their conscience. Ghurabaa have a strong identity – strong enough to hold onto Islam (even if it feels like holding onto burning coal). It definitely takes a strong-willed person to become one of those ghurabaa!
Does that sound like your child? The child that sometimes pushes back because he/she doesn’t blindly follow whatever is asked of them. Because he/she feels safe and confident enough to be assertive and authentic. I know those challenging moments are hard. But be careful not to extinguish that fire completely (especially when their opinion doesn’t harm their dunya or aakhirah). It will be the same fire that will help them become ghurabaa or raise ghurabaa as a result bi’idhnillah. Know the difference between disobedience, disrespect, and personal autonomy. So while their defiance is triggering now. Those qualities might be life-changing later.
So may your strong-willed child be a part of those glad tidings. And may your patience be the reason why they or their generations become a part of ghurabaa!
(Fatooba lil ghurabaa)
Glad tidings to the strangers!
Hence I gave my son a kunyah – Abu Khadir (inspired by the hadith Sahih Muslim 2938a – the best of men who will stand up against Dajjal – against all odds).
8) It’s ok for me to cry and it’s ok for my child to cry too
“…the eyes of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ started shedding tears. `Abdur Rahman bin Auf said, “O Allah’s Apostle, even you are weeping!” He said, “O Ibn Auf, this is mercy.” Then he wept more and said, “The eyes are shedding tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord…” [Sahih Bukhari 1303]
Prophet ﷺ described the tears as rahma (mercy).
I remember the time when I had a rough night with the baby. I was constantly getting up for night feeds. My 6yr old came to me in the morning and saw me struggling to put the baby to sleep. I was going in and out of the sleep phase and when I opened my eyes, the baby wasn’t beside me anymore. I could hear my 6yr old playing with him in the other room. She took him to the other room. And instead of sleeping, I was just a big ball of emotions.
I shed tears for all the years of hearing how my eldest was such a sensitive child. And how she is such a big girl and shouldn’t cry like that anymore. I shed tears because even though hearing/seeing kids cry was difficult, I stood up for her right to cry. I used to simply tell her that she should not hurt herself or others in the process – We will not say what may displease Allah – but you are allowed to cry. I still cry. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to cry too – not only in dua or over his grief but upon seeing his companion sick as well [Riyad as-Salihin 925].
Her sensitivity also made her an amazing empath – the small example of which I saw when she took the baby so I could sleep.
It also reminds me of how Ayesha رضي الله عنها described her father – “a softhearted man who’d be overpowered by his weeping.” [Bukhari 682]
How many times do we stop the kids (and even adults) from crying?! Most of us then try to “harden” ourselves – so much so that we lose that sensitive side of ourselves that also makes us better empaths. So next time you see tears, consider them mercy, and instead of asking kids to stop crying, guide them towards the Sunnah of crying and you will see amazing empaths in shaa Allah 🌱