A Note for Muslim Mums: You’re Already Winning
Being a Muslim mum in the twenty-first century is hard. You’re expected to be the ideal Muslimah with a spotless house, a flourishing career, a well-fed husband, and perfectly well-behaved children.
Then… you’ve got the opinions. The oh-so-many opinions.
Breastfeeding? “But your son’s so skinny, he’s clearly starving. You should bottle-feed him.”
Bottle-feeding? “That’s awful! Your daughter has the right to breast milk!”
Stay at home mum? “So lazy! What do you do all day?”
Working mum? “How selfish! Abandoning your child for the love of money…”
When you limit your mind to this world and the people in it, it’s easy to feel like you just can’t win.
But when you focus your mind on the Only One Who matters, you’ll see you’ve already won: because motherhood is one, continuous, act of worship - and Allah (swt) has been rewarding you for it since the day you got pregnant.
The status of mothers in Islam is crystal clear, and one of the most well-known teachings is the idea that “Paradise lies under the feet of your mother.”
In the Quran, Allah (swt) orders us to be grateful to our parents and goes to great lengths to remind us of the hardship your mother went through to have us.
“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.” (Quran, 31:14)
When we think about these verses, we think about the rights of mothers.
We read them and (for those who are lucky enough to be able to) they make us pick up the phone and call our mums or raise our hands and make dua for them.
For most people, these verses stay the same, never changing in meaning.
But they should change when you become a mother. They should make you think, not just about the rights of mothers, but the rewards that come with being a mother.
We think there’s a good chance you’re underestimating how many good deeds you do as a mum, so we want to remind you.
Here’s a list of four things that Allah (swt) is rewarding you for that you probably haven’t even considered:
1. Nappy changing
It’s just a thing you do because you have to, right? You’ve probably never even given it a second thought.
But when you stop and think about it, changing nappies is an essential form of care, and if you didn’t do it your baby would be in a huge amount of pain from rashes and infections.
How many nappies do you think you’ve changed as a mum?
How many thousands?
It takes patience and lovto change that many nappies. And Allah (swt) has rewarded you for every single one.
2. Sleep deprivation
When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep?
Every mother knows that sleep deprivation starts in the days of pregnancy, how many years has it been since you haven’t been entirely exhausted?
You’re up late breastfeeding, or working so you can pay the bills, or stroking your child’s hair as they fall back to sleep after a nightmare.
Did you know sleep deprivation is a form of torture? But you, you’ve been functioning with it for years.
How can you not think Allah (swt) is rewarding you for this sacrifice?
3. Feeding your children
You feed your children, but rarely do you consider the reward of feeding them.
Imagine you fed a complete stranger. How pleased would you be that you’d done a good deed?
Surely feeding your child every single day offers more reward than feeding a stranger once?
Because you do it, and because you wouldn’t not do it, you forget that feeding your children is also an act of charity.
But Allah (swt) is rewarding you for every single meal.
4. Religious sacrifices
In Ramadan, when you wish you could go to Tarawih but you have no childcare; when you wish you could pray all night but you’re too tired from being up late with the baby; when you have to choose praying Fajr over praying Tahujjud because you’re exhausted from juggling fasting, cooking, taking care of the kids, and work… know that Allah (swt) sees your sacrifice and is rewarding you for it.
Allah (swt) judges you based on your intention, so when you factor in all the intentions you had but didn’t get round to acting on, who knows how much Allah (swt) is rewarding you for?
Allah (swt) Knows
The list could go on - we didn’t even mention the reward of buying your children’s clothes, educating them, playing with them and teaching them how to read Quran or recite dua.
If you didn’t know before, you should know now: your life and actions as a mother are one, continuous form of worship.
So be kind to yourself and value yourself - even when it seems like no one else does.
But most of all: remember Allah loves you and He knows you’re doing your best.
Lifting up our mothers doesn’t just mean our mothers at home in the UK. We need to work together to support our mothers who are struggling to survive and feed their children in Pakistan and Kenya.
Our Fragile Lives appeal provides pregnant mothers, newborn babies and children in Pakistan and Kenya with life-saving healthcare and nutrition.
Donate now Fragile Lives – and for every pound you give, the UK Government will also give a pound to support even more mothers and babies in Pakistan and Kenya!
FRIDAY 29 MAR 2019