The Family Way: Ten Tips For Expecting Muslims

The exciting news has barely seeped in that the overjoyed Muslim couple starts planning and preparing for the imminent arrival of its new bundle of joy. Although the level of nervousness, excitement and anticipation does depend greatly on whether it is a first-time pregnancy, or a subsequent one that will add to an existing brood, nevertheless, no one can help but enthusiastically look forward to a fresh new stint on the parenting journey.

Photo courtesy: pregnancy.about.com

Time immemorial has seen women give birth successfully. Each human being we behold is proof of the fact that some day, many years ago, a pregnant mother carried and bore that individual during several stages of difficulty and innate weakness.

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ

And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his utter dependence on her lasted two years: (hear the command, O man!), “Show gratitude to Me and to your parents: to Me is (your final) Return.” [31:14]

Yet, when a woman embarks on this journey, even if it is not her first time at it, she becomes overwhelmed by a myriad of diverse, and sometimes conflicting, emotions – euphoria, anxiety, hope, despair, joy, fear, excitement, foreboding, and uncertainty, to name just a few.

For Muslims, this new development (pun intended) calls for higher levels of taqwa (consciousness of Allah), and complete, unswerving tawakkul (trust in Him). As I have been on this journey a couple of times, and having experienced answering the questions of many sisters who have turned to me for counsel when they were in the family way, I have decided to share today some tips for the expectant Muslim parent, for the future benefit of those who are already on the way to becoming parents, or hope to some day:

You are not the only one scared by this

If you find yourself imagining how difficult it will be to give birth to and care for a baby, rest assured that every woman feels that way when she becomes pregnant. No one was born to be “the perfect mother”; in fact, the so-called 'perfect mother' doesn't exist. Every mother who has ever lived, made mistakes and learned from them. Most had really bad days during any of their pregnancy trimesters, when nausea and bodily aches made them cry; when their feet swelled up in the 9th month and standing or walking became a nightmare; when they said the most obnoxious things during a mood swing, or when they thought they'd just never be able to pull through any of the difficult stages. You are not alone!

Seek forgiveness

Expectant mothers feel guilty about complaining of pain, fatigue and weakness; of grumbling about lack of strength; of being deprived of the enjoyment of previously pursued hobbies and pastimes, and for feeling scared and overwhelmed about the future. They feel guilty because inside, they know that in actuality, they are being blessed by Allah, by being given a baby through a safely progressing pregnancy. They know that scores of women who are not able to conceive would give an arm or leg to be in their position – yet they cannot prevent themselves at times from feeling hopeless, lonely, tearful and utterly miserable.

Know that your body is undergoing the biggest change possible – such a change involves emotional and physical upheavals; lots of crying, worrying and whining. However, there is one very effective way to release the corresponding guilt: repentance on a daily basis. It wipes out whatever bad you do. Remember to continue with this beneficial procedure during pregnancy. Recite the masnoon istighfar at least a hundred times a day. It takes only a few minutes.

Thank Allah

Being blessed with a child is indeed something we should be grateful for. Remind yourself that you are blessed; that to know that you are fertile is a very positive, morale-boosting feeling for a woman. Remind yourself that the mortification felt by countless women, who are unable to conceive after being married for several years, is much more psychologically and emotionally, trying than a few months of pain, weakness and fatigue.

Even if your pregnancy is “unplanned” or “unwanted” – force yourself to thank Allah for this blessing, because a pious child is one of the greatest means of benefit and reward after a Muslim leaves this world. Look at the bigger picture and console yoursef by thinking, for example, “In a few years, I will not even think about this pain and weakness, insha'Allah, but will be enjoying the company of a beautiful child!” Also, remember that pious offspring is one of the major sources of continuous rewards for a Muslim even after death.

Do your homework/gain knowledge

Gain knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth; not just on its Islamic rulings and jurisprudence, but also medical know-how about what is going on inside your body. Reading on the Internet is a very efficient way to find out the basics, as long as you are wise enough to differentiate between the facts and myths.

Introduce the Qur'an to your baby

When the fetus is fully formed, just after the first three months of pregnancy are up, it can hear sounds from outside the mother's body. While your baby is inside you, it primarily identifies and gets accustomed to your voice. It is at this point that healthcare providers advise the expectant parents to start talking to their baby as if it was right there in front of them. The baby quickly identifies the voices of people it hears the most, especially its mother.

Capitalize on this one-on-one, exclusive bond with your unborn baby, which will be gone once the pregnancy is over. Recite the Qur'an  (if you can, without rushing through it) every single day until the delivery date, once your fourth month of pregnancy has begun and your baby will be listening to each and every word you utter. When a mother speaks, the sound waves of her voice travel to the baby, so imagine how great the effect of melodious, soothing Qur'an recitation would be on the fetus! Divide your recitation so that the baby hears the whole Qur'an in your voice before you deliver.

In addition, recite the du'a that the mother of Maryam Bint `Imran did when she was expecting her baby:

إِذْ قَالَتِ امْرَأَةُ عِمْرَانَ رَبِّ إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لَكَ مَا فِي بَطْنِي مُحَرَّرًا فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

Behold! a woman of 'Imran said: 'O my Lord! I do dedicate unto You what is in my womb for Your special service: So accept this of me: For You hear and know all things.'” [3:35]

With this du'a, you can renew your intention every day that this baby would be a pious servant of Allah who would devote his or her life to striving in Allah's cause. You will see the amazing results of thus dedicating your child to Allah during pregnancy, once your baby is safely delivered and starts to grow. The child will show an innate affinity towards the Qur'an and other forms of worship from very early on in infancy, insha'Allah!

Be patient

Prophet Muhammad [صلى الله عليه و سلم] said that, “….the woman who dies during pregnancy is a martyr.”

[Narrated by Ahmad (23804), Abu Dawood (3111) and Al-Nasaa'i (1846)].

This inevitably means that whilst she is pregnant, she is akin to a warrior or worker in Allah's path. Imagine! You are bringing a life into this world…but not just one life. Your offpsring is the continuation of a lineage – a predecesssor to many more generations, insha'Allah.

The difficulty that you are going through is written for you because of the magnanimity of the work being taken from you – the greatness of the responsibility of bringing a life, or rather a continuation of existing life, into this world! No wonder you are stricken with fears, emotional turmoil, mood swings, lack of sleep, physical fatigue, bloating and in the latter stages, debilitating immobility.

To be patient means to try not to say unpleasant and negative things; not to snap at and make life miserable for others, and to persevere in worship and obedience to Allah as usual, despite the difficulty.

Seek advice

The importance of sisterly moral support and consultation cannot be underestimated. It makes an expectant mother feel much better to hear the past pregnancy experiences of friends and relatives. However, when talking to other women and seeking their advice, it is very important not to undermine your own uniqueness. Allah created the one-of-a-kind you, and that means that not everything that works for someone else might work equally well for you.

Also, the same woman experiences different pregnancies with each baby. If you had severity of nausea and vomiting with your first baby, its possible that, with your second, equally severe backache and edema will pose the biggest challenge. Know that every mother uses a trial-and-error method to get through the rigors of pregnancy, and you should also do that.

Follow your intuition

Allah guides His pious slaves by inspiring them to do something – He might place an idea or thought in your head, make you chance upon an article, book, or a phone conversation with someone that will become the means to finding the right solution to your problem. Whilst it is always wise to take the advice of elders and women who have “been there, done that,” you must trust and follow your own gut feeling, or intuition. A woman is programmed a certain way, and she should do what she herself thinks is right for herself and her unborn baby.

Do not be overtly apologetic

Likewise, if you choose not to follow someone else's advice about your pregnancy, you do not have to feel guilty about it or apologize to them profusely. You have the right to choose to do what you think is best for you and your baby. And that includes choosing the appropriate obstetrician, birth plan, and mode of birth (home birth, water birth, etc.).

Allow room for mistakes

Last but not the least, remember that making mistakes is normal and perfectly acceptable. If you do something wrong, just rectify your stance and learn from the “Oops, I did it again!” experience. All mothers make mistakes; that is how they get good at what they do. Allah will forgive you for those mistakes, as long as you keep turning to Him in sincere repentance (as mentioned in point number two above) and are conscious of Him whenever you make a decision regarding yourself and your (unborn or born) baby. There is no right way or wrong way of nurturing a baby and what works for each mother-child pair is unique.

Your baby's birth will, insha'Allah, signal the end of most of your physical troubles, but it will commence the next stage of your jihad – nursing and caring for your baby around the clock. With each passing day, each passing hour, you'll learn the ropes and Allah will make it easier. Each succeeding baby is, likewise, easier to care for than the last one, as you have been there, done that, until the day comes when you can literally nurse and change a diaper whilst half asleep, without even turning on the light!

53 Responses

  1. Nazia

    Assalamu alaikum wrb,

    Jazakallahu khair sister.

    \Allah guides His pious slaves by inspiring them to do something – He might place an idea or thought in your head, make you chance upon an article, book, or a phone conversation with someone that will become the means to finding the right solution to your problem\

    I am expecting my baby insha Allah in a few months. I was surprised and started crying when I saw this post of yours when I wanted to read something on child birth and Islam. Certainly Allah swt is guiding me!

    Your tips are so helpful. Alhamdhulillah.

    It will be nice if you could share any website/ more articles for expecting mothers like me

    Reply
    • Ni

      Same for me! I felt Allah guided me to this article! SubhanAllah! JazakAllah khairan sister

      Reply
    • anjum

      thanks for all sisters i am requesting to all sisters just pray for my sister she is now carrying she have two daughters her in laws are giving more problems because of daughters so please all of them pray to allah, allah should give male baby for her.

      Reply
  2. Amatullah

    I love this Sadaf, jazaaki Allahu khayran :) may Allah ta’ala increase you in all that is good and make you and your family from His Awliyaa. Ameen.

    Reply
      • Argentyne

        Thumma Ameen! Sister Sadaf, you’re really talented masha’allah

      • Sadaf Farooqi

        Ameen! (We all sound quite cute like this, don’t we?)
        Argentyne, any talent and whatever good that comes forth due to it, is only from Allah.

        اللّهُمَّ لَا تُؤاخِذنِى بِمَا يَقُولُونَ وَ اغْفِر لِى مَا لَا يَعلَمُونَ وَ اجعَلنِى خَيرٌ مِّمَا يَظُنُّونَ
      • Omar Hassan

        salam alaikum sister sadaf for your determination and your couragement /committement in teaching and spreading islam , may almight allah reward you abundantly .indeed iam very imprest with your profile about islam , please keep in up .iam by your side too,
        hassan.

  3. Lnahrawi

    JazzakAllahu Khairan, thank you for the wonderful advice/article.

    Reply
  4. Sh

    mashallah Jazakallahu khayir Sister Sadaf. This is great for us mothers =)
    May allah make your kids amongst the mutaqeen!!!

    Reply
  5. Sayf

    Excellent work mash’Allah.
    The part about reciting Qur’an left me speechless.

    Reply
    • Sadaf Farooqi

      It is the best tip, in my opinion, because I have seen its effect on my own children. They LOVE the Quran – its recitation, the mushaf, reciting it in salah – they cannot wait to start reading it (they pick it up and try to decipher the meaning of the words), and immediately become quiet when it comes on (anywhere: at the masjid, on the tape player, or a website etc.) and DEMAND — yes, demand — that it be put on as soon as we get into the car. Imagine having to scold a 5-year- old and a 2.9-year-old for relentlessly crying and whining for the Quran to be played in the car, which we have to sometimes delay or refuse because we have to talk about something important with our spouse for a few minutes first!

      Masha’Allah, la quwwata illaa billah.

      The Quran is a miracle, and its proper recitation in her own voice is the best gift an expecting mother can give to her baby before the little bundle comes into this world.

      Reply
      • TSEFIA

        Hajia Sadaf, Thank you for sharing your experiences. please what other surahs should be recited while the baby is in the mother’s womb. quote hadith if available. thank you

  6. Saleha

    Sadaf, you are awesome. I loved this article and enjoy reading all of your other ones. Keep up the GREAT work!

    JazakiAllah khair, May Allah swt grant you success in this life and in the next. AMEEN.

    Reply
  7. Ayesha

    barakAllahufeeki….mashaAllah Amazing!!!..may Allah accept it from you

    Reply
  8. Umm Ismael

    Asslam u alaikum wr wb
    MashaALLAH very beneficial! May ALLAH Reward you with the best of rewards – ameen. Sometimes ALLAH Tests us with various other things including this physical pain- At these moments in ones life, it is good to pray for ones offsprings and put the physical and emotional pain into ones prayers. Not to neglect salah even if one has to do it lying down is so important! And in these times of extreme physical pain for some, remember ours is natural and will come to pass but what of those who have terminal diseases- and thus one begins thanking ALLAH. For example, I have severe nausea and vomitting and was prescribed the drug used as antinausea for chemo patients. I then began to feel grateful that mine was natural and would inshaALLAH come to pass even if it took nine months) but for those with cancer it was a never ending process.
    It is indeed a blessing – and to be honest is there such a thing as a planned pregnancy- only that spirit comes for whom ALLAH Decrees it to come. One can adopt “asbab” but to rely on them is a fallacy. To accept each situation – is the true sign of tawakkul.
    Asslam u alaikum wr wb

    Reply
    • Sadaf Farooqi

      May Allah make it easy for you and reward you for the pain you are going through. It was yours and another friends’ pregnancy that inspired me to write this post.
      You are so right. A pregnant woman has the consolation of (i) hoping for a beautiful outcome of all her physical difficulties, and (ii) knowing that it’ll be over eventually, and that she’ll recover with time. What about those who are irreversibly or fatally afflicted? May Allah grant them shifa and ease. Ameen.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Asalam alikum. I feel sad while reading it. As i never get pregnant in 3 years of married life. Plz pray for me.

      • Amanda Lynn

        To the anonymous poster above who said they’d never get pregnant: Allahu alam! Worry for your health, but trust Allah. I have had endometriosis with many fibroids and cysts from the age of 11. 10 surgeries, mostly stage 4. I was told I’d never get pregnant at 13 years old. They laid this burden on a child! I told all of my health issues to my now husband in case he wanted to back out of the nikah. I told him ALL the bad of me. And he loves me for all that and more for the good I try to be. And I love him. This was 4 years ago. We started using ovulation strips 2 years ago and lots of remedies. Nothing.

        I had a seizure in November the day before I turned 28. It horribly injured my spine. We had to ask for donations to get the spinal surgery. Once we got the amount and secured the date, despite low fertility, we planned to avoid pregnancy. My surgery was on the 27th of March. Successful. Two weeks out, I felt strange and my cycle was gone. This isn’t unusual for my major surgeries. But it persisted to foul moods and crying. No traditional symptom. But even though, his cousin (a doctor) said to test. It was almost immediately positive. Then my spine flared with infection. I was rushed to emergency surgery and in ICU for days. I write to you now from a hospital bed that a sonogram has shown our baby has survived it. Not only this, but to our astonishment, we were pregnant through the first surgery!

        It’s early for us. We could miscarry. But what we will always have is that night we learned and we spent the night crying and holding each other in gratitude and worship to our Lord! We have known hardship. We know it still. But it CAN happen. Remember that IUI and IVF with your family’s own egg and sperm is ok! You have methods to try. Worship to work out. I’ve never been a wildly believing person even wanting to be. Allah SWT guided our family through this. Only Allah knows the secrets of the womb.

        Always keep hope and trust in Allah SWT. ❤️

  9. nazreen

    asslamualaikum…

    Thanx a ton for sharing this valuable advice…may Allah bless u in this world as well as aakhirah…ameen…

    Reply
  10. UmmeAmmaarah

    Assalamu-alaykum….. JazaakAllahu khair for the wonderful article sister. I now expect ;) one of the brothers to write an article about how men should behave with their wives when they get pregnant and nurse, and more importantly how to behave with wives who are unable to get pregnant due to some reason.

    May Allah Ta’Ala make us all better parents and our children our thawaab-e-jaariyah.

    Reply
  11. Charlotte

    MashaAllah!… those are some good tips… i’d also love if there was a follow up for expecting dads as well… cus this seems more geared towards the expecting mom…
    although the expecting dad isn’t physically pregnant, i’m sure there are certain tips that would benefit him also inshaAllah while his wife is carrying their baby…

    Reply
  12. Sadaf Farooqi

    Thank you for your feedback everyone. Especially the prayers. Ameen to the sincere dua’s.
    @Umme Ammaarah and @Charlotte – I agree. I hope a brother – maybe Brother Siraaj? – will take your advice and perhaps write up such a post from the point of view of a Muslim man who has been through this experience as a husband. I could have added it to this post, but I didn’t want to come off as a “know-it-all” who supposedly knows what goes on in men’s minds and hearts when their wife is pregnant. :)
    Allah knows best.

    Reply
  13. Olivia

    Please also gain knowledge about breastfeeding! Women should learn as much as they can while they’re pregnant. Childbirth is a only a matter of hours but breastfeeding is a matter of years, and so many women quit when knowledge could have saved them.

    Reply
      • sebkha

        Salam, and thank you both for mentioning this! My daughter just turned 2 a couple days ago, and it’s been a long, and at times exhausting journey with breastfeeding these past couple of years. I am working on weaning her now, but that part is hard too. Alhamdulillah, we stuck it out through all the challenges we faced with it, and I feel so blessed for being able to get her off to such a healthy start in life. All praise is due to Allah for this remarkable gift we can give to our babies.

  14. Iva

    Assalamualaikum,

    JazakAllah khair is for the excellent article.
    Just wondering what “masnoon istighfar” is?

    Reply
  15. Aisha

    asslamoalaikum
    so swt n nice of u sister
    jazakAllah

    i liked the way u ended it mashAllah

    lov 4 the sake of Allah
    waslaam

    Reply
  16. Khushi

    Salaamz. Shukran for dis blog. I am expexting my 1st child. I also cried and felt so overwhelmed while reading all da facts here. May اللَّه (S.W.A) guide us all on the right path.Ameen

    Reply
  17. Shammin

    Assalam-u-alai-kum sister,

    JazakAllah Khair for your advice. I’m almost 12 weeks pregnant with my first child and i believe your article is a sign from Allah to do more. Naturally, i haven’t felt like doing much due to feeling tired, nauseous etc but i now feel that being involved in acts of worship during pregnancy is very rewarding and contains many benefits for the child. I’ll insha’Allah take action. JazakAllah Khair.

    Reply
  18. fateema

    Assalamu alaikum sister
    Ur so loving
    Jazakallah for sharing so beautiful thoughts
    Im 19 and 1 month pregnant,i feel very nervous at times as to will my pregnancy be successfull.
    But this article of yours has given me much courage to think positive.
    Thank you so much.may allah subhaanahutaala shower his blessings upon you..ameen

    Reply
  19. irfana

    salam sister, pls make dua for me to getting pregnant. Give any advice and dua for getting pregnant as soon inshaallah…

    Reply
    • Ni

      The dua of Moosa (as) in the Qur’an is a good one sister Irfana. He prayed to Allah when he had nothing. He said Rabbi Inni Lima Anzalta min khairin faqeer (My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good you would send down to me, in need). Surah Qasas, ayah 24. After that Allah (swt) gave him a house, family, and job all in one go! SubhanAllah. May Allah give you healthy and righteous children. Ameen

      Reply
  20. Salsabiila

    Assalamu alaykum sister ..

    what an inspiring articles you wrote. maashaAllah. a baby is indeed a blessing given from Allah. Be it normal baby or not.

    I’m 29 … I got married and Im pregnant for 3 months. Al-Hamdu lillah, Praise to Allah s.w.t. And on my 3 month scan, they found out abnormalty on my baby. From the nuchal scan, they found out extra fluid at the back of the baby..this indication its abnormality but its not confirm. Allahu Alaam.. Allah knows best. I will go throught the blood testing on it next week, inshaAllah. Whatever it is, I am ready to accept whatever Allah decree upon us. I saw the baby moving on the scan, already made me fell in love with my baby. maashaAllah. No matter how it will be, it is our baby from Allah. Al-Hamdu lillah. My husband said, to be a real Muslim Allah test in many ways of ife.

    So I hope any sister here can share with me some inspiring stories of bringing up abnormal baby such down syndrome etc. Is there any stories of the Prophets that has a abnormal baby (blind eye child) ? I would appreciate any feedback on this sister. JazakAllahu khayran .

    I make duaa may Allah bless all the Muslimah a pious child and give us the Hidayah to guide them. Ameen Ya Rabbil Alaameen.

    Make duaa for my pregnancy too, inshaAllah my baby is healthy and safe.

    Thank you for your kindness in reading this.

    Reply
    • Amen

      Dear sister,

      It’s so inspiring to know people like you who have strong faith mashAllah. I lost one baby last year because of still birth although everything was normal. This year I’m pregnant again alhumdulilah. They told me in the initial scan that there was a cyst in the baby’s head. I became depressed but did not loose my faith. Allah has been so kind that after a couple of months the cyst was gone. I just want you to know that keep making dua. We never know what is best for us, only Allah knows. May Allah give you a healthy and normal child. InshAllah all will be well!

      Reply
  21. Amen Malik

    This was a very helpful article. Jazaakallah. Just one year ago I lost my baby because of still birth. But today alhumdulilah I am pregnant again. Allah has been so kind to me. I sometimes get very worried but you said some very nice things which are so encouraging. Recitation of the Quran brings the heart at ease.

    Reply
  22. Zenab

    Assalaamo alaikum! I found this article so helpful, I want to thank you so much for writing it. It’s clear and beautifully written and gives light on vital things for us to keep in mind while taking on this new challenge/journey. Are there any books you would recommend for young muslim moms for guidance/support?

    Reply
  23. Sister

    jazakallahu khairan sister, especially for mentioning the Qur’an part and the du’a to be recited.

    Reply
  24. Kausar

    Jazakkallahu Khair for posting such a informative article. I’m 5 months pregnant now and i want my child nothing but pious in this world. I really like the dua mentioned for having a pious child. Whoever reads this please make dua for all ummah.

    Reply
  25. Mrs. Bounds

    As Salaamu’ alai’kum,

    I love Allah so much!!! If it wasn’t for him, the universe, humans, and all creatures would not be in existence. All PRAISE and GLORY is to Allah alone, the king of mankind, the Lord of mankind, the one and only to be worshipped without any partners. I bear witness that Prophet Muhammed is his servant and his final messenger!

    Alhamdullilah, Allah has blessed me with pregnancy. My first time being a mamma! I am the happiest woman on earth. It’s a miracle gift!!! I would always thank Allah for creating me and blessing me to be a Muslim, and now I am going to have a baby, a child of my own that I can raise and feel complete! SubhanAllah!

    I have been through my own unique hardships, pretty severe but nothing compare to other humans have been through in Afghanistan, Syria and other countries. I am blessed and will always thank Allah for the blessings he has bestowed upon me.

    My only concern is that my husband is a nonmuslim, but he believes in Allah, the Quran, and prophet Muhammed. He has requested from Allah to show him the path of what religion he should be in, islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Allah knows best, if he chose for my husband to be a born muslim then he would have been. But I really hope and pray that he embraces islam through a miracle or guidance from Allah so our child, and us could practice Islam and live by it. He fasts with me during the month of Ramadan and always encourages me to pray 5 times a day, and represent Islam. He is very special to Allah, that’s how I always feel. I praise Allah when I look at him. So I ask every sister or reader of my comment to please make dua to Allah to expedite his sign for my husband to embrace Islam so we can raise our child islamically. I have always asked Allah that if you will bless me with a child, then please bless me with a child that is only pious and dedicates his life to you, I do not want children just for the sake of it so they are worldly. Life is too short and we are on earth because we are being tested. I want my clean hearted, Godly husband, child and I to live together eternally as a Muslim.

    May Allah protect all the Muslims and believers of Allah from the grave punishment, hellfire and calamities on earth.

    Allah is the judge and he knows best.

    Please pray for me, my child, and my husband.

    JazakAllah !

    Reply
  26. Shaik Shafe

    Jazaak Allahu Khair Sister,
    My wife pregnency is confirmed, today
    I just googled it about pregnency tips in Islam
    I read your article.

    May Guide you and US to stright path and helpful to each other
    Once again
    Jazaak Allahu Khair

    Reply

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