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The Family Way: Ten Tips For Expecting Muslims

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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 Quran 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 Quran  (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 Quran recitation would be on the fetus! Divide your recitation so that the baby hears the whole Quran 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 Quran 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!

Sadaf Farooqi is a postgraduate in Computer Science who has done the Taleem Al-Quran Course from Al-Huda International, Institute of Islamic Education for Women, in Karachi, Pakistan. 11 years on, she is now a homeschooling parent of three children, a blogger, published author and freelance writer. She has written articles regularly for Hiba Magazine, SISTERS Magazine and Saudi Gazette. Sadaf shares her life experiences and insights on her award-winning blog, Sadaf's Space, and intermittently teaches subjects such as Fiqh of Zakah, Aqeedah, Arabic Grammar, and Science of Hadith part-time at a local branch of Al-Huda. She has recently become a published author of a book titled 'Traversing the Highs and Lows of Muslim Marriage'. For most part, her Jihad bil Qalam involves juggling work around persistent power breakdowns and preventing six chubby little hands from her computer! Even though it may not seem so, most of her time is spent not in doing all this, but in what she loves most - reading.

66 Comments

66 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Nazia

    May 17, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    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

    • Avatar

      Ni

      December 10, 2013 at 6:56 PM

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

    • Avatar

      anjum

      March 21, 2014 at 3:20 AM

      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.

      • Avatar

        Nurul

        November 11, 2015 at 2:03 AM

        This was a while ago and you sister may have given birth by now. But if she had a daughter, you should inform her that her husband could nicely inform his parents and family that it is the people of jahiliyah who didn’t want daughters and that Rasulullah SAW has said many virtues upon those who have daughters and three daughters rightly raised almost guarantees one jannah. Also from a scientific point that the sex of the child comes from the sperm of the male and not her responsibility. Allah will give her what she and her husband needs and what her family needs and there is absolutely nothing wrong with daughters in islam. It is despicable that this attitude still exists today. Please advise your sister that her husband should be the one to say all this and not her. It is not okay for her to be disrespectful to her in laws, however it is her right to know what is right and is wrong so she is not oppressed.

      • Avatar

        Jasmine

        December 8, 2015 at 7:01 AM

        I agree 100% completely with every word that Nurul said in reply to this comment. Subhan Allah.

    • Avatar

      Nooreen

      April 12, 2016 at 9:49 AM

      MaaShaAllah….I m Alhumdolillah 2 months pregnant…this would be my first child inShaAllau…before this pregnancy i lost one ended with a missed miscarriage at that time I and my husband was shattered. But we know that it is only Allah who can give or take a life…my husband and I am leaving away from our hometown because of his service therefore we don’t have any elder who can become our support it is only Allah who is always with us….. during this pregnancy we are little bit scared after reading your article I am little happy I know Allah has never done wrong to us till now and Inshallah he will places places bless us with healthy and pous child

    • Avatar

      Halima Abdul-Rahim

      December 16, 2016 at 9:50 PM

      Asa. My dear sisters. Has anyone heard of cryptic pregnancy? If so please let me know. I’m being told that I may be experiencing this and I am very confused

  2. Avatar

    Amatullah

    May 17, 2010 at 4:22 AM

    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.

    • Avatar

      iMuslim

      May 17, 2010 at 11:51 AM

      Ameen! :)

      • Avatar

        Argentyne

        May 18, 2010 at 9:25 AM

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

        • Avatar

          Sadaf Farooqi

          May 19, 2010 at 1:46 AM

          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
          • Avatar

            Omar Hassan

            May 19, 2010 at 6:57 AM

            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. Avatar

    Lnahrawi

    May 17, 2010 at 4:32 AM

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

  4. Avatar

    Sh

    May 17, 2010 at 12:47 PM

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

  5. Avatar

    Sayf

    May 17, 2010 at 3:52 PM

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

    • Avatar

      Sadaf Farooqi

      May 19, 2010 at 1:59 AM

      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.

      • Avatar

        TSEFIA

        October 8, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        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. Avatar

    Saleha

    May 18, 2010 at 2:35 AM

    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.

  7. Avatar

    Ayesha

    May 18, 2010 at 4:48 AM

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

  8. Avatar

    Umm Ismael

    May 18, 2010 at 8:55 AM

    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

    • Avatar

      Sadaf Farooqi

      May 19, 2010 at 1:33 AM

      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.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous

        April 27, 2015 at 6:01 AM

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

      • Avatar

        Amanda Lynn

        April 30, 2015 at 2:17 PM

        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. Avatar

    nazreen

    May 18, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    asslamualaikum…

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

  10. Avatar

    tabassum

    May 18, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    nice :) mashaAllah

  11. Avatar

    UmmeAmmaarah

    May 18, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    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.

  12. Avatar

    Charlotte

    May 19, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    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…

  13. Avatar

    Sadaf Farooqi

    May 19, 2010 at 1:29 AM

    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.

  14. Avatar

    Olivia

    May 22, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    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.

    • Avatar

      Sadaf Farooqi

      May 23, 2010 at 12:11 AM

      Yeah breastfeeding is yet another jihad that follows those of pregnancy and childbirth!

      • Avatar

        sebkha

        June 1, 2010 at 6:12 PM

        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.

  15. Avatar

    Iva

    May 29, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Assalamualaikum,

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

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  17. Avatar

    Aisha

    August 6, 2010 at 7:00 AM

    asslamoalaikum
    so swt n nice of u sister
    jazakAllah

    i liked the way u ended it mashAllah

    lov 4 the sake of Allah
    waslaam

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  19. Avatar

    SimpliInspired

    October 4, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    MashaAllah … great article! really enjoyed reading this……..

  20. Avatar

    Khushi

    November 28, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    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

  21. Avatar

    Shammin

    December 5, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    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.

  22. Avatar

    fateema

    March 25, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    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

  23. Avatar

    Jza Ahmad

    May 7, 2013 at 5:06 AM

    its a reallyt informative n thanksgiving forum.i lliked ur articles v much.JazakALLAH khairan

  24. Avatar

    irfana

    June 12, 2013 at 8:18 PM

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

    • Avatar

      Ni

      December 10, 2013 at 7:07 PM

      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

  25. Avatar

    Salsabiila

    November 2, 2013 at 4:58 AM

    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.

    • Avatar

      Amen

      December 30, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      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!

  26. Avatar

    Amen Malik

    December 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    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.

  27. Pingback: Virtues of Pregnancy in Islam – PART 1 | Women In Islam

  28. Avatar

    Zenab

    March 12, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    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?

  29. Pingback: Dez dicas para muçulmanos à espera de um filho | Textos e traduções sobre o Islam

  30. Avatar

    Sister

    August 6, 2014 at 11:55 AM

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

  31. Pingback: The First Month | secretlyacoffeeaddict

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  34. Avatar

    Kausar

    April 23, 2015 at 4:55 AM

    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.

    • Avatar

      Nazira

      November 5, 2015 at 1:43 AM

      Insha allah you will have a pious child kausar. Bring up you child in an islamic environment.

  35. Avatar

    Mrs. Bounds

    May 10, 2015 at 12:59 AM

    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 !

  36. Avatar

    Shaik Shafe

    July 27, 2015 at 3:41 AM

    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

  37. Avatar

    Nazira

    November 5, 2015 at 1:39 AM

    Jazaak Allahu Khair Sister for this beautiful article.

    i just wanted all on this forum to make duah for me as i am 15 weeks pregnant alhamdulillah. one mistake 1 committed is that i used 1 proctosedyl suppository and after that i read an article that it is not allowed during pregnancy. i discontinued taking it. please pray that the baby is not affected with this one suppository. i am in a state of worry. its my first baby

  38. Pingback: 9th Month Pregnancy Tips

  39. Avatar

    Jamila

    June 5, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Pls help me iam afraid of getting pregnant though i was fertile

  40. Avatar

    Eiliyah

    June 18, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Thank You, My baby is due any day now. That prayer really helped?

  41. Avatar

    Sabah Ahmed Khan

    June 25, 2016 at 5:57 AM

    Sister can you plz add a picture to each post so we can also share this on Pinterest.
    JazakAllahuKhairan.

  42. Avatar

    Mominah

    December 25, 2016 at 1:34 AM

    Asalamu’Alaikum Sr. Sadaf,

    I like the article. It’s a very encouraging and uplifting piece. May Allah reward your efforts in writing this. Being in my fourth month now, I was wondering something that I’ve tried to find answer to in my first pregnancy as well. Is the dua’ of Maryam something just to encourage ourselves of the experience we are going through once in a while during these 9 months? Or is the dua’ something we must recite during pregnancy (in this case, because it is told to us by Allah or the messenger)? I think you are saying the initial bit, but I just wanted to clarify.

    Jazakallahu Khairan

  43. Avatar

    Rayeesa

    February 27, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    JazakAllah khair for this.
    I have penned this article based on my experience for the benefit of other Muslim sisters. https://reshuwrites.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/islamic-tips-for-muslim-moms-to-be/
    Very helpful for first time mothers.

  44. Avatar

    Najma

    May 26, 2018 at 10:30 AM

    Jazaakillah khayran katsiran sister.

    Love you in Allaah
    Najma

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#Society

Ya Qawmi: Strengthen Civic Roots In Society To Be A Force For Good

Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari

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For believers the traditions and teachings of the Prophets (blessings on them), particularly Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), are paramount. Each Prophet of God belonged to a community which is termed as their Qawm in the Qur’an. Prophet Lut (Lot) was born in Iraq, but settled in Trans-Jordan and then became part of the people, Qawm of Lut, in his new-found home. All the Prophets addressed those around them as ‘Ya Qawmi’ (O, my people) while inviting them to the religion of submission, Islam. Those who accepted the Prophets’ message became part of their Ummah. So, individuals from any ethnicity or community could become part of the Ummah – such as the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad.

Believers thus have dual obligations: a) towards their own Qawm (country), and b) towards their Ummah (religious companions). As God’s grateful servants, Muslims should strive to give their best to both their Qawm and Ummah with their ability, time and skillset. It is imperative for practising and active Muslims to carry out Islah (improvement of character, etc) of people in their Ummah and be a witness of Islam to non-Muslims in their Qawm and beyond. This in effect is their service to humanity and to please their Creator. With this basic understanding of the concept, every Muslim should prioritise his or her activities and try their utmost to serve human beings with honesty, integrity and competence. Finding excuses or adopting escapism can bring harm in this world and a penalty in the Hereafter.

Like many other parts of the world, Britain is going through a phase lacking in ethical and competent leadership. People are confused, frustrated and worried; some are angry. Nativist (White) nationalism in many western countries, with a dislike or even hatred of minority immigrant people (particularly Muslims and Jews), is on the rise. This is exacerbated through lowering religious literacy, widespread mistrust and an increase in hateful rhetoric being spread on social media. As people’s patience and tolerance levels continue to erode, this can bring unknown adverse consequences.

The positive side is that civil society groups with a sense of justice are still robust in most developed countries. While there seem to be many Muslims who love to remain in the comfort zone of their bubbles, a growing number of Muslims, particularly the youth, are also effectively contributing towards the common good of all.

As social divisions are widening, a battle for common sense and sanity continues. The choice of Muslims (particularly those that are socially active), as to whether they would proactively engage in grass-roots civic works or social justice issues along with others, has never been more acute. Genuine steps should be taken to understand the dynamics of mainstream society and improve their social engagement skills.

From history, we learn that during better times, Muslims proactively endeavoured to be a force for good wherever they went. Their urge for interaction with their neighbours and exemplary personal characters sowed the seeds of bridge building between people of all backgrounds. No material barrier could divert their urge for service to their Qawm and their Ummah. This must be replicated and amplified.

Although Muslims are some way away from these ideals, focusing on two key areas can and should strengthen their activities in the towns and cities they have chosen as their home. This is vital to promote a tolerant society and establish civic roots. Indifference and frustration are not a solution.

Muslim individuals and families

  1. Muslims must develop a reading and thinking habit in order to prioritise their tasks in life, including the focus of their activism. They should, according to their ability and available opportunities, endeavour to contribute to the Qawm and Ummah. This should start in their neighbourhoods and workplaces. There are many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad on one’s obligations to their neighbour; one that stands out – Gabriel kept advising me to be good to my neighbour so much that I thought he would ask that he (neighbour) should inherit me) – Sahih Al-Bukhari.
  2. They must invest in their new generation and build a future leadership based on ethics and professionalism to confidently interact and engage with the mainstream society, whilst holding firm to Islamic roots and core practices.
  3. Their Islah and dawah should be professionalised, effective and amplified; their outreach should be beyond their tribal/ethnic/sectarian boundaries.
  4. They should jettison any doubts, avoid escapism and focus where and how they can contribute. If they think they can best serve the Ummah’s cause abroad, they should do this by all means. But if they focus on contributing to Britain:
    • They must develop their mindset and learn how to work with the mainstream society to normalise the Muslim presence in an often hostile environment.
    • They should work with indigenous/European Muslims or those who have already gained valuable experience here.
    • They should be better equipped with knowledge and skills, especially in political and media literacy, to address the mainstream media where needed.

Muslim bodies and institutions

  • Muslim bodies and institutions such as mosques have unique responsibilities to bring communities together, provide a positive environment for young Muslims to flourish and help the community to link, liaise and interact with the wider society.
  • By trying to replicate the Prophet’s mosque in Madinah, they should try to make mosques real hubs of social and spiritual life and not just beautiful buildings. They should invest more in young people, particularly those with professional backgrounds. They should not forget what happened to many places where the Muslim presence was thought to be deep-rooted such as Spain.
  • It is appreciated that the first generation Muslims had to establish organisations with people of their own ethnic/geographical backgrounds. While there may still be a need for this for some sections of the community, in a post-7/7 Britain Muslim institutions must open up for others qualitatively and their workers should be able to work with all. History tells that living in your own comfort zone will lead to isolation.
  • Muslim bodies, in their current situation, must have a practical 5-10 year plan, This will bring new blood and change organisational dynamics. Younger, talented, dedicated and confident leadership with deep-rooted Islamic ideals is now desperately needed.
  • Muslim bodies must also have a 5-10 year plan to encourage young Muslims within their spheres to choose careers that can take the community to the next level. Our community needs nationally recognised leaders from practising Muslims in areas such as university academia, policy making, politics, print and electronic journalism, etc.

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#Islam

A Word On Muslim Attitudes Toward Abortion

Dr Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

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The Qur’an describes Muslims committed to its mores as “a moderate nation,” and that sense of balance qualifies them to stand as “witnesses over humanity” (Q 2:143). Contemporary Muslims revel in this assertion, especially when it seems that “Islam” proposes a via media solution to a highly polarizing subject as abortion. What currently constitutes “Islam” on a given topic, however, often reflects the personal prerogative apparently offered to the average Muslim by a list of diverse legal perspectives. In other words, the mere fact that multiple legal opinions exist on one or more topics is now taken as license to appropriate any one of them, without any deep ethical reflection on the implications of the opinion, however anomalous it may be.

“Islam is the golden mean between all ethical extremes” is what certain Muslims would assert. So if one extreme bars abortion under all circumstances and the other seeks to allow it throughout the duration of the pregnancy, one would assume that Islam must land somewhere in the middle, both forbidding and allowing abortion in certain circumstances. This moral assumption isn’t far from the truth. However, the mere existence of multiple opinions on a topic does not mean that each opinion has equal validity, nor does it mean that every opinion is valid for one to adopt. Similarly, “Islam” or “Islamic law” cannot be summed up into a simple formula like “majority rules” or “when in doubt about prohibition or allowance, the action is, therefore, merely disliked.”

Legal positivism plagues both religious and secular-minded people. Just as an act does not acquire its moral strength simply because it is legal, morally appropriate opinions are not always codified into law. If it is true that any unjust law is no law at all, where is the injustice and to whom is it being perpetrated against in the debate between pro-lifers and pro-choicers? Is it deemed unjust to prevent a pregnant woman from disposing of an “insignificant lifeless part of her body” that no one other than herself should be able to decide what to do with? Or is one “depriving a helpless growing person” of the opportunity and right to exist after its Creator initiated its journey into the world? Does a law that prevents a woman impregnated by a family member or rapist from an abortion oppress her? Or does such a law protect the life of a vulnerable fetus, who, like other weak members of society, is expected to be protected by the strong? Does it do both or neither? And if one is taking the “life” of this fetus, what proof is there that it is a living creature?

While these are all extremely important questions, this missive is neither intended necessarily to answer them nor to resolve today’s raging political debate. The main goal here is to offer ideas that should be on the minds of Muslims when deciding to join such debates or promoting the idea that their “religion” provides the best solution to social polarization, when by “religion” we mean the opinion of a small minority of scholars in some place and time in Muslim history.

Islamic law is very sophisticated; the legislative process is not facile, nor is it a place where any Muslim is entitled to pragmatically select the opinions that he/she finds attractive and accommodating. It demands knowledge of particular aims, the ability to properly realize those aims in the lives of people, and understanding the epistemic and metaphysical foundations that ensure that judgments conform to coherent rationale. In other words, the laws of Islam and the opinions of jurists cannot be divorced from their philosophical and evidentiary underpinnings. Otherwise, the thread holding the moral tapestry of Islam together falls apart completely at its seams.

Is Abortion Lawful in Islam?

Many past and present have written about the Islamic view of abortion. The ancient scholars prohibited it at all stages of the pregnancy and made practically no exception. Some would later allow for it only if the mother’s life was in danger. That notwithstanding, six popular legal opinions exist regarding abortion:

  • Unlawful (haram), in all stages of the pregnancy.
  • Permitted (ja’iz), during the first 40 days but unlawful (haram) afterwards.
  • Disliked (makruh), before the passage of 40 days but unlawful (haram) afterwards.
  • Permitted (ja’iz), if it is from illicit intercourse (zina).
  • Permitted (ja’iz) without conditions, before 120 days.
  • Permitted only for a legitimate excuse.

The late mufti of Fez, Morocco, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ta’wil (d. 2015) said,

The first opinion forbidding that during the [first] 40 [days] and beyond, regardless of whether or not it is due to an excuse, even if from illicit intercourse, is the view of the supermajority [of jurists].[1]

The Qur’an is a Book of Ethical Teaching

The reasons for the cavalier attitude among contemporary Muslims about abortion are multiple. The most significant reason may be that at times Islam is seen as a synonym for shariah. The truth, however, is that the shariah is only part of Islam. Islam covers law (fiqh), creed (aqidah), and ethics (akhlaq). Even though the Qur’an consists of laws, it is not a book of law. It is a book of ethical teachings. Merely 10%–12% of the Qur’an relates to legal injunctions. It is not characteristic of the Qur’an to enjoin upon Muslims to command what is “compulsory” or “recommended” and to forbid what is “unlawful” and “disliked.” What is common though is for it to command us to do what is “ma’ruf” and to avoid what is “munkar.”

“Ma’ruf” and “munkar” can be translated respectively as “what is socially commendable” and “what is socially condemnatory.” This is in spite of the fact that social acceptability and unacceptability are often subjective. This does not mean that the Qur’an is morally relativistic. It is quite the contrary. What this means, however, is that the Qur’an’s aim is not merely to teach Muslims what one can and cannot do. It means, rather, that the Qur’an has a greater concern with what Muslims “should” and “should not” do. For this very reason, the companions of the Prophet seldom differentiated between his encouragement and discouragement of acts by the juristic values of disliked, unlawful, recommended, and compulsory. Rather, if the Prophet encouraged something beneficial, they complied. And, if he discouraged from something potentially harmful, they refrained.

The Qur’an permits many actions. However, to permit an act is not equivalent to encouraging it. It permits polygyny (Q 4:3), the enslavement of non-Muslim war captives (Q 8:70), and marrying the sister of one’s ex-wife (Q 4:23). Similarly, some Muslim jurists validate marriage agreements wherein the man secretly intends to divorce the woman after a certain period of time known only to him.[2] This is the case, even though the average Muslim man is monogamous; practically no Muslim today believes it is moral to enslave a person; the vast majority of Muslims find the marriage of one’s sister-in-law upon the death of one’s wife to be taboo; and they chide men who marry with a temporary intention of marriage. If the mere existence of permission or legal opinion permitting a socially condemnable act is a legitimate reason to adopt it, why would Muslims be uneasy about these cases but inclined to take a different stance when it comes to abortion?

The proper Islamic position on any given issue of public or private concern should not only consider what the law or jurists have to say about the topic. Rather, one should also consider how theology and ethics connect with those laws or opinions. That is to say, one should ask, “What wisdom does God seek to realize from this injunction or opinion?” assuming that such a wisdom can be identified. Secondly, one need ask,

“Who and how many will be helped or harmed if this action is undertaken?”

The Qur’an is the primary source of Islam’s ethics. And, one often observes a major difference between its morality and the morality validated by certain jurists, often lacking a clear connection to Qur’anic and prophetic precepts. That notwithstanding, a juristic opinion can sometimes masquerade as one that is authentically Islamic, especially when it aims to appease or assuage a social or political concern. Consequently, one finds some contemporary scholars championing opinions simply­ because they exist, like that of mainstream Shafi’is who traditionally argued that the reason for jihad was to rid the world of unIslamic doctrines (kufr); or certain contemporaries who validated taking of the lives of innocent women, children, and other non-combatants in suicide bombings; those who endorsed the execution of Jews for converting to Christianity and vice versa;[3] or others who classified slaves as animals rather than human beings?[4] For, surely, there are Muslim jurists who validate each one of these opinions, despite their evidentiary weakness. Hence, simply because there is an opinion allowing for abortions does not necessarily mean that it is something Islam allows, even in cases of rape and incest.

When Does Life Begin?

Medieval Muslim scholars, naturally, lacked the scientific tools that we have today to determine whether or not the fetus growing in its mother’s womb was actually a viable creation and a living creature from conception. Other than when the fetus first showed signs of movement in its mother’s belly, scholars took their cues from the Qur’an and prophetic tradition on when the fetus possessed a soul or if it did so at all. For this reason, very few scholars have offered clear answers to the question of when human life begins, while they agreed that upon 120 days, the child is definitely a living person.

According to the Andalusian scholar of Seville, Ibn al-‘Arabi (d. 1148),

The child has three states: 1) one state prior to coming into [material] existence …, 2) a state after the womb takes hold of the sperm …, and 3) a state after its formation and before the soul is breathed into it …, and when the soul is breathed into it, it is the taking of a life. [5]

Al-Ghazzali (d. 1111) said,

Coitus interruptus (‘azl) is not like abortion and infanticide (wa’d) because it [abortion] is a crime against an actualized existence (mawjud hasil). And, it has stages, the first being the stage of the sperm entering into the womb, then mixing with the woman’s fluid, and then preparing for the acceptance of life. To disturb that is a crime. Then, if it becomes a clot (‘alaqah) or a lump (mudghah), the crime is more severe. Then, if the soul is breathed into it and the physical form is established, the crime increases in gravity. [6]

These are some of the most explicit statements from Medieval Muslim scholars; they deemed that life begins at inception. The Qur’an states, “Does man think that he will be left for naught (sudan)? Was he not a sperm-drop ejected from sexual fluid?” (75:36-37). In other words, the “sperm-drop” phase is the start of human existence, and existence is the basis for human dignity, as with other living creatures. The human being was a “sperm-drop.” If that is so, this strongly suggests that meddling with this fluid, even before the fetus begins to grow and develop limbs and organs, would be to violate the sanctity of a protected creature. The Qur’an further says, “Did We not create you from a despicable fluid? And then, We placed you in a firm resting place, until a defined scope” (Q 77:20-22). The use of the second person plural pronoun (you) in these verses strongly suggests that the start of human life begins at inception. This is not to mention the multiple verses forbidding one from killing one’s children due to poverty, fear of poverty, or out of shame or folly.

The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) similarly offers sufficient indication that even though the fetus is not fully formed, it is still an actualized existence and living creature. The Prophet reportedly said, “The miscarried fetus will remain humbly lying with its face down at the gates of heaven saying, ‘I will only enter when my parents do.’”[7] Similarly, it is reported that when the second caliph ‘Umar b. al-Khattab ordered that an adulteress discovered to be pregnant be stoned to death, the companion, Mu’adh b. Jabal, said to him, “Even if you have a right to punish her, you do not have a right to punish what is in her belly.”[8] The Prophet and his followers after him never executed a pregnant woman guilty of a capital crime until she gave birth and someone had taken on the care of the child. In addition, they imposed a hefty fine on those who were directly responsible for a woman’s miscarriage.[9] All of this indicates that the fetus is to be respected from the time the male’s sperm reaches the ovum of the woman.

Imam Al-Razi’s Ethical Reflection on the Qur’anic Verse, 6:140

God says in the Qur’an, “Ruined are those who murder their children foolishly without knowledge and forbid what God has provided them with while inventing falsehoods against God. They have strayed and are not guided aright” (6:140).

About this verse, Imam Fakr al-Din al-Razi (d. 1210) comments,

Many issues relate to the verse: the first issue is that God mentioned, in the preceding verse, their murder of their children while depriving themselves of the sustenance that God provided them with. Then, God brings these two matters together in this verse while clarifying to them all that is a logical consequence of this judgment, such as ruin, folly, lack of knowledge, the deprivation of what God has provided them, false statements against God, straying, and the privation of guidance. So these are seven characteristics, each of which is an independent cause for censure. The first is ruin (khusran), and that is because a child is an immense blessing from God upon a person, so when one strives to terminate its existence, he/she suffers great ruin and especially deserves great censure in life and a severe punishment in the hereafter due to terminating its existence. Censure in life is warranted because people say one has murdered one’s child out of fear of it eating one’s food. And there is no censure in life greater than such. Punishment in the hereafter is warranted because the closeness resulting from childbirth is one of the greatest sources of love. Then, upon achieving it, one sets out to deliver the greatest of harms to it [the child], thereby committing one of the gravest sins. As a consequence, one of the greatest punishments is warranted. The second is folly (safahah), which is an expression of condemnable frivolousness. That is because the murder of the child is only committed in light of the fear of poverty. And, even though poverty is itself a harm, murder is a much graver harm. Additionally, this murder is actualized, while the poverty [feared] is merely potential (mawhum). So enforcing the maximum harm in anticipation of a potential minimal harm is, without doubt, folly. The third regards God’s saying, “without knowledge.” The intent is that this folly was only born of the absence of knowledge. And there is no doubt that ignorance is one of the most objectionable and despicable of things. The fourth regards depriving one’s self of what God has made lawful. It is also one of the worst kinds of stupidity, because one denies one’s self those benefits and good things, becoming entitled by reason of that deprivation of the severest torment and chastisement. The fifth is blaspheming God. And it is known that boldness against God and blaspheming Him is one of the cardinal sins. The sixth is straying from prudence (rushd) with relation to the interests of the faith (din) and the benefits found in the world. The seventh is that they are not guided aright. The benefit of it is that a person might stray from the truth but may return to proper guidance. So God clarifies that they have strayed without ever obtaining proper direction. So it is established that God has censured those described as having murdered children and denied what God has made lawful for them, with these seven characteristics necessitating the worse types of censure. And that is the ultimate hyperbole.[10]

The Ethical Contentions of a Moroccan Mufti

We have already quoted Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ta’wil of Morocco. Like the medieval scholars, he maintained a very conservative opinion on abortion, allowing it only if the mother’s life was at risk. The following is a list of his nine ethical contentions against abortion and those scholarly opinions allowing it. The bulk of what follows is a literal translation of his views. Regarding why abortion is immoral, he says:

  • Firstly, it is a transgression against a vulnerable creature who has committed neither sin nor crime, a denial of it from its right to existence and life that God has given it and Islam has guaranteed as well as the taking of a life in some situations.
  • Secondly, it is a clear challenge to God’s will and a demonstratively defiant act meant to stubbornly contend with God’s action, creative will, and judgment. And that manifests itself in the murder of what God has created, the voiding of its existence, and a commission of what He deems unlawful.
  • Thirdly, it a decisively demonstrative proof of hard-heartedness, the absence of mercy, and the loss of motherly and fatherly affection or rather the loss of humanity from the hearts of those who daringly undertake the act of abortion with dead hearts and wicked dark souls.
  • Fourthly, it is the epitome of self-centeredness, selfishness, narcissism, and sacrifice of what is most precious¾one’s own flesh and blood, sons and daughters¾to gratify the self and enjoy life and its attractions far away from the screams of infants, the troubles of children, and the fatigue resulting from them.
  • Fifthly, it is a practical expression of one’s bad opinion of God, the lack of trust in His promise to which He decisively bounded Himself to guarantee the sustenance of His creation and servants. It also shows ignorance of His saying, “And, there is not a single creature on earth except that God is responsible for its sustenance, just as He knows its resting place and place from which it departs. Every thing is in a manifest record (Q 11:6); as well as His saying, “And do not kill your children due to poverty. We will provide for you as well as for them” (Q 6:151); in addition to His saying, “And, do not kill your children out of fear of poverty. We will provide for them and for you” (Q 17:31). This is in addition to other verses and prophetic traditions that indicate that all provisions are in God’s control and that no soul will die until it exacts its sustenance in full as the Prophet said.
  • Sixthly, it is a bloody war against the Islamic goal, introduced by the Prophet and to which he called and strongly encouraged, of population growth and increase in posterity.
  • Seventhly, it undermines the aims of the Islamic moral code that considers the preservation of offspring to be one of the five essentials upon which the sanctified revealed moral code is built.
  • Eighthly, it goes against the nature to which God has disposed both animals and human beings to of love of children, childbearing, and the survival of progeny….
  • Ninthly, it is the grossest display of bad manners towards God and the epitome of ingratitude towards a blessing and the rejection of it. And that is because both pregnancy and children are among God’s favors upon His servants and among His gifts to the expectant mother and her husband.

These are some important matters of consideration. Every Muslim, woman, and man, will ultimately need to decide what burdens he/she is prepared to meet God with. While abortion is an emotionally charged matter, especially in Western politics, emotions play no role in the right or wrong of legislation. Although our laws currently may not consider a fetus aborted before its survival outside of the womb to be viable, the Muslim who understands that legal positivism does not trump objective or moral truths should be more conscientious and less cavalier in his/her attitude about the taking of life and removing the viability of life.


[1] Al-Ta’wil, Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Qasim. Shadharat al-Dhahab fi ma jadda fi Qadaya al-Nikah wa al-Talaq wa al-Nasab. Hollad: Sunni Pubs, 2010, p. 148.

[2] Muhammad b. ‘Abd Al-Baqi Al-Zurqani quotes Ibn ‘Abd Al-Barr as saying,

They unanimously agreed that anyone who marries without mention of a particular condition while having the intention to remain with her for a period that he has in mind is permitted (ja’iz), and it is not a temporary marriage. However, Malik said this is not an attractive thing to do (laysi hadha min al-jamil). Nor is it part the conduct of moral people (la min akhlaq al-nas). Al-‘Awza’i took a solitary view saying that it is a temporary marriage. And, there is no good in it (la khayra fihi). ‘Ayyad stated it.

Al-Zurqani, Muhammad b. ‘Abd Al-Baqi b. Yusuf. Sharh al-Zurqani ‘ala Muwatta’ al-Imam Malik. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, (no date), 3/201.

[3] Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani said about the prophetic tradition, “Kill whoever changes his lifepath”, “Some Shafi’i jurists clung to it concerning the killing of anyone who changes from one non-Islamic faith to another non-Islamic faith (din kufr)…”

Al-‘Asqalani, Ahmad b. ‘Ali b. Hajar. Fath Al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari. Muhammad Fu’ad ‘Abd Al-Baqi Edition. Riyadh: Al-Maktabah Al-Salafiyyah, (no date), 12/272.

[4] Al-Ra’ini, Muhammad al-Hattab. Qurrah al-‘Ayn bi Sharh Waraqat al-Imam al-Haramayn. Beirut: Mu’assassah al-Kutub al-Thaqafiyyah, 2013, p. 78.

[5] Al-Wazzani, Abu ‘Isa Sidi al-Mahdi. Al-Nawazil Al-Jadidah Al-Kubra fi ma li Ahl Fas wa ghayrihim min al-Badw wa al-Qura al-Musammah bi Al-Mi’yar Al-Jadid Al-Jami’ Al-Mu’rib ‘an Fatawa al-Muta’akhkhirin min ‘Ulama al-Maghrib. Rabat: Wizarah al-Awqaf wa al-Shu’un al-Islamiyyah, 1997, 3/376.

[6] Al-Ghazali, Muhammad Abu Hamid. Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din. Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm, p. 491.

[7] This is how Qadi Abu Bakr b. al-‘Arabi relates the report as related by Al-Wazzani in his Nawazil 3/376. In the Musnad of Abu Hanifah, however, the Prophet reportedly said, “You will see the miscarried fetus filled with rage.” When it is asked, “Enter Paradise”, it will respond, “Not until my parents come in [too].” Al-Hanafi, Mulla ‘Ali Al-Qari. Sharh Musnad Abi Hanifah. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1985, p. 252.

[8] Ibn ‘Asakir, Abu al-Qasim ‘Ali b. al-Hasan. Tarikh Madinah Dimashq wa Dhikr Fadliha wa Tasmiyah man hallaha min al-Amathil aw ijtaza bi Nawahiha min Waridiha wa Ahliha. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1997, p. 342.

[9] Among the fines due for causing the miscarriage of a fetus are: 1) prison or flogging; 2) the penance for murder (kaffarah), which is the freeing of a slave, fasting two consecutive months which is compulsory for Shafi’is and recommended for Malikis; and 3) the gifting of a slave to the woman who lost her child.

[10] Al-Razi, Fakr al-Dina. Tafsir al-Fakr al-Razi al-Mushtahir bi Al-Tafsir Al-Kabir wa Mafatih al-Ghayb. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1981, pp. 220-221

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Blessed Are The Volunteers | Imam Omar Suleiman

Our communities would not be able to survive Ramadan without these precious souls

Imam Omar Suleiman

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As the rows line up for prayer and the mosques are bursting at the seams, there is a small group of people that watch our backs, arrange our possessions, and prepare to nourish us after our prayers. They’re none other than the volunteers.

It’s not easy being one of them.

You hear the soothing recitation of the Quran in a prayer you’re not able to join because you’re on volunteer duty. And you also hear the painful nonstop complaints about how you’re not doing a good enough job. In those moments it’s easy to throw your arms up and say, “I’m not getting paid for this!” But there are so many better ways to be paid than money.

Allah’s rate is higher and more everlasting.

That doesn’t excuse the people from paying you basic necessary courtesy. Nor does it give you license to be unnecessarily harsh with those you’ve been blessed to serve. Know dear brother and sister that the reward of every prayer performed, every good word spoken, every stomach fed, every tear shed in humility, and every interaction held in tranquility is potentially on your scale of good deeds when you serve Allah through serving His people.

We may not always appreciate you, but Allah never loses sight of you.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the reward of the one who serves the fasting person is the reward of that persons fast without decreasing from the reward of the doer in any way. What then of the prayer you facilitate that nourishes the soul? Charity is vast, and the heart of a charitable spirit must be vaster.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم “كُلُّ سُلَامَى مِنْ النَّاسِ عَلَيْهِ صَدَقَةٌ، كُلَّ يَوْمٍ تَطْلُعُ فِيهِ الشَّمْسُ تَعْدِلُ بَيْنَ اثْنَيْنِ صَدَقَةٌ، وَتُعِينُ الرَّجُلَ فِي دَابَّتِهِ فَتَحْمِلُهُ عَلَيْهَا أَوْ تَرْفَعُ لَهُ عَلَيْهَا مَتَاعَهُ صَدَقَةٌ، وَالْكَلِمَةُ الطَّيِّبَةُ صَدَقَةٌ، وَبِكُلِّ خُطْوَةٍ تَمْشِيهَا إلَى الصَّلَاةِ صَدَقَةٌ، وَتُمِيطُ الْأَذَى عَنْ الطَّرِيقِ صَدَقَةٌ”.
[رَوَاهُ الْبُخَارِيُّ]
، [وَمُسْلِمٌ].

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said “Every joint of a person must perform a charity each day that the sun rises: to judge justly between two people is a charity. To help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity. And the good word is a charity. And every step that you take towards the prayer is a charity, and removing a harmful object from the road is a charity.” (Bukhari) (Muslim)

All of this is at your disposal as you welcome people into the houses of Allah with a smile, which is also a charity, seeking no smile but the smile of the Divine on the day of judgment. You may be exhausted in these days of service, but you also are running away with the rewards of everyone’s worship. When someone fails to appreciate you, look forward to the appreciation of Allah as compensation. When someone advises you, smile at them again and consider their counsel.

Blessed is your station, and blessed is your service.

May we not abuse you or fail to appreciate you. May we be patient with you, and you with us. May the prayers we perform elevate us, and you. May our hearts be purified and brought together. May we all make the sacrifices needed to gain Allah’s pleasure, and relieve each other’s pressure. May we all be volunteers freed from our egos, and freely smiling at all in our paths.

May Allah accept you and us on that blessed night of Laylatul Qadr, and allow us to observe with worship, service, and sincerity. Ameen

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