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My Dear Ramadan Stay-at-Home Mom, I Salute You

Sh. Yaser Birjas

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My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

I know how much pain it causes you to stay behind at home, taking care of your children while everybody else is enjoying their ṣalāt and tarāwīḥ at the masjid. I know how embarrassing it is for you to come to the masjid with a great hope to be welcomed; you and your little child only to receive the angry looks upon hearing the first cry of your child. I know how much you yearn to go back to the old days before you got married or before you had children, to enjoy a peaceful hour of ‘ibādah at the masjid and to have no worries about anything else in the world, let alone a child under your care. I know that all of this is not even close to how you feel about yourself and Ramadan, or about your self-worth in this blessed month of Ramadan while trying to enjoy your ‘ibādah and fulfill your spousal and parental role all at the same time. For all of this and more, my dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom, I salute you, and may Allah reward you.

Let me share with you few things hopefully it will cheer you up during your stay at home experience in this month of Ramadan.

1.  You are not alone in this.

Even the female companions of Rasūlullāh ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) felt the same way. They were watching men going to the masjid, attending Jumu‘ah and ṣalāt with the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), listening to the beautiful reminders about this world and the hereafter and doing so many other great deeds. As they were confined to their houses and to the care of their families, they felt underachieving and as if they were left out. How could they even match men in reward when they could not do so much? The answer came from the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) himself.

Asmā’ bint’l-Sakan al-Anṣāriyyah, on behalf of the women in Madīnah, came to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) while he was surrounded by his companions and asked boldly:  “O Messenger of Allah! The men have taken all your time…” and she complained that men are entitled to the reward of the congregational prayers, Fridays, fighting with him and other works of good deeds while women were confined to their houses and taking care of their children. She asked if women share men in the reward for what they are doing. The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) replied, “Go back to the women who sent you and let them know that treating their husbands kindly and taking care of them is equivalent to that all you mentioned.” Reported by al-Bazzar and al-Ṭabarāni

This ḥadīth has always been used to highlight the status of husbands over their wives. Unfortunately, rarely was it used to the advantage of women. This ḥadīth gives women the privilege of earning the reward for participating in a myriad of devotional acts such as ṣalāt, fasting, Ḥajj among many other good deeds only by taking care of one single thing, the familial duty. Taking care of the house chores and being kind to the husband are not that easy either, but it’s what most women usually and normally do. They are kind by nature, and sacrifice their lives for their family. They are being rewarded immensely for what they naturally do. This is why spousal duty was made the most dangerous for women to neglect, because it was the most rewarding.

2.  Don’t be sad about praying at home

One of the biggest misconceptions about ṣalāt at the masjid is that it is considered a privilege and is only granted to men. Well, it’s not a privilege. It’s a responsibility that men are required to observe at all times unless there is an excuse for them not attend.

When a blind man, Ibn Umm Maktoom, asked the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to excuse him from attending congregational ṣalāt at the masjid, he had no one to lead him to the masjid. The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)asked him if he was able to hear the adhān, and upon replying in the affirmative, the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said to him, “I have no excuse for you.” Reported by Muslim and Aḥmad. And in the ḥadīth of Abu Hurayrah in Bukhāri and Muslim, the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) threatened to smoke men out of their houses for not attending ‘ishā’and fajr ṣalāt in the masjid.

Therefore, for men it is a duty to attend the masjid and not a privilege. Their reward starts higher at the masjid and is reduced elsewhere while for women it’s the opposite.

3.  You can still come to the masjid

As long as they maintain the proper dress code and etiquette for going to the masjid, women can still come and attend ṣalāt at the masjid. So don’t take me wrong when I say it’s better for them to pray at home, the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has granted them this right in the ḥadīth:

“Do not ban the female slaves of Allah (i.e. women) from attending the houses of Allah (i.e. masjids).” reported by Bukhāri and Muslim.

However, women were given a privilege many men wish they had, which is to get the reward for praying at the masjid while still doing it at home. The Messenger of Allah said, “A woman’s ṣalāt at home is better for her than at the masjid.” Reported by Aḥmad, Abu Dāwūd and al-Tirmidhi.

The question is, why? Is it because women are unworthy of coming and attending ṣalāt in the house of Allah? Is it because they are inferior to men? The answer is absolutely no! It is simply a beautiful gesture from the Messenger of Allah in consideration to women’s hectic circumstances at home.

Imagine this: to get the 27 degrees reward for congregational prayer, a mother of three young children is required to attend the masjid regularly? How feasible could that be? Not that easy for sure. As a matter of fact, it would be frustrating and perhaps a reason for women to feel guilty and trapped in their own circumstances. Well, rest assured my dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom, your reward has been secured for you while doing what you usually do with no extra effort on your part. Men, on the other hand, are required to make the effort and the trip to the masjid to attend the congregational prayer. As for you, all you need to do is just make your wuḍū’ at home, and pray your ṣalāt on time and enjoy your stay at home.

4.  Why should women come to the masjid?

Why would women even want to attend the masjid? There are so many legitimate reasons for that, but enough for them is the right Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) granted them. However, here in the West, there aren’t that many outlets for women to learn their dīn and learn how to practice it in private or public life, and for many, the masjid is the only outlet there. In addition to that, the masjid has become a community center in which families get together and enjoy being in a safe haven. The question for Muslims in the West is not “should women come to the masjid?” but “how can we make the best accommodation for them?”

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

You might ask, “what if I want to come to the masjid to attend tarāwīḥ?” What’s wrong with that? There is nothing wrong with it unless it leads to neglecting more important duties and family priorities. This issue of women coming to the masjid for tarāwīḥ represents a very important community dilemma: are masjids well prepared to receive that many sisters and children?

Many masjids and Islamic centers in America were designed based on how masjids are built in traditional Muslim countries. In these countries, women were not expected to attend the masjid – not necessarily because they were discouraged from attending, although in some countries it is the case, but also because women had many other outlets besides the masjid from which they could learn the practice of their dīn and enjoy spiritual experience.  Therefore, the women’s section was always underserved and sometimes completely overlooked.

The Islamic centers in America and the West were designed and planned when the community was predominantly an immigrant community, and women were also expected to follow the same traditional role. In many cases, community leaders didn’t even think about it as an issue, but with the rise of the new generation and their struggle to fit youth programs within the structure of the masjid, women needed better service at these masjids. Many new masjids today are being designed and built with this need in the minds of the designers and, contrary to traditional masjids, are viewed as family-friendly masjids.

Masjids with traditional designs were not prepared to receive many women and children. They don’t have the space, the childcare service, and in many cases the proper women organization for these kinds of events, not to mention the parking spaces. Therefore, if some centers were hostile to women and children from a fiqh point of view, others simply just don’t have the proper facility to offer even a mediocre service let alone a professional one for them.

5.  Your period is for your recreation

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

Don’t you sometimes want to take a break from so many things in life, such as waking up early for fajr, so you can take that extra time you deserve for rest? Well, you work so hard and you deserve that break. When you are asked to stop fasting and praying during this time and required to stay at home instead of coming to the masjid, it does not mean you are less righteous. The ḥadīth women are “naqisatu ‘aqlin wa dīn” refers to women’s reason and practice of devotional acts as being less comparing to men (and this is not the place to debate the meaning of this ḥadīth). The ḥadīth speaks about “less” in what women do, not less in who they are or what they become during that time of the month.  It’s about quantity not quality.

When the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) explained his words, he counted what women usually stop doing during their period, not what they stop becoming, because they never stop becoming devotional or righteous because of what they have no control over (i.e. their period).

Obviously if you stop practicing particular devotional duties during your period for few days it does not make you less righteous, it only makes you less “doing.” After all, even women such as Khadījah, Fāṭimah and ‘Ā’ishah were menstruating women, and still they were by far of the most righteous, among women and men, of all time.

Therefore, when your period starts it is more righteous and more devotional to stop great devotional acts such as ṣalāt, fasting, reciting the Qur’an and attending the masjid. Sounds like a paradox, but it is what it is. It’s all about obeying Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and His Messenger Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). However, you can still do lots of other good deeds, including reading tafsīr and the translation of the Qur’an.

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

If you decided to come to the masjid with your children, unless the masjid provides childcare service, please make sure your children stay under your supervision and make sure to respect your masjid’s regulations. The ḥadīth that bans children from attending the masjid is very weak, but being considerate to others is still essential too. Here are few suggestions you may want to consider:

1.  Try to get a group of sisters together to take turns babysitting their children in the masjid.  A couple of sisters can stay with the children while  the others pray, and after two or four rakʿahs they switch until the end of the ṣalāt.

2.  If the masjid does not have enough room, you could babysit at the house of one the participating families. In this case, you stay at home one night while others pray and then rotate so that everybody gets a chance to host the children and enjoy praying.

3.  Young parents?!  The husband and wife can help each other in the same manner – it is part of being kind to one another. I have also seen some young fathers get together in one house and do their tarāwīḥ in jama‘ah at home with their young babies around and their wives pray that night at the masjid. It’s your priority to pray at the masjid, but part of your good manners is to consider your wife’s need too.

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

If you decided to pray at home, here are few tips for you:

1.  Pray with your children if you can, and lead them even if they were boys younger than ten.

2.  Do not follow any live broadcast of ṣalātul tarāwīḥ of the Internet or TV.  Pray on your own.

3.  Even though it’s permissible to hold the muḥaf and recite from the Qur’an directly, it is still better for you to recite from memory.

4.  If you don’t know much of the Qur’an, you can still repeat the same sūrah over and over again until the recitation is long enough for you.

5.  It is permissible to dim the lights around the house in order to get more focus and concentration.

6.  Pray it in the best way you can, and may Allah reward you for your good intention.

 

My dear Ramadan stay-at-home mom,

Thank you for your patience.

Yaser Birjas
4th of Ramadan 1433
July 24, 2012

Ramadan 2012 Posts

Sh. Yaser Birjas is originally from Palestine. He received his Bachelors degree from Islamic University of Madinah in 1996 in Fiqh & Usool, graduating as the class valedictorian. After graduating, he went on to work as a youth counselor and relief program aide in war-torn Bosnia. Thereafter, he immigrated to the U.S. and currently resides in Dallas, Texas. He is also an instructor at AlMaghrib Institute, where he teaches popular seminars such as Fiqh of Love, The Code Evolved, and Heavenly Hues.

73 Comments

73 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Babar Khan

    July 27, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Barakullah feek ustaad. I emailed it home and read it, this article comes at a great time. i didnt even know the author until the end. May Allah continue to bless you and your family with good in this life and the next. Ameen.

  2. Avatar

    Faith Barrow-Waheed

    July 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Barakallah for writing this article. I’m not married and don’t have any children, so I still get the chance to go to Taraweeh on regular basis without having other responsibilities at home.

    One thing that I think may be helpful is switching roles every once in a while. Maybe one night out of the week during Ramadan, a father can stay home with the children while a mother goes to Taraweeh prayers. It would allow her to spend time with the rest of the community and enjoy the prayer and fellowship with other Muslims without worrying about her children crying or getting restless. While stay at home moms primary responsibility may be the home, I’m sure they still want to come to the masjid and be with the community.

    • Avatar

      Abu Sufian

      July 30, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      Men should be attending the congregational prayers so this is not a good option to switch with their wives. It’s not like we’re talking about diaper duties or the like.

      • Avatar

        umm ahmad

        July 31, 2012 at 3:34 AM

        Even the prophet peace be upon him prayed taraweeh at home occasionally, so as not to burden his ummah with this sunnah prayer. why can’t a man be doing the same once in a while?

      • Avatar

        Mahdi Hassan

        August 1, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        One can always pray Isha and leave.

      • Avatar

        Faith Barrow-Waheed

        August 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM

        Yes, men should make the fard salat in congregation. However, Taraweeh salat is not fard. Seriously, a man cannot make Taraweeh at home once a week or even let his wife attend Taraweeh once a week while attending to the children? I have seen couples where the man does attend Taraweeh most nights but sometimes attends to the children so that his wife can pray Taraweeh in peace.

        • Avatar

          Heather

          August 4, 2012 at 6:23 AM

          The distinction between fard and sunnah prayers is what is key here.

      • Avatar

        Umm Reham

        August 15, 2012 at 1:39 AM

        We live very close to the Masjid so me and my husband decided that he will go pray isha and pray 4 rakahs of taraweeh and will come back and then I will go and pray the last 4. During the last ten nights, he is praying the whole taraweeh and I go with my sister and my mother to the masjid for qiyaam ul layal while he does his worship at home( since we have an year old daughter at home). Allhumdulilah it has worked for us wonderfully. Allhumdulilah for such an understanding and kind husband.

      • Avatar

        tired muslimah

        June 23, 2016 at 2:45 PM

        Taraweeh is not obligatory sooo the husband and wife can switch.

  3. Avatar

    Jessi

    July 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Thank you so much, Sheikh. Your message to us touches the heart and is also greatly needed.

    This is beautiful and I cannot express enough how I appreciate being spoken to in such a respectful, intelligent way.

    Jazak Allah khairan and may you and your family experience a blessed Ramadan in which you are given forgiveness from your Lord and are emancipated from the fire of Hell, ameen.

  4. Avatar

    Umm Ibraheem Ashmin

    July 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Jazza kallahu khayran wa barakallahu feeki for such a GREAT and I mean A GREAT ARTICLE!!

  5. Avatar

    Umm armaraa

    July 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Jazakallah khair for considering us stay at home moms and giving us a boost .

  6. Avatar

    Madz

    July 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    JZK for this! I feel less guilty and more proud of my duties!

  7. Avatar

    Angie Ellaboudy

    July 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Barak Allahu fik, beautiful article and reminder.

    Um Sumayyah

  8. Avatar

    Hibz

    July 27, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    JAZAAAKUM ALLAH KHAYRUN; Very Much Needed & Heartfelt Article Alhamduilah

  9. Avatar

    Bariah

    July 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    how beautiful. Jazak Allah Khayran from stay home, homeschoolng mom of three.

  10. Avatar

    Alia H.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    In point #5. Did you really meant to say this ”
    It’s about quantity not quality.”?
    I thought its other way. Jazakumullah kheiran for the awesome article! May Allah(swt) enable us all moms to make most of our time and oppurtunities while maintaining our duties (Ameen)

    • Avatar

      Ali Fiaz

      July 27, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      I believe the shaykh is referring the hadith as he is explaining what it implies.

    • Avatar

      Heather

      August 4, 2012 at 6:15 AM

      I think he meant women do less quantity, not less quality of worship. What we do 3 weeks out of the month is equal to a man’s 4 weeks. :)

  11. Avatar

    A Muslim Sister

    July 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    That was an awesome article Shaikh Birjas. You made me more proud of my role as a Mom. May Allah protect you and preserve you.

  12. Avatar

    Hafsa

    July 27, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    As salam alaikum,
    Having faced this issue with all my 3 kids, I decided to do something about it. Alhamdulillah, Allah has been very kind to me. I worked with my masjid board to set up childcare programs during Tarawih salah. We made attractive and engaging activities for the kids related to Islam and they love coming to childcare. This way, Inshallah, a few mothers, whose kids are 3 and above can also pray peacefully.

  13. Avatar

    Tiger

    July 27, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Surprised that this is written by a man. What on earth is a -stay-at-home mom. For your kind information, women are supposed to stay at home.

    P.S. Why don’t muslimmatters scholars cover their heads?

  14. Avatar

    Aiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    July 27, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    >The question is, why? Is it because women are unworthy of coming and attending ṣalāt
    in the house of Allah? Is it because they are inferior to men? The
    answer is absolutely no! It is simply a beautiful gesture from the
    Messenger of Allah in consideration to women’s hectic circumstances at
    home.

    It was keeping women’s safety in mind.

    However, women were given a privilege many men wish they had, which is to get the reward for praying at the masjid while still doing it at home. The Messenger of Allah said, “A woman’s ṣalāt at home is better for her than at the masjid.” Reported by Aḥmad, Abu Dāwūd and al-Tirmidhi.

    Better for her, not better than men’s.

  15. Avatar

    Tiger

    July 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    know how much pain it causes you to stay behind at home, taking care of your children while everybody else is enjoying their ṣalāt and tarāwīḥ at the masjid.

    How about, I know how much fun you have playing with your children while men have to go to the masjid on empty stomachs, and pray taraweeh till their legs hurt.

    The whole article is nonsensical, aimed at pleasing women.

    • Avatar

      Hassen Morad

      July 27, 2012 at 9:35 PM

      masha’Allah ya Shaykh Tiger, what beautiful akhlaaq!

    • Avatar

      Maheen

      July 27, 2012 at 11:37 PM

      When reading this garbage folks, please remember to say, “I am fasting, I am fasting.”

      • Avatar

        Maheen

        July 27, 2012 at 11:39 PM

        the garbage is not the article but Tiger’s comment, just to clarify.

        • Avatar

          asima

          July 31, 2012 at 4:51 AM

          Jazakallah for the article…the article makes it v.v.clear about the different aspects and rulings on women praying at home…and indeed the article might be a relaxing one to many like me…often in masjids i have seen women praying very distracted with the kids around and at the same time it distracts the others who have come only to pray…so what i advice those who go to masjid is keep in mind to points..”the lady shud be ale to concentrate in her prayers with the kid with her at the mosque, and at the same time she should not create a nuisance for the others who have come only to pray.’ Otherwise its advisable for her to pray at home after she is done with all household priorities, feed kids and let them their way and then pray woth full khushooh which is more important than the place u pray…

          • Avatar

            Amal Barbari

            August 2, 2012 at 10:15 AM

            Mashaallah, may Allah swt truly reward the author of this piece. It speaks volumes to someone like myself choosing for the first time in my life to stay home during ramadhan as I have 5 small children; and although I know I can go if I want to, I wouldn’t be able to focus fully worrying their whereabouts.
            Further, this is not an ode to moms who don’t work. The author is shedding some light on the misconceptions about those moms who choose to stay at home during ramadhan.

    • Avatar

      Shom

      July 15, 2013 at 7:08 PM

      To tiger
      Are u out of your mind?

  16. Avatar

    TARANNUM

    July 27, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    ASA,
    This was much needed. The acnowledgement that we work hard is very important. May Allah protect you and your family always. Its definately a 5 star
    JAK

  17. Avatar

    UmMuhammad

    July 27, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    Jazak Allaahu khairun for your advice and touching on this imp topic

  18. Avatar

    bariah

    July 28, 2012 at 5:46 AM

    I just want to say one more thing, that this article’s tone is a wonderful reminder about how women should be addressed and instructed. If you say the same things to a woman with a harsh or commanding tone, she is going to hate on you. There is so much wisdom in the sunnah and I am so glad Sheikh Birjas is addressing the ladies in this way, which is probably why I have recieved this article in so many emails, over the last 24 hours :D

  19. Avatar

    Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    July 28, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Here is my position. I do not agree with the author when he says that women are told to pray at home because of their hectic schedule. Two reasons why.

    1. Men’s schedule can be and often is more hectic.

    2. It is keeping women’s safety in mind.

    Hazrat Abdullah bin Omar (RA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (SAW)
    said, “Do not prevent your women from attending the masjid, even though
    their houses are better for them” [Sunan Abu Dawood]

    HOWEVER

    Hazrat Aisha (RA) has been reported to have said, “If the Messenger of
    Allah (SAW) was alive to see what women are doing now, he would surely
    have prevented them from entering the masjid
    for prayer just as women of
    Banu Israel were prevented” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

    “It is disliked for women to attend congregational
    prayers in the masjid even for Eid and Juma prayers, and even for old
    women attending night prayers, according to the more reliable position
    in Hanafi School, due to the corruption of time.” [Imam al-Haskafi, Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr, 1/566]

    When even during the time of the Prophet (PBUH) there was corruption, then what about now.

    I am sorry but the author has got the base wrong.

    • Avatar

      Judiyy

      July 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      Corruption? Women in the west don’t have outlets like they do in Muslim countries, as he said. Men do not have schedules that are any more hectic, allow. Gender does not define your daily schedule. Most men can’t even watch kids for 5 minutes let alone a whole day. Your claim doesn’t make sense, as he explained all your refutations in his article already. I live far away from a Masjid and I know every-time I go to the Masjid it’s a huge Imaan boost, since my family is non Muslim, and I’m not really around the Muslim community too often. And yes, it’s hectic for women to try to attend the Masjid all the time as he said, because she may cook, clean, (not because she has to, this isn’t required upon women) take care of kids, her husband etc. etc. etc.

    • Avatar

      Judiyy

      July 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      You are basically saying women don’t work as hard as men, I’m sure many would disagree.

      • Avatar

        Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

        July 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

        And where did I talk about work?

        • Avatar

          Judiyy

          July 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM

          By saying women’s schedules aren’t as hectic.

          • Avatar

            Aiiiiiiiiiiii

            July 30, 2012 at 2:13 PM

            The author sounds like men don’t work hard. That is all. Sorry about the confusion.

            Best Regards.

    • Avatar

      Nuraini

      August 3, 2012 at 11:30 PM

      If men’s schedules are more hectic it is immaterial – unless the man is a stay at home husband.

      The things in typical men’s schedules that occupy their time do not tie them to the home – the women’s often do. How else are you going to deal with the household and child matters, if not actually in the house? That’s the issue that was recognised and addressed as described in the article. It is not just the time issue, but the location – and thus ability to be mobile – where you are bound to in the course of doing your duties.

    • Avatar

      UmmIbraheem

      August 6, 2012 at 12:03 AM

      We should have better akhlaaq than this when disagreeing with the leaders of our community and other Muslims, sister. It is not just some random-internet author who wrote the article, but a learned shaykh/imam.
      Also, it would seem that you were arguing about something you agree with the author on :)
      wAllahu ‘Alam if you are a mother/father or not, but as a mother of three kids (about to have four) I was offended by you saying that women don’t have a hectic schedule (sorry if I misunderstood). It varies from household to household, but mothers — not matter where they live or if they have help — work 24/7. They even work at night when they have to wake up with their children :)

  20. Avatar

    Reina

    July 28, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Jazaak Allaahu khayran, Wonderful and helpful article.

  21. Avatar

    Perspective

    July 29, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    I don’t see any need for the title of this article to specifically reference “stay-at-home” moms rather than simply ALL moms. The author may be shocked to hear this – but working mothers face the exact same situations in terms of taraweeh/periods/praying at home etc (gasp!). The use of semantics like this to push specific agendas regarding women needs to stop.

    • Avatar

      Dr/mom

      July 29, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      I believe the dear sheikh was referring to moms who stay home during Ramadan’s taraweeh prayers and jummah. I don’t believe he was pushing any agenda. Sounded like a playful spin on the term stay at home in order to shed light on the issue of women staying at home for prayers.

      • Avatar

        Perspective

        July 29, 2012 at 7:48 PM

        Thank you for the clarification. If it truly is a playful spin on the term, than that’s all fine. Although I still find it hard to believe that there’s absolutely no alternate agenda. I make this comment only after reading another article on MM by the sheikh advising young women to significantly downplay their academic accomplishments and professional goals in order to get married, because men want a “traditional” wife. The article essentially told women to present themselves as appealing homemakers rather than educated and accomplished individuals. The article could very well have encouraged men to not be intimated by educated women, explaining that employment and family are no longer mutually exclusive for women. However it took a completely different route. After reading it, I can’t help but see remnants of that attitude in this article as well.

        • Avatar

          Layla

          July 31, 2012 at 5:42 AM

          I absolutely agree, no doubt the role of the mother is very important, that does not mean we undermine every woman who has great academic potential and can balance the two spheres in her life. Sadly, in our Muslim community today the constricting attitude is the most common one.

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            saud

            August 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM

            At the risk of oversimplifying this issue, the general principle in this life is you cannot have your cake and eat it. If a woman chooses to leave her children to the care of others, be it her parents or a creche, the children will lose something in their development. There are no two ways about it. This life is about sacrifice. Looking after kids 24/7 is difficult.. who said it wasn’t. I’m sure it can get tedious as well… but hey, why do you think the child loves the mother three times before the Dad?

    • Avatar

      Hira

      July 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM

      I thought the same thing! Find me a nanny watch my kids at 12 am!the term SAHM is thr too often! Dnt get it.

  22. Avatar

    Umm Ibraheem

    July 29, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    We have to also consider if it’s safe for a woman to go to Taraweeh prayers without a male accompanying her. Here in Uk, prayers finish past midnight and I forgone wouldn’t want to get in the car alone and drive at that time. So the idea of husband and wife taking turns going for taraweeh may be impractical.

    • Avatar

      Umm Ibraheem

      July 29, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      for one

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      Perspective

      July 31, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      In most developed parts of the world (UK included), its perfectly safe for a woman to drive herself from point A to point B, even at midnight. In fact, women do it literally all the time. Unfortunately for many Muslim women, this level of mobility has never been experienced, and is therefore often unnecessarily feared. As women, we shouldn’t limit ourselves so easily…I’m sure you’ll find that others impose enough limitations as is. Just something to keep in mind before automatically rejecting the suggestion of taking turns with your husband for taraweeh.

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      Faith Barrow-Waheed

      August 3, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      I live in the US and have lived in some pretty dangerous neighborhoods. Travelling alone at night was never an issue. I made sure I was always aware of my surroundings, never carried things like purses at night, never walked down poorly lit streets at night by myself. Of course, these tips (with the exception of the purse one), also apply to men who travel at night. I’ve actually caught mass transit in a big city by myself at night and been just fine. Driving, as Perspective mentioned, makes things even safer. I’ve driven at night by myself and been just fine. We really shouldn’t restrict ourselves with these barriers. What about sisters who aren’t married and live alone? Should they never attend Taraweeh prayers because they don’t have a brother to travel with them?

  23. Avatar

    Hira

    July 30, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Why did u call the article “stay at home mom” ..when I ws SAHM I cod atleast sleep aft taraweeh. I work n I have two kids…u cod have jus said moms..

  24. Avatar

    ummmanar

    July 30, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    as slam alikum
    Jazakallhu kiran shiek yesser for the wonerful post

  25. Avatar

    Haseeb Hamid

    July 31, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    JazakAllahu khair for the beautiful post.

  26. Avatar

    um talhah

    August 1, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    as salam alaikum,
    a very beautifully written, heart-felt and heart-touching article. and ma sha Allah the article tackles the topic from every angle.
    barikAllahu feek.
    may Allah reward the shaikh, (his wife with their 3 kids :)), the entire mm team and whoever else was involved in bringing this beneficial piece to us.

  27. Avatar

    Suzanne

    August 1, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Beautifully written article full of information and inspiration. Jezaak allahu Khairun

  28. Avatar

    sykha

    August 1, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Very inspiring and touching. God bless… Jzk

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    Umm Esa

    August 6, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    JazakAllahu khayran Shaykh Yaser Birjas for your words. It is very encouraging to hear this coming out of an imam/leader. May Allah increase you in knowledge and patience, and allow you to guide the ummah to the best ways, pleasing to Allah and His messenger (peace be upon him).

  33. Avatar

    Umm Esa

    August 6, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    When you are a stay at home mom, you are expected to watch your kids 24/7. It becomes extremely troubling and burdensome. This article provides fresh breeze to disheartened mothers.

    If you are a working mother, then hopefully, you and your husband have already chosen an egalitarian lifestyle; therefore, duties at home, and caretaking of kids have been divided evenly. You can take turns. There is no need to worry about this article. Just take it as a grain of salt.

    As for single parents, whether father or mother, there needs to be a different article written on taking care of the needs.

  34. Avatar

    Aliya

    August 7, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    I knew from the first paragraph this was written by a man. Putting the woman who conform to the traditional patriarchy on a pedestal and explaining her why she should be pleased with her position is an old tactic. “Mmmm… you need to be glued to your children 24/7 so if you can’t solve this little problem just stay at home. But hey, don’t be sad – I salute you!”.

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    Ejaz Naqvi, MD

    August 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I truly think the code of conduct expected of a Muslim woman is misunderstood. If all would read the Quran in its original language, I think it would help.

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    UmmZenab

    August 24, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Asalamualaikum.

    Very nice article. I really benefited from it. JazakAllaah br. Yasir Birjas.

    I use to feel left out a great deal when my daughter was born. i couldn’t listen to lectures or read the books of tafseer as i used to before she as born or even pray with the same amount of effort as I could before. Normally by salah time I’d be tired and not able to pray as long as I wanted. but as time went by I alhumdulillah, realized that bieng a mom is a great blessing and I don’t think I’d want to trade it for anything in the world. Allaah has blessed me and others like me with kids and made us mothers and that is a responsiblity on us by Allaah. we will be answereable to Allaah for our roles as mothers on the day of Judgement without a doubt so if I have to make a choice between something that I’m held accountable for and doing something that’s optional such as praying taraweeh in the masjid I think preference should be given to my main job shouldn’t it? Of course if I was ever able to go to the masjid without comprimising my main job and duty i’d love to go. infact i’d take my baby along with me so she can get the feel for the masjid enviornment as well. But I don’t feel left out anymore at all.

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#Islam

Swallowing Your Pride For A Moment Is Harder Than Praying All Night | Imam Omar Suleiman

Imam Omar Suleiman

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Iblees was no ordinary worshipper. He worshipped Allah for thousands of years with thousands of prayers. He ascended the ranks until he accompanied the angels with his noteworthy worship. Performing good deeds was no issue for him. He thanked Allah with his prayers, and Allah rewarded him with a lofty station in Paradise. But when Adam was created and given the station that he was, suddenly Iblees was overcome by pride. He couldn’t bear to see this new creation occupy the place that he did. And as he was commanded to prostrate to him, his pride would overcome him and doom him for eternity. Alas, swallowing his pride for one prostration of respect to Adam was more difficult to him than thousands of prostrations of worship to Allah.

In that is a cautionary lesson for us especially in moments of intense worship. When we exert ourselves in worship, we eventually start to enjoy it and seek peace in it. But sometimes we become deluded by that worship. We may define our religiosity exclusively in accordance with it, become self-righteous as a result of it, and abuse people we deem lesser in the name of it. The worst case scenario of this is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about one who comes on the day of judgment with all of their prayers, fasting, and charity only to have it all taken away because of an abusive tongue.

But what makes Iblees’s struggle so relevant to ours? The point of worship is to humble you to your Creator and set your affairs right with His creation in accordance with that humility. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that whoever has an atom’s worth of pride in their heart would not enter paradise. The most obvious manifestation of that pride is rejecting the truth and belittling someone else. But other subtle manifestations of that pride include the refusal to leave off argumentation, abandon grudges, and humble yourself to the creation in pursuit of the pleasure of the Creator.

Yaqeen

Hence a person would rather spend several Ramadan’s observing the last 10 nights in intense prayer seeking forgiveness for their sins from Allah, rather then humble themselves for a moment to one of Allah’s servants by seeking forgiveness for their transgressions against him, even if they too have a claim.

Jumah is our weekly Eid, and Monday’s and Thursday’s are our weekly semblances of Ramadan as the Prophet (s) used to fast them since our deeds are presented to Allah on those days. He said about them, “The doors of Heaven are opened every Monday and Thursday, and Allah pardons in these days every individual servant who is not a polytheist, except those who have enmity between them; Allah Says: ‘Delay them until they reconcile with each other”

In Ramadan, the doors of Heaven are opened throughout the month and the deeds ascend to Allah. But imagine if every day as your fasting, Quran recitation, etc. is presented to Allah this month, He responds to the angels to delay your pardon until you reconcile with your brother. Ramadan is the best opportunity to write that email or text message to that lost family member or friend and say “it’s not worth it to lose Allah’s forgiveness over this” and “IM SORRY.”

Compare these two statements:

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “He who boycotts his brother for more than three days and dies during this period will be from the people of hellfire.”

He also said:

“I guarantee a house in the suburbs of Paradise for one who leaves arguments even if he is right.”

Swallowing your pride is bitter, while prayer is sweet. Your ego is more precious to you than your sleep. But above all, Allah’s pleasure is more precious than it all.

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Fall Apart: Be Weak to Find Strength in Allah

Hiba Masood

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Growing up in Jeddah, every evening in Ramadan, we would pile into our car and whiz off to the mosque for Taraweeh prayers to Shoaibi Mosque and spend a few spell-bound hours under the reassuring baritones of Sheikh Abdullah Basfar. His beautiful voice became the anthem of my childhood in many ways but more than his voice, it was the building of tradition and memory that became ingrained in my system. By doing the same thing, day in, day out, year in, year out, my parents gave us a sense of stability and predictability that set the tone for our entire adolescence.

How that rhythm seeped into the very bones of who I am is something I am still discovering well into adulthood.

Last night, standing in my grandmother’s garden in Karachi, I experienced my first Taraweeh Khatam-e-Quran since leaving my parents home in Jeddah so many years ago. It is also, incidentally, my first Ramadan without both my parents, who last year seemingly decided they would much rather be together in Jannah than spend more time in this rubbish world and in quick succession, returned to their Maker, leaving me understandably grieving, awash in memories, struggling to steer my ship.

And so it was, that by the time the imam reached Surah Qadr, I was chokey. By Surah Kawthar, I had tears streaming down my face. And by the time the last three surahs, the comforting Quls, began, I was openly sobbing. Probably more openly than what is considered socially appropriate…but honestly, I was restraining myself. Because what I actually felt like doing was throwing my head back and howling up at the sky. Thankfully, I was flanked by women who knew, who understood, who with tears in their own eyes, let me be with my heaving shoulders and a chest that felt it would crack open under the weight of my emotions.

As the imam had recited surah after surah and the end of the Quran had approached, the ghosts of Ramadan Past had flooded into me and my body had remembered. It had remembered years and years of experiencing that same excitement, that same sense of weight as Sheikh Abdullah Basfar gently and methodically guided us over the course of the month through the Book of all books, that same uplifting, heartbreaking, momentous trepidation of offering something up to Him with the hope that He would bestow something shining in return.

Had this Book been revealed to a mountain, the mountain would have crumbled. You get a tiny glimpse of that weight when you complete a khatam. Here I am, Allah, here I am, in my little hole-y dinghy, with my itty bitty crumbs of ibaadah. Pliss to accept?

Back in Jeddah, after the khatam, we would pile back in the car and go for ice cream. Last night in Karachi, after the khatam, the Imam gave a short talk and in it he mentioned how we are encouraged to cry when conversing with Allah. We should beg and plead and insist and argue and tantrum with Him because He loves to be asked again and again. We live in a world of appropriateness, political correctness, carefully curated social media feeds and the necessity of putting our best, most polished face forwards at all times. How freeing then, that when we turn to our Lord, we are specifically instructed to abandon our sense of control. All the facades and the curtains are encouraged to be dropped away and we stand stripped to our souls in front of Him. In other words, He loves it when we fall apart. Which is exactly what I had just done. 

Last night, I found myself wondering what exactly had I cried so hard over. Which tears were for Him and the desperate desire for His mercy? Which were for the loveliness of the Quran, the steadying rhythm of it, not just verse to verse but also, cover to cover? Which tears were for the already achey yearning of yet another Ramadan gone past? Which were for my breaking heart that has to soon face my first Eid day and all the days of my life without my beloved Mumma and Baba? Which tears were of gratitude that I get to stand on an odd night of the best time of the year, alongside some of my dearest people, in the courtyard of a house full of childhood memories, under the vast, inky, starry sky and standing there, I get to fall apart, freely, wholly, soul-satisfyingly?

And which tears were of a searingly humbling recognition, that I am so wildly privileged to have this faith of mine – the faith that promises if we navigate the choppy dunya waters right, we will be reunited with our loved ones in a beautiful, eternal place, that if we purposely, and repeatedly crumble under the weight of our belief in Him and His plans, our future is bright?

Today, I’m convinced that it doesn’t matter why I cried. Because here is what I do know:

1. “If Allah knows good in your hearts, He will give you better than what was taken from you…” (8:70)


2. “If Allah intends good for someone, then he afflicts him with trials.” Prophet Muhammad

3. “Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him. If he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.” Prophet Muhammad

In losing my parents, I have drawn closer to Allah. And though I miss them dizzyingly, I am so thankful that through the childhood they gave me, through the anchoring to the Quran they gifted me with, through their own tears that I witnessed during those long-ago khatams in the Shoaibi Mosque in Jeddah, they left me with the knowledge that if in losing them, I have gained even an atom’s worth more of His pleasure, then that’s a pretty great bargain.

 

As a parent of three young ones myself, I’ve spent my days teaching my children: be strong, be strong, be strong. Stand tall, stay firm, be sturdy in the face of the distracting, crashing waves of the world. But now I know something just as important to teach them: be weak, be weak, be weak.

Crumble in front of Him, fall apart, break open so that His Light may enter and be the only thing to fill you. It’s not easy but it will be essential for your survival in the face of any loss, grief, trial and despair this world throws your way. It will help you, finger to tongue, always know which way the wind is blowing and which way to steer your ship. Straight in to the sun, always. To Jannah. Because how wondrous are the affairs of us Muslims that when it comes to our sorrows and our hopes, out there on the horizon of Allah’s wise plans, it all shimmers as one – The grief of what is, the memory of what was and brighter than both, the glittering, iridescent promise of what will be.

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Heart Soothers: Shaykh Ibrahim Osman

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