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Dear Mama

Dear Mama,

Thank you for making my day special. To you, it felt like another day when you failed to take advantage of the blessings of this month but to me, it was magical.

You were trying so hard to be as quiet as possible when you woke up to prepare suhoor for you and Baba but soon my little feet came running out of my room. Snack time at 4am! I never get to be out of bed at nighttime so I could tell something was special today! You looked so sleepy but you still gave me a hug and let me have a date.

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Anas ibn Malik described the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him): “I served the Prophet for ten years, I lived with him for ten years and not once did he rebuke me. Not once did the word “uff” come from his mouth.”

I pray that you get to have special snack time with the Prophet in Jennah, Mama.

You were trying so hard to pray ‘Asr with extra focus and khushoo’ today. I’m sorry you worried when you saw me wander toward the stove where dinner was cooking and you hurriedly said your salaams to end your prayer. I wanted to mix the pasta since you always say I’m your big helper.

In Surah at-Tahrim, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says, “O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones…” (66:6)

I pray that Allah protects you from even getting close to the Hell Fire in the same way that you protected me from this fire.

You had finally finished cooking and sat down to read some Qur’aan thinking that you would take advantage of the last couple of hours before Maghrib to get in touch with Allah’s Book. But I was thirsty and wandered over to ask for some water. Thank you for taking my hand and walking me to the kitchen to quench my thirst.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “On the Day of Judgment, Allah, the Exalted, will say: “‘O son of Adam! I asked you to give water to Me, but you did not give it to Me!’ The son of Adam will say: ‘O Allah, How come You ask me for water even though You are the Lord of the Worlds?’ Allah will say: ‘My slave asked you for water and you refused to give him. Don’t you know that if you had given him water, I would have rewarded you?’” (Muslim)

I pray that Allah quenches your thirst on the Day of Judgment like you quenched my thirst today, Mama.

As soon as you started listening to a Ramadan lecture on your laptop, my sister pulled my hair so I pushed her. As the yelling and fighting escalated, you distracted us by suggesting we take a walk to “shake our sillies out.” Thank you for showing us the leaves and the acorns. Thank you for taking us to feed the ducks. You reminded us that we can get closer to Allah by admiring His creations and thanking Him for our blessings.

In Surat Ibrahim, Allah says, And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ ” (14:7)

You taught me to be grateful and so I pray that Allah will increase you in everything good.

When I cried you came running. I scraped my knee while chasing the prettiest duck I could find. Knowing you were there made me feel safe and I knew I would be ok.

The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The most beloved of the people to Allah are the most beneficial for the people. The most beloved of actions to Allah are to cause happiness to reach a Muslim, to relieve him from a hardship, to settle a debt for a Muslim or to repel hunger from him. For me to walk with a brother in order to assist him is more beloved to me than to make ‘Itikaf in this Masjid (Masjid al-Madeenah) for a month.” (Reported by Al-Asbahani and Ibn Abi Al-Dunia)

You make me happy everyday, you relieve me from every difficulty and you feed me when I’m hungry. I pray that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) makes you even more beloved to Him than you are to me (although I don’t know how that’s possible since I love you all the way to the sky, Mama).

When it was time to break your fast, you finally sat down with your plate of food and were about to take your first bite when I asked you if I could have a piece. You moved your fork away from your mouth and put it into mine with a smile on your face.

Anas ibn Malik raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)said, “A woman came to ‘A’isha and ‘A’isha gave her three dates. She gave each of her two children a date and kept one date for herself. The children ate the two dates and then looked at their mother. She took her date and split it into two and gave each child a half of it. The Prophet (saw) came and ‘A’isha told him about it. He said, ‘Are you surprised at that? Allah will show her mercy because of her mercy towards her child.’” (al-Albani)

I pray that Allah shows you mercy and fills your tummy with yummy goodness in Jennah, Mama.

When you finally put my sister and me to sleep, your eyes struggled to stay open. You just couldn’t stay awake for the taraweeh prayer you had hoped you would complete tonight. You awoke for suhoor feeling guilty that you couldn’t do more- only to start the entire process again as you heard the pitter patter of little feet excitedly drawn to the lights and smells of your “4am snack time.”

Dear Mama, this Ramadan remember: “…My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him/her, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him/her.” (Hadith Qudsi)

 

Do not doubt for one moment that wiping those runny noses, feeding those hungry mouths and nurturing the minds and hearts of your children is a way to draw nearer to Allah. Make your intention that you are embracing the role that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) granted you as a mother and that every monotonous daily task can be your fulfillment of a religious duty that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has enjoined upon you. During Ramadan, and throughout the year, we need to prioritize our obligatory acts of worship. Caring for our children is, without a doubt, an obligation and an act of worship.

Remember that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) chose you to be the mother of your children and there’s no role that is more rewarding for you right now than this one because Allah has decreed it for you and only you. Allah (swt) acknowledges the hardship mothers endure when He says, “And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.” (Surah al-Ahqaf: 15)

Instead of viewing our children as the obstacle to worshipping Allah during this blessed month, let us view them as the key to our salvation, forgiveness and success this Ramadan. You are a gift to them and they are a gift to you. View your daily struggles as opportunities and imagine your scale of good deeds overflowing with all that you achieve as you care for your family during this blessed month.

 

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Sarah Sultan is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and has a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has experience in a variety of therapeutic interventions and has worked with several age groups including children with special needs, adolescents with emotional and behavioral issues, families undergoing difficulties and survivors of trauma and domestic violence. Sarah is currently working as a therapist at a residential treatment center for teens in crisis, where she works with adolescents dealing with suicidality, trauma, self-harming behaviors, aggression and a variety of other issues. She is also an instructor with Mishkah University, where she teaches a course about the intersection between Islam, psychology and counseling. She has been actively involved in serving the Muslim community over the course of the past 10 years through providing lectures, halaqas and workshops.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Nadia

    June 12, 2017 at 1:50 PM

    Beautifully written!! As a mother of two small kids, this was so heartfelt.

  2. Avatar

    Hamida Bithi

    June 12, 2017 at 4:35 PM

    Al’hamdulilah for mothers!
    Beautiful Article Ma shaa Allah!
    May Allah reward every single mother and make their tasks easy and blessed, Ameen.

  3. Avatar

    Eram Haque

    June 15, 2017 at 3:28 AM

    SubhanAllah, deeply loved reading each and every word , the beautiful messages and heartfelt supplications made by an adorable child for the mother ♡ Jazakillah khair !!

  4. Avatar

    mariam

    June 15, 2017 at 6:47 AM

    Such a beautifully written piece mashaAllah. And very timely in my life…as I struggle with the very same issues everyday in Ramadan.

    The goal of fasting in Ramadan is to attain taqwa- the consciousness and mindfulness of Allah. And how beautiful would it be if I, as a mother, with every action that I do for my children, I think of how it connects me to Allah and the Hereafter. Isn’t that the essence of taqwa? Again, thank you for this excellent reminder.

  5. Avatar

    Umm Muaath

    June 19, 2017 at 12:40 PM

    سبحا ن الله وبحمده. That was so absolutely beautiful. الله سبحانه وتعال has blessed me with 4 beautiful children & this read has not only given hope for the work I try to do for my family, but increased inspiration to now do so much more. Truly Jannahtul Firxous is awaiting the Muqaribun. انشا الله here I come يا الله. Here I come.

    جزاكيله خر و أحسنله إليك to the composer of this beauty reminder/thought/inspiration.

    واسلامعليكم و رحمته الله وبركته

    Your sister in Islam,

    Umm Muaath

  6. Avatar

    Umm Hani

    July 1, 2017 at 1:45 AM

    Masha Allah…so beautifully written and needed this reassurance so badly as my Ramadan didn’t meet my expectations….I wish I had read this in Ramadan or before because I could do my obligations with a much more peaceful heart and mind….Jazakumullahu khairan…May Allah (swt) accept it from me and you..Aameen..

  7. Avatar

    Sadia baig

    July 26, 2017 at 12:09 PM

    SUBAHANALLAH ! its heart melting article for mothers good job ! @sarahsultan

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#Islam

30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 10: The Dua’ of Umm Salama

Now that we have learnt about a good word, let’s talk about the dua’ of Umm Salama.

Today I’m going to share with you a story of a very important woman in Islamic history named Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her). She was a female companion, which means she was a sahaabiya (female companion)

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was one of the first people to embrace Islam and she was one of the few Muslims who actually performed the hijrah twice. 

Question: Who can tell me what a hijrah is?

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A hijrah is when someone leaves a place they are in for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The first hijrah was to Ethiopia, where a just Christian ruler named Najashi took in a group of Muslims and took good care of them. 

So Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) went to Ethiopia. After some time living there, they really wanted to go back to Mecca so that they could be next to the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and learn everything about Islam. As they waited patiently, news traveled all the way to Africa saying that the Muslims were no longer getting persecuted because Umar ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Hamza raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the uncle of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), had embraced Islam. 

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) decided to return back to Mecca, and when they did, they realized that it was only a rumor and that the Muslims were still being tortured by Quraysh. So, when the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) instructed all of the Muslims of Mecca to leave to Madina for the second hijrah, they wasted no time getting ready. 

Question: Do you see how they were so active and didn’t take their Islam for granted?

As Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was about to mount her camel, her tribe, the Banu Makhzum, came and told Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) that they would not allow him to take Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) to Madina. Then Abu Salama’s tribe, the Banu Asad, takes Salama, his child, away.  Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) could not defend himself against all of these men, so he sets off to Madina.

In just one day Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) lost her husband and her child, and she suffers so much because of it. She is in a lot of pain. After some time her cousin starts to feel sorry for her and speaks to the tribes on her behalf. He is then able to reunite her with her son. Then after a year of waiting, Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) is finally able to meet her husband in Madina. 

Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was known to be a very caring husband and courageous man. He fought in the Battle of Badr as well as in the Battle of Uhud. In Uhud, he received a wound that he wasn’t able to recover from. 

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was so sad the day Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) died, but the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught her to recite a beautiful dua’:

إِنَّا لله وإنا إليه راجعون اللهم أجرني في مصيبتي وأخلف لي خيرا منها 

“We belong to Allah and to Allah is our return. Oh Allah, reward me for my calamity, and replace my loss with something better.”

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) recited this dua’, but in her mind she thought, “Who can be better than Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)?” 

After a few months passed, Umar ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), but she said no. 

Then, Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), but again she said no. 

Then, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and she accepted. So now, she was not only the mother of Salama, but the mother of all of the believers until the end of time! 

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This Eid And Beyond Boycott Goods Made With Enslaved Labor Of Uyghurs Even If It Is Your Favorite Brand

Bidding farewell to Ramadan, celebrating Eid?

Well, the Muslims of East Turkestan under Chinese occupation had neither Ramadan nor will they have Eid…

Not only that, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run government has transferred Uyghurs and other ethnic minority citizens from East Turkestan to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Nike, Gap, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Carters and others. Read Uyghurs for Sale for more information

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CCP is also pressuring governments across the world to extradite Uyghurs back to occupied East Turkestan.

Here is what you can do to help them:

Action Items

  1. Keep making dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world.
  2. Boycott Chinese products! Do not be complicit in slave labour. Start with focusing on the companies in the graphic. Share it with #SewnWithtTears, #StopChina, #BoycottChina. Write to them and demand that they do better.
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause. Learn more at SaveUighur.org
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China.
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui; Chinese Christian; or Tibetan Buddhist.
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China.
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by granting either citizenship or refugee/asylee status. Stop the “extradition/repatriation” of Uyghurs to China!
  9. Get your universities/endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies. 

Read a greater discussion of action items in A Response to Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments on the Uyghurs, which also contains a greater discussion on East Turkistan’s history and its current situation. A condensed Arabic version of the article can be found here

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 9: A Good Word

Now that we have learnt about the life of this world, let’s talk about a good word.

I want you all to close your eyes and think of a beautiful tree. 

Question: Who can tell me what their tree looks like? Is the tree big and strong? Does it have lots of branches and leaves? Does it have fruit?

Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something really nice to you.

Question:  What are some of the nice statements you remember people telling you?

Question: How did those statements make you feel?

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Yes, they fill us up with a warm feeling. We may have felt proud of ourselves and we may have felt loved. Do you know that Allah [wt] describes a good word to a good tree? 

In Surah Ibrahim, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ 

تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا ۗ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ 

Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? [Surah Ibrahim; 24]

It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. [Surah Ibrahim; 25]

Question: Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something mean to you. How did that make you feel?

It’s not fun to remember the mean stuff right? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) continues in Surah Ibrahim and says:

وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الْأَرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ

And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. [Surah Ibrahim; 26] 

Question: What do you think are good words we can use to build strong, firmly rooted trees?

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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