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Laylatul Qadr For The Busy Caregiver

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Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an,

 “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months,” [Surah Qadr:3]

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is also reported to have said, “Whoever prays on Laylatul Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven,” [Bukhari and Muslim]

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Laylatul Qadr. A night better than a thousand months. This night is a gift for all of creation, especially busy mothers and caregivers. The Ramadan of a fasting mother is very different to a Ramadan before children. Even in this blessed month, more often that not, it’s likely that the bulk of childcare, eldercare, and household duties continues to be on the shoulders of women.

There is tremendous reward for husbands and fathers who follow in the footsteps of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) by helping to share these responsibilities with their womenfolk.

Even with support –let alone without it- it is still so tiring for fasting mothers and caregivers to perform our acts of worship. In moments of overwhelm, it’s understandable to feel like we’re missing out on going to the masjid for uninterrupted tarawih, or reading Qur’an for blissfully quiet hours.

The Antidote to FOMO

The very definition of motherhood and caregiving is getting our needs interrupted because we’re caring for someone else’s. Because of this, Laylatul Qadr is a perfect antidote to the FOMO (fear of missing out)/grief that so many busy fasting mothers and caregivers feel.

muslim mother help her young daughter to put the scarf on before pray

Busy mother, I see you. You are the one juggling children’s school pick up and drop off, lunch boxes. and playdates. Mama, you are the one tending to heartbreaks, big and small. Ummi, you are the one left exhausted by a day of fasting and continual servitude to both your Creator and the little ones you birthed.

If the blessing of children isn’t enough to keep you busy, then eldercare will. You are also the one helping to drive your elderly in-laws, and parents, and other relatives, to doctor’s appointments. These are the daily acts of service that you don’t get medals for – please trust that none of this is lost on Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Sometimes, you might look back longingly to your previous Ramadans; ones where you weren’t responsible for such little children or ailing elders. These were the carefree Ramadans of your youth, before you knew the meaning of continual daily self-sacrifice.

Please comfort yourself with the knowledge Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is All-Knowing and Most Merciful. He knows your daily struggle more than anyone else. Your Creator knows the deepest longings of your heart. He has designed Laylatul Qadr with you in mind.

In the depths of one of the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadan, even the busiest and most exhausted of caregivers has a lifeline to the secret of Layltul Qadr. Even if you cannot do as much ibaadah during the daylight hours, you still have the opportunity to still earn the reward of a lifetime of worship in the evenings.  All you need to do is show up, make dua’, and ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for forgiveness.

A Blessed Gift to Caregivers

The exact date of Laylatul Qadr is unknown. It is thought to occur on an odd night in the last ten days of Ramadan (e.g. the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27 or 29th night). The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Seek it in the last ten days, on the odd nights.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Even if we don’t know the exact date of Laylatul Qadr, there is Divine wisdom in that. Because we don’t know, we can keep showing up. No matter how the earlier twenty days of Ramadan has gone, we still have the blessed final ten days to look forward to. We get to pour our deepest fears and hopes to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in heartfelt prayer and supplication. After a day of service to others, at night, we can tend to our hearts by connecting to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

When A’isha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) asked the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) “O Messenger of Allah, if it is Laylatul Qadr, then what should I supplicate with?” he replied with the famous dua’: “Allahumma, innaka Afuwwun Karimun, tuḥibbu al-afwa fa‘afu anna” – “O Allah, indeed You are Pardoning and Generous; You love to pardon, so pardon us.”

In reality, fellow fasting mothers and caregivers, we are not missing out. If we look at our daily lives of servitude through the lens of the akhirah, as described by Dr Tamara Gray, we are actually gaining so much. We are planting seeds of love for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), His Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and fasting in our children. We are giving the elderly comfort and companionship in their last chapter in this dunya. May their acts of worship, and our contribution to that, weigh heavily on our scales on the Day of Judgement. May we catch the blessing of Laylatul Qadr in these last ten days.

 

Related reading:

Parents In Ramadan: Pivot To Another Worship

Podcast: Muslim Women’s Spirituality In Ramadan

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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.

Raidah Shah Idil was born in Singapore, grew up in Sydney, Australia, worked in Amman, Jordan and now lives in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia with her husband, three children and mother-in-law. As a university student, she began her online Islamic studies with Qibla (Sunnipath), alongside her volunteer work as a hospital chaplain for 5 years. After completing her Bachelors of Science (Psychology) and Bachelor of Arts (English) at the University of New South Wales, she completed Qibla’s Shifa Summer program on the ground in Kharabsheh, Amman. She stayed on for almost two years and studied Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Sira, Aqida, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajwid with various teachers such as Shaykh Nuh Keller, Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykha Noura Shamma, Shaykh Farid Dingle and Shaykh Qays Arthur. Raidah loves ginger tea, noodle soup and dreams of uninterrupted sleep.

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