New Mommies: Beware and Prepare!

8 beware prepare

  1. Keep your energy level boosted.

Breastfeeding, sleepless nights, unexpected visitors, home chores, and tending to older kids’ needs is undoubtedly taxing. This might not be a very suitable time to crash diet or dream of fitting back into your wedding gown. Please eat nutritious home-cooked food, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and energy-boosting snacks. Keep them handy in your bedroom. An already fatigued mind and body cannot afford to starve. The outcome is frequent ailments, horrible mood swings, and strained relationships. Later, as you mature from being a new mommy to a veteran, you will manage your diet more effectively and shed the extra pounds, too.

  1. Let the Iman thrive.

A new mother has a myriad of emotions bottled up. They can whip up a storm of tears. At other times, they may send her on a guilt trip. The changing body and volatile hormones are no help either. And, of course, Shaitan strikes with full force seeding evil and negative thoughts about everyone and everything you care for. The best remedy is to play Surah Al-Baqarah daily. Keep your tongue moist with Allah’s (swt) Dhikr. Watch and listen to Islamic videos and talks for spiritual uplift. Recite to your baby, as the child is listening. After Nifas (post-partum bleeding), return to your prayers regularly. Read at least one page of Quran daily with its translation. Only Allah (swt) knows, listens to, and understands what a mother braves.

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Go with the Flow

health checkThe juggling act women or men usually face between work and family is very tedious and difficult to manage successfully. How do you plan ahead to avoid the obvious pitfalls and anticipate the unexpected twists life throws at you? I have come up with a simple solution: “Go with the Flow.” This might seem as an antithesis to what most articles advise but bear with me and follow these ten simple yet flexible rules.

Prioritize your tasks for the day. Buy a pretty diary (doesn’t have to be too expensive) and use it to jot down your tasks the night before. I realize that smart phones do all that for you, but take a few moments to gather your thoughts, sit down in seclusion (I do this in the laundry room), and jot down everything you must accomplish that day. Do not write down things that can wait for another day. This is your next twenty-four hours’ hot list. There should be only three to five items on the list so that it is flexible enough add two more to, if required. This is your self-analysis. Seerah teaches us that the Prophet’s (sa) day consisted of spiritual development, family time, and personal/social interaction. The questions to ask while jotting down tasks are:

  1. What is worth spending an hour on?
  2. What comes first?
  3. What is a must-do and what is good-to-do?

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Rule Over Your Time

Photo credit: John-Morgan / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: John-Morgan / Foter / CC BY

Managing time is a hot topic in the life of majority of us. Some people respond to this reality that we do not have more than twenty-four hours in a day very casually, but few of them freak out.

If you are in the second category, then you are required to follow up the tips given below to become the master of your time and remember that only you can be the change; no time management gadget or tool will help you, until you are not willing to follow up the guideline given to you.

  1. Set your goals

The most important and effective time management starts with a clear goal and vision. You are required to spend at least ten to fifteen minutes, thinking about the tasks you have to accomplish in a day. Once you have a goal in mind, then it will be easier to put your efforts in the right direction in order to accomplish your goal effectively.

  1. Prioritize wisely 

After setting up the goal, one needs to prioritize wisely – scrutinize the tasks that require urgent attention. There are four categories in which you can locate your tasks according to their importance and urgency.

  1. Important and urgent
  2. Important but not urgent
  3. Urgent but not important.
  4. Not urgent and not important

Also make a check list where you can mark the task accomplished. This will give you a sense of achievement and accomplishment.

  1. Eliminate the unnecessary

Careful consideration required to eliminating the unnecessary from our lives as it helps us to be more productive. We can understand it by a simple example: Your goal is to write a deadline oriented article for which you open up your laptop. But before starting your work, you spend 20-30 minutes or may be more on Facebook; or start using whatsapp or any other social media; and after an hour you realize that you have wasted a lot of your precious time. You are strictly required to draw a clear line between the necessary and the unnecessary. The more firmly you define these terms, the more productive and goal oriented you’ll become.

  1. Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking is a very important skill which will help you become an effective time manager. But it is more important to have clear knowledge about yourself whether you are capable of multi-tasking or not. Because many times it happens that people try to do multi-tasking without having the ability, which therefore affects the quality of their work; and instead of an advantage, it becomes a disadvantage.

But for those who are capable of multi-tasking, it’s a great blessing for them, using which they can manage the tasks in such a combination that allows them to perform efficiently and effectively.

  1. Learn to say no and delegate more often

Decision is in your own hands. Do not hesitate to refuse a request in order to accomplish or attend something that is really urgent and important- simply say ‘No’. The same response is a must for any projects or activity which is of lesser importance. Prepare yourself to move on to more productive tasks, and avoid wasting time on the matters of less productivity and importance.

Secondly do not try to over burden yourself with a lot of work. Try to delegate down few of your tasks which require your least personal involvement. Don’t hesitate in passing up few of your responsibilities to the people about whom you are quite sure that they can perform the task with a greater responsibility.

Finally, take good care of yourself – take time out for your personal growth; and this can only be done with your self-determination, and aim to get more out of your limited time by using it effectively and efficiently while focusing on these effective time management tips.

[Hadeeth Commentary] Practical Ways to Forbid Evil

hadeeth4

Related on the authority of Abu Saeed al-Khudri that the Prophet (sa) said: “When any one of you sees anything that is disapproved (of by Allah (swt)), let him change it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then let him change it with his tongue; still if he is not able to do so, then let him change it with his heart, though that is the weakest (kind of) faith.” (Muslim)

hadith4.1The foremost thing we take from the Hadeeth above is that all of us have intrinsic radar to abhor what is bad. If we do not acknowledge this sensitivity of distinguishing between good/bad, beautiful/ugly, Haram/Halal as believers, we cannot follow Allah’s (swt) commands as we are not able to distinguish the acceptable from the unacceptable. It is something that we naturally reject. Regardless of our different cultures or languages, our inner self does not accept it. This is a return to our Fitrah (instinct); there are things that we are naturally disgusted by and vice versa. Unless you identify evil, you cannot stop it – in other words you cannot act on this Hadeeth. Normally we think of these two features as distinct, but they are actually concurrent and occur at the same time. Our aim in accomplishing this obligation is to maximize benefit and minimize harm.

Secondly, the Prophet (sa) talked about ‘changing’ the evil. Usually we do not act to change; we only act to make ourselves feel better. We need to approach it with this thought in mind: “What can I do to bring about a helpful, positive and constructive change?” A believer must work towards making the situation better and permanent. If the change is not possible due to your action, then you are not following the Hadeeth. However you must still dislike it in your heart; remain steadfast on your principles. For example, when you see someone drinking alcohol, you must not accept it as a good act even if you see it all around you. If you say it is normal as those drinking are non-Muslims – it is accepting and agreeing that drinking is not against our innate nature. We must still know and accept in our hearts that it is wrong and unacceptable to Allah (swt). Sinning is arrogance but Allah (swt) is the Most Merciful. When you recognize the sin in your heart, you need to move away from the situation.This is an action of the heart, saying: “O Allah (swt), there is nothing that I can do to change this bad situation that You dislike and disapprove, except that I hate it to take place. I do not agree to it. O Allah (swt) forgive me, guide me and save my heart from being influenced by it.”

hadeeth 4.2

For something to be considered Munkar (denied), there are three conditions. It is not up to you to say something is Haram.

4.3

Principles of Forbidding the Evil

1. Prioritize the evil
Begin with the higher priority before the lower.

2. Be gradual
Note the gradual method by which Allah (swt) made the drinking of wine forbidden: Firstly, He said that there were benefits and harms in it, but the harm outweighed the benefits; secondly, He forbade people to approach prayer in a drunken state; finally, it was prohibited by Him. This step-by-step method does not imply that wine was not forbidden in the early stages, but it is a methodology from which we can benefit.

3. Treat the act only
For example, when you see evil, you should not humiliate or insult the person. Hate or forbid only the sin; don’t hate or mock the person. This way you separate the person from the sin – this is good for you and good for the other person. Don’t make people feel uncomfortable; focus only on the evil. Tell him or her to consider that since Allah (swt) will not accept it, you won’t accept it either. This way you tend to free the person from the sin without rejecting him or her. Only then you will be able to communicate successfully with the person using the best of words.

4. Ascertain first
Establish that the evil is indeed taking place.

5. Choose a suitable time to forbid the evil
a. The caller should not delay until the evil has finished.
b. The caller should exploit situations in which people are more likely to respond to his call, for example, Prophet Yusuf (as) spoke to his companions in the prison about Tawheed when they had been troubled by their dreams.

6. Speak in private
If you speak in a crowd it might be considered as a scolding and thus, might serve the opposite purpose.

7. No instigation
Do not provoke the people; use a good argument.

8. Stay compassionate
Show forgiveness and kindness towards the people.

9. Weighing the principles of benefit and harm
Ibn Taymiyah wrote: “If enjoining the good and forbidding the evil would result in a greater evil, then it is Haram to do it. Enjoining good should not lead to a better deed being left out and forbidding evil should not lead to a greater evil taking place.”

The action of the heart must be practiced; the heart of a Muslim who witnesses evil is influenced by that evil. A dark spot is placed in the heart. “Familiarity breeds contempt” and so is with our hearts. With repeated exposure to evil, the heart will acquire more dark spots until it no longer appreciates good and dislikes evil. So a believer, who does not forbid evil in his heart, might turn into an evil doer himself or herself.

May Allah (swt) protect us from ourselves. Ameen.