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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Husbands, Preserve the Sunnah!

husband wife

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“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife and I am the best of you to my wives.” (At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

While endorsing the blessed Prophet’s (sa) Sunnah, the above hardly comes across in conversations between men. I wonder why? Supporting one’s spouse is as significant as offering timely and appropriate Salah, giving Zakah, observing Saum and performing Hajj. Because when a husband and wife have a partnership in harmony, mercy and understanding in their attitude towards each other, they are seeding the grounds for a firm and strong Muslim household. This house will then become a home where children will observe their fathers as not just bread winners, critics or harsh dictators, but active, flexible and eager coaches demonstrating the true spirit of service. Some ideas to catch on:

1, Do what you can do most easily

When inquired about the Prophet’s (sa) role at home, Aishah (rta) is reported to have said: “He did what one of you would do in his house. He mended sandals and patched garments and sewed.” (Adabul Mufrad).

Fix a deal with your wife regarding the chores you can take on effortlessly and regularly. That can give her some relief- especially if you have small kids, or many children, or a hectic social set up; or a working spouse due to financial needs. Just remember to honour your commitment as you are being counted on.

2, Don’t become a house husband, just balance it out

Aishah (rta) also once replied: “The Prophet use to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.” (Bukhari)

Men fear that if they begin to offer help at home, they might be taken for granted. For this very reason, it is important for you to inform your wife and your family about your exact availability.

Then be theirs in the real sense. Let them play with you, talk to you or work along. It is a great bonding time which maybe men underestimate. When it is time for your Salah, office, studies, exercise, etc. get up and leave.

3, Learn to enjoy homely tasks

I know that in most Asian cultures, men are accustomed to being served. They have their mothers, sisters, and later wives and daughters fetching for them or cleaning after them. But surprise, surprise! When Aishah (rta) the wife of the Prophet (sa) was asked: “What did the Prophet use to do in his house?” She reported to have said that: “He milked his goat.” (Ahmad)

Not everything about a culture is beneficial, especially if it conflicts with your Deen. And we don’t want to pass on questionable legacies to our sons rewriting the script of mistakes we are making today. If the beloved Prophet (sa) didn’t find milking a goat womanish or useless, I am certain that there is plenty of stuff men can lend their hands with to their wives.

Just as charity begins at home, so does service to the family. It hardly weighs much to smile at strangers but frown at home.

Offer help to outsiders but boss around in the family. Or be a diligent worker outside the house but be a slacker at home.

This Sunnah, if preserved well today, can bring revolutionary changes at home. It is not just about sharing the burden. It is about caring from the heart. And your reward lies with Allah (swt) (As Sami) The All-Hearer.

15 Tips to Raising Great Children

Vol 1-Issue 2 Upbringing Children1) Start by teaching them the importance of worshipping only Allah (swt): The best thing any Muslim parent could ever teach  their children is to emphasize, from the day they can comprehend, that Allah (swt) is One and no one is worthy of worship except Allah (swt).
2) Treat them kindly: Kindness begets kindness. If we are kind to our children, they in turn would show kindness to others. Our Prophet (sa) was the best example in being kind to children.
3) Teach them examples: Here are some tips you may want to follow in helping your children grow up with Islamic values of Muslim heroes: Instead of Batman or Superman, tell them about real heroes such as Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn Khattab, Uthman Bin Affan, Ali Bin Abi Talib and others. Tell them how Muslim leaders brought a real peaceful change in the world, and won the hearts of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
4) Let children sit with adults: It is preferable for children to be among adults, especially when listening to Islamic lectures. The Prophet (sa) would often put children in the front row when he spoke to the people.
5) Make them feel important: Consult them in family matters. Let them feel they are important members of the family; and that they have a part to play in the growth and well being of the family.
6) Go out as a family: Take family trips rather than allowing your children to always go out with their friends. Let your children be around family and friends from whom you want them to pick up their values. Always remember that your children will become who they are around with most of the time. So, watch their company and above all give them your company.
7) Praise them: Praise is a powerful tool with children, especially in front of others. Children feel a sense of pride when their parents’ praise them, and will be keen to perform other good deeds. However, praise must be limited to Islamic deeds and deeds of moral value.
8) Avoid humiliation: Similarly, do not humiliate them in front of others. Children make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes occur in their efforts to please the parents. If you are unhappy with your children, tell them in private.
9) Sports: The Prophet (sa) encouraged sports such as swimming, running and horse riding. Other sports that build character and physical strength are also recommended- as long as the children maintain their Islamic identity, wear appropriate clothes and do not engage in unnecessary mixing.
10) Responsibility: Have faith in their abilities to perform tasks. Give them chores to do in line with their age. Convince them that they are performing an important function, and you will find them eager to help you out again.
11) Don’t spoil them: Children are easily spoiled. If they receive everything they ask for, they will expect you to oblige on every occasion. Be wise in what you buy for them. Avoid extravagance and unnecessary luxuries. Take them to an orphanage or poor area of your city once in a while so they can see how privileged they are.
12) Don’t be friends: It is common in the West for parents to consider their children as friends. In Islam, it doesn’t work that way. If you have ever heard how friends talk to each other, then you will know that this is not how a parent-child relationship should be. You are the parents, and they should respect you, and this is what you should be teaching them. The friendship part should be limited to you and them; keeping an open dialog so they can share their concerns with you, and ask you questions when they have any.
13) Pray with them: Involve them in acts of worship. When they are young, let them see you in the act of Salah (Salat). Soon, they would be trying to imitate you. Wake them up for Fajr and pray as a family. Talk to them about the rewards of Salah so that it doesn’t feel like a burden to them.
14) Emphasize the Halal: It is not always good to say: “this is Haram, that is Haram”. While you must educate them on Haram things, Islam is full of Halal; and tell your children to thank Allah (swt) for the bounties He has bestowed on them- not just for food and clothes. Tell them to be thankful for having eyes that see, ears that hear, arms and legs, and the ultimate blessing, Islam in their hearts.
15) Set an example: As parents, you are the best example the children can have. If you talk to your parents rudely, expect your children to do the same to you. If you are disrespectful to others, your children will follow too. Islam is filled with Divine advices to bring up your children. That makes it an obligation upon parents to be good Muslims so their children will try to emulate them. If you don’t take Islam seriously, neither will your children. It goes back to our third point, which is to acquaint them with Islamic heroes. As a parent, you should be their number one hero.

Gift, not a Trouble

burdenHave you ever thought that you have come to the end of your tether? Or that you have suffered a lot? That everyone is against you? That people do not understand you and that the course of events always works against you?

You may be going through a difficult time, but the situation may not be as you imagine.

God deliberately creates all difficulties. They are like specially wrapped presents, tailor-made for each individual. Everyone has different flaws: some people are impatient, some are restless, some are distrusting, some are uneasy, some are prone to negativity and others are quick to anger.

God deliberately creates all difficulties. They are like specially wrapped presents, tailor-made for each individual

Troubles, sickness, losses and deficiencies are all blessings for one to overcome these flaws, beautify one’s soul and improve one’s moral values. Our Lord knows what every person needs, and He knows best how much they can stand. If there is something troubling you, it will not exceed your capacity to cope with it; as a matter of fact, if you are a believer, it will strengthen you.

Some people, who encounter times of trouble, may think there is no way out, that they have come to the end of the road and that their difficulties can never finish. Some people may even behave in a rebellious way; however, all of this is but apprehensions whispered to them by Satan.

God creates different events for everyone on Earth. The observances commanded by God, the difficulties He creates to test us and the responsibilities He places on us are all proportional to our strength.

Our Lord knows best what people can cope with and how much. God is infinitely Just and Forbearing toward His servants. Our Lord will never impose a greater burden than one can bear, nor a responsibility one’s conscience cannot accept; no one would ever be wronged. That is God’s promise. It is a manifestation of His being the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful.

All sorts of tests, sicknesses, accidents, material and psychological difficulties and all the rest, are set out within the individual’s ability to cope with them and are events that God has ordained specially for them in their destiny;

“And We tax not any person except according to his capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, and they will not be wronged.” (Al-Muminun 23:62)

Nothing is coincidence, there is wisdom behind everything

Everything in the life of this world is realistic and takes place as the result of causes. For that reason, some people think that the time allotted to them in this world will never end. The fact that everything gradually decays and that people grow old, even the existence of death, does not make them admit that irrefutable fact. They imagine that the life of this world is absolute and are reluctant to think about the Hereafter or even to consider a life after death.

The troubles and difficulties sent to such people, who fall into the error of thinking that they should constantly strive for worldly things, never end. For that reason, in order to see the goodness and wisdom in events and realize that ‘everything happens for the best’, one must first not forget that this world is only a transient place of trial.

A sincere believer must know the truth that no matter what befalls him; it will be something in the face of which he can exhibit moral virtue and fortitude. No matter what hardship befalls him, it will be something he has the strength to cope with and face with patience.

The joy of faith

Believers never lose their joy, if there is a decrease in their blessings, if they are sick or face some other affliction. On the contrary, they regard troubles as a gift. They have no need for special reasons to be happy. For them, faith itself is a source of joy and gratitude.

The joy of faith is a heartfelt, sincere happiness that people, who live without faith in their hearts, cannot replicate.

They trust that all troubles in life are created to test them and that they will receive a fine reward in the Presence of God for their fortitude in the face of troubles; that idea is their source of happiness. Since they act in the light of their conscience, they make comparisons and through comparison, better realize the value of blessings. That is the joy of faith.

The joy of faith is a heartfelt, sincere happiness that people, who live without faith in their hearts, cannot replicate. This is a fulfilment of the heart of the believer, who hopes for God’s approval, mercy and eternal Paradise, with joy from Him.

This joy-filled life that believers enjoy in this world will, by the mercy of God, continue increasingly without any interruptions in Paradise.

“Then as for those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and did righteous good deeds, such shall be honoured and made to enjoy luxurious life (forever) in a Garden of delight (Paradise).” (Ar-Rum 30:15)

No matter what befalls you, do not forget that you are strong enough to cope, and that you can face it with fortitude and pleasantness.

A final reminder

When you are troubled or made uneasy by something, have a look at the situation of other people in the world and think about those, who are starving to death in war, those who are trying to survive by eating grass, those waking up to the sound of bombs and finding their homes crashing down around them. Think about those who cannot find water to drink.

Give thanks for all the good things in your life. Think of the people, who have never even dreamed of those shoes that you may have worn for years, no longer like and are planning to throw in the trash. Always remember to give thanks for what you have.

Give thanks to God for all the blessings He has bestowed on you. Make a resolution to see the goodness in everything by saying: “Alhamdulillah, thanks be to You, my God.”