“The first 3 months are tough, after that you’ll be fine!” Yea right! I spent my first 3 months on guard thinking that the worst going to happen to me. I kept getting warned about nausea, throwing up, weight gain, cravings, you name it! Did I experience any of these??? Nope! If I had not talked to anyone, I would have thought, wow, being pregnant is great! But unfortunately I had all these misleading thoughts that such and such was going to happen to me. All of these fears left me unable to fully enjoy my first trimester. The truth is every pregnancy is different. There is no way you can say that for sure that this will happen and that will happen. Every pregnancy is different, every woman is different and every woman handles it differently too. Some women can tolerate nausea while others can’t. For the most part of my pregnancy so far, Alhamdulillah has been great! Yes, a couple of down days here and there, but hey that's not abnormal!
Now that my first trimester is complete I was able to look back and reflect on how it went. Below are a few reflections I want to share with my fellow Muslimahs:
1. Enjoy your pregnancy
There will undoubtedly be some ups and downs in your pregnancy, but remember that you have this tiny gem growing inside of you which should make all your discomforts worthwhile. Enjoying the discomforts as bad as it sounds, is part of your journey to motherhood. The key is to realize you have this amazing blessing from Allah growing and you must to be thankful, even for your discomforts! Because even with all these discomforts you wouldn’t wish to not have your baby. Just think, there are many sisters I know out there personally that have no children and would do ANYTHING to just be in your shoes and feel these discomforts. Everyone is tested in different ways. So remember be thankful always to Allah and enjoy it as much as possible.
2. Take advice, but don’t take it to heart
You’ll get all kind of advice (even some unwanted ones!) when you are pregnant and oh boy does it ever stop? Nope! Whether you want the advice or not, you’ll hear an earful of it (especially if it’s your first). While some advice is appreciated, there may be some that is unwelcome and you'll just wish they would stop talking. Honestly in this scenario it boils down to you gotta just take the good and leave the bad. While some advice may bother you, just keep your focus on your baby and your well being and all the positive aspects of your pregnancy.
3. Continue life normally
Life comes in stages. We grow up, go to school, then college, get married, and then pregnancy comes as the next stage of life. It will come with its pros and cons, but life as they say goes on. You may feel like you don’t want to socialize or go out, but continuing your life normally is important as well. Even though things are changing with you physically you need to adapt and incorporate it into your life style. It’s just like when you will have your baby in sha Allah, that life will for sure be different with this new addition, but it comes down to adapting the new changes into your life.
4. Any difficulty you face, turn to Allah
While some women have the typical nausea, constipation, backache and can tolerate it to a certain extent, some have great difficulty. In times like this we need to remember to turn to Allah. As Allah says Inna ma3al usri yusra, that verily with patience comes ease. It’s a matter of faith; you are in this situation and facing your trials as it was decreed. In sha Allah, with some strong tawwakul and hard core du’a you will in sha Allah feel ease in this situation.
5. Enjoy special treatments if you get it
If you’re fortunate and get all that special attention and treatments, don’t feel shy! This is your time right now to be pampered. When you have your baby, even though some of those special treatments may be there, you will have additional responsibility which you need to take care of. So take advantage!
6. Rest when u need it
Don’t over exert yourself. Listen to your body and rest when you need it. As women we may feel that we need to get everything done, clean the house, do the laundry, cook, etc, however, you shouldn’t allow yourself to go into overdrive mode. Rest is extremely important during pregnancy and again, every pregnancy and woman handles it differently, so key thing is to just listen to your body and allow it to rest when needed.
In sha Allah I hope you benefited from these few points I had to share. I pray that whether you are pregnant for the first time (or second or more!), or even trying to conceive, that in sha Allah these thoughts had to shared would be helpful to make your pregnancy enjoyable. May Allah grant you an easy and enjoyable pregnancy! Ameen…
The third trimester of your pregnancy is an exciting one! Your baby's arrival is almost here, and you're about to embark on an unforgettable journey! But let's be realistic. The third trimester can also be a real challenge! You may be finding it more difficult to get comfortable and you may be more than ready to have your baby in your arms instead of resting on your bladder! While you await the arrival of your little one, there are a few things you can expect during this last phase of your pregnancy.
Your baby is getting big now, and you'll be able to really feel – if not actually see! -- baby's movements. This can be an exciting thing, because it makes the fact that there is a little person growing inside you all the more real. Unfortunately, all of that growth and movement will also likely manifest itself in the form of backaches and hip pain. Standing for long periods of time can make these symptoms worse, so try to sit when you can and get adequate rest. If you need to stand, elevate one of your feet on a low stool or shelf, to help alleviate the pressure on your back. Always wears shoes that provide good support.
You may also find that breathing is more laborious than it used to be. You're not out of shape! Your growing baby is pushing up on your diaphragm, which is located just below your lungs. As baby grows, you may find yourself shorter of breath. As your pregnancy progresses closer to your due date and baby moves lower into your pelvis your lungs will have more room to expand and your breathing will be easier (except in those moments when your breath is taken away in awe as baby moves inside you!)
One of the biggest annoyances in the third trimester other than the inability to get comfortable is heartburn. Because baby is taking up more room inside you now, your stomach may be moved out of its normal location and stomach acids can be pushed up into your esophagus which can cause heartburn. To avoid this uncomfortable fate (which, in a cruel twist of irony, often happens at night when you are already struggling to get comfortable) avoid eating too many fried foods, fizzy drinks or foods that are excessively acidic or spicy. If your symptoms are too much to bear even after changing your diet, ask your doctor about taking antacids.
It's often joked about amongst pregnant women, but the third trimester often brings with it the frequent need to urinate. Just when you thought that your baby's changing position deeper into the pelvis was a welcome change for your previously cramped lungs, baby is now cramping something else: your bladder. Laughing, coughing or sneezing can cause some mild to moderate bladder leakage. To avoid embarassment, you may want to consider wearing panty liners during your third trimester.
As the special day draws near, you may start to feel many different emotions, ranging from excitement and joy to anxiety and fear. You may start to have the "nesting" instinct, or the desire to make your home as perfect as it can be for the arrival of your little one. You may start to worry about labour itself. Will it hurt? Will you be able to handle it? What can go wrong?
To ease some of your worries and help you to feel more prepared, it may be a good idea to take some prenatal classes, if available. These classes will typically teach you about what to expect during your pregnancy at during and after labour and delivery. Arming yourself with this information can help you to go into the final weeks of your pregnancy feeling more ready than you otherwise might.
Another way to make yourself as ready as possible is to have a birth plan. Take a tour of the hospital or other facility in which you'll have the baby, make all of your wishes about pain medications, etc known – basically, make sure that you are as informed as possible and that the people around you know how you feel about the things that you may not be able to decide when you are in labour.
Always bear in mind that there is no one particular way to have a baby. Everyone's birth experience will be different and there's no real way to be 100 percent prepared. Relax, make du’a, take a few deep breaths, and put your trust in Allah that everything will be OK. You can do this! Enjoy your last few weeks of being pregnant. It's the only time you'll ever have the baby entirely to yourself :) 3rd
I keep having the same recurring dream, which goes something like this: I'm a work-from-home Mum, a wife, a friend, a neighbour and a daughter. Every day, I am pulled in a million different directions in a never-ending cycle of meeting one person's needs or another. Whether it's meeting a deadline, keeping my three-year-old daughter suitably occupied, being there to extinguish a friend's latest emotional forest fire, or trying to squeeze in a conversation with my husband – not to mention the ever-elusive grown-up time that seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs – it seems there is never enough of me to go around. And that's not even the worst part.
And SubhanAllah, the worst part is, it's not a dream. Such is the reality of my life, and the lives of so many women who struggle to be everyone to everyone, all the time. What I've learned, however, is that it is possible to strike a comfortable balance between the pressures of work and the pressures of home. You can even steal a little you time, if you learn the value of a single word: No.
It may sound harsh, but the key to managing your time and getting things done is to learn the power of no. The truth of the matter is, there is no such thing as Superwoman, and to try to achieve that status is an exercise in futility. Remember, although it may be tempting to take on every role you are asked to fill, to manage every task that is thrown your way, you are not required to do so. In fact, learning to prioritize, delegate, and flat-out say no when you are simply stretched too thin will allow more time for the things that really matter in life, namely your husband, your children and your sanity. So, the next time you are assumed to take on task, don't feel obligated.
One of the biggest challenges of being working mum and wife is that, at the end of any given day, I could be covered in all manner of things from cookie dough to sparkles to washable markers that never quite seem to wash off. Add to that the fact that work usually has to be fit in once the little one is asleep and you've got one tired, stressed out, cookie-encrusted mum. Not exactly a recipe for romance, right? But what about my husband? After all, before I was a mum I was his wife and I do have my obligations to him to fulfill. Now, once my head hits the pillow, I'm looking the most forward to catch up on some ibadaah and least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. That, to me, is bedtime bliss.
Sound familiar? I thought so. It is most definitely a challenge to be romantic when you are so knackered at the end of a day. So, what's the solution? It's here where a little creativity comes into play. The days of spontaneous intimacy may be over, and you may have to accept that, but that doesn't mean you can't have a fulfilling intimate life. It may seem the antithesis of romantic, but sometimes the only way to ensure your relationship gets attention is to schedule a date night. Put "date night" on the calendar, right along with, dentist appointments and conference calls, and stick with it. Make it a non-negotiable. After that, the rest is up to you. Just be together. Make a meal together, play games, or simply just talking can get you that quality time you’ve been lacking.
Finally, it's so important that you schedule time for yourself. Put that on the calendar, too. Whether it's an hour to get your nails done, go for coffee with a friend, or simply putting a do not disturb sign on the bathroom while you take a leisurely bath, taking time out for yourself is so essential. Squeezing in time for your ibadaah can be a challenge as well but like anything else you need to schedule it in. When kids are in the picture, everything about your time changes. Allah has given us women the capabilities to juggle a lot of things, house, work, children and husband. We primarily responsible for the upbringing of the children but that doesn’t mean that you need to neglect you own spiritual growth. In fact it’s the opposite. It’s necessary for you to have that spiritual growth in order to teach your children. So make sure to schedule in your ibadaah time as well. Know also that there will be busy days where you won’t be able to accomplish as much you want to but one of the best ways to keep your eman going which requires little effort, is dhikr. A selfless act which can be done anytime. Spending time doing something for yourself will, in turn, bolster your spirit and make you a better friend, wife, and mum. And don’t forget to make du’a to Allah to put barakah into your time. As Allah says, “Inna ma ‘3al “3usri yusra”, “Verily with patience come ease.”
This is our story of a journey of faith, and the longing to becoming parents.
My husband and I got married in July 2006. At the time we were foolish--having fun, barely remembering that we were even Muslim. Life seemed to have worked out for us both. We had both gone to university and attained our Master’s degrees; we both came from relatively well-off families; we travelled; we had lots of friends; we went out; and now we were getting married, which seemed like a natural next step in each of our respective lives.
I had always wanted to be a mommy one day, and my husband adores children. He’s the guy who, at a party, will happily sit at the kiddie table and eat and play with the kids. He’s the guy who would happily babysit a small infant, and spend hours making baby noises, funny faces, and rocking a baby to sleep. It was sweet and deep down I secretly wanted to speed up the process of becoming a mommy so that I could see my hubby like that with our own children.
So I sneakily got off the pill in October 2006, knowing that although it was a deceitful thing to do, my husband would be so happy when I fell pregnant that he would not be angry. By January I was still not pregnant. I was becoming alarmed, but I could not share my fears with him since I had not told him that I was getting off the pill in the first place. Luckily for me, in February 2007 my husband discussed “starting a family” and getting off the pill. I was over the moon.
I scoured the internet for information on “Trying to Conceive” (TTC), and how long it would take. Most of the sites said that for a woman under the age of 35, it should happen within a year. I breathed a sigh of relief, believing that I would be pregnant in a few months. By the time October 2007 came, I still was not pregnant. It had been one year since I had gotten off the pill, but I could not voice my anxiety to my husband because according to him, it had only been eight months of TTC. Finally, in Ramadan 2007 one night, I broke down and confessed everything to my husband: how I had gotten off the pill, how I had not fallen pregnant and it was one year already. To my surprise, he was not at all angry with me for being deceitful. We agreed that we would go and see a gynaecologist.
Deep in my heart, I believed that something was not right. Paging through my old journals, I have countless pages of writing documenting my firm belief that there was a problem. A woman’s instinct is rarely wrong I guess. I just never dreamt that it would end up being such a huge problem. We visited a few gynaecologists in my home town and all of them were non-Muslim, condescending, and showing no empathy whatsoever. One told me that I should keep trying for another year; another told me that I had married my husband for love and that I should just relax and love him and everything would be fine. None was willing to do any tests on neither me nor my husband to check for fertility-related issues.
Exasperated, we decided to go to Johannesburg, South Africa, where the services were better. We travelled in February 2008 to see a Greek gynaecologist at a very well-known hospital. He ran some tests on me, and said that after all the results were obtained, he would then do a test on my husband to check if there could be male-factor infertility. We begged him to do the test on my husband at the same time, since otherwise we would have to make another eight hour trip to Johannesburg just to do that test. He grudgingly agreed.
After doing the tests, we came back to Botswana, and after a week of not hearing from the doctor, I called him. He seemed to forget who I was, and after a few minutes of talking, he told me my results were fine. He appeared to be going through some papers and suddenly said, “Oh! Please can you ask your husband to call me.” I threw some clothes on, and went to see my husband at work, where I relayed what the doctor had said. My husband called the doctor, who then informed him that he had a condition called Azoospermia, this results in no sperm being ejaculated. We were stunned. Trying to be positive, we went back to Johannesburg and repeated the tests again and the results were the same. I was so angry with the doctor for not calling us to tell us this information. I was also angry with him for telling me (over the phone) after the second round of tests, “Now don’t be upset, but you will probably not get pregnant ever”.
My husband and I were dejected and depressed. I was angry. But throughout all this, we had not bothered to pray or ask Allah (swt) to help us. We had put all our faith in the doctors and nurses and science. I stopped communicating with friends, I stopped taking care of myself, and I was very bitter. I could not bare to look at a baby, or to watch documentaries about babies. I believed that I was viewed as a failure for not having children. All around me my friends were popping out babies, inviting me to baby showers, talking about pregnancy. It made me rage at the world. My relationship with my husband took a toll as well. I never blamed him, but I know it knocked his self-esteem. This resulted in us having some major fights and being desperately unhappy. Still we didn’t pray or turn to Allah.
We were given an opportunity to go for Hajj that year, and both my husband and I came alive at the prospect of it. As though a light switch went on, we decided to try the prayer route. We were still not praying five times a day, nor were we reading Quran, or living our lives very Islamically, but we figured that perhaps Hajj would do the trick. We began to prepare for Hajj, by reading up on the actions required, making about three salats per day at the maximum, dressing more decently (in my case). The suddenly November was upon us and we were leaving for Hajj.
Hajj changed our lives. The experience itself was magnificent. We came back changed people. Where we did not bother with prayer, we were praying five times a day. We had never made nafil salats, and suddenly we were praying Tahajjud salat, when both my husband and I love our sleep. We were making Salat-ul-Hajjat, begging Allah for help and guidance. We were also learning how to ask Allah (swt) in the correct way, not for what we wanted, but rather to give us what was best for us, because He knows best. I could barely read the Quran since it had been years since my Quranic lessons. I started to use a colour-coded Quran to help me to read better since it is said that there are a few times when one's duas are guaranteed accepted, and one of those times is after reading the Quran . Music, which had been my passion, became abhorrence to me. I knew every line of every latest song by heart, but I could not read the Quran! I stopped listening to music completely. I changed my dress sense and became more Islamic. I befriended more Muslims who would be a good influence to me, instead of all the non-Muslims, and gay friends that I had, which I had thought made me look so cool.
I made a final appointment with a Muslim fertility clinic in Johannesburg in July 2009 to hear what they had to say regarding our case. They advised us to do a biopsy on my husband to see if there was any sperm or spermatid (immature sperm) in his testes. Both sperm and spermatid could fertilize my eggs. Our new Muslim doctor first did a small biopsy involving a small slit on one of my husband’s testicles. After the procedure he told us that my husband had necrosis of the tissue! Necrosis is rotting dying tissue. I was so dejected, and I could see how he was shattered by this news. Strength came from me and when I saw him after the procedure, I told him, “Alhamdulillah. Whatever happens, our response is Alhamdulillah because it is from Allah.” I meant it like I have never meant anything! This was definitely a different me from 2007! The doctor told us that we should make an appointment with the urologist downstairs who would do the complete testicular biopsy. My question to him was, "Why should my husband have to go through a procedure like this, when you have said that prognosis is very very poor? Why should he have to have general anaesthetic and take that risk?" His answer was, "So that you guys can have closure."
We made the booking for the procedure the next day anyway, so we could have our "closure" and move on with this. We prayed the whole night. I went to see the urologist prior to the operation. To my delight, he was this big bearded Muslim man. I could have cried for joy! I reminded him (although this may have offended him, but he didn’t show it) to please say "Bismillah" before he cut my husband. I spent the whole time my husband was in the operating theatre reading and praying silently. When the operation was over, after several hours, we were told that the lab had found three spermatid in the tissue he had removed. Everyone was shocked! Tell me that was not a miracle? Necrosis on one side and three spermatid on the other? What are the chances when we had clearly been labelled as one of the lost causes?
We were supposed to start the treatments immediately (i.e. I had to start taking fertility drugs to boost my fertility) and it would have fallen in Ramadan. We declined to start in Ramadan, opting instead to wait for an extra month. We decided to use the month of Ramadan to pray and beg for this procedure to work. Suddenly, we had a chance of becoming parents! I don’t think we ever had a more fruitful Ramadan than this one...there was a lot of Quran reading, praying, charity, and our house was perpetually full of guests, and strangers, travellers from afar, Muslim friends. Whatever good we did, our intention was "For you, O Allah, for Your pleasure, so You may be pleased with us and grant this to us."
We went back to Johannesburg two weeks after Eid, and again the doctor said our chances of fertilizing eggs with spermatid were a bit slim. But the Muslim nurse at the clinic, Sister Ruwaida, said to us "As far as I’m concerned, until we have NOTHING to find, and nowhere else to go, we will keep trying". We prayed and prayed the whole two weeks we stayed in JHB, and amazingly every step of the way worked out. The doctors and nurses were totally shocked. They had managed to extract 14 healthy eggs from me, and on the day of the egg extraction, they had miraculously found an additional 11 spermatid from the tissue they had removed from my husband in July. So in total, they had found 14 spermatid, and they had retrieved 14 eggs from me. What are the chances of that when originally they had found only three spermatid? Why not 12 spermatid or 15? No, the number of spermatid matched the exact number of eggs they retrieved. The miracle for me started then. I believed that Allah (swt) was answering our prayers. Three days later we went back to the clinic to see if the spermatid had fertilized the eggs. To our sheer delight, the nurses informed us that the spermatid had fertilized my eggs at Grade 1 level. (Grade 1 level means that the cells divided to eight cells by the third day). It's practically impossible, even when using sperm! But yet it happened to us. The miracle was definitely on!
The doctor decided to implant three of the fertilized eggs into my uterus and clearly informed me that it was not probable that all three would survive. I nodded to him, but in my heart, and in my prayers to Allah (swt), I believed that if three embryos were implanted, then three would survive. I never believed for a second that there would be just one or two. I prayed to Allah (swt), “O Allah, they have put three within me, let all three survive.” Six weeks later we went for a scan to see what had happened. All the nurses crowded around to see how many there would be. I was not in the least bit surprised when they announced, “Oh My Lord!!! There are three!”
I didn’t cry then because I knew Allah (swt) was giving us this miracle. Even when I saw their three strong heartbeats, I didn’t cry, but just silently thanked Allah (swt). As I write this however, tears are rolling down my cheeks. I have never put down all the events in this clear sequence as I have done now, and the mercy of Allah is so apparent that I can only cry with joy and thanks to Him. We needed to go through all of this to get to where we are in our imaan. We were Muslim by name once. Now we are Muslim in our heart and our minds and our behaviours and appearances. Allah gave us just what we needed to get us back onto the right path. And I am so grateful for all of it.
I am currently nearly four months pregnant, carrying three precious miracles. This happened, not because of brilliant doctors and nurses, but because of Allah. I used to beg Him to grant the doctors and nurses the ability to help us, to not write us off, to do what is best for us. And My Lord responded.
Answered by Shaykh Yaser Birjas
Yes, a pregnant woman is actually required to fast during the month of Ramadan. Because, again like we said,pregnancy is not an illness or sickness it is another stage of life. Therefore, she is required to fast during month ofRamadan unless she is unable to do so which means if she doesn’t feel physically fit during the first few weeks where she feel very weak and she feels nauseous or she is vomiting where she is required to eat nutritious meals and keep drinking fluids and liquids and so on. In this case, she does not have to fast if she is unable to do so. However, she might find after the pregnancy is sustained after 4 months, that she is strong enough to fast, which is something normal if she keeps her evening or her night meals organized in a way that she is eating small, nutritious portions that will help her to sustain fasting the next day.
But, if she feels uneasy and unable to fast, then in this case she is obligated to break her fast during the month ofRamadan and inshaa Allahu ta’ala to make up for these days after the month of Ramadan. If she is still nursing and she feels that fasting is going to cause the milk to dry out, in this case she can still delay making up her fasts even if the next Ramadan arrives. She can delay for it 1 year or 2 years and so forth, it doesn’t matter. It also does not matter what stage of pregnancy.
Some of the fuqaha however say that if she decides to break her fast out of fear for the child – not of fear for herself – in this case she is obligated to pay fidyah, which means to feed one poor person or one needy person for each day that she breaks her fast during the month of Ramadan in addition to making up the fast for that day at another time.
Wa Allahu ‘alam
by Shazia Ahmad
Ramadan is a blessed time of year often characterized by certain specific forms of worship. Fasting, reading Quran and performing salah are the main focus of many people's time and energy during this month. However, for most women a portion of Ramadan - or in some cases the month in its entirety - passes by without being able to engage in these acts, due namely to menstruation or postnatal bleeding. Often this leads us to feeling disconnected from the sacredness and specialness of Ramadan, and feeling deprived of that spiritual rejuvenation and increase in iman many believers experience in these days.
In order for us to find a sense of spirituality during this time, we may need to amend our way of thinking about it, and perhaps even the paradigm we construct about 'ibadah [worship] and spirituality as a whole.
The vast majority of women's lives are structured in such a way that there are intervals of time in which 'ibadah is restricted. Firstly, we must understand and appreciate this as part of Allah's creation, which He has fashioned in perfection, order and beauty. He has created us in the best of molds, and this includes the varying physical phases we experience. A similar pattern can be found in many aspects of His creation. He grants set phases for such things as the sun and moon, and even assigns certain days for triumph and for failure in the lives of man, as He states in Surat Ali'Imran: "Such days We give to men and men by turns: that Allah may know those who believe and may choose witnesses from among you." We are told in the Quran that for everything Allah has "appointed a due proportion," that "for every matter there is an appointed time given," and we can include in this our physiological cycles. Everything is done with a set purpose, in a set time, "what has passed you by was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by." Recognizing and believing in this is a righteous action on our part, an action of the heart and mind in confirming that Allah indeed is the One who controls and manages everything in a perfect order, and that His will is always realized in the best time, manner, and place.
It is also important for us to understand that in the times of menstruation or post-natal bleeding one is not 'dirty', as we may have been taught culturally. While blood itself is considered a material impurity [najas], a menstruating woman or one with post-natal bleeding is considered to be in a state of 'ritual impurity' [hadath]. This distinction, which can be found in any basic text of fiqh, is not insignificant. Being in a state of ritual impurity really has no deeper connotation or implication as to a person's worth or standing before Allah. Both men and women are at times in this state, and ritual purity [tahara] and ritual impurity are interesting concepts that are not always connected with what we would normally consider 'filthy' or 'clean'. For example, one can perform tayammum, literally dusting one's hands and face with earth, and then legally be considered in a state of ritual purity. There is even a hadith in which Umm al-Mu'mineen 'Aisha narrates that at a time when she happened to be on her menses the Prophet rested his head on her lap in a moment of repose, and even recited from the Quran. If she were truly impure in the ordinary understanding of the word, would our noble Prophet have rested on her in such a way?
Being in a state of ritual impurity, therefore, does not necessarily mean one is 'unclean' in the conventional use of the term. Accordingly, the related prohibitions do not necessarily imply that one is forced to be distant from Allah and the means of getting close to Him. If this premise were true, then all acts of 'ibadah and communication with the Divine would have likewise been made prohibited, like saying dhikr with the tongue and making dua'. These are very intimate spiritual actions which put a person in direct connection and communication with Allah, yet are allowed for us during this time. 
All these things strengthen the idea that the restrictions during menstruation and post-natal bleeding are an expression of Allah's mercy and kindness towards us, more so than as a type of forced estrangement from Him . They can be regarded as a dispensation, to allow us an interim for comfort and rejuvenation while in a state of physical weakness and tiredness. This may also lead us to return to salah, fasting and reading Quran with renewed energy, interest and passion.
Another wisdom of these intervals of time and the related prohibitions may be in expanding our understanding of 'ibadah, its types, and the means by which we can draw nearer to Allah ta'ala. It may be that other commendable, but often overlooked, righteous actions are being omitted in our enthusiasm for those that are more commonly performed. Perhaps it is only when the doors are closed on some that we begin to see and appreciate the others. For example, Dua' and Salah 'ala an-Nabiy are two of the most virtuous and beautiful types of 'ibadah that we often neglect, which can be performed at any time. The Prophet is reported to have said that, "Dua is the very essence of 'ibadah", and in many places in the Quran Allah calls upon us to invoke Him in dua': '"And your Lord says: Pray unto me: and I will hear your prayer", "Call upon your Lord humbly and in secret". Sufficient to explain the virtue of Salah 'ala an-Nabiy is the hadith reported by Ibn Mas'oud <radiAllahu anhu>, that the Prophet said, "The nearest people to me on the Day of Rising will be those who have said the most prayers on me."
There is also immense reward in helping and be in the service of other people. This too is a type of 'ibadah and means of drawing closer to Allah . If everyone is busy in personalized worship - superogatory prayers and recitation of Quran, then who will have time to assist their brother or sister in their needs, help the poor or hungry, and take care of other problems and issues of the community and society?
The Prophet said, "Allah is in the service/assistance of [His] servant, as long as the servant aids his brother." He also said, "Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward."
A deeper lesson we can discern from the time of ritual impurity and the prohibition of salah and fasting can be in changing our perception of dhikr. A sister insightfully commented on this issue:
"Such is the way to teach us, perhaps, that dhikr of Allah is not just praying or fasting, but must be manifested in everything, [in] all parts of our lives. Perhaps we make fasting and prayer a crutch, and expect that it is enough, that that in itself is our dhikr. But it is when it is taken away from us that we have to think about how we are actually remembering Allah along with our everyday actions."
A sagacious shaykh once said that a person is inside of salah what they are outside of it, meaning that the state of focus, devotion and humility we all want in our prayer is something we must develop and cultivate outside of it, in the wider arena of our daily lives. Do we simply remember Allah at the times of prayer, and otherwise live in a relative state of ghaflah [heedlessness]? The times when the doors to salah are closed may be when our eyes are opened to our true spiritual state, and give us opportune moments for introspection and reflection.
May Allah help us make the best of Ramadan and use every moment of its blessed days and nights to be in dhikr and 'ibadah to Him. May He make it a means of uplifting us spiritually, enlivening our hearts and awakening our hope and desire to draw ever nearer to Him. May He accept our deeds and grant us sincerity and devotion, Ameen.
Here are a few additional suggestions as to what a non-praying/fasting person can do during Ramadan:
- If there are iftars being hosted at the masjid, volunteer to serve and help clean up afterwards.
- Buy a jug of Zamzam water and pour into little bottles and distribute them to everyone at the masjid with dates.
- Babysit during Taraweeh so that the mothers can pray with khushu' and concentration.
- Cook iftar for sisters who are expecting, elderly, students away from home, etc in your community and deliver it to their homes.
- Do any deep cleaning, laundry, Eid shopping etc that needs to be done now, so that you can fully focus on Quran/salah/etc when you are fasting. You can also prep and freeze some food now so that you don't have to cook iftar on other days when you are fasting.
- Spend a lot of time in dua', and memorize the duas for different actions .
- Listen to this dua': http://jannah.org/jannahradio/ghamdi_dua.mp3 with the translation: http://jannah.org/jannahradio/dua_ghamdi_trans.txt
- Spend time in Salah 'ala an-Nabiy, an often overlooked and neglected type of dhikr.
- Memorize Allah's names and their meanings.
- Make a CD of beautiful Quran recitation and duaas in mp3 and distribute it to people at the masjid.
- Make Eid/Ramadan goodie bags for the kids so that they love and feel attached to Ramadan.
- Do the adhkar for morning and evening narrated from the Prophet <salAllahu alayhi wasalam>.
- Remember to seek out Laylatul Qadr throughout the month and do not let even one night go by without making dua'. Laylatul Qadr could possibly be on any night in Ramadan, not just on the 27th.
- Find out who is sick in your area or in the hospital and go visit them.
- Look for new converts, those who are newly practicing or people who have lost touch with the community and invite them over for iftar.
 Surah at-Teen, ayah 4
 "He created the heavens and the earth in true : He makes the night overlap the day, and the day overlap the night: He has subjected the sun and the moon : Each one follows a course for a time appointed." .
"If a wound hath touched you, be sure a similar wound hath touched the others. Such days We give to men and men by turns: that Allah may know those who believe, and that He may take to Himself from your ranks martyr-witnesses . And Allah loveth not those that do wrong."
"And for those who fear Allah, He prepares a way out, and He provides for him from he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion."
 "And verily We sent messengers before thee, and We appointed for them wives and offspring, and it was not to any messenger that he should bring a portent save by Allah's leave. For everything there is a time prescribed."
 "...Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity. Know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you, and that what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship."
See Surat al-Ma'ida ayah 6.
There is also a difference of opinion among the scholars on whether she can recite Quran from memory.
 Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Hasan Saheeh
Surat Ghafir, ayah 60
Surat al-A'araf, ayah 55
From al-Arba'een an-Nawawiyya
When your’re pregnant, one of the most important things you can do for both your health and the health of your baby is to stay positive. You need to believe that Allah has the right plan for you and that everything will go as Allah decreed. A positive attitude can go a long way during a pregnancy. One thing you should always keep in mind is; through taqwaa (trust in Allah) and eman (faith), you will get through your labor and delivery.
Doctors and medication can be indispensable components of your pre-natal health but there is no doubt that your trust in Allah is the most positive tools you can have through out your pregnancy.
“And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed…” (Al-Ma'idah: 23)
This trust in Allah's actions will allow you to relax and help reduce stress which can be the cause of serious health issues, such as pre-term delivery and low birth-weight.
Expecting mothers often neglect their need for rest. Rest is extremely important for an expectant. You should not feel obligated to get as much done as you did prior to your pregnancy. While you may need to continue working late into your pregnancy, you should take at least a few hours a day to kick your feet up and rest. Don't plan too much during the weekends and get to bed early. You should rely on friends and loved ones to help you out and manage your workload.
One important thing to remember with a pregnancy is that each experience will vary so don't take too much stock in the horror stories that people will tell you. Sure, people might scare you with their stories, but that was their pregnancy: this is yours. Your trust in Allah can carry you through anything, especially through the miracle of child birth! Trust that Allah knows what is best for you and remember that “for indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Surah Ash-Sharĥ: 5)
Allah says in the Qur'an: "And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sâbirun (the patient)" (2:155) "Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: 'Truly! To Allâh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.'" (2:156) "They are those on whom are the Salawât (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones" (2:157)
8th January, 2009
SAHL OZMAN, BLESSED BY ALLAH
I thought of putting together this experience of mine, hoping that someone somewhere could benefit from this, Insha Allah...
How would you feel when you are told by the doctor during the fourth month of pregnancy that the child might not be born alive or would live only for few hours???
This is the same thing what I was being told...
Nine months of my pregnancy and the 8 hours I spent with Sahl before he was returned to Allah are the best moments I would always cherish in my life. I enjoyed each and every moment spent with him. I washed him, clothed him, held him in my hands, slept along with him... I never expected that I could spend so much time with him, but Alhamdulillah, Allah gave us 8 hours to admire his little feet’s and hands.
Sahl started growing in my tummy always listening to the words of Allah (QURAN). He was listening to Quran till his last breath while I was delivering him.
My husband's support, love and care during my entire pregnancy and his words of comfort during this trial (from Allah) are just indescribable. He was always there for me when I needed him. Even during my delivery, holding my hands and comforting me... May Allah reward him immensely (Ameen)
When I delivered, the doctor told "the baby has passed away"...
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilahi Rajioon ("To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return.") Sahl was wrapped in a cloth and given to me immediately. Tears rolled down my eyes, that Allah chose Sahl among the blessed ones.
The Nurse, Firoz and I started to wash Sahl. My parents then came into the room and saw their blessed grandchild. We took many pictures together, which we can cherish all throughout.
My parents along with Firoz and I dressed up Sahl in all white, Masha Allah, He looked so adorable.
Sahl was so peacefully lying on my arms; looked exactly as he was enjoying the warmth of his mother's arms. As time passed by, he was glowing more and more and looked more adorable, Alhamdulillah.
In a while all our friends started to come. All held him and admired him. Our friends supported us a lot in every possible way they could. May Allah reward them all immensely.
Alhamdu Lillah we got incredible support and love from our family. Their soothing words of wisdom helped us a lot. May Allah reward them all.
The hospital staff and doctors were just amazing, Alhamdulillah. We couldn't expect anything more from them. They respected our religion so much, Alhamdulillah that they gave us everything what we had requested for.
Sahl's Dad was busy making arrangements for the funeral. And still managed time in between to come and be with his son and his wife and give words of courage. All arrangements done, it was time for Sahl to be returned to Allah as prescribed in Islam.
I hugged him, kissed his eyes, nose and lips and told him silently "We will meet soon in heaven". I then handed over my son to his Dad who would carry him all the way to the cemetery.
Sahl which means Easy, left this world and went to Heaven Easily, Peacefully and Happily.
It was indeed a day I would never forget in my life.
Even though we knew that our son was suffering from a severe abnormality, we accepted it as a test from Allah which everyone goes through in some or the other form. We are thankful to Allah that He bestowed on us extreme patience Alhamdulillah. We lived our life as normal as possible without letting anybody know our feelings because everything is from Allah. Crying and feeling sad will make us ungrateful to Allah because Allah really chose 'us' to have a son who belongs to heaven Insha Allah.
Once a Companion narrated that he said to another Companion, Abu Hurairah: "Two of my children have passed away, so can you tell me a hadith that gives me calmness and solace?" Abu Hurairah said: "Yes, the little ones are the birds of Paradise. Each one of them will meet his or her parents, take hold of their clothes, and will not stop until Almighty Allah allows him and his parents into Paradise." (Muslim)
Note: unless he/she does not fall into any major sin like shirk
We tried to always reflect upon verses from the Quran and Hadith which spoke about those who are patient. Words of Allah and firm belief in the Hereafter helped us to be strong to overcome this loss (gain in fact) very patiently.
"O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salât (the prayer). Truly! Allâh is with As-Sâbirun (the patient.)" (2:153)
“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning." (39:10)
May Allah bless us all with righteous children who will benefit us in this world and in the hereafter.
Please include us in your prayers.
Every time I hear the new topic of upcoming webinars, its almost as though it was chosen keeping me in mind. I’ve never come across ANY online community that deals with such relevant topics about motherhood that is not only elegant and helpful, but also Islamic. May Allah put immense barakah in Mum Loves Me’s outstanding efforts for this very noble endeavor, Ameen!
Conception, pregnancy, labour, birth, and child rearing is overwhelming. Especially in this day and age when we have so many options. Mum Loves Me helps Muslim mothers navigate through all of these options by providing information from experts in both Islamic and professional feels. I have found stories and articles inspirational and the webinars are full of gems. The topics covered are things that every mom both needs and wants to know about, the added bonus is that it comes from fellow Muslims and scholars that we trust and respect. Mum Love Me is a one of a kind resource for muslim mothers!
Alhamdulillah, connecting with other sisters has been such a blessing. To be able to share each other experiences. An important service for sisters. I am very grateful to have access to such support and scholarly advice. Mum Loves me is indeed a pioneer in the muslim community for this service.
Subhan Allah as soon as I knew that I was pregnant with my first child, I got an email from a friend advertising about the first \'MUM LOVES ME\' webinar. Since then, I had been closely following all their outstanding webinars and I had benefited so much from them. They answered most Fiqh questions related to pregnancy, childbirth and even beyond that. I didn\'t hesitate to subscribe to their website later on. The website is rich with articles and audios that gave me just the information I need. Living in the US away from home, I also needed support from sisters like me who are expecting or who have newborns. The MUM LOVES ME forum gave me that support and even more. I would recommend this site to all moms and moms to be who are looking for \'Islamic\' maternity support through their journey of motherhood.