Let Our Children Be The Coolness Of Our Eyes : They Can Heal A Grieving Heart

Kids, The Coolness of Our Eyes : It Can Heal A Grieving Heart

Let Our Children Be The Coolness Of Our Eyes And Heal Our Grieving Heart

Back then, there was a saying that goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ .

Those days, the responsibility of raising a child was considered to be a joint effort for each and everyone that knew him.

This included his grand parents, teachers, extended family and society and community at large.

However, over time the concept of joint extended families slowly disappeared. The burden of rearing a child has fall solely onto the shoulders of both parents.

Raising a child in today’s millenial age is becoming very stressful. The difficulty increases manifold if a mother is parenting a child or children single handedly, in the absence of the father.

There are pressures and stigmas attached to it. The stakes are at so much higher in some community whereby single mothers are treated indifferently and often isolated from society.

Although single parenting has become increasingly common, it is still frowned upon in certain community, as it is defying the norms of society and hence a taboo.

Going through a divorce, separation or facing the demise of a spouse is a very traumatic experience for any woman. The thought of child rearing along with fulfilling financial responsibilities on top of everything else at times would  break her into pieces.

Emotionally, single mothers are often left on her own to cope with all sorts of mixed emotions like: Anger. Depression. Frustration. Loneliness. Anxiety. Fear. Insecurity.

However, it is interesting to note though that we have an excellent example from the Quran where it mentioned about 2 women in particular who had raised their child singlehandedly :

Maryam AS who was Actually a single parent

Hajar AS who was metaphorically a single parent as she lived away from her husband, Ibrahim AS

Maryam Alahi Salam 

She absolutely grew up without any male figure in her life. She didn’t have a father, brother or a husband, not even an uncle to care for her.

She was all alone during her pregnancy.

She had to endure labour pain and delivery all by herself in the desert. This is one momentous task that she  undertook singlehandedly.

Despite knowing the amount of societal  backlash she would receive when she decided to take her child to the people without any immediate family to protect her, she did not fear.

In Quran Allah SWT describes it as:

Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.” So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?”

[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive.

And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant.

Quran (19: 27-32)

When others started hurling hurtful things, she (was told) to point towards her child, (or what I understand seek comfort in her child)

Isa Alahi Salam had mentioned that “Allah Made me dutiful to my mother” and to be a source of comfort and contentment for her!

I truly believe that this is the ultimate guide line for single mothers.

Allah SWT wants single women to  seek solace and strength from their own children and stop fretting over societal comments or worrying about what other people think/say/do.

We often talk about what good traits and qualities mothers had bestow upon their children. How much she has sacrificed raising her children.

Especially when she is also playing the role of the father.

Thus we have, unknowingly ignored the fact that indeed our children too, has given so much to us in return.

They have been the coolness of our eyes  helping to heal and mend our grieving hearts.

Let Our Kids Be The Coolness of Our Heart : It Can Heal Grieving Heart

They nurture us in their own sweet ways.

We must acknowledged  that their arrival to this world has helped to mould and shaped us. Not in physical but in emotional and psychological.

They have helped us to grow into motherhood that comes with unexplored paradigms of love that sometimes we never imagined, had in us.

Single parenting mom who bears all the burdens of parenting on her own shoulder is often easily upset over little matters.

She is often frustrated and at times tend to pour out her frustration on her child. Unfortunately children are often the direct affectees in such situation.

Although most single mothers thought that they had suffer the worst, often times it’s the children too.

So how do we support our children to overcome the agony of losing a parent while at the same time keeping our sanity intact?

The answer is:

Keep the love that you have for your child alive

I know it is hard for single moms to survive in such circumstance especially when the grief is overwhelming. Nothing seems to make sense.

However, there are few best things one can do to heal oneself

1. Make sincere dua to Allah SWT to bring you out of that grief.

2. Accept the situation. Instead of getting stuck at “what ifs’ the best way to move on is to first accept that whatever worse has happened had happened

3. Pray that may Allah SWT make your kids the coolness of your eyes and through them you overcome all the obstacles in life

4. Find your tribe. Sometimes the best people to show empathy are the ones who are in the same boat. Because they understand so much better they would often offer unconditional support.

5 . Know that you are not alone. Findng your tribe will help you understand that there are others in a much worst situation than you are.

6. Practice gratitude. In the light of positivity insha Allah things will start to appear less stark.

7. Know that many great women in history of Islam raised their child/children alone.

If at any point, you feel that you are loosing hope do not despair

Most importantly is for you to show love to your kids through gentle, kind and loving words and actions

    • Give unconditional support
    • Set out a specific time daily to connect with them through play or working together like preparing a meal.
    • Cuddles and bed time stories.
    • Sharing your own concern with them over certain matters that is age appropriate.
    • Talking to kids help them becoming a mature and thoughtful person.You would be surprised that they might actually be helpful in finding a solution for you.
    • Be positive. Stay positive
    • Take care of yourself
    • Go back to making more dua!

The writer, Asbah Alaeana is a muslimah by birth and choice.  She studied accountancy but being an artist at heart, has opted to be a housewife playing mom to two toddlers.  She blogs at amuslimmama.com and doodle at IG @amuslimmamacomics

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Visionary Single Parenting : Challenging The Stereotypes

Single Parenting

Visionary single parenting: Challenging the stereotypes

Single Parenting

Are you a single mom and trying so hard to succeed in single parenting? Cheers!

I know you are worried about the future of your children. You can’t help thinking about the responsibility of being ‘dad’ to them.

I know you want them to thrive and become the best of mankind.

How to be successful at single parenting?

How do we succeed in being a single mother?

Single parenting is not something that any mom would want for their son to grow up in, but at times such situations is beyond and above  our control.

To help you in this delicate matter, I would like to share these true and inspiring stories of single parenting.

Let us follow the footsteps of those muslimah moms, who had been successful in bringing up their sons singlehandedly

You must have heard about the stories of moms whom Allah had purposefully chosen, to raise the Prophets of their times and thus became the best exemplary we have today.

Among them, were :

1. Maryam (a.s.) who was chosen to raise Prophet Issa (a.s.),

2. Hajar (rahimullah) who singlehandedly raised Prophet Ismail (a.s.) till Ibrahim (a.s.) returned

3. Ummi Mosa (rahimullah) who took care of her son Prophet Mosa (s.a.)

Their stories of single parenting is legendary and mentioned in the Quran and recorded in numerous hadith traditions.

Let me also introduce you to another 4 single moms ,who had managed to raise their boys  into living examples of being knowledgeable and exemplary men.

These are the proud mothers of Imam Shafi’i, Imam Bukhari, Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Rabi’ah Ar-Ra’yi and Imam Malik, the great scholars of Islam.

The success stories of these scholars revolved around their courageous and visionary single mothers, who had put their heart and soul into moulding them into legend of their times.

Imam Shafi’i (rahimullah) was born in Ghaza and his father passed away while he was in the womb of his mother. Historians mentioned that his mother used to be a great worshipper.

She was young then but she had decided that her goal in life was to make something out of her child. She stepped out of her private space of her life and entered the public sphere for him.

She was the one providing the means to educate her orphan son.

She decided to take him from Ghaza to Makkah, bearing all the hardships all alone, because she wanted her son to get the best of  education from Makkah.

That was her ambition and she put in sheer dedication towards it. She designed the whole curriculum for her son. Deciding upon what he will be learning in the coming years, which scholars to go to and negotiating with his teachers.

Imam Shafi’i once mentioned that his mother was so poor that she had to negotiate with the Sheikh to accept him as his student.

In return, he will serve and take care of the students during his absence.

Imam shafi’i didn’t have anything to write on, so his mother used to go to all the dungeons of Makkah to collect camel skin, leaves and whatever she could find.

She would then borrow some ink so that he could write on it.

The life of Imam Shafi’i was entirely shaped by his mother. She was always contemplating, analyzing the situation and took the best decision for her son despite of all the financial and social stigma she was facing.

She used to advise her son to sit in the presence of the scholars, in such a way that they don’t get disturbed and don’t even feel his presence in the gatherings.

It was because of her determination and tireless efforts that Imam Shafi’i became the best scholar, the most renowned Qari and Arabic speaker of his times.

So much so that people used to come from faraway places not always to become his student but to listen to his beautiful recitation and  the eloquence of his Arabic speech.

The mother of Imam Bukhari was also a single mom

Imam Bukhari was born an orphan.

His mother made such a strong contribution to the character and upbringing of her son.

Imam Bukhari was blind since childhood and his mother spent nights crying , asking for help from Allah to cure the eyesight of her son. It was because of the impact of his mother’s dua that he regained his eyesight.

She had shown that the dua and zikr of Allah can do miracles. Masha Allah

His mother sacrificed her desires so that she could focus her full energy on her son. She supported him emotionally, morally and financially.

When Imam Bukhari requested for permission to let him stay in Madina to seek knowledge, she happily accepted it despite knowing that she will be left on her own.

She put all her trust in Allah, giving him full rights to his choice and freedom. She had faith that her efforts through the years will not go in vain.

Another legend of the legends,

Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, was also raised single handedly by his mother.

Born in Baghdad as an orphan, his mother used to take him to masjid during his early years.

Because his mom put great effort in educating him to be well mannered at such an early age, he became very well known among the neighbors.

He was highly spoken of due to his etiquette and adab.

The society at that time did not mention about his indepth knowledge but rather about his beautiful adab.

His mother had moulded him into a famous, fine and well mannered gentleman.
Imam Ahmed grew up loving and practicing the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him).
During his younger days, his mom used to take him to masjid at such an early hour, long before anyone else would arrive. She would then waited outside for him. She would waited until everyone had left so that she could hold his little hand to ake him back home.
Similarly she used to take him to the gatherings of scholars and waited there until all the scholars had left.
His mother dedicated herself completely to the upbringing and educating of her son, Imam Ahmed
So much so that the reward she got in return was a mega win, masha Allah.
Lots of times women got married but due to their life situation, they ended up  raising their kids on their own.

Rabi’ah Ar-Ra’yi, was a great scholar who was solely raised by his mother

 His father was a soldier in the army of Affan ibn Usman (rahimullah). He was enlisted to fight the war in Khurasaan with them. When he left, Rabi’ah was just a very young boy.
Before leaving, his father had given to his mother 30,000 dirham to take care of the household till he comes back.
When he returned after almost 25 years later, he first visited the masjid. There he saw a young scholar sitting in a large gathering of students.
He came to know that this young man was one of the seven fuqah of Madina.
When he got home, he asked his wife what she did with the money that he gave her 25 years ago. He wanted to know how she managed her life affairs without him.
She told him to go to the masjid and see with his own eyes the fruit of her labor.
He was very pleased of what he learned and said “SubhanAllah you spent it so well”
That was the thoughful wisdom of a mother. Well planned with  a vision of seeing her son becoming a scholar. 

Imam Malik, a man with great adab, akhlaak and giant of the ahl-ul-ilm

He was also raised by his mother.
She had to work hard for a living after her husband became paralyzed and was unable to move much.
Surprisingly Imam Malik, as a young man he had wanted to be a singer and expressed his desire to his mother.
The intelligent mother of Imam Malik explained to him that the career of singers only lasted  for as long as they were young and good looking.
All the while trying to attract his attention towards the scholars she made him do role play with her.
She would put on him a  sufra, placed a turban on his head and started asking him questions as if he was a scholar. This role playing act changed his thoughts about being a singer.
Her vision had sparked a light in his heart and developed a thirst for knowledge at a very young age.
The mothers of these legends invested their time, money and even their lives. It was within the capacity of these single parenting mothers that built the greatness in them.
Hence we could take in our stride, to learn from these moms who has great foresight and superb intellectual.  What we needed the most is the courage and determination.
The vision we have for our children’s future and the strategic approach towards achieving it.
Persistence in upholding strong morals for the upbringing of the righteous generation.

I know that single parenting is never easy

Nobody promises us gold.

But the more tawakul we have in Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, trust that He will shower us with unexpected blessings.
I hope you found great pleasure in reading this short story and may it helps to uplift your spirit in your single parenting and becoming a better mom for your sons.
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The writer,  Saima Asghar is the proud owner of  The ilm Lounge’ (an online bookstore for International Islamic Literature) and a Human Resource expert. She is also a student of knowledge at Al-Huda International. She writes at SaimaWrites.wordpress.com

Thoughtful parenting and homemaking are her passion.  Reading and writing  are her food for soul. She believes that life affords no greater responsibility and no greater privilege than the raising of the next generation.

Saima’s passion for Islam, parenting and writing is what has connected us to her.