Visionary single parenting: Challenging the stereotypes
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 dedicated herself completely to the upbringing and educating of her son, Imam Ahmed
Rabi’ah Ar-Ra’yi, was a great scholar who was solely raised by his mother
Imam Malik, a man with great adab, akhlaak and giant of the ahl-ul-ilm
I know that single parenting is never easy
Nobody promises us gold.
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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.