Bismillahi ir-rahman ir-rahim – In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful
I have to admit I didn’t give all that much thought to choosing my username. The only real condition I had in my mind was that I wanted something Islamic or at least made me recognisable as a Muslim. I tried a few usernames which I can no longer remember and all were taken. Then I thought maybe if i threw the word mum into the equation it would be more likely to find an available username due to the different spellings, and it worked!!
I wasn’t overly happy with it at the time, but upon later reflection I thought it was perfect, in fact I cant think of a username that would describe me better. Even the ordering is perfect. I don’t know if my subconscious came into play here or what, but I later came to realise that it is the most suitable username I could have come up with.
Firstly and foremost, I am a Muslim. This is my life and is my everything. It is different to some other religions in that it is more than just a belief. I know its a cliche, but it really is a way of life. My loyalty to Allah and desire to please Him comes before anything. And although I know my actions fall short of this ideal, in my mind it is clear. And before anybody asks, yes my loyalty to Allah does come before my family. It comes before my husband, and yes it even comes before my children. Of course I have never been in a situation where this type of loyalty has been questioned – my desire to please Allah only makes me a better mother and wife as these are both actions that are pleasing to Allah. Its a beautiful concept, one which constantly helps me to draw on strength.
Everything I do, as a mother and a wife, the housework, the washing, the cooking, the disciplining, all of it….is by the will of Allah rewarded. So those times when I didnt get more than an hours solid sleep, when i was awaken 20 minutes after falling asleep only to be kept up another 4 hours, when i was so tired and desperate for sleep that I became furious at my innocent little baby, i drew on the strength through my knowledge that Allah was aware of all of my hardships and I would insha’allah (God-willing) be rewarded accordingly. All those times when pregnant and sleep deprived I half staggered onto the couch, nauseous to the point where I felt I could throw up any minute, desperate for a few more precious minutes of sleep and woken up every few minutes by young children either requesting yet another snack or another drink, or looking for a referee in their petty squables, I drew on the strength through my knowledge that Allah was aware of my hardship and I would insha’allah be rewarded. And when sitting there, looking at the chaos that our house had become due to my debilitating morning sickness, feeling worse from the stress of it and feeling myself almost fall into depression through my inability to properly care for my family and feelings of helplessness, I knew Allah was aware of what I was going through, I knew that He does not burden a person more than they could handle, and I knew that with any hardship faced for the sake of Allah was met with reward. I found strength that I didn’t know I had and made a conscious decision to stop feeling sorry for myself and not to resign to how things were. I knew that I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to, but I knew that if I let myself fall into depression I would give them less. I needed to be strong, for myself, for them, and for the unborn child growing inside of me. Once again I drew on the strength from Allah. Alhumdulilah for being Muslim. It truly is a blessing in every aspect of my life.
This brings us to the next part of my username – Mum. When I had my son it changed my world in ways that I never anticipated. Perhaps out of naivety, I was never really close to anybody who had a child, so I didn’t really know what it involved. I just didn’t really think about how my life would change. Its probably a good thing, I think sometimes its best not to over think things, I would have just stressed myself out, and to what avail? As it was I coped, I coped because I had to.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant with my son I became obsessed with finding out about parenting, specifically Islamic parenting. I think I have purchased every book on the topic that I have ever seen. Admittedly I haven’t read them all, I was always better at buying books than I was at reading them, a trait that would only grow post-children.
Having children changed who I was. I was no longer just my own person, I was a mother, and had to have that awareness in everything I did….everything I thought. I could no longer just go somewhere, I had to think…what time is it? will my baby be tired? will there be enough time between feeds? will there be somewhere to feed him? I remember watching soap operas when my son was a baby, not that I was ever a huge fan, but I found the background noise relaxing and I asked myself ‘do I really want my son growing up watching that?’, so I stopped. It started to make me a better person, things I didn’t do for my own sake, I did for the sake of my children, because I wanted them to have a mother that was better than that and a mother who could teach them things I didn’t know. I spent a great deal of time learning and preparing myself to be the best mum I could be. Of course I’m not a perfect mum, and I know I never will be. But a great part of my time, thoughts, ideas and efforts are dedicated to this cause. It has changed who I am, and it has changed how I view the world. The only other thing that has had such a significant effect on me is the first part of my username, being Muslim.
So in essence these are the two words that best describe me, Muslim and Mum. Not in that I am a particularly successful example of either, in both areas there is much room for improvement and its a constant learning experience. More so in that they shape how I think and who I am. I can’t imagine my life without either of them and I am a better person because of them both.