Supporting our Single Muslim Mothers

The holy month of Ramadan is  a time in which we try and increase our ibaadah, constantly remembering Allah as well as  to attain better levels of taqwa. This is our opportunity to repent for sins committed. Others embrace Ramadan as a chance to reflect on how they feel stronger and at peace. However, for others this month brings hardships as a real test of faith.

During this holy month no one would ever overlook the poor and struggles of those that are ill. However, has anyone considered that some single mothers struggle as well. Physically tired and taking care of their children alone during the long summer heat while fasting can present challenges.

On July 20th as I welcomed the  first morning of Ramadan and prepared for the day ahead, there was a feeling of nostalgia that overtook me as I sat alone at a table. The sense of being alone where  there was no husband or family by my side waking up for suhoor together. There was no one to talk to about how great this month would be and no one to motivate me. Especially no one to make a lovely breakfast for and no one to pray my salah with. This was the first time during Ramadan that  I had been alone at suhoor, and I wasn’t ready for the pain I felt acknowledging that this would be the moments I was faced in living.

Subhanallah, the positive side is that my son and I started praying together as a family and after explaining to my son with tears in my eyes that we had no man present to lead the Salah, I have tried to teach him how to lead it and from then on he has led us as best as he can. I have had so far bonded with my son a lot during these days. Subhanallah it brought us closer together due to the mercy of Allah swt.

In saying this, I felt a need to seek other single Muslim mothers during this time to open iftar and to share the happiness and spiritual meaning of the day. I found that supporting one another as single mothers of children from ages 2-13 was really an important step to take as we felt the pressures in a way many others may not. For example, there is no one there to alleviate the stress of doing a 2 man job alone, no one to come home from work and take over and play with the children for a while as a father used to do. This was a relief as  I would escape to grab a power nap. Eventually as the day disappears into the night so do our children find their places in  bed.It is then that we can manage sometime to think or enjoy a cup of tea. However, feeling the pangs of loneliness would creep up again. I try to overcome negativity by reading Islamic books, listening to recitations or lectures and my all time favorite is just to simply let my thoughts flow into writing.

I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to allow this entire month to go in this direction of feeling isolated or lonely. As women we have pride too and will not broadcast to the world what we are suffering.  From experience I have known people to say they need help and are brushed off by people telling them to have more sabr and to think of those less fortunate. However,  this same group of people who brush us off  have forgotten that it is their duty too to help the weak and needy. It’s called humanity and you cannot be a good Muslim without it. How well do we really know our neighbor and not just the people living next door to us, but the ones down the road as well?  Maybe one of them is a single Muslim mother, barely coping, on the edge, struggling and alone in need of help and love and support.

There are many ways we can help our fellow sisters. For example, we can offer to baby sit their children for even an hour a day. Sisters within a local community can team up and form a babysitting routine where they take it in turns to help struggling sisters. They can also make food where they take it in turn to deliver food to people for iftar, or they can offer to host iftar at their homes or bring round food to the sister’s home. This will give the sister a sense of both purpose as she is hosting the iftar, and will give her some much needed companionship. Sisters can do their bit to promote awareness too by talking to family and friends and the masjid about this issue.  Organizing regular talks within a sister’s circle with a a sister Muslimah leader (Aalima) can help  boost our eeman (faith).  This is important because our eeman(faith) is the first thing that drops when we are stressed or facing hardship and it’s crucial that we bring our eeman (faith) levels back up so Shaiytaan is not able to influence us. This all counts as a form of sadqa which helps to strengthen our Ummah and the mothers of our future generation and gives them the hope and support that they desperately need.

Ramadan is a busy time for everyone and Insha’Allah I pray that our single Muslim mothers gather around a  social network by meeting sisters from their local masjid.  Take friends up on their offer to babysit even you use this time to relax and read or take a power nap. I know from personal experience that I am so used to doing it alone that I literally feel bad if I  accept help as they may think or say I  can’t manage my child. I learned later that this is not true. As I have known sisters who would like the chance to help others especially in Ramadan and there is no shame in admitting if you are struggling.

Think about it next time you open your fast and ask yourself have you done all you can to help those around you?

Narrated Abu Sa’id (al-Khudri):

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If any Muslim clothes a Muslim when he is naked, Allah will clothe him with some green garments of Paradise; if any Muslim feeds a Muslim when he is hungry, Allah will feed him with some of the fruits of Paradise; and if any Muslim gives a Muslim drink when he is thirsty, Allah will give him some of the pure wine which is sealed to drink.”

Afterall, we are an Ummah, to protect the people and unify them.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by FAIZA AHMED on September 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    well written post, but people are so ignorant in pakistan , if u are from pakistan please share in urdu thanks a lot, faiza


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