Friday 7 October 2011

Aaila September/October 2011 Issue


The newest issue of Aaila (formerly Mum and Muslim) is out today with lots of fascinating articles.  This issue my contribution includes:

Experience and Confidence as a Muslimah Working Mother
As a Muslim and as a working parent, there are a number of challenges that one is likely to face. These can include colleagues’ attitudes towards modest dress or hijab, prayer during work hours, juggling your child’s needs with work demands, worries about how you are negatively perceived by your employers on one hand and teachers and other mothers on the other hand.

The above presents a quite a daunting set of challenges and most Muslim working mothers will have faced some of these at some point. Is it all bad news and negatives stories though? Having been a working mother for eight years, I have come to the realisation that the situation has not been the same throughout.

Miscarriage Before and After Having Other Children
As a young woman you have so many dreams and expectations. Your life is mapped out and you believe there is a set way of doing things: college, Mr Right, marriage, babies. So what do you do when things don’t work out as you expected? I was lucky Alhamdulillah. I pushed to finish college before I married. I married someone who was very kind and loving. I found a job and we found our own little place. I managed to get pregnant almost immediately after hubby joined me here from Pakistan, four months after we were married. I was a little freaked as I was 21 and felt like it had all happened so quickly. It didn’t take long to get used to the idea and started looking forward to this massive change to our lives.

The Importance of Faith in Raising our Children
I have lost count of the number of times I have been told by people that I am too strict, that I am too religious, that my children will dress modestly or pray when they are older.It’s a little disheartening that you try your best, which still leaves a lot to be desired and you are still discouraged in your efforts.

This is usually directed at my lack of a TV, my encouraging my daughter to pray with me, my not having computer games in the house and by my encouraging my children to dress modestly (the basic principles of covering upper arms and legs). It’s a little disheartening that you try your best, which still leaves a lot to be desired and you are still discouraged in your efforts.

Dealing with Gender Prejudice as a Mother I grew up in a loving home, but one that did not escape the South-Asian cultural preference for boys. As one of four sisters to a lone brother, this did none of us any favours.

People would commiserate with my mother for having so many girls with “it is Allah’s will” (in the same vein as other tragedies such as you have lost a loved one “it is Allah’s will”, your house burned down “it is Allah’s will”, you lost your job “it is Allah’s will”) I know that this always made her feel a little inferior in front of other women.

It annoyed the hell out of me and my sister’s, especially as people wouldn’t refrain from this behaviour right in front of us. It wasn’t good for my brother either, to have all of the pressure to achieve focussed solely on him – of course this backfired and he rebelled unbelievably through his teen and early twenties.

Getting your Groove Back Post-Pregnancy I remember during my first pregnancy that despite the glowing skin and thicker hair, I couldn’t wait to have the baby and then get back to my size eight dress size again.  A few days after I had had my daughter, a friend who had a little boy commented on how funny the body looked for a few days after having a baby. I smiled, but thought, it wasn’t very funny at all. I had felt terrible – I still looked pregnant.

Mash'Allah, there are so many good articles, I will work my way through and then highlight some more I found useful insh'Allah.

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