Saturday 5 May 2018

Finding a Place of Strength and Gratitude

My better half has now left to visit America for six weeks.  He will be staying in Chicago and doing dawah work until the end of Ramadan and come home to us in time for Eid. This time last year he was in Pakistan and I came close to having a breakdown trying to manage unruly teens, an ill-mother in law, getting by with no money and travelling to work in Ramadan in the heat.

At the end of that I felt both worn down and very strong, knowing I had handled everything that had come my way but feeling slightly resentful that I should have to and resentful that I seemed to have aged ten years over the course of that summer (my ego is having trouble accepting this).

This year I felt in a better place.  The kids are still hard work, especially the teens but we have routines and I push them to help and pull their weight. I teach the boys Arabic at home because I got fed up of their teacher complaining they were not concentrating and wanted to take charge before they were too old to influence in this matter.

Work is intense and often mentally exhausting, I love my work and feel stretched and challenged most days, but I am having to learn to ration my energy so that it is not all spent in the office.  I am not good at this, so I rarely have the energy to do anything other than housework and dinner and bedtime routines after I get home.

With my husband away, my morning routine has had to be extended.  I make dad-in-law’s lunch and leave it in the hot pot and get the kid ready and leave them with breakfast before I leave for work. Then dad in law will do the school run for both nursery and school.  This worked fine the first day, but on the second day, he picked Baby up from nursery and forgot to pick the rest of the children at the end of the school day.  The school called him to say the children need to be collected from the office, but his phone battery had run down and he didn’t get the message.  It was only an hour later when I got home and asked where the kids are that I realised what happened and rushed to collect them.  They were not best pleased.  I’m still not sure why he never got round to pick them up…I am praying we don’t get a repeat, I would normally call home, but he can’t hear what you say on the phone very well, so I will have to think of another solution (maybe ask the neighbour to knock and remind him).

I get through the time with my better half away by filling it up with positive things as much as I can.  I am hoping to take the kids out a few times before Ramadan starts, spend more time blogging and crafting insh’Allah and trying to do more fun things with the kids.  I also have a stack of books to read, including two for the office book club which should keep me distracted in the evenings.

A lot of people questions why hubby goes away for forty days every year.  My family are super critical of him for going and of me for putting up with it. I find it harder with him not here, but I know it is much harder for him to be away from me.  We both do what we do because of our faith and our belief in the necessity of dawah:

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining Al-Ma’roof (Islamic monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (Polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are successful.” (Qur’an 3:104)

The above verse has always resonated with my powerfully and I pray that I and my family are raised in the ranks of those that it describes as succulent.

“Convey from me, even one verse.” (Bukhari)

“God, His angels and all those in the Heavens and on Earth, even ants in their ant-hills and fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct others in beneficial knowledge.” (Tirmidhi)

We believe that everything comes with a price and that for there to be positive change there must be sacrifice. That when we make the smallest of sacrifices or undergo the smallest of hardship for the sake of Allah (SWT), he blesses us with the greatest of rewards

“Whoever calls others to guidance will have a reward like the rewards of those who follow him, without that detracting from their reward in any way. And whoever calls others to misguidance will have a burden of sin like the burden of those who follow him, without that detracting from their burden in any way.” (Muslim)

So I am trying to reframe my thinking and see the good: the promise of reward from Allah (SWT), the opportunity to support my husband and also to take care of his dad. The chance to grow into a stronger mother, believer and person.  And while hubby is away to blog in the evenings and read all night like a teenager (and maybe forget to do the housekeeping some days).  

Sabr (patience) and shukr (gratitude) calligraphy (source)


  1. Anonymous09 May, 2018

    Our house we keep snacks cereal bars n crisps near beds for sehri. Apologise before ramzaan, can't come iftaari as need energy for Tarawee. Just send food to family n neighbours. Ramzaan Mubarak to all from humaira

    1. Assalam-alaikam dear Humaira,
      Ramadan Mubarak to you too.
      My plan is to keep things simple this year too and focus on keeping healthy and on ibadah insh'Allah.