This article took a lot of courage from me, after 2 years of running from the truth I am finally embracing it. Bi idnillah. I am not here to make you awe and intimidate through it rather putting it out as an antidote for myself , insha Allah. May Allah accept it from me. Ameen.
They say ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. In today’s contemporary world the idea of raising a child is not within the boundaries of a community or a herd as one would say. It lies on the shoulders of the parents solely. The mother proving to be the prime segment in it. If you’d ask me some 10 years ago, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years down the road?” I would have said, “Replacing your position Ma’am becoming a head in this organisation.”(Ain’t all those interview questions have this one saved) I never thought down the lane that 5 years indeed would pass on, and here was I with a baby in my lap. Subhanallah! My response above also suggests how career oriented I was, because the idea of job-seeking-mindset is instilled in us in all those 4 years of college. The reflections that the past brings.
In February 2018 my husband had a spinal injury, paralysing half of his swaddle region. Lack of medical care made us decide to pack our bags within hours and flee from Makkah. I was expecting a 4 month old. We came to Pakistan , had countless medical advice, sought treatment for 2 months and came back resuming our life. The life which is changed for good. May Allah give him kamil shifa and preserve him. Ameen. The future seemed bleak and the idea of home , a yet-to-born-baby and His land became blurry. In August 2018, I was blessed with a beautiful baby alhamdulillah. August that year meant Hajj in Makkah during which no other person without the permit can enter in the city. The ongoing trial made things such that my mother could not accompany me during the childbirth and postpartum. There I was , amidst the whole conundrum , a first time expat mother.
I handled everything single handedly by the will of Allah SWT alone.
I was dubious of what to do to the tiny bundle of joy Allah SWT had bestowed me with. I had images of Hazrat Hajra A.S running between the mounts of safa and marwah protecting and finding water for her son. I could relate to her. I would keep on marveling her steadfastness and affection for her son for whom she continued running under the scorching sun. Over with Hazrat Hajra A.S my mind would switch to Hazrat Maryam A.S who bore the pangs of labour alone under the date tree. I used to draw similarities from them of bearing the situation alone with firmness, belief and yearn. Firmness that Allah SWT will surely pass this difficult phase of my life, belief that Allah SWT loves me more than 70 times than my own mother and yearning that Allah SWT will grant me health if He willed. I would see the baby and wonder; what does she require of me ? how to bond with her ? How to protect her from the evils around? I had so many questions of which I had no answers.
Below are some of the things that my sheikh Hazrat Waqas Hasan Qazi db advised me when my little daughter was born and they have proved so helpful alhamdulillah.
● Take care of the hunger of the baby.
● Love her unconditionally, do not show anger, pray for her goodness in this life and the life hereafter. Pray for her to become your sadqa jaria etc.
● Stay modest and of an upright character and try to instill the qualities in yourself that you will like to see in her.
● Breast milk is her right, attend her with ablution. Also remember the doings and sayings of a mother transfer in child.
● Blow on her the supplications of ill-sightedness and magic (last two verses of surah Qalam and surah Yunus verses 81 & 82).
● When reciting Qur’an, do zikr and say durood whisper in her ears even if she’s sleeping.
They think women come with a knowing-all instincts of parenting but no, you need to learn it. You need to actually bond with the child. Learning what she/he requires of you. The task of parenting becomes stressful though it is such a rewarding journey. Motherhood is a beautiful journey and if we really do know the hows and whats of it the treading will be all so fun and rewarding too. I now realise almost daily how good would it be if we were taught life skills back in college and not the career oriented mind-set. They do take oath from us in convocation while awarding us the degree to fulfill the services to humanity, don’t they? But have we really thought what goodness of service will there be if the women of the nation don’t know how to actually raise a child? How to actually grow and nurture a child. I have yet to see parenting and mothering courses at Ivy League schools. I wish we were taught emotional intelligence. It would have helped me in moments of exasperation with the toddler tantrums I have to deal on a daily basis. I wish they had taught us parenting 101, risk management and failure for daily life situations and not from the business point of view alone. Stress management among all the things. For if they had I would rather not be running to self help courses as my guide.
Learning the true essence of nurturing a child is a prime need of a woman. Allah SWT has bestowed her with ‘reham’ (womb) none can deny the fact that among the many fields women may surmount but the basis remains constant. Maintaining home, nurturing children and maintaining modesty these are the elements that we pass onto our children which cultivate the environment of true tarbiyyah. If we will spend half our life learning what won’t benefit us and will only create anxiety and blues out of nowhere in common daily situations how can we achieve a fuller, warm and loved life?