6: Time for My Children

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This Ramadan…

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I still remember the day someone placed a squirming a little infant in my arms and said, “Congratulations, Mommy!”

Mommy. The word excites me, scares me and weighs down upon me like nothing has ever done before. I am to help this little child find direction in life, direct her towards what’s good in this life – and more importantly, a good life in the hereafter.

But there are a thousand other things that occupy my time and my mind. Sometimes the children will walk up to me and ask me innocent questions about Islam, presenting an ideal opportunity for some discussion on Islam.

I wish I would never let these opportunities slip by no matter what I am doing. Sometimes I am in the kitchen trying to cook, at times in the midst of a book I am reading – but whatever my occupation at that point, nothing can be more important than teaching my kids about Islam.

So this Ramadan, I want to make a conscious effort to teach my children about the wonderful deen they belong to. Hopefully, an hour every day of the blessed month during which we discuss stories from the Quran, the Seerah of the Beloved Nabiyy (salla Allahu alayhi wasallam) and Islamic rulings they can understand. I want to make this fun for the children, something we carry on long after Ramadan is over – make it a part of our lives and schedule, and in the process create a cherished childhood memory, too.

And for those ladies who are not mothers, guiding younger siblings, cousins and friends towards acquiring knowledge in Islam would be worth a great reward, because remember what Allah says in the Quran:

O you who believe, protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones…” [At-Tahreem, 66:6]

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A Mother’s Role:

As food for thought, we leave you with the words of one of the shuyookh (paraphrase here) on the importance of motherhood:

The fact that women have left their stronghold — as caretakers and nurtures, and the first teachers for their children — is what has destroyed entire generations. The role of woman as mother in society is an extremely critical, but often neglected one, and I’ll tell you why.

You’ve seen the tall buildings that are popular in our times? How are those built? It starts with blocking off the construction site, and digging, and working underground to lay the base. And how long are the builders there, working underground? A long time, just working on the foundation. And even if there’s a sign, announcing the new “Phoenix Tower,” or whatever it’s called, no one really pays attention to it.

Then when the floors finally start to build on, 30, 40 stories or more, then people start to pay attention. And when the construction is finished, the windows go up, and the exterior gets painted and finished, and a team comes in to take care of the design. When people walk into the building, they wonder who the great interior designer was. No one asks about the construction workers who put down the base unless something goes wrong with the building.

The role of a woman in raising her children is just like that. She works underground. No one really understands and appreciates her true role in raising children. And yet the foundation for all nations and all societies was never built on anything but the shoulders of women.

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Suggested viewing:

Sh. Omar Suleiman, A Tribute to My Mom:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjrSmMqNVYg

Br. Nouman Ali Khan on teaching Islam to our children:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWf2lOoggIQ

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