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Advice for Mothers on Worshipping in the Last 10 nights 

Advice for Mothers on Worshipping in the Last 10 nights 

By Ustadha Ammarah Bholat

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ramadan is a time to spiritually cleanse ourselves, to build our taqwa, get rewards and blessings, and build a stronger connection with Allah. Of the days and nights of Ramadan, the most valuable are the last ten, with the greatest night of all being Laylatul Qadr. Worship on these nights gives us the opportunity to earn more rewards than we could in an entire lifetime.

We all look forward to experiencing the last 10 nights. We carefully plan and set high goals before they begin. However, some mothers are disappointed when they realize how difficult it is to get some time for ibadah (worship), especially when faced with an overwhelming amount of chores and managing children. 

As mothers, we may ask, “what about my spiritual health, my connection with Allah?”

It’s important to remind ourselves that we also have to dedicate time for our ibadah. If we neglect our spiritual selves completely it could have a devastating effect on our faith. Furthermore, children will learn from our own examples, and when they see us prioritizing worship they also grow in veneration for acts of worship. 

We must avoid going into excess of just spending time doing chores to the point where we treat chores as more important than our religious obligations and spiritual growth. Although it can be hard to find the time and energy to make the most of these days, do not lose hope. There are still many ways that we as mothers can increase in ibadah and benefit from the last ten days of Ramadan.

1. Make a plan and set a routine

Structure your time so you are not haphazardly going about your days and just trying to fit worship in. Things will come up, but if you have a strong intention and firm routine, inshallah you will be able to maintain it. 

Imam Ghazali explains in The Beginning of Guidance:

“Your time should not be without any structure, such that you occupy yourself arbitrarily with whatever comes along. Rather, you must take account of yourself and order your worship during the day and the night, assigning to each period of time an activity that must not be neglected nor replaced by another activity.”

Have a simple meal plan ready for the next few days. It’s important to get all family members on board. I recommend setting up a family meeting with all members before the last 10 nights begin. Have some activities set out for your children also. Look through your schedule and find the time that your children are most calm and dedicate that time for worship. 

2. Even small moments matter 

As mothers many times we tend to wait for that large chunk of time where we have no distractions. We can all agree that this type of opportunity rarely comes! So instead of waiting, take every opportunity you find. If you can’t read one chapter, read half. If you can’t complete that then even one page. But don’t deprive yourself of good actions all together. The fiqh principle is that, “If something cannot be done completely, it should not be left completely.”

So whenever free of pressing responsibilities, even if only for a short amount of time, engage in worship. Even if you manage to only read a verse of the Quran it is worth it!

3. Make a Duaa List

During these final moments of Ramadan, we should pour our hearts out to Allah (swt) as much as possible. After an exhausting day it may become very difficult to remember our duaas. Set aside some time to write a detailed duaa list and have that on hand during the last 10 nights. 

4. Involve your kids 

Have your children pick out different acts of worship that you can engage in together.

The Prophet said, “Whoever points to the good has the reward of the one who performs it” (Muslim). Even if it seems that teaching your child Surah Fatiha is something small compared to others who are completing multiple Quran recitations remember that every good action you teach your child is a continuous sadaqah being recorded for you. You are also setting the tone in your home for the importance of worshipping Allah. What greater thing can a person do than raise a believing and God-fearing soul in love with Allah and his Messenger?  

5. Increase in Dhikr

Engaging in dhikr and reciting Quran that we have memorized while doing our household duties will allow us to remain occupied in worship and will also bring barakah into our homes. If you are a nursing mother, engage in dhikr and reciting Quran while nursing your child.  This will have a positive spiritual impact on your children.

 6. Don’t be shy to ask for help!

If you have family support, find times in the day where you can count on your family to help with the children. Parenting is a shared responsibility between both parents. Allah tells us to have a spirit of helping one another in attaining piety (Quran 5:2). The most important people to help are your own family, and keeping meal plans simple, sharing household chores, and time with the children is a great example of helping one another in attaining piety.  Asking for help will help prevent us from being burned out.

7. Keep a positive mindset

Not everyone will have help around the house, and some will have to work while fasting and taking care of children alone.  We can take inspiration from Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet . She spent a large portion of her time handling household chores and raising her five children. There is a reason why the Prophet   described her as the “Queen of All the Women in Paradise.” So if you ever feel overwhelmed or disheartened by not being able to worship as much as you wanted, remember that paradise is attainable through multiple paths. It’s not easy to go through Ramadan, while everyone is busy with worship, and you’re so occupied with your children. It’s easy to become disheartened when we feel we are not reaching our goals.

Ramadan while raising children and breastfeeding is not easy at all. However, remind yourself that as a mother you’re on a special route of worship. Don’t be disheartened if you aren’t able to achieve all your Ramadan goals. Your child may require nursing throughout the night, and you may not read all the Quran you wanted, but you are doing a great service for your child by nursing.

Have faith that Allah won’t allow your tears, your effort, your exhaustion, and your good intentions go to waste in Ramadan.

 

Related article: Worshipping While Menstruating During the Last 10 Nights of Ramadan

To contact Ustadah Ammarah and to learn more about her classes please email ammarahbholat@gmail.com 

Mixlr.com/piasisters

Ustadha Ammarah was born and raised in Los Angeles CA. At a young age she travelled to England to pursue an Alimiyyah degree in Islamic Sciences. Over the next 6 years she studied Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Aqeedah, Usul (foundations of jurisprudence), Arabic Grammar and gained guidance from many esteemed scholars of England. During this time she received ijazaat from scholars in the Islamic Sciences with isnād (a linked chain of the prophetic traditions from herself to the Prophet) in numerous books of hadith. Since then she has been involved in teaching Islamic Studies and lecturing in various mosques across the Bay Area.

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Worshipping While Menstruating During the Last 10 Nights of Ramadan

Worshipping While Menstruating During the Last 10 Nights of Ramadan

By Ustadha Ammarah Bholat

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The sage Ibn `Ata’illah al- Iskandari mentions in his Hikam, “When The Real (Allah) knew of your boredom, he diversified for you acts of obedience.”
لما علم الحق منك وجود الملل لون لك الطاعات

Allah created different ways of worshipping Him so we may spend all our time in worship. Allah praises those “Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire” (Quran 3:191). 

There are times in the day when it is sinful to pray and there are times in the year when it is sinful to fast. For a woman in particular, there are days in the month where due to her menstruation cycles she cannot pray or fast, but she should never feel as if the door of worshipping Allah is being closed. Rather, other doors are being opened for her. In reality there is so much that a menstruating woman can do to fill her days and nights with Ibadah (worship). Below are five acts of worship our teachers recommend and that I teach to my own students:

1.  Find a replacement ibaadah for her Salah. 

During menstruation a woman can not pray, which leaves a large gap in Ramadan as she is not able to take part in Fardh, Taraweeh, Tahajjud, and all other voluntary prayers.

Ibn Abdin mentions in Raddul Muhtar that the overall recommendation is that a menstruating woman make wudhu for each prayer time, sit in her usual place of worship, and make dhikr for the time it takes for her to normally pray so that she does not lose her habit of worship while in this state. In Ramadan a woman should sit even throughout Tahajjud time and Taraweeh time and engage herself in different acts of Ibadah

2.  Connect with the Quran

Yes! A woman in menstruation can still spend as much time with the Quran! Although in many schools of thought a menstruating woman is not permitted to recite the Quran, she may and should listen to the Quran as much as possible. She should ponder over the meaning of the Quran, connect with each verse, understand its meaning, and recite the verses in her heart. A good book to help the non-Arabic speaker do this is Ma’ariful Qur’an by Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani.

It’s important to note that in the Maliki madhab a woman may recite Quran without touching the mushaf (physical copy of Quran), and when for the purposes of study she may even hold a mushaf. 

3. Dhikr, Duaa and Durood (sending prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ)

The 3 D’s! 

I) Dhikr of Allah is one of the best ways to cleanse and purify a person’s heart. 

My teacher Shaykhul Hadith FadhlHaq Wadee would mention that increasing our dhikr illuminates our hearts and increases our desire to do good actions. This is crucial for a woman to do during her menses so she does not experience a decline in her spiritual state. 

 II) Duaa If she finds it challenging to sit in duaa for a large portion of time then there are amazing duaa compilations [such as Hizbul Azam and Munajaat Maqbool] which provide beautiful duaas that she can recite. With each word she is beseeching and calling upon Allah and with each word she is strengthening her relationship with Allah. 

  III) Durood – Sending salutations upon the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is amongst the most virtuous acts of worship. She is rewarded, her sins are forgiven, and most importantly it increases her love and connection with the Prophet ﷺ. 

It was narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka‘b (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
I said: O Messenger of Allah, I send a great deal of blessings upon you; how much of my du‘aa’ should be sending blessings upon you? He said: “Whatever you wish.” I said: One quarter? He said: “Whatever you wish, and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: One half? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: Two thirds? He said: “Whatever you wish and if you do more, that will be better for you.” I said: I will make all of my du‘aa’ for you. He said: “Then your concerns will be taken care of and your sins will be forgiven.”

4. Seek Knowledge

She can read an Islamic Book, review lessons, or study with a teacher if possible. Yahya ibn Abi Kathir said, “Studying sacred knowledge is a prayer.” Sufyan al-Thawri and Shafi’i said, “There is nothing after what is obligatory that is superior to seeking sacred knowledge.”

5)  Find the beauty in submitting to Allah’s commands

Ibn `Ata’illah said, “No matter is difficult if you seek it through your Lord. Nothing is easy if you seek it through yourself.” Seek through Allah and you will be granted; seek through your own might and you will be seeking for a long time. It is not unlikely that through the blessing of submission and sincerity Allah will open up unimaginable doors of good for you. Allah knows well how much you would like to fast and perform Tarawih. You are worshipping Allah, just by the situation you are in. Our teachers would say: “Her praying while pure is an act of ibadah and her refraining from prayer while menstruating is also an act of ibadah. All of it is counted as worship.” 

May Allah give us all tawfiq and accept our worship.

 

Related article: Interview with Ustadha Ammarah Bholat

To contact Ustadah Ammarah and to learn more about her classes please email ammarahbholat@gmail.com 

Mixlr.com/piasisters

Ustadha Ammarah was born and raised in Los Angeles CA. At a young age she travelled to England to pursue an Alimiyyah degree in Islamic Sciences. Over the next 6 years she studied Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Aqeedah, Usul (foundations of jurisprudence), Arabic Grammar and gained guidance from many esteemed scholars of England. During this time she received ijazaat from scholars in the Islamic Sciences with isnād (a linked chain of the prophetic traditions from herself to the Prophet) in numerous books of hadith. Since then she has been involved in teaching Islamic Studies and lecturing in various mosques across the Bay Area.

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