Among Muslims there can often be a stigma around the topics of mental and emotional health, and this can be especially true when it comes to our sisters. Muslim women are often told that they have low iman when they admit to feeling stressed, overwhelmed, emotionally detached, or unmotivated. In actuality, the situation is usually much more nuanced.

Many of the great scholars of the past understood that true health comes from cultivating a combination of spiritual, bodily, and emotional wellness. Ibn Al-Qayyim (Rahimuhallah), is an excellent example of this and is often referred to as “The Heart Doctor,” although he was technically a physician by trade, as well as a learned scholar.

In our current times, losing sight of this integrative approach to wellness has caused a tremendous amount of physical dis-ease, mental health issues, low self-worth, relationship struggles, and spiritual detachment. Many of the sisters I work with and speak to share that although they smile and try to keep up appearances, they are slowly (or quickly) falling apart inside. But where can they turn for help?  

The health and spiritual wellness of our Ummah– and especially that of those who birth and rear its children— is of paramount importance and an amaanah upon us. How well do we support each other, especially our women? If we doubt that our sisters have unique needs, we have only to look to the Quran and Hadith, which exhort us to recognize woman’s different nature and to treat her well:

  . . . And the male is not like the female . . .   Aali Imran (3:36)

And the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, as narrated by Abu Huraira:

Treat women nicely, for a women is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion, so, if you should try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women nicely.                                                 —Bukhari and Muslim

This hadith is often used against women, but the scholars have clarified the meaning to be that verily its straightness is in its crookedness!

The woman was created with a certain form and temperament, and just like the rib the form is beneficial for the task for which it was created. If our ribs were not bent they would not be effective in protecting our internal organs.

And similarly, although different from men a woman’s unique composition allows her to fulfill her specific functions in the best way. Just as straightening a rib would snap it and render it useless to the body, “straightening” a woman is breaking her and renders her unable to carry out that for which she was created.

There will always be issues and concerns that women deal with that are unique to them and that men may be less able to relate to and advise upon. That is why it is important to have trusted and in-depth resources and programs for our sisters, delivered from the point of view of women, by a woman.

Alhamdulillah, this is what we’ve developed by Allah’s permission with our emotional and spiritual wellness course: “The Self{ish} Project: Sacred Self-Care for Muslim Woman.” The focus of this program is Self{love}   Self{care}, and Self{healing}, and it empowers sisters to:

  • Resolve past hurts and trauma,
  • Develop emotional intelligence and balance,
  • Prioritize self-care so that they have the energy and love to care for others, and
  • Most importantly– deepen their connection to Allah, the source of all good.

Alhamdulillah, there is a way that you can support the emotional and spiritual health of your Muslim sisters. You can help in empowering them to be strong mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and leaders of our ummah.

This course was originally a live, paid course that we facilitated for women around the world, with fantastic results, mashaAllah. However, in each class there were always sisters who desperately needed our support but who could not afford the fees.

We allowed many in at no charge, but realized that this was a drop in the bucket compared to the number of sisters who needed our help. In striving to support our sisters in need on a larger scale, the “Save a Sister” initiative was born.

We have spent considerable time and resources developing this program, and are now moving on to the outreach and administration phase. Alhamdulillah, more than 100 sisters have already signed up for the course, and we hope to reach thousands more, bi’ithnillah. However, to do so requires manpower to work with individuals and organizations to identify at-risk sisters, develop additional educational content, monitor enrollments, and manage the large number of emails and administrative inquiries we receive from sisters.

By supporting our project, you will also gain a share of this sadaqah jaariyah (continuous charity), in which we aim to help uplift the spiritual and emotional wellness of our ummah by investing in its most precious resource– our sisters.

Jazakamallahu khairan

Sister Khadija of womanbynature.com is a Certified Integrative Nutritionist, Emotional Wellness, and Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach. She specializes in working with conscious Muslim women seeking to live their purpose— on purpose.

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