by Amani Iqbal
As a new full-time mum with a seven-month-old baby, I found it difficult to find free time for ibadah like I did before. I found that by the time I was done with household duties and baby care my day was over! However, I gradually found a few ways to incorporate ibadah into my daily activities. I thought that perhaps other mums and mums-to-be might find it useful.
1. Keep in Mind That Every Deed the Muslim Woman Does for her Family is Rewarded by ALLAH
The duties of the Muslim woman– i.e the house and children— have been specified in the following hadith:
Each of you is a shepherd, and each is responsible for those under his care. A ruler is a shepherd; a man is the shepherd of his family; a woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and children. For each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for those under his care. [Bukhari and Muslim]
The importance of looking after our husbands– whether it be cooking their meals, keeping them happy by maintaining a clean home or looking after the children well– has been further emphasized in this authentic hadith:
A woman came to ask the Prophet (saw) about some matter, and when he had dealt with it, he asked her, “Do you have a husband?” She said, “Yes.” He asked her, “How are you with him?” She said, “I never fall short in my duties, except for that which is beyond me.” He said, “Pay attention to how you treat him, for he is your Paradise and your Hell.” [Reported by Ahmad and al-Nisa’i with jayyid isnads, and by al-Hakim, who said that its isnad was sahih. See al-Mundhiri, Al-Targhib wa’l-Tarhib, 3/52, Kitab al-nikah.]
When we have such solid evidences and words of encouragement showing us the great rewards we earn for looking after our husbands, houses and children, there is really no need for us to tire in our efforts to fulfill these duties! Keeping these hadith in mind, we should try to start our day with the niyyah that “every good deed we do for our home and family is for the sake of Allah and to earn his pleasure”. This will help us carry out our household and family responsibilities with joy as we know that they are all counted as ibadah!
2. Make Dhikr, Lectures, and Quran your Companions During Chores
A great way to keep yourself alert and active while performing household responsibilities is to listen to lectures or Quran or to do dhikr! It takes away the boredom of repetitive household duties and is a great way to earn ajr from Allah on a daily basis.
3. Take Advantage of Infant Feeding Times
The hardest time for me to stay awake was during the nightly nursing sessions with my son. After trying various other methods, I found that a brilliant way to keep myself awake was by reading Quran, hadith, or any useful Islamic article on my Smartphone! Not only did my tiredness disappear, I also looked forward to waking up at night so I could have some me time with Allah!
These times at night are also great times to ask dua, for we all know the hadith which states:
The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when the last third of the night remains, and He says, ‘Who will call Me that I might answer him, who will ask of Me that I might give him, who will ask My forgiveness, that I might forgive him?’” [narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Tawheed, 6940; Muslim, Salaat al-Musaafireen, 1262]
It can be difficult at times to concentrate on dua during these night hours, but with regular practise it becomes quite easy and a perfect quiet time to make your most sincere dua!
4. Read Your Children Stories of the Prophets and Teach Them Quran
Sometimes it’s only when we feel the need to teach our kids that we realize our own need to learn the sunnah and the Quran! Even though I’m still just playing Quran or nasheeds to my baby, I believe as he grows older reading to him stories of the Sahabah or the Prophet (saw) would be a great way to earn ajr as well as instil love for Islam and the Sahabah in our kids. This in itself is a blessing from Allah and a good way of bringing the family closer together too.
5. Make the Most of Technology
Though there is much fitna in Facebook, YouTube, and mobile phones, I strongly believe using them for good can be a fabulous way of keeping ourselves connected with Islam 24/7! My favourite gadget is my Smartphone which I use to:
- Subscribe to useful YouTube channels to receive the latest Islamic lectures right on my phone which I can listen to anytime.
- Join Islamic Facebook groups from which I receive daily notes of inspiration based on hadith and Quran and links to useful videos too.
- Download Quran and hadith apps so you can read on the go.
- Store pdf and mp3 files to learn Arabic and Quran without the need of a laptop.
I hope these little sources of learning and earning ajr prove to be useful to the millions of mums out there. More suggestions and sources would be gladly welcomed by commenting on this blog post! Remember, the main goal is to share and spread the deen among the Ummah as effectively and quickly as possible!
Amani Iqbal is a full-time mother living in the United Kingdom.