By Umm Abdullah
It may sound like ingratitude, but the clouds of frustration had hovered over me long enough to make me really appreciate the beams of sunlight that finally penetrated through them.
Why All the Discontent?
It wasn’t as if my husband was a bad person, or that Allah didn’t bless me with children, or that my mother-in-law was unkind. Neither were there any financial ups and downs. The cause of my discontent really was hard to define. I wasn’t even sure who to blame. Was it depression? Did I need psychological help? Or was ‘’grumpy’’ just my thing?
I couldn’t seem to figure it out, maybe because I never gave it enough thought.
Years passed and I found no cure for my sense of helplessness. I was aware of my deen and the power, mercy, and will of Allah. When it came to deen, I was a good, struggling Muslim. When I stepped on that path, I also strove to achieve its essence.
So how did it all come to this? Was the foundation of our marriage wrong?
Why Did I Marry in the First Place?
The reason I had accepted his proposal was that we were friends with my in-laws and they were sound in their aqeedah, practicing Muslims since the time when we just knew of deen as a deen of salat, saum, hajj, zakat, and good deeds, with least of its rulings and essence.
After reflecting a bit I realised that I had married my husband to complete half of my deen. This is a great thing, right? But what I expected from him was . . . to do the same for me.
I wanted him to become the strong pillar, not only for me but also for the family members to come. I wished him to steer our life and make us among those momineen who are praised by Allah in His awesome book.
But where did my connection with my Rabb go? How much did I really do to be that momin?
I guess I just wanted an easy way, to run away from my responsibilities. I wanted someone else to do much of my required deeds for me.
What About My Responsibility as a Shepherd?
It is true that a religious spouse is a blessing from Allah, but obviously if he’s responsible for us, I should also remember that I’m also responsible for myself and my children.
As the prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ameer (ruler) who governs the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the members of his household and is responsible for them. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them. A slave is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.
I had overlooked my own duty to act as shepherd of my husband’s house. Realizing this made me struggle, alhamdulillah, and still does. I didn’t like it at first, of course, but then doing it all for the sake of Allah, bringing my kids up and making them our sadaqah jariyah while striving to help my husband love his Lord, made me realize how much I needed it from the very first day.
Making it to Home Sweetest Home
It’s a struggle that I do only to please my Rabb, and it has loosened most of my jumbled knots, making me a better wife and a kinder mother. After all, this dunya is a test and a place to strive in, to make it to our home sweetest home— Jannah!