A Letter to Mothers without Children

June 17, 2015

Just One Child

June 17, 2015

Worship Smart, Not Hard: Ramadan for Moms (and other Busy People!)

June 17, 2015
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Business people often say: “work smart, not hard.” In other words, instead of spending every waking moment working on something, make strategic moves that will cut your workload without decreasing your success.

In Ramadan we are inundated with reminders on how often we should recite the Quran and how many hours we should stand in tarweeh. But those of us who are parents understand that sometimes dedicating all those hours to worship and reflection is just not possible. Instead of feeling inadequate because we aren’t able to be at the mosque every night, or our children don’t allow us the time to recite the Quran for long periods of time, we can worship smart.

Here’s what I mean:

Be a master of your intentions

The truth is, as much as we would like to dedicate all of our time in the month of Ramadan to acts of worship, we all have responsibilities and commitments that don’t cease simply because Ramadan starts. That’s why turning every “mundane” action into a form of worship is the optimal way to stay engaged in worship throughout the day.

For example, cooking iftar can cut into valuable time during the day. You can be irritated that you’re “wasting” your time on cooking, or you can transform your intention. You’re now cooking to feed your fasting family:

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “Whoever gives iftar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.”

If your intention is to please Allah through making food for the people you love, every moment you spend stirring and kneading and rolling and baking will be rewarded inshaAllah.

(And you may not agree with me, but not every iftar has to be an elaborate meal. Pizza tastes just as good in Ramadan!)

The same applies to lots of other “mundane” actions you preform throughout the day. All of them can take become acts of worship simply be refocusing your intentions.

Small meaningless

Ramadan is meant to propel us into a better state of faith and practice – it is not meant to burn us out. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little.” So use Ramadan as your motivation and springboard to develop good deeds and habits that are consistent and will continue after Eid.

If you’re ignoring your responsibilities in order to recite the Quran, or you’re falling asleep during tarweeh because you haven’t had a chance to sit down and rest since fajr, maybe you should revaluate your worship goals.

Make personal and meaningful goals to recite Quran, pray night prayers, give charity and remember Allah. To you that might mean one page of Quran each day, 2 rak’ahs of prayer after you tuck your kids in, or one dollar a day.

You may only be able to do these deeds that seem “small” in the eyes of others, but praying two rak’ahs with concentration and understanding is enormously better than dizzily standing all night in prayer without any semblance of understanding. That’s when you’ve crossed the line from actual worship to mechanical ritual.

Ensure that your Ramadan is full of meaningful worship that is at least somewhat sustainable and can be incorporated into your post-Ramadan routine.

Multiply your deeds

Ramadan is a blessed month where Allah (swt) multiplies our good deeds. Finding ways to take advantage of this without necessarily adding to your workload is paramount to worshiping smart.

For example, if you’re cooking or baking something special for your family, wrap some of it up and give it to your neighbours. It doesn’t require any extra effort on your part, but considering the immense rewards of being kind to your neighbour, the rewards of this action can be enormous.

Or, if you’re going to donate some money to a certain cause or needy family, ask your friends if they’d like to donate with you. The Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever guides (another) to a good deed will get a reward similar to the one who performs it.” By encouraging others to take part in charity, you reap the benefits of not only your own donation, but the donations of everyone else who follows your lead.

The possibilities of multiplying your rewards are endless.

Incorporate remembrance into your day

You may not be able to sit down and recite Quran for extended periods of time because your toddler insists on prying the book out of your hands or your infant needs you to sleep next to him or else he’ll wake up in a panic, etc.

That doesn’t mean you’ve lost your chance at accumulating good deeds in this blessed month. Every moment you’re occupied with something can turn into a moment of remembrance with words that are light on the tongue but heavy on the scales:

SubhanAllah
Alhamdulillah
La illaha illAllah
Allahu Akbar

And many more. (Here’s another great list you can refer to.)

(And here’s a great video on Ramadan tips for moms.)

May Allah (swt) allow us to use our time well and skillfully this Ramadan, and may He accept our deeds. Ramadan mubarak!

16 comments

  1. Ramadan Mubarak! May Almighty accept all your efforts and bless you to be among the dwellers of Jannat ul Firdaus. Aaameeen.

  2. This is some solid advice, masha’Allah!
    I especially like the part about transforming even “mundane” every day tasks into an opportunity for worship. It’s also nice to make dhikr while we cook – I feel like it puts extra blessing in the food!

  3. Jzk thank you for this! Definitely need to remember this and implement the smaller and regular ways in which to remember Allah like you pointed out.

  4. Jazakallah sister.. much needed advice. May Allah swt shower his choicest blessings upon u n ur Lil angel.pls do update more information on hw busy mums can get the best out of Ramadan. . Ramadan Mubarak

  5. RamaDan mubarak and may God bless you. We should say “seek the acceptance of Allah” instead of “pleasing Allah”. God is not attributed with emotions. He is clear of all attributes of the creations. May God facilitate for you the paths of goodness

    1. Ramadhan Mubarak all and jazak Allaah khairun sister Asmaa for this reminder and encouragement for us to make the most out of our situations. Sister Samia, in surah 98 Al Bayinah, verse 8, Allaah Himself talks about those who will be granted paradise and He mentions being pleased with them and they being pleased with Him so we do seek Allaah’s pleasure always. May Allaah accept all our efforts and bring us closer to eachother and to Him subhanahu wa ta’ala. Ameen

  6. Jazakaallah sister! !! I really needed this advice. I have a 22 month old son and 5 month old twins. I have been thinking how am i supposed to fit everything in with the constant feedings and demands of my toddler. But Inshaallah will take your very much needed advice. May Allah swt reward you for your kind advice xxx

  7. Jazak Allah khairan such a beautiful uplift much needed. I’ve been blessed alhamdulillah with an early pregnancy this Ramadan, which means I won’t be fasting due to doctors advice and accepting the rukhsa… it was very hard for me to accept this and I just felt I’m missing out on Ramadan altogether, but inshaAllah with new intentions I pray I can still get the essence of this month of mercy even if I’m not fasting.

  8. This is exactly the type of advice busy moms need. There has been such an emphasis to be “more productive” which has its own merits but that can leave the busier moms feeling left out and unproductive. Ramadan is a time to purify our intentions and connect with Allah swt, even if it’s just for a brief moment everyday. Intentions are everything and cooking and cleaning for our families bring such baraqa and rewards InshaAllah. JazkaAllah for writing this! SakeenahBegum.com

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