RAMADAN…With your little one!

RAMADAN…With your little one!

A mother lode of Ramadan blessings

Children are God’s gifts to whomever he so pleases. As such, they should not become stumbling blocks to our grateful efforts in Ramadan to increase our worship of a Most Gracious and Generous Lord.

Ramadan is back again, Al-Hamdulillaah—and not a moment too soon! We should be grateful we are granted another precious chance to fast, increase our acts of worship, and continue to do as many good deeds as possible in just a month's time. It is often over in a blink of an eye. So, it's a race to make the most of each day and night in devotion to, and sincere worship of Allah, our Lord and Creator.

But for a worshipper who's also a wife, this goal can be an oh so difficult one to achieve—balancing a Ramadan schedule for the soul against taking care of a home and a family in a fasting and night intensive time. This is exponentially true for mothers who are breastfeeding and caring for a baby while fasting and running a fasting household. How often a new mother is up all night with her baby tending to its needs and settling it to sleep! She barely closes her eyes. The loss of sleep, weakness from fasting, and the substantial calorie and time losses of nursing a hungry baby can leave a worshipping mother exhausted, even depressed. When that Muslimah is also a mother, she struggles both to fulfill her family's needs and that of the home, in addition to her own Ramadan worship. There can be no doubt that fasting, prayer, and recitation of Quran own a higher priority over her, even as Allah Almighty reminds us in the Noble Quran. Yet a Muslim mother's household and care-giving worship do not abstain from doing all of these.

Yet while maintaining the fast and sustaining increased acts of worship in Ramadan presents such women with particularly back-breaking challenges, it nonetheless remains true that she can excel on the Siyaam (fasting) and Qiyaam (night prayer) side and in the administration and nurture of home and baby too. Indeed, it is not only absolutely possible, but absolutely spiritually invigorating. With substantial organization and pre-planning, motivate new mothers (and new mothers again) to reap all the rewards of Ramadan.

Down-home Ramadan advice

  • Do as much preparation as possible well before Ramadan even begins. Make a balanced Ramadan schedule and sticking to it. And made sure that everything had its time and place. Plan the Ramadan Suhoor and Iftaar meals beforehand. This will also make the shopping easier.
  • For older children, it’s good to have crafts and simple toys on hand to keep them occupied so that you can perform prayer, read the Quran, or work in the kitchen. Make Ramadan folders for your children. Let them have their own schedule for fun activities during the Ramadan day, as well as Quran and Hadeeth study pages. You can also print coloring and craft pages from the Internet, which is an excellent resource.
  • As for caring a baby, always make sure that your baby is well fed and cared for first before I move to other activities. By doing this, the baby is less likely to be fussy when the mother wants to perform prayer or read the Quran. With a clean diaper and a full belly, the baby will most likely be content while the mother engages in acts of worship or other activities.
  • Mothers can also rely a bit on technology when trying to free her hands up for worship or housework. Automated baby swings and rockers are hot items for infants, though they can cost. They may soothe your baby, but they won't protect them. Be sure you are in the same room supervising to ensure the safety of your baby.
  • Rest when you can - I know you might be thinking – “Rest? What rest? There’s no time to rest when you’re a new parent!”. It’s okay to not do all the things. Sometimes, it’s fine to nap when the baby naps and leave the folding for another day, especially when you’re sleep-deprived. Fasting and caring for a little one can get tiring very quick. A happy and rested parent makes for a happier baby too! Let go of what you can this month to focus on achieving your Ramadan goals if you have any. Just keep it to 20-30 minutes so that you’ll wake up feeling refreshed to take on the rest of the day.
  • Don’t stress, and don’t compare - It’s so easy to get caught up looking at other people’s social media feeds and their pretty Ramadhan decorations, enormous food spreads or the likes. This is truly a new phenomenon – most of us grew up in times where Ramadhan was simple, and now more than ever is the time to return to that simplicity and togetherness. Find a rhythm that works for your own family and don’t get caught up in thinking that you need to do all the things in order to have a fulfilling Ramadan. Wouldn’t it be so much nicer to look back on this time as a time where you spent in calm worship together rather than stressed out because you feel like you didn’t achieve something?

If only you knew

It's important to note that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are not required to fast during Ramadan and can make up the missed days at a later date. But the incentives...

Allah, Says in the Gracious Quran : {[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So, whoever among you is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.} [Quran 2:184]

Thus, many Muslim women opt to fast during Ramadan and it is permissible for them to do so, in accordance with the approval of the Prophet Muhammad. Remember! All the missed fasts from Ramadan must be made up at a later date. Say, 29 or 30 days of fasting, sometimes running into multiple years of childbearing and nursing, can be hard to make up on your own. Moreover, not fasting in Ramadan truly makes the heart heavy and sad. When you are determined to fast in Ramadan so that you do not have to make up the fasts later all alone, you show courage, ask Allah for help. It is His blessing that will energize you during the fast. You will feel successful after a whole month of Ramadan worship while juggling the care of your baby and the household work.

Ramadan is a beautiful month, so have patience. Muslims must seize the Ramadan days and nights in utter worship of Allah while striving to keep distractions at bay. Get the whole family involved in worship and lending a hand to the mother of the home so that she, too, can worship. Ramadan is like a rainbow that appears in the sky after a cloudburst on a sun-drenched day. Its beauty and mercy last only as long as the time it is permitted by Allah.


Ramadan Kareem to you and your family.