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The Muslim Mama’s Quick Guide to Goal Planning (without losing your sanity)

By Fatima Asad

If you’re like me, you despise seeing those tacky New Year’s resolution jokes on your newsfeed.  This one really irks my soul: “My New Year’s resolution is to follow through with my last year’s resolutions.”  Another one that sadly represents the majority of wishful go-getters is: “Thanks for not laughing at my absurdly unattainable New Year’s resolutions.”  It is not simply the cheesiness of these jokes that bothers me- but our apathetic attitude towards a chance to improve the quality of our lives.  Yes, December 31st is just a number and there’s no magic or daleel behind it but choose Ramadan or Muharram as your “New Year” if you please.  We as imperfect beings strongly desire a line – a start/finish line that will allow us to start afresh; however, it is only that- a desire.  Now, as a mother and wife, my plate of short-term and long-term planners is often overflowing and that liberating line is much needed to reorganise and get a new start.  

Let me throw in another cliche: “If you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.” This is the one quote that I can confirm from experience is very true.  The day that I have not planned is the day I get an inner panic attack either before or after breakfast.  Mothers are all too familiar with the overwhelming feeling of disorganisation and are pros at masking it with an air of “I know exactly what I’m doing.”  My to-do basket tends to pile up for days at a time, I am guilty of shoving clutter in the wrong closets, I miss my spa appointments regularly, I’ll let the kids have pyjama day (or week) when laundry needs to be done, and I’m definitely guilty of not straightening out the bed sheet before I spread the duvet elegantly on top.  Why am I divulging my secrets? Because I want the other moms out there to know that: Girls, it’s okay to not meet society’s standards every single day.  It really is!  We have too much going on to worry about which total stranger or judgemental relative we need to please today.  

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Believe it or not there’s a method to our clumsy madness as mothers.  We have far greater goals to focus on.  These goals don’t just include fitness or diet goals- that was the easy part.  As mothers, we have to make multiple planners for each new year: for me, for the kids, and for the husband (he can safely be kept under the children’s category).  It’s fun to plan a family trip or which new colour to paint the bedroom wall; however, as Muslim mothers, our goals for the year should reach far beyond those walls.  The purpose of setting goals is to improve the quality of our lives, as is pleasing to the Lord Almighty and to reach ihsaan (excellence) in all our actions and emotions.  Notice, there is a difference between excellence and perfection.  A chase for perfection will always end in failure- doing everything with ihsaan means I’ve given it my personal best.  

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I won’t lie; each year, the burden of raising little humans gets heavier on my shoulders as I know I must set goals that are wholesome for not only my family but also for the future of our Ummah.  These goals include focusing on categories such as Islamic Studies, Quran Studies, homeschooling (did I mention I’m also the teacher?), diet and exercise, social activities and life skills.  

Here are some gentle reminders for my fellow Muslim mothers (and fathers) as they begin or revise their goal planning:

  • Focus on your ultimate goal of reaching Jannatul Firdous
  • Renew your intention (Why and for whom are you doing this?)
  • Begin everything with Bismillah (Yes, even as you wash the dishes) and it will turn the action into worship
  • Let go of perfection and aim for YOUR very best
  • Stop worrying about people’s opinions! Do what seems right for your family
  • You’re still an awesome mother if you don’t do every project on Pinterest
  • Stick to the sunnah- remember Islam makes your life easier!
  • Read/listen about the great women in Islam and how they focused on their families, personal lives and their deen
  • You need to have a contemporary role model who inspires you (public figure, fellow mother, coworker)
  • Choose friends that bring positive energy in your life and help you grow instead of judging you (If you can have her over without having to change the kids out of those pyjamas, she’s a keeper!)
  • Don’t go through goal planning and implementing alone! Have a strong network to talk to (husband, friend, relative)

Life was not meant to be lived perfectly, and this year will be no exception.  We will make mistakes- lots of them.  It’s important to make NEW mistakes and learn from the old, inshaAllah.  

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My Son, You Taught Me…


By Umm Ibrahim 

My Dear Son,

It has been a year since you entered into our world. When I saw you, I felt my heart would burst with love and happiness, although my body was broken and aching. What a roller coaster of a year it has been since then. It was tough but totally worth it.

Son, your Baba often reminds me that you are an amanah of Allah. Allah has placed the enormous responsibility of your upbringing on our shoulders. And what a momentous task it is! I often think of the long lists of things I have to teach you. I want to teach you to always love and obey Allah and His Messenger. I want to teach you the Quran and make you fall in love with the book and the pen. I want to teach you everything from Arabic to algebra. I want to teach you swimming, archery and shooting. I want to equip you to deal with the fitnahs of this day and age, and to revive the beautiful deen of our Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasallam).

But today, my love, I actually want to talk to you about something else. I want to tell you about some of the amazing things that you have taught me. Yes, you heard it right!

I always wanted to be your mama. I always prayed for you. But you took your sweet little time coming. I remember I was almost losing hope at that time. When all of a sudden, I got the good news that a new life had already started to grow inside of me. I fell down in Sajdah and cried a lot that day. (Your mama does cry a lot. Most women cry it out when their heart is brimming with any emotion.  I hope you understand that well and lovingly support your wife through her tears, just like your Baba does.) Good news of you renewed my faith in my Duas. You taught me to believe whole-heartedly in Allah’s Loving Mercy.

During the pregnancy, you being inside me made me take care of myself. I felt weak at that time, but now that I think of it, you actually strengthened me physically, emotionally and spiritually. For your sake, I ate better and healthier. I tried to stay happier and think positive always because everything I thought and did was affecting you.  I recited more and got closer to the Quran. Son, you pushed my limits. You taught me that I was stronger than I thought. You taught me to love like I never knew even before you were born.

Your delivery was the toughest thing I have gone through. Before you, I would kick up a fuss even when swallowing a medicine.  You made me so much braver and confident in my own self. With Allah’s Help with me, I feel ready to face anything and everything now.

My son, you taught me the true meaning of the hadith which mentions that Allah is more merciful to his slaves than a mother to her child. Now, I understand why Allah chose a mother’s love and mercy as an example. I can never quantify my love for you. The fact that He loves me way more than I love you just boggles my mind and makes me fall in love with Him. It gives me hope in His Mercy and Forgiveness. I feel relaxed leaving all my matters in His Hand.

My son, you taught me that love conquers all and makes all things easy. I could smile in the day despite being sleepless in the night. I could endure endless pain and fatigue for you. And one smile of yours would melt it all away.

You taught me to love my husband more. He is your Baba, and the way he takes care of you and me is amazing. Seeing him playing and goofing around with you is one of my favorite things to watch. Taking care of you has been stressful for both of us. We have fought and snapped at each other. But we have also taken care of each other through it all. All in all, you have strengthened our relationship and made it all the more beautiful.

My son, you have taught me to love and appreciate your grandmothers too.  Becoming your mama has put so many things in perspective. After becoming a mom myself, I have developed immense respect for your nani. I now realize fully how much she went through and sacrificed for me. She is an amazing super-mom. I can never ever repay her. I feel sorry for every time I disappointed her or was rude and disobedient. No mother’s heart should go through pain. I feel more love and respect towards your dadi, my mother-in-law too.  You are my first-born. Baba is her first-born. I can only imagine the way she loves him. She has raised him well. And for that I am really thankful to her. I feel more empathy towards her concerned behavior which might otherwise feel annoying or interfering. I know it is all coming from a place of selfless love. Baba owes a lot to her. And her prayers are his asset.

My dear son, I love your innocence and the way you giggle over small things. You have taught me that the small things are actually the big things. You have taught me to live in the moment, to be thankful for every small blessing.

8ce5c01a121ca4fea8780cec760e5f22--baby-hands-baby-feetYou love me so much too and those cute expressions of love make me so happy and proud. Everyday, you push me to be a better version of myself, to learn more, to grow more. Because I am your first school and your first teacher. You look up to me and I cannot let you down. I have to be a good role model for you. Before I can teach you good conduct, I must try and work on my own personality and guide you through example.

My son, you are sleeping peacefully at this moment and I must wrap up this letter before you wake up and demand all my attention. Being a mom is definitely the toughest yet most rewarding job ever. I will always make dua for you. I will always love you. I really have no words to express that love. I hope you grow up a fine young man, and are successful in the deen and dunya.

Your Mama.

This Is My Story

Posted on

The first verse was shared as a tweet by a sister, then I wrote a poem on it :p 

Comment what you think about it below and don’t forget to share. May Allah accept it. 

This is my side of the story, only my burden to bear

You don’t have to share my grief, you only have to hear

Once I was a brave man, a man having no fear

Or at least I thought I was, not having a care

I used to drink and party a lot

My friends were the most notorious lot

We went to clubs during the night

And danced till the sun was shining hot

On weekdays I used to go to work

And stare at girls along the way

I used to flirt with most of them

Said things I would not publicly say

I used to laugh at misfortunate people

There was nothing that they could really do

“They’re so pathetic,” I used to think

And help them? That I would never do!

I shouted at my mother till the end of her life

I threatened my caring wife day and night

To change me when they used to strive

We used to have a serious fight

Then one day I hit a car on the way

Didn’t feel much pain, but a bit I did sway

And Bam! My body fell on the ground

Alas! My soul had been taken away!

For the first time in my life I felt afraid

When I saw those angels with black faces

They wrapped me in a cloth so roughly made

And every group of angels, sent on me curses

I was sent from the heaven back down to earth

My soul till The Hour to rot in the grave

Now I wish I didn’t do what I did

For I see the hellfire night and day

So I warn all those souls still in their bodies

To pay attention to what I say

For now you might do what you want

But then you’ll be in my state, and it might be today…

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When The Earth Starts To Shake…

Posted on

In light of the frequently occurring earthquakes these days… Most of these signs can be found in various Ahadith of the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam). I tried to find the ones I could. See the links in sha Allah.

As we reach close to the end of times

The earth gets filled with sins and crimes

When Humans worse than animals behave

When a child treats his own mother as a slave (1)

When false prophets start to increase in number (2)

When you wake people up but they prefer to slumber

When the most loved person is a liar and deceiver

When the most hated person is a faithful believer

When even Muslims start believing in false prophecies

When no one is afraid of committing hypocrisy

When killing someone becomes a piece of cake

When while taking a life, a person’s hands don’t even shake (3)

When children of fornication are born everyday

When people stop caring if someone goes astray

When all of this gets too much to take

Then that is when the earth frequently starts to shake… (4)

Graph provided by DL Research - http://www.dlinquist.com

Graph provided by DL Research – http://www.dlindquist.com

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