QI Personals

Parenting Paragons

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“[Mention, O Muḥammad], when the wife of ʿImrān said, ‘My Rabb, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.’” [`Āli ʿImrān, 35]
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رب إنى نذرت لك ما في بطنى محرراً فتقبل مني إنك أنت السميع العليم
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We summon the stories of these parenting paragons to remind ourselves: there is divine purpose to every pursuit, especially parenthood. I forget that. Many mamas-to-be forget. We forget, during the pains of pregnancy, wahnan-ʿalā-wahn, during the nausea and vomiting and fatigue, when fantasies of productivity fade into distant delusions, that the baby we carry is a gift, granted by Him to serve Him. Our sacrifices are ʿibādah. Our weaknesses invite His strength. And to harbor any thoughts beside those is bound to leave us spiritually unmoored.
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Months ago, after morning sickness kicked in, I found myself stifled by bitter resentment, sulking in the stolen moments that could have been my own. Weeks passed, and my muṣḥaf gathered dust, untouched. My ḥifdh program halted to a stop. My fitness routine-—for years, a source of mental and emotional solace-—crumbled, as a simple twenty-minute walk left me lightheaded. Even my salad’s health halo evaporated when I grew averse to all greens in the vegetable aisle. Crackers and pickles were the only constants, and sickness. The sickness lingered day and night, as did the thought that my body had betrayed me.
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⠀⠀⠀ ⠀“Baby comes first now,” relatives told me.
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From the `āyat of `Āli ʿImrān, we learn to truckle to the troubles of pregnancy with patience; to embrace its unpredictabilities with grace; to pace ourselves as we venture again toward routine (a rare luxury for mamas and mamas-to-be). But most importantly, we learn that our bodies and physical capabilities aren’t our own-—they never were. Rather, they are temporary tools through which we serve our Rabb. I forget that, until I remember her duʿā: “I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this of me, indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.” `Āmeen.


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