Sunday, 1 October 2017

Time to refresh, re-evaluate and re-construct Single Muslim Mums!

My blogs address a lot of the issues face by single muslims mums- as I am one. I have let this become my only identity- someone who is constantly thriving, constantly battling to survive . It has been a long, exhausting and lonely journey and it still is.

Most people don't choose single parenthood- it chooses us. The reason being is we are the chosen ones because God believes we can pull this up. We are strong enough for it, and as he promised "Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286).

I've hit rock bottom so many times now that I've lost count, but what brings me back every time is my faith. I've had a long struggle with my imaan for about 10 years now. I threw myself in the deep end 10 years ago- raising the bar really high for what I consider make myself the best Muslim. This by far has been the greatest test of my life. I've lost perspective on what my aim is so many times. I am here to worship my Lord, and the rest is just experiences on the way. I mean obviously we need to have a career, a family life, friends etc but that's not our purpose- our purpose is not to please people or even to seek happiness in this world but rather in the hereafter. 

I blog to let other single Muslim Mums out there to know we are all going through the same thing- yes  we have to deal with the stigma of being divorced, single mums, of being a particular skin colour, of suffering from certain conditions which most people don't understand. 

Lately I have been a lot on survival mode- I was basically living because I have kids under my care- and I couldn't possibly abandon them. I lost interest in everything else- I forgot being myself. As a single mum who is not co-parenting it's hard to put yourself first. It's hard to find the time for you- when you are always busy providing and caring for others. The only me time us mums possibly have is when the kids are in bed. This doesn't even count so much as me time- as you are still stuck and limited in what you can do- you cannot step out, you cannot really enjoy a banter with an adult if you live by yourself. So, you try to find other things to do: like watching a film, reading a book , work out etc- but it get to the point where you are frustrated of the same routine day in and out- there's a void that's not being filled. 

I find that I struggle mostly when I forget to be who I used to be before being 'mum' and maybe the problem lays in me being so different from the old me. I am living a life contrary to my personality- from an extrovert- i've become an introvert, I used to have a lots of friends, now I can count all of them on the fingers of my right hand. I've learnt over the years to choose my friends carefully and not everyone is worthy of your trust - something I knew form a long time ago, but something that never bothered me much back in the days. I've learnt to bite my words and to adhere to social conventions, whereas the old me was outspoken and didn't mince my words. I've learnt people get offended easily when you speak the truth, I've learnt that nowadays you are in people's life only as long as you are useful to them. All those things re not really problem in themselves as this is how the world functions- the problem is when you believe in a different concept about what the world should be and you have the conviction that it should be something completely different and you struggle with the fact that you can't change it. You focus on bringing about the change in others- knowing full well that such a a change will never happen. Then anger builds in, and cos it's all been bottled down deep inside and you've not been able to convey your feelings- you start to suffocate under it and in all this you lose a little bit more of yourself.

I think not long ago I blogged about the fact that growing up, my dad used to say to me if someone shows you an apple and he believes it's an orange - there is no way in the world you will change his mind. I completely agree with the statement, but somewhere deep in me, I have to fight this injustice- It is just not right. I tried to ignore such things- just g with the flow- live according to the norms of society but it is just not me!

So then I sink into depression, cos I'm battling who I am with what I am expected to be. I had this thing about doing what's right since a very young age. I remember in primary school- some kids refused to play with certain kids cos their social status etc- even at a young age I made it a point to play with them at break times and to sit at their table when it was end of year party. I decided to ignore those other children who thought they were better than others. You can call it pride or ego if you like- but for me it was doing what's right.

As a single mum, we live by a lot of principles because we've seen people disrespecting our rights over and over again - and after becoming a single mum - I feel even more strongly about doing the right thing and to fight for the inequalities. When I give up on this, and just abide by the fake rules created by society- a piece of me die every time and so does my faith.

I have to keep reminding myself, it's not the religion- but the people. Do not judge a Islam by the actions of Muslims or else I would lose my beliefs. I have so many times given on different things that I upheld when my imaan is at its best, but when it's at its low- then I struggle and give in to worldly pleasure- such a listening to music rather than the Quran. And being fully aware - music is the disease of the heart. Music deal with emotions, and how we are feeling rather than what is the solution- the Qur'an on the other hand offers the solution "Which of the favours of your Lord will you deny? " ( Surah Al Rahman). This is one of my favorite surahs among many others. So now I blast it off- set new goals on where I want to be religiously. I was never too strict- the society was too lenient. When I'm pleasing my lord and I know all my actions are pleasing them- then in that I find happiness. I need to stop running after worldly things and keep preparing for the hereafter- let go of all the distraction and entertainment and fill my heart and my soul with that which will please my Lord.

So for all of you single muslim mums who are battling depression day in and out - cut everything else out- including your children- make Allah your only focus point and 'with every difficulty will come ease" (94:6). You do not need to become lenient towards your deen to please a society thats not aiming to please their Lord. I know this may sound weird because I've done it myself- kept to the strict minimum and think that's enough- but if you believe there is more to the religion then give it your all and put in practise all that is right- whether you earn a few friends on the way or lose some- but you will always have God by your side.

"Allah is sufficient for us and He is the Best Guardian". (Quran, Surah Al-Imraan)

Our rewards is and shall be with Allah alone.

Keep rocking and rolling my dear single muslim mums- lets aim for the hereafter together and quit trying to please others.

Umm Safia

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