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The Imam's Daughter

Recognizing What's Bringing You Down And How To Get Back Up
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Mother's Prayer Manual

This section is for the mothers out there that are struggling to fulfill the basic 5 obligatory prayers, or struggling to perform the Sunnah prayers, and for those who might sink into one or both of these problems in this future.

Recognizing What's Bringing You Down

 

There are a variety of circumstances that can lower your Iman (faith).

 

  • New job or higher position for you or your husband that requires longer hours.
  • Your husband loses his job or quits.
  • Having a new baby, which alters almost your whole lifestyle and you no longer can do many of the things you used to do.
  • Illness – you, your husband, your kids, and potentially relatives as well.
  • A death in the family, especially immediate family.
  • Moving to a new place, new city, new country. This can result in a lack of social support.
  • Too many outside activities or commitments that leave you exhausted and too busy to notice the time.
  • Guilt from previous or current sins, which can make you afraid to face Allah.
  • Too much clutter around, disorganization, which drains your senses and makes you feel bad about yourself that you can’t keep up with everything.
  • Cold weather, cloudy weather, no windows, and/or dark draperies, which deprive you of the fresh air and sunlight and put you in a sad mood.
  • Overweight, underweight, not eating well-too much junk, any image issues or health issues.
  • Anything that renders your husband or support people unable to help you out as they did before.

 

In fact, any stressful event or situation can potentially cause a rift in your usual routines, including prayer. But most likely a combination of the above is what will really have the most impact. I will talk about some of the above in more detail later.

 

The important thing for you to do at this point is to reflect. You need to figure out what’s really bothering you. You need to take a break in any shape or form. Though you could try to do this throughout your day by letting the housework slide, at night after the kids are asleep, or during the kids’ nap time; it may be necessary to try one or more of the following:

 

  • Have someone take the kids for 2 hours to the mall, library, PlayPlace, playground, park, pond/ocean, pet store, ymca, zoo – anywhere. You may need to rest at home, take a bath, write in peace and quiet without thinking of the kids, just sit and think for a while, or anything you need to do to fix things, or do nothing. You may need to do this twice: one to reflect and one to solve/fix the problem you realized in your reflection.
  • Take a walk – either with the kids in a stroller if you know they will sit quietly or by yourself.
  • Write your feelings out. Write down what you’re afraid to say. Then throw it away if you want. Writing is therapeutic and bares the problems of your soul.

The point is to recognize and admit the causes of your spiritual low. And that these causes have created the symptoms that you are feeling.

 

How To Get Back Up

 

But what is it about the above stressful events/situations that lower your Iman? I will tell you – they can make you busy, stressed, worried, guilty, and overwhelmed to the point where you FORGET about the importance of prayer, you FORGET about the benefits of prayer, you FORGET about the rewards of prayer. Then when you FORGET about these things it takes JUST ONE missed prayer to get you into a vicious cycle of depression and guilt. Initially the situation makes you ‘busy’ so you lose track of time and end up missing a prayer. Then you feel sad and guilty for missing a prayer. Now you are even more depressed because now you have guilt, shame, and sin on top of that. Then this state can cause even more stressful situations to occur and there you have a never-ending cycle of depression. Because when you’re depressed it’s not just prayer that’s affected, but also your obligations as a wife and mother can also become lacking.

We are forgetful people, it is in our nature. We read, it sits for a while in our brains, and most likely ends up going out the other ear sooner or later. Mothers are especially prone to this type of situation. A lot of mothers feel like their brains are ‘fried’, ‘went out the window’, ‘lost’, or ‘empty’. And mothers are constantly going through difficult situations. Or perhaps you are a Muslim that still has not learned about Prayer for one reason or another or a convert that has not yet learned the details about Prayer.

 

But no matter what place you are coming from, there is one thing that can help everyone: 

KNOWLEDGE

 

Committing or re-committing to Prayer is about learning/remembering the importance, rewards, and benefits of Prayer. Educating yourself is the key to getting back up. The beautiful ayahs in the Qur’an regarding prayer, the motivating Hadiths of the rewards of prayer, and the amazing stories in the Seerah and the history of Islam are all you need to re-energize your Iman. I have taken some time to research these things for you and pull the jewels and pearls from among the various Ayahs and Hadiths for both your benefit and mine. I have also included my own Motherly thoughts of each issue. The next section should be printed out and put in a special place for you to easily read whenever you need to.

by Mona Eid