I remember her cuddled in my arms, sleeping blissfully and my heart filled with joy. She is my dua answered. A healthy, lovely baby girl. Alhamdulilallah. This was 12 years ago. Being a mother to a smart, funny, kind hearted but stubborn young girl, has helped enrich my parental journey. I have mastered self constraint, patience and the art to ignore.
Last year she had a growth spurt. It was as if she was growing while sleeping. I could see all the signs. Being a mother, and watching all the transformations closely I had mentally started preparing myself for that call…..
Two weeks pass since my intuition started signaling me ….and she calls out ….mama ………..
We had talked about the monthly cycle, and the process in detail so it wasn’t a shock. We watched some of the Ted Ed videos explaining the process and necessity of this cycle. Thus theoretically we were ready.
We celebrated at a charming cafe and enjoyed our tea snd sweets, I gifted her a bouquet of fresh flowers, welcoming her to womanhood. Alhamdulilallah. She was shy and was going through a mix of emotions. She did express herself saying “ Mama …I don’t know, I just feel so big now”
I highly recommend “Coming Of Age A Muslim Girls Guide” by Hedaya Hartford for all mothers and daughters. Being homeschooled we are always keen on looking into good books and this one is definitely a must add to any household that has young girls. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed this book and rereads it often.
Her first Ramadan as an adult
The beginning months were challenging as the cycle was haphazard and everywhere. I must admit I was worried for her but Alhamdulilallah she handled it well.
Ramadan came with numerous blessings. I had a young adult with me this year, who would be keeping her Fardh fasts. She was excited too.
We had scheduled our Quran reading session together and meal prep plans. The first day of Ramadan arrives and midday she announces that she cannot continue fasting. I could sense her qualm and reassured her that this is going to be a part of life for many many years and all of us women go through this. I acknowledged her emotions in that moment and told her that I am available to lend her an ear whenever she might need one.
Everyone was fasting expect for her. At first she was happy to be eating while no one else could. But that feeling soon derailed.
She didn’t like the fact the she was the only one not fasting in the house. She didn’t understand how to make her days productive in respect to Ibadah. Attending tarweeh was not an option either. She missed the whole sense of belonging.
Being a Woman is a mercy from Allah Subhanahu wa tala
Dear daughter, it is from the infinite wisdom and mercy of our Rab that He made us women. He knew that we needed to rest and slow down. Our bodies wear and tear over the years with birthing and raising children and so we get to rest every month for a few days. Alhamdulilallah.
After about 10 days she was excited to be back in the loop. She was more than eager to wake up for shaoor, prayed with more focus, added more pages of Quran recitation to her daily routine. She would look forward to going to tarweeh and enjoyed the qiyam prayers. It was obvious that my young lady was happy to be back to the normal routine of Ramadan and felt blessed.
Ramadan passed and blessed Shawal welcomed us.
We are in this together
As a family we are accustomed to fasting the 6 days of Shawal. However this year it would be more than just 6 fasts for my daughter.
I asked her if she was willing to make up the fasts now or wanted to wait until winter. She opted to go all out by making up all the missed fasts. That meant a whole half month of fasting.
10 missed days of Ramadan and 6 days of Shawaal. Bismillah. I encouraged her determination and fasted all 16 days with her.
We would wake up for sahoor, pray fair together, and prepare our aftars together. Both of us were enjoying this new dynamic of our relationship, Womanhood.
Fasting, making meals and eating them together brought us closer. We would share stories and giggle at each others silly jokes. I would get side tracked by my thoughts often , thanking Allah Subhanahu Wa TALA for this beautiful gift “My daughter”.
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Prophet (pbuh) said,
“Whoever supports two girls till they attain maturity, he and I will come on the Day of Resurrection (close to each other) like this –The Messenger of Allah joined his fingers to illustrate closeness.” (Muslim)
7 Tips on spending a productive Ramadan with your daughter on our off days
- Have a good plan before Ramadan and schedule your days with productive activities.
- Practice Ramadan journalling together every year. It will help preserve memories and make a good Ramadan family history read for your grandchildren.
- On the off days try making new dishes as tasting them before serving won’t be a problem. You would be teaching life skills as well exploring new cuisines.
- The Tarweeh time can be used to do homeschooling studies as it will help keep up the learning even if we might have slowed down a little bit.
- We can use this time to study the Tafseer of the surahs as this wouldn’t require touching the Mushaf and we can still be enriching ourselves with the Quranic gems though online/ recorded lectures.
- Making eid git bags or packets for the family would be a good use of our time as well.
- Build the habit of keeping our tongues busy with zikr. We will replace our Salah time with Dua and Zikr. This would help us keep our salah routine by taking a break from everything else and spending time in the remembrance of Allah Subhanahu wa tala.
- This tip is especially important if our break days coincide with the last ten nights of Ramadan. . As emotionally painful as it may be, we have to set a good example for our daughters by becoming vigilant of our constant zikr, so that they may learn to utilize these blessed ten nights regardless their physical capacity, guilt free and with absolute focus and in peace. In Shaa Allah.
Ramadan during the Pandemic
This year Ramadan is going to look a lot different than what anyone of us have ever experienced. Ya Allah allow us the blessings of Ramadan and accept our Ibdah. Grant us, our loved ones our communities, our Ummah Maghfirah and Afiyah . Ameen.
Iram Shaukat is a homeschooling parent of three. She runs a homeschooling blog with her friend www.muslimhomeschoolersunite.com. She is passionate about education and works hard to to be a resourceful channel to the world, helping raise a compassionate grounded younger generation of muslims all around the world.