[Updated 6 May 2021]
Ever wondered what it's like for mothers to balance the blessings of Ramadan with other daily responsibilities? From managing the household duties and taking care of their family to devoting spiritual reflections and increasing their ibadah, Ramadan is a challenging yet rewarding time for mothers everywhere ? As we sit and wonder how they do it all, there are many valuable lessons we can learn from the very special woman in our lives. Taking the time out of their busy schedule, we're happy to have seven strong, beautiful mothers to share their reflections and challenges in this holy month ❤️
Disclaimer: This article was originally published in May 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on your country's COVID-19 regulation, do note that restrictions apply when dining out in a restaurant or travelling domestically or abroad. In some countries, mosques, prayer spaces, schools and parks are temporarily closed or open with limited capacity. We advised that you adhere to your country's COVID-19 SOPs at all times.
What are the challenges you face during Ramadan as a mother?
Nik Najwa, Malaysia
Hello, I’m Nik Najwa! I live in Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur and have a three-year-old son named Anas. I’ve encountered a few experiences and challenges this year. Firstly, preparing Anas for school in the morning and rushing to work. Then, picking up Anas from school again and rushing back to the office (somehow time flies during Ramadan and work piles up quickly too).
Terawih is also different this year because Anas is older and he loves going to the mosque. I’d have to pray at the back (instead of the front) to make sure we don’t disturb others who are praying, but surprisingly, he behaves! ? I need to make sure he has toys to play with. I also have to do house chores during the weekends because weekdays are packed for me.
Hello, I’m Liza from Singapore but currently based in Phuket, Thailand. My husband and I are parents to an energetic and at times, a dramatic three-year-old boy named Zayyan.
This is my first time fasting while pregnant, so my main challenge is tiredness ? We sleep later than usual because I’d continue having light meals and drinks after terawih to ensure that I’ve consumed enough for the day. The combination of late-nights, early mornings, interrupted sleeps, frequent toilet trips, and an energetic child means that I’d usually doze off when Zayyan takes a nap. The first week was tough, but once I gained my momentum, it gets easier.
Nurul Asyikin, Malaysia
Hi, I’m Nurul Asyikin and a work-from-home mum from Cyberjaya, Selangor! I have three boys named Aisy Rantissi (6 years old), Yusuf Rantissi (4 years old), and Rizqy Rantissi (1 year old). As a mother, my challenge is to divide my time for normal routine, work and ibadah. My day starts around 4AM to prepare sahur and waking up my eldest son, Aisy. While getting him ready, I’ll try to recite a few pages of the Quran, perform subuh prayers and do light household chores.
After Aisy goes to school, and my husband left for work, I’ll finish the rest of my chores while waiting for my other sons to wake up. Once Aisy is back, it’ll be a mix of lunch, English tuition, afternoon naps, and amali solat for the kids. As for me, I’ll check my work, prepare food for buka puasa, perform Zuhur and Asar prayers and again, recite a few pages of the Quran. Since last year, we’ve been spending time and berbuka at our neighbourhood mosque. Not only it saves time from preparing food; we get to meet our neighbours too ?
Hello, I’m Diyana! I live in Singapore and currently working as an accounts manager in a creative agency. My baby boy is turning 16 months old in May! ? Preparing food for break fast can be challenging as I don’t have time to cook unless it’s the weekends. I’m lucky that my mum and mum-in-law cook, so we’ll usually pack the food they have prepared and heat it up on the weekends. As for the kid, he loves eating rice and soup, baked potatoes and steamed vegetables. Meal prepping for him is pretty straightforward and doesn’t take too much time ?
What do you like about experiencing Ramadan with your children?
Sabrina Hanim, Malaysia
Salam, I’m Sabrina and a work-from-home mother of two boys – a toddler going through the terrific twos and a newborn fresh out of the oven last month! Our family lives in the suburbs of Subang Jaya, Selangor.
Ramadan as a mum is a different experience than one without children! Gone are the days when I’d be able to sit calmly with my Quran in hand or attend congregational prayers at this stage of life. For some mothers, we may not be able to enjoy Ramadan as calmly as our pre-baby days, but I’m grateful to experience being able to do ibadah in different ways, through serving my family and meeting the needs of my children ? After all, they’re only little for a short while!
Salaam alaykum, I’m Nana! Together with my husband and our one-year-old daughter named Nusayra, we live in the far east of Singapore. With children, our husband and I are busier than before. When we read the Quran, our daughter will want to hold it, and we may forget where we left off. As parents, we want her to hold, touch and love the Quran, but she’s at the page-tearing stage! ?
On the other hand, having her to join the spirit of Ramadan is an experience we’d never give up for anything. When she grows up and wants to iftar with her friends, my husband and I will look back and miss these moments ❤️
Nadrah Mustafa, Malaysia
Hello, I’m Nadrah! I’m a mother of two, and my family and I live in Putra Heights, a suburb in Selangor, Malaysia. I have two sons aged 2 and 5 years old. I’m experiencing a more meaningful Ramadan after having children. As a mother, we must first indulge in this blessed month, which means understanding and living it first, before educating our children. Most parents, including me, would want the best for their children and to be great Believers. To have such aspiration, I need to be a good example first ❤️
In a hadith:
A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet (PBUH) said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim)
In this hadith, the Prophet Sallahualaihiwasalaam shares how a mother deserves the companionship of her children - three times more than the father. However, this also means, a mother has an active responsibility in nurturing her children, in educating and bringing them up as how she’d want them to be ?
When it comes to experiencing Ramadan with children, I find that kids are so pure! Besides loving and laughing generously, they’re accepting and honest. The qualities that I see in my child, Zayyan reminds me to be a better version of myself. Since I became a mother, I discovered a more patient and selfless side of me. After all, motherhood is a beautiful thing. Experiencing Ramadan as a mother adds a deeper meaning to my responsibilities and reminds me of my life’s blessings. We are blessed to be given the chance and privilege to raise and nurture Zayyan. I’d get tired, but my heart is full ❤️
Nik Najwa, Malaysia
During Ramadan, my personal favourite experience is going to terawih and bazaar Ramadan with my son, Anas. Since it’s his first year experiencing both activities, he’s pretty fun to be with! During terawih, he’ll ask me after every prayer, "Dah habis solat, Mummy?" (Have you finished praying, Mummy?). It was so cute! ?
When we go to bazaar Ramadan, he will get so excited that he wants to buy ALL the food and drinks ? He even remembers the food he buys and makes sure it’s served when we break fast. Before having children, Ramadan was less hectic and tiring. But now, with Anas, the feeling and experience are priceless ?
Credit: @zedandq on Instagram
Before having kids, it was easier meeting up with friends for iftar or making spontaneous iftar dates with my husband if we don't want to eat at home. Right now, with a toddler in tow, our lives are a bit more, I'd say, routined. It's not necessarily a bad thing though. I look forward to the time I get to spend with my baby at home, playing with him and reading him his favourite books ?
What tips would you give other or future mums on how to go through Ramadan with the kids?
If your children sleep late, try to change their sleep cycle before Ramadan. If not, you will regularly have very few hours of sleep and may not wake up in time for sahur. Otherwise, it is fine to take power naps when your kids are sleeping in the day ?
Nurul Asyikin, Malaysia
To decide when our children should start fasting is a big decision. My husband and I weigh in several factors, such as whether he can perform a prayer. In Islam, solat is the most important thing in our lives ? Every other day, my husband and I will arrange a 30-minute session of amali solat for the kids. The rest of the time, we will tell our children to follow us.
For our eldest son Aisy (who turned six this year), we combine the fasting and solat sessions. If he can’t proceed and looks very tired, we’ll stop and not push him. It’s a huge responsibility, so know your kids and their fasting abilities. At the end of the day, it's not a competition.
Nadrah Mustafa, Malaysia
When it comes to tips, consistency is key, no matter how ‘small’ our deed or bidding is. Say, you could only perform 2 rakaahs of Sunnah prayer or reading one-quarter Juz of the Quran per day. What matters is would you be able to do it throughout the year, in time for the next Ramadan? In shaa Allah, Allah loves consistent deeds, no matter how small it is over big, inconsistent ones ❤️
Ramadan is also a time to measure my personal growth. It’s the time of the year where I reflect, readjust, realign and refocus on what I want to become better at. It’s like a New Year’s resolution only I do it in Ramadan. I believe when we remain consistent for the whole month of Ramadan, in shaa Allah, you can be consistent at it throughout the year ?
Sabrina Hanim, Malaysia
Firstly, don’t stress if you’re unable to fast or do as much ibadah as you thought you would. Don’t compare yourself to other people! Allah gave concessions to women for a reason and taking these concessions are also a form of obeying His commands. Next, if you have young children who can already grasp the concept of Ramadan, include them in your daily activities and find Ramadan-themed books or activities to do with them. There are plenty of free resources available online for children, from colouring pages to stories explaining the significance of the month.
Lastly, my biggest tip is always mindful and always do anything and everything sincerely for the sake of Allah. If we can increase in our remembrance of Allah throughout the month, I’d say you’ve had a pretty successful Ramadan! ❤️
As we immerse ourselves in the beautiful blessings of Ramadan, it's heartwarming to know that its meaning and significance deepens when experiencing it as a mother. While we fast from dawn to dusk and lend a helping hand to those in need, let's remember the mothers in our lives and strive to make this blessed month smoother for them ❤️ We hope to wish everyone a beautiful and blessed Ramadan!