“It’s bad for him to see you like that,” was the vague reasoning that potential care providers explained why my husband would be banned from the birth of our third child if I hired them.
When I responded that he had already seen my first two labors (and obviously he had been able to continue to reproduce, if that’s what they meant) I was shrugged off, the practitioners’ policies remained firm.
Ultimately my husband and I prematurely left our temporary residence in Morocco and returned to the US to have another homebirth. Later I would learn that barring men from attending their wives’ labor is a common practice in many Muslim-majority countries, though for varying reasons and none being evidenced-based.
Though my enthusiasm and expectations were high at the beginning of last Ramadan, unfortunately, by the end of the month I was somehow disappointed, feeling like a loser.
I finally realized how unrealistic I was about maximizing my Ramadan goals; in turn I made plans to spend the whole year prepping to be my best for this Ramadan.
In the past Ramadans- in addition to the complete upheaval of fasting and how that affected my scheduling and energy- I wanted to do so much more – too much.
I wanted to read the entire Qur’an at least once (with commentary!), to prayTaraweeh every night plus Tahajjud every morning, to perform all possible voluntarily prayers, to increase my du’as before and after prayer in addition to any other applicable du’as I have not yet learned by heart, and of course I wanted to make special things with/for my kids. The list went on and on…
Later on, I found myself comparing my performance to what I heard other sisters use to do during the holy month, which only fueled my disappointment.
At that moment, I decided to change my perspectives…
Being one of those Muslims who spent a lot of time using the resources available online while coming into my deen (and I still do of course!), it is especially exciting for me to have written an article on parenting, nature and green stuffs for the site OnIslam.
Recently I read an interview with Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, the author of ‘Green Deen,’ in which he laments about how and why so many Muslims are out of touch with the nature and therefore, apathetic to environmental issues.
Seated 1200 feet above sea level in my mud house located in a mostly self-sustaining farming community in the High Atlas Mountains, I was geographically so far away from Abdul-Matin in Brooklyn and living a much different lifestyle, still I embarrassedly felt that he spoke exactly about me.
Before moving to Morocco, I assumed that I would relocate there, creating my long dreamed of suburban family home, but with Arabic (or French) subtitles. I don’t knock myself (or anyone else) for having such dreams.
I wanted a big chunk of Allah’s glorious bounty: my own semi-private yard, a comfortable car and enticingly displayed foods for sale within a short driving distance.