This article was published as part of Masjid Rabata’s Annual Maryam (as) Seminar, Might and Light: Maryam’s Single Motherhood, December 2022.
As I look back at my son’s formative years as a single mother, I have to admit I don’t know how I did it but it got done, wa lillahil hamd! One thing is for certain though, is that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is Most Sublime and All Aware. The hadith of the Prophet ﷺ comes to mind in which he states,
“Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better for you.” [Aḥmad]
Leaving that illicit relationship, leaving idolatry or polytheism, leaving your job or leaving a family that cannot respect boundaries and limits ordained by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى can be some of the toughest decisions that one may have to make but the promise of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and His Messenger ﷺ is true. The best is yet to come so long as you keep the faith with certainty, is what I had to keep reminding myself.
Being a Muslim single mother has its challenges. There are times when certain situations and discussions are almost taboo. Yet there is beauty in the struggle when blessings manifest themselves. We have to hold the stories of the prophets close to our hearts. We have such compelling examples in the life and times of Maryam عليها السلام and Ibrahim عليه السلام.
Even the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did not grow up in the “ideal” nuclear family, he ﷺ suffered many childhood traumas, yet he is revered as the most beloved to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.
Maryam عليها السلام was chosen for single parenthood yet she is one of the best women of Paradise, if not the best.
Ibrahim’s عليه السلام natural disposition from a young boy was in opposition to his father’s beliefs and customs of the people, yet he was chosen as the friend of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. What we might consider unfavorable conditions in parenting and childhood can lead to honorable stations and status with the permission of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.
We have to be intentional about the upbringing of our children. Intentional in our approach to safeguard their religion and intentional in showing them the best version of ourselves. Know that they belong to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and to Him is the final return. As Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى says to the effect,
“I will not loose sight of the labour of any of you who labour’s [in My way], male or female, each of you is like the other, equal in reward…” [3:195]
And yes, sister, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى is the finest to reward!