This article was published as part of Masjid Rabata’s Annual Maryam (as) Seminar, Might and Light: Maryam’s Single Motherhood, December 2022.
Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ lets us know in the Quran, that the greatest woman ever created was Maryam عليها السلام, mother of Isa عليه السلام, and she was a single mother. She is the epitome of a role model for women of all time. What defines her as a great woman, is not that she was married and a good wife, or a good sister, which are all very important, but that she was qaanitaat (obedient to Allah), and Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ chose her and purified her and chose her over the women of all the worlds (Al-e-Imran 42).
As single mothers our greatest worry is our children, and the lack of or absence of a full-time father. We try to fill the role of mother and father in their lives, and always feel we fall short. Maryam عليها السلام shows us that when all our trust, and devotion is put in Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ, then He will take care of the tarbiyyah (upbringing) and needs of our children. She had an unshakeable faith, and ultimate certainty in Allah. Her needs were cared for immediately by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ, because she knew that if her faith in Allah was strong, and trust in Him as her Rab (provider, sustainer, caregiver), He would show her His glory.
This is the lesson we can take from this beautiful role model for single mothers of all time; that it was Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ caring for, raising, and protecting our children from the minute we met them, whether we were single or not, and that He will continue to.
What Maryam عليها السلام continues to teach us is that when we live our lives Allah-centered, akhirah-focused, and have complete tawakkul (ultimate trust) in Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ, our children have the best Provider and Guide carrying them through the dunya and on to the akhirah. We feel liberated from the constriction and worry of a mindset of not enough, whether it’s love or time for our children, and on to the expansive mindset of there is enough, because it lies with Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ.