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4 Big Challenges Faced by Single Muslim Mother in North America

by | Aug 31, 2023

Parenting is not all roses, especially when it comes to being a single muslim mother. The role of a single mother is undoubtedly demanding and tough, but as Muslims, we know that Islam heads up in every aspect of life. So, let’s see what’s on the plate for Single Muslim Mother.

The Graph of single motherhood is going up with each passing day. In North America alone, the number of single mothers is crossing 15.6 million, according to UN Women. Around the globe, eight of every ten single-parent households are headed by women.

In this blog, we will highlight the key challenges single Muslim mothers face in North America rooted in cultural, religious, and social norms and why it is important to understand and support their journey.

The Emotional Suffering: 

The burden, hardship, and challenges a mother faces intensify when she transitions into single motherhood, a role which she may be entirely unprepared for.

Whether a woman becomes a single muslim mother due to widowhood or divorce, her challenges can be incredibly difficult. Both circumstances present unique emotional, financial, and practical difficulties that can overwhelm the individual. The toll on her mental health is significant.

A profound void suddenly appears as she lacks a spouse to share joyful and sorrowful moments with. As the saying goes, “Happiness shared is doubled, and sadness shared is halved.” 

Undertaking the weight of responsibilities can be challenging; single motherhood is not a voluntary decision. For some women, it can lead to a crushing sense of loneliness, isolation and depression, confining them to a secluded world where they suffer in silence. Consequently, their relationships with their kids, family, friends, and relatives may be profoundly affected.

The key from Islam:

Worrying won’t solve the problem; instead, turning to Allah and strengthening the relationship with Him can overcome all difficulties. Allah reminds us to be patient with His decree, for He is watching over us (al-Ṭūr: 48). After practicing patience, Allah advises us to glorify Him with praises when we wake up and extol His glory at night, especially as the stars fade away (al-Ṭūr: 48-49).

Engaging in Tasbiḥ, especially during the tranquil hours of the night and early dawn, is an effective remedy for calming disturbing feelings and is a perfect way to overcome depression.

The prayers and glorification of God during these serene moments have a unique significance and can bring solace to the heart. Remember, who better knows your inner state than the ONE who created you? This is deep, and you need to understand this.

The Social Stigma: A can of worms

Indeed, that is true. Whether married, divorced, widowed, a working woman, or managing your home, being a woman in every culture and society can feel like navigating life’s challenges with wit and resilience. But Single Muslim mother are more at their wit’s end.

The societal pressure of being judged as a mother, the burden of re-marrying, and the weight of conforming to societal norms can be overwhelming, haunting you day and night. However, in Islam, you always have a refuge. Let’s explore how you can liberate yourself from this can of worms as a single Muslim mother.

The key from Islam :

Hazrat Maryam bint-e-Issa’s story is the most prominent example of a single muslim mother bravely facing the social pressure of her time. The immense pain she must have endured can only be imagined. The Quran captures her emotions as she courageously navigated her journey: “Ah! Would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!” (Surah Maryam 23) 

However, she found solace in her unyielding faith and persevered through life’s challenges, becoming an extraordinary female figure in human history. Similarly, for some, a solitary life may serve as a fresh start, as Allah states in the chapter on divorce,

 “And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make a way out for them” (al-Ṭalāq: 2).

The Struggle for Butter and Bread:

For any single parent, the challenge of raising a family on a single income is considerable, and Muslim single mother encounter extra obstacles in this regard. They strive to find employment opportunities that respect their religious practices and beliefs, which can sometimes restrict their career choices.

Language barriers, limited access to education, and professional discrimination may intensify their financial struggles, making it challenging for them to provide adequately for their children, especially if English proficiency is limited.

The worry about facing financial difficulties could be another concern. It’s important to remember that having a husband doesn’t always ensure financial stability, and similarly, not having a husband doesn’t mean that sustenance and provision will be impossible.

There’s a saying that goes, “You don’t know where your livelihood and provision come from, but your livelihood knows your address accurately. It will never go wrong.”

The key from Islam: 

The GOOD NEWS is that our sustenance (rizq) is entirely in Allah’s control. No one can give us a single morsel of food if it’s not destined for us, and likewise, no one can take away what Allah has decreed for us to receive. Our provision is firmly in Allah’s hands, and He will ensure that what is meant for us will always reach us.

In the Quran, Allah assures us that if spouses decide to separate, He will provide for each individual independently from His limitless resources.

Allah is generous and wise (al-Nisā’: 130). 

This verse highlights Allah’s care and provision for His creation, even in challenging circumstances such as separating spouses.

The MOTHERCRAFT itself :

Apart from the external challenges, one significant struggle can be quite frustrating for a single Muslim mother, and that is the responsibility of parenting itself. Being a single Muslim mother in North America or any other non-Muslim society comes with a tremendous duty to raise your child according to Islamic principles and provide them with a strong foundation in Islamic teachings. That’s a Hercules task.

With the influence of various online sources and people, children are exposed to many that parents might not know about. When a mother has to shoulder this responsibility alone, it can become overwhelming and require extraordinary strength. However, it also offers an opportunity to raise children with a strong foundation in their faith, which might be challenging when sharing parenting responsibilities.

Allah, the compassionate, will reward this sacrifice in the hereafter. In this world, Allah will bless her with children who will bring her pride and contentment in this world and hereafter.

The key from Islam:

Let’s dig into how Islam guides Muslim mothers in the upbringing of their kids.

“The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling.” Surah Al-Baqarah (2:233)

This verse addresses the responsibility of mothers in breastfeeding and nourishing their children during their early years, emphasizing the importance of maternal care in a child’s development.

Once children reach an age of understanding, the most significant duty of parents is to lead them onto Allah’s path. Allah says in the Quran:

“O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.” Surah At-Tahrim (66:6)

This verse encourages parents, including mothers, to protect and guide their families from harmful influences and to instill in them a consciousness of Allah’s commands.

Give them proper Quran education. While living in North America, Online Quran Courses are a convenient option. You can track your kid’s Quran learning properly and ensure they are getting good at it.

Keep tabs on your kid’s crew and who they hang with.

Take some time to talk with them to see what’s happening in their heads. It’s all about staying in the loop and knowing their thoughts.Remember to be in friendship with your kids, but they should know that their mother has an eye in the back of her head.

Finally, The CRUX:

Hey, listen up! Being a single muslim mother ain’t no sin or heavy load. Please take it as a chance to raise your kid in the best Islamic way. If Allah planned it for you, He’d open doors out of dark corridors. So, trust Him and stay connected because He’s already got a reward waiting for you as a Muslim mother. Keep your head up; you got this!

“Paradise lies at the feet of your mother.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 1, Hadith 2771)

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