Asma: Zainab, one of the biggest struggles of motherhood is the struggle to lose weight while also balancing the hectic, sometimes overwhelming task of being a mom. I know that motherhood posed that challenge for me, until I met you and you made it easier for me to work in…Read More
An accomplished, international human rights lawyer delivered a potent call for action at the United Nations on Thursday, urging the organization to back an investigation into crimes committed by the Islamic State in Iraq. “I am speaking to you, the Iraqi government, and to you, U.N. member states, when I…Read More
Genetics counselor Lama Eldahdah spends most of her time thinking about reproductive probabilities, but when she sits down with Muslim patients who are battling infertility, the conversation rarely focuses on odds. “Religious people say it’s God’s will, non-religious people say it’s statistics,” said Eldahdah, who works for Chicago’s Reproductive Genetics…Read More
This piece is a follow up to the essay, “Accidentally Childfree”.
“Do you want to be in your marriage?” She asked me, matter-of-factly.
For months I wrestled with this question, always too afraid to broach it during daylight hours. But here we were, in her bright little office, and her words flooded the room.
On that day, I did not have an answer for her.
“I hope you have a BOY,” is a phrase I heard too many times during my pregnancies. I mean…really? I had my children in 2007, 2011, and 2012; and with each pregnancy came those individuals that not only hoped, but prayed that I would have a boy. These ‘hopes’ and…Read More
<< From the AltMuslimah Archives >>Our culture is one of procreation; children are regarded as blessings from God, and we are told our progeny will spread Islam. Delaying marriage, waiting to begin a family, or experiencing infertility each amount to disregarding this sacred duty.Read More
I tear up as I lie in bed nursing my almost-2-year-old little girl. Her warm hands stroking my tummy while my arms blanket her as she drifts off to sleep. I knew that weaning her would be difficult for me, and now, I find myself turning to Allah, asking Him for the strength to get us both through this weaning process.
I imagine that many mothers feel this way about weaning. Many of them have told me that when the time comes, they just knew that it was time. That they got to a point when they felt that it was enough. I haven’t reached that point.
I never imagined that I would one day be discussing a childfree life, let alone my childfree life. I had never been taught to think of this as an option. We’re a family-centered lot, you see. So family-centered that any display of individual separateness is rarely encouraged. You belong to us and we belong to you. And in continuing this cycle of our us-ness, we must have children of our own, for our own.Read More
Our culture is one of procreation; children are regarded as blessings from God, and we are told our progeny will spread Islam. Delaying marriage, waiting to begin a family, or experiencing infertility each amount to disregarding this sacred duty. While it is considered taboo in many cultures to remain childless- and the Muslim culture is no exception- what viable options exist for couples who are unable to conceive naturally, or choose not to adopt? What space does our culture provide for women who are either unable or unwilling to marry, choose to remain married without children or suffer from infertility?Read More
Since the beginning of time, women have been unequivocally blessed with the ability to share in the creation of the human race, and have been revered for the tremendous responsibility of carrying life within their wombs. In tandem, some women have pondered on the undisputable weight of this responsibility, and instead have chosen “the road less traveled,” deliberately shying away from motherhood and foregoing its glory altogether. For women, witnessing how life grows within and nurturing that life from the time of conception can be the ultimate spiritual experience. It not only intrinsically ties women to the Divine, but indeed makes paradise itself lie at her feet.Read More