SAHM Tip #7: Exploring The Great Outdoors

Exploring the great outdoors means getting outside often for us. Playing in places like parks and playgrounds. We enjoy it as we all feel better with a bit of fresh air and it makes my job as a parent easier.

When we’re at home all day, it can sometimes get a bit like ‘please keep it down’, ‘we can’t throw that’ or ‘no hitting; hitting hurts’ etc. It can feel like I am setting limits all day. More so when I’m trying to get chores done; it sometimes gets harder to set the limits with empathy, as my mind is on getting the task in hand done so misbehaviour or the boys squabbling can feel like more of a trigger than usual for me, catching me off guard. And I can sometimes feel flustered and want to shut their squabble down rather than trying to regulate myself emotionally and then trying to help them through it.

So if I feel that it is getting harder to remain mindful and patient, or I feel bleaurgh, I know we need some fresh air.

We mostly head out in the morning. Often back home for lunch (though we sometimes do lunch out, too).

Local Parks and Playgrounds

We have three playgrounds near us that we visit often, and two of them are within parks (editing now and we’ve found and added two more parks and playgrounds to our repertoire, alhamdulillah). I love the park and it mostly feels manageable for me to get out with the boys now (this has come with practice!). However, it used to sometimes feel hard for me to get out, and harder on the days where I didn’t feel get-up-and-go. And those are the days where we’d likely benefit most from the fresh air and change of scene. What helps for me is getting still and present and then, with self-compassion, talking myself through the steps needed to head out: getting myself and the boys ready, packing our snacks and/or lunch and then heading on out. Leaving the snacks if it’s a hard day and it feels too much.


A ‘Stick House’ – Built by us in our local park


Beautiful blackberries at our local park = blackberry picking 🙂

Local Community Initiatives

We also visit a local food bank’s edible garden fairly regularly now. They’re open to volunteers on some days and it’s been lovely to go along, do some gardening, and play, alhamdulillah. The boys use the hose to water the plants. They’ve planted broad beans too, and we’ve pulled out some weeds. We’ve met friends there: for the kids to play and us to attend to weeds and chat. We’ve loved our experiences here, and it’s for a good cause (the food being grown there is to feed those in the local community that may be struggling). So an amazing initiative, that I hope will spark conversations about community, and helping others, which we’ve previously spoken about, and charity and feeding others.

Forest School

Forest school is a new addition to our outdoor life and we love it. We go for two hours once a week, and the one we’ve joined costs £4 per session. It’s pretty amazing: we are a group of kids and their parents/carers, along with someone who is trained to lead and facilitate the session. We all go off into the forest, and explore, play and enjoy doing new activities.

We usually light a fire every week and make something. The adults usually do the cooking part: the kids will knead the dough for the bread and then us adults will put it around sticks and cook it on the fire (we’ve also made apples with golden syrup and collected nettles from the forest to make nettle tea). Some of the kids have collected leaves and stuck them down on paper to make leaf pictures.

The forest we use is a small, gated one. The kids climb trees or play hide and seek. Last week, we had long bits of rope so the kids put it across tree branches to make a spider web. They’ve also made mud paint by digging up mud, putting that mud into a container and adding water. And then what do you get? Ta-daaa! Mud paint. The kids mixed it up with large paintbrushes. And then they were able to use it to ‘paint’ tree trunks with.

The children also usually pick the sticks for the fire too, and also chopped wood with the help of the session facilitator. It’s been UH-mazing, alhamdulillah.

To find out more about forest schools or search for a forest school, you can google forest schools near you. You could try the Forest School Association website as a useful place to begin your search. You could also try and enquire through your council; are they running any forest sessions? Finally, you can try finding one through environmental education centres such as RSPB or The Wildlife Trusts.


A helping of mud paint; concocted at Forest School 🙂

Weekend Days Out – Great Places to Visit As A Family (In And Around The London Area)

We enjoy the outdoors on our weekends as a family too, with my husband.

Aldenham Country Park

We’ve loved trips to Aldenham Country Park. Lovely landscape and woodlands, a lovely playground (the kind I dig…Less plastic and pristine things, more metal climbing frames, wooden balancing logs and the like). There’s a little farm which we adored as well, and where I purchased free-range eggs from.

The Garden and Bubbles Shows at The Science Museum

The Science Museum makes for a lovely family outing. They have an interesting play space in their basement named ‘The Garden’. It has a water play section; a darkly lit section that experiments with lights and sound, and massive lego blocks and a tall kind of building-like structure to climb. It’s a fun play-space for younger kids with a scientific kind-of twist. Here’s a link with more information:

The Garden is pitched at 3-6 year olds. However, we’ve been with my then 1 and a half year old toddler and I was expecting to sit in the cafe with him, but on both occasions, they’ve said it’s fine for him to come in and play, too. The museum also puts on a Bubbles Show for kids. It seemed like the show happens a few times a day (but I’d call and check, if you wanna catch it). We caught the show on two occasions and it was cool.

The Science Museum has a Multi-Faith room so salah is fine, masha’Allah. And it is free to play at ‘The Garden’ and to catch a Bubbles Show.

Kew Gardens


(The Beautiful) Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is gorgeous and we love it. The boys run around and walk a little ahead or behind at times and we’re kind of together and yet they’re free to roam and explore. They have two playgrounds: Climbers and Creepers (indoor) and an outdoor, fun playground. The kids loved both. Kew has an entrance fee: a one-off ticket purchase for every visit or they have an annual membership you can purchase here

Northala Fields


Northala Fields

Northala Fields is also another lovely place that we’ve come to love this last year. It has four hills/’mountains’ to climb, so you can go on walks with the kids. It is very likely that you may need to carry younger ones or push them on the buggy for at least part of the hill climb to the top. The Fields also have two lovely playgrounds, one more ‘adventurous’ one, and one more conventional one. You can go fishing there, too (we haven’t done that, though).

Northala has lovely little watery bits. There is also a part we found that we’ve prayed in; kinda enclosed by some trees and bushes.

There’s lovely scenery in this park, and the kids love it. We take scooters, and, at times, a ball, chalk to write on the floor with and sandwiches: to eat lunch on the grass. Lovely day out.

Other Places For Days Out

Other places we’ve enjoyed include Queens Park in North-West London; it’s a beautiful park with a little ‘pets corner’ on one end; which is like a tiny zoo with about a handful of animal varieties. They also have a really lovely, well layed-out playground (think tyre swings, a zip line, wooden play equipment, etc). There’s also a lovely and decent sized sandpit area, and a paddling pool.

The Natural History Museum is another great location. My husband came up with the great idea of taking our dinosaur-loving son as a surprise there and I did spot a Quiet Room (or was it called a contemplation or prayer room?) for salah whilst we were there.

For Londoners who want a beach without driving out of the city, Ruislip Lido might deliver at least partially. Not as vast as a beach but water, check, sand, check, and play equipment on the sand and a little playground, check.

Indoor Playgrounds (especially as it gets colder!)

Indoor playgrounds work for days out and family life too, especially if it’s super cold outside. Though I’m totally down for just increasing the layers of thick/warm clothing and playing outside anyway (it’s the getting out the door part can feel harder when it’s cold, though!). Our children love indoor playgroups, and we all have fun there. There is a little section for little sport sessions in some indoor playgrounds too; a section with a hoop for basketball and sometimes little goal nets to facilitate football playing as well…fun stuff.


Swimming is another activity that parents can do with children. Again, indoors and great whatever the weather. We don’t do this too frequently at the moment. When we do, hubster usually goes in with the boys and I take my laptop and watch from the viewing room.

So…how can we use and explore the great outdoors as a means of assistance? (and fun! and enjoyment!)

Actionable Steps In Implementing The Tip

1) Get to know your local area and what play or natural/ recreational/educational spaces and programmes it can offer you and your children.

Do you have any of the following nearby?

  • Parks or other natural or open spaces
  • Playgrounds
  • Indoor playgrounds
  • Sports Courts. Parks sometimes come with courts of some sort (tennis, basketball etc, which can bring opportunities for sports play).
  • A Sports Centre (Swimming! And other stuff)
  • Local playgroups? (You should be able to find out about these at your nearest children’s centre and/or through the council).
  • Libraries? (Books = whole new worlds and insights!) Also, libraries offer programmes for both children and adults (I’ve come across coding for slightly older children, healthy lifestyle workshops, story telling and rhymes and chess club)
  • Local community initiatives or spaces. Do they run classes or activities? (such as cooking, art or sewing?)

Looking into these opportunities and taking some up can be really helpful and enriching to family life. They can help us in creating variety, gaining new experiences, meeting and connecting with others, developing our interests and having fun!

2) Could you use certain spaces (such as playgrounds and parks) in different ways?

You could do the following, for example, in a park:

  • If playgrounds/parks have spaces nearby or muddy areas or areas with stones and pebbles, perhaps kids could play and explore there (my children enjoy picking the mud with sticks)
  • Sometimes, there are water features such as fountains nearby; perhaps they could play there with wellies and scooters. If we have wellies and raincoats, I am a-okay with our boys doing (small to medium!) puddle jumping.
  • Trees, logs or hilly landscapes bring about the possibility of climbing up and down
  • They could ride scooters alongside you and discover different parts and features of the park
  • If any fruits grow there, fruit picking becomes an option (we’ve loved blackberry picking in one of our local parks)
  • Hills can be fun. Rolling or sliding down becomes an option
  • Draw/write on the floor with chalk you take along
  • Collect and play with fir cones, leaves, sticks, and sycamore seeds (so fun! these spin!) My kids like to do this and sometimes bring some home to store and play with (I have limits on this which I explain to them).
  • Taking some toys and/or a book along. My kids request this sometimes; they want to put some of their toys down the slide or, less frequently, read a book with me at the bench

Changing things up keeps outings to familiar places fresh. I always take my headphones along as well, and if we’re in a playground, I’ll listen to my audiobooks on Audible whilst the boys play and scoot (as a form of self-care, and growth insha’Allah)

3) Resources to facilitate days out. I have the Hoop app (which to be fair, I haven’t used much at all). It can be helpful though as you can enter your postcode and your children’s ages and it finds fun things that are close to you, and age appropriate for your kids. Another useful website: https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/

4) Museums and Galleries – Are there any museums or galleries around? Perhaps you could plan a visit. They usually have some exhibitions or areas designated specifically for children, and they can make for great days out for ourselves and our children.

5) If you want to get out more with your children, it may be helpful for you to aim for a number of days out a week that works for you, your family and your unique circumstances. I didn’t get out much at the beginning of my motherhood journey and I wanted to change that. If you don’t already, start small and start with self-compassion (getting a toddler dressed, anyone?! You may need your self-kindness and you-can-do-this-insha’Allah self-talk and a dollop of patience!)

6) For Londoners, here’s a great list of free days out in London with kids: https://www.timeout.com/london/kids/101-things-to-do-in-London-with-kids-free-activities

My friend shared this (Umm Mas’ud shout out!) It’s a keeper of a list and where we found out about the Science Museum’s ‘The Garden’. (The Tate’s Liminal room, which is on the list, is no more though!)

7) Having playdates and meet-ups with other families outside. We mostly use parks and playgrounds for outdoor playdates; maybe an indoor playground would work for you? This kinda set-up can mean that the children get to play and explore with other kids. And us Mamas get to chat and replenish and connect. Which can often make parenting easier.


Chalk writing at the park with Daddy

Side note: I don’t drive yet, so we mostly get about during the week by walking or taking short bus trips. Our buggy board has been amazing in facilitating this, alhamdulillah. My elder son stands on it and my little man sits on the buggy. We got ours on Amazon (the buggy board maxi), but this is the official website where you can see if it is compatible with your buggy (It’s compatible with most, apparently).

If you have two young children, the buggy board may serve you well. Howevs, I did bust some of the bottom of my abayyas on it at the beginning whilst I was getting used to it; kept getting the material caught on the wheels. I’m a pro on it now and my abayyas are intact, alhamdulillah 😀

I hope some of these tips help, insha’Allah.

Annnddd…I wish you great days with your children 🙂


SAHM Tip #6: Keeping Connected To Allah


Keeping connected to Allah through ibaadah and taking the opportunity for doing good in His path, especially in this busy time with our little lovelies, has been (and continues to be) a journey and a struggle for me.

Dhikr: An Ibaadah That We Can Consistently Do in Motherhood

One act of worship that has worked for me is dhikr. Especially these two statements of dhikr: “subhanAllahi wa bihamdi; subhan’Allahil adheem’. I love these because the Prophet SAW said “Two words are beloved to the Most Merciful. They are light on the tongue but heavy on the scale: Glory and praise to Allah, and glory to Allah the Almighty.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

I think dhikr, in general, is perhaps the most consistenly doable act of worship for busy Mums (at least, that has been the case for me). We do not need wudu. It does not require time out from us. We do not need to face any direction and we can do it out and about with the children and when we are doing chores. It benefits me more when I mentally pause to say it though, rather than somewhat absentmindedly. So that it is, insha’Allh, truly is a moment of remembrance. Here is a hadith regarding the virtures of dhikr:

The Prophet SAW said: ‘I met Prophet Ibrahim (AS) when I was taken on Mi’raj (ascension to the heavens) and he told me: ” O Muhammad, convey my salaam to your ummah and tell them that Jannah has good soil and sweet water, but it is barren. The plantation of Jannah is (the recital of) Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, La ilaha illallah and Allahu Akbar.”’ (Sunan Tirmidhi)

Embedding Dhikr Into Our Days

There are so many situational and emotion approprtiate du’as from the sunnah. So we could really embed dhikr into our days. What could this look like? Like this: about to begin something? Bismillah. Completed? Alhamdulillah. Just woke up? Sunnah du’a for waking up. Breakfast time? Some morning adhkaar. Hard time? Allahumma laa sahla illaa maa ja’altahu sahlaa… Milk spilled for the 3th time? Qadr’Allah wa maa shaa’a fa’ala. Run into a Muslimah? Greetings of salaam (and smiles!). Going into some shops? Recite the du’a for entering the marketplace. Something happened that you’re not too keen on? Alhamdulillah alaa kulli haal (alhamdullilah in every situation). Happy about something? Sajdatul shukr (prostration of thankfulness). These can be little gentle mindset shift reminders, too; Qadr Allah wa maa shaa’a fa’ala (It is the decree of Allah and He does what He Wills) and alhamdulillah ‘alaa kuli haal are full of acceptance of Allah’s decree and can really remind us to submit to Allah’s decree. And acceptance increases our chances of moving onto problem solving possibilities and even seeing the good in what we initially didn’t like.

Saying these out loud helps as it serves as modelling for our kids insha’Allah (they can learn the sunnah adhkaar in this way). We can memorise and say the du’as that the Prophet SAW used to say in every situation: leaving the house, entering the house, entering the marketplace, etc.

‘O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance’ (33:41).

Going Beyond Our Obligations and Personal Struggles

I have at times struggled to figure out how to go beyond my obligations, with motherhood. Beyond my fard in a consistent way.

Firstly, if we do want to do more ‘direct’ ibaadah, what can we do? We may try: praying salaatul dhuha in the morning, if we’re at home, and the kids are busy; morning adhkaar or even just one or two on a consistent basis; Qu’ran recitiation in the morning or when the children are engaged in play; Ayatul Kursi every single night. Du’a at certain times consistently (when it rains or during sa’atul istijaabah every week); nafl fasts when we can; qiyaam ul layl at a regalar interval that works for us (perhaps weekly).

So even if we start and stop due to changing circumstances or by way of taking on too much etc, we may find something small that does consistently work (like saying our sunnah adhkaar after our prayers or ayatul kursi after our prayers) and endeavour to start imperfectly with that.

We have different contexts as well; new mothers, mothers with many children, single mothers, mothers with babies waking up through the night, mothers with very little help, mothers with more help, etc. So our contexts are going to have an impact on what we can and can’t do within certain seasons.

Also, when we are figuring out something new, it may not just become habitual after the first time. It can take trial and error. But I think that all ‘error’ in terms of falling short or not being able to keep up, in the path of goodness, particularly when trying to come closer to Allah is never wasted. You tried and you wanted nearness: both beautiful. Even more so, this stumbling can be useful when it informs our future decisions better by way of troubleshooting and strategising (wAllahu a’lam). Dhuha salah isn’t an option anymore because the morning period is the only period you can cook a lot and the toddler doesn’t nap in the morning any more so the kids need you, etc? Maybe a few of the morning adhkaar as a substitute…

Creating Ibaadah Habits: Self-Kindness

Don’t be afraid to experiment with what works or what doesn’t, or what will work for this season and what won’t. I had a heaviness around acts of worship (nawaafil ones) at times. I would want to get closer to Allah, to connect to Him and worship Him, like I think many of us do. But if and when I failed to keep the nafl act of worship consistent, I’d feel disappointed and disheartened. Or if I wasn’t happy with the quality of the act, I’d feel despondent (instead of thinking ‘alhamdulillah, I’m doing it…now what can we do to improve it?’)

With time, I began to relate much more kindly to myself if I didn’t continue on with it or if it didn’t feel like it was up to par, quality-wise. I would want to keep going but didn’t know how. But what actually helped was speaking to myself kindly and taking my new context into consideration when planning recitation goals, for example; what can I do on a regular basis, with my circumstances in mind? Strategising. For me, it begun with being small and consistent in my relationship with the Qur’an. Also, to remember that ‘failing’, on days or periods I fell short or didn’t do well according to what I wanted to do was part of the process and that, it wouldn’t be wasted, as long as it informed my future decisions. Like, okay, I’m not doing well with reading the Qur’an now? Is it the length of the portion I’m choosing? Can I lower my portion? Yes. Okay, that works, now let’s roll with that plan, insha’Allah. And then build upon that. Any obstacles and let’s brainstorm and troubleshoot and then roll with the new plan. No ‘something’s wrong with you ‘ voice.

Motherhood and Intentions

The Messenger of Allah SAW said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Thus, taking care of our children is fulfilling our duty to Allah with regards to them; for He has entrusted us in taking care of them. I sometimes find it comforting to bring to mind that Allah witnesses the nail clipping, the bathing, the loving moments, the hugs that we give our children when they are hurt or sad…to know that He is witnessing our striving to shepherd. When this comes to mind, it helps me in giving the hugs wholeheartedly and with presence, for example (and whilst I edit this, it serves as a reminder). He is Ash-Shahid (The Witness) to it all, He is Ash-Shakur (The Appreciative) and He rewards. And He tells us in His book that anyone who has put forth an atom’s weight of good shall see it. So love and shepherd away, and begin in His name.

Allah Is In The Assistance Of Those Who Are In The Assistance of Others

Also, something that we can endeavour to do in coming closer to Allah within our motherhood journeys is intentionally helping others. The Prophet SAW said: ‘Allah is in aid of the servant so long as the servant is in aid of his brother’ (Muslim). So I think that being helpful and supportive will be so helpful to us.

Helping others means facilitating some level of ease for another. So let’s imagine: someone having a hard time, and Allah wills for our kind words to comfort them, for our money to provide them with food, for our support to allow them to be a little bit happier with their families that evening. Helping matters. Helping literally shifts. Helping and being helped; we need it, too. I benefit so much from the kind words of my loved ones and their helping hands, and their willingness to listen lovingly to me in testing moments or hard days. May Allah reward them.

Helping creates an impact. And upon reflection, I really believe that Allah rewards impact. Think about it. Allah helps us when we help our brother (or sister). Allah writes smiling as a charity for us. Kind words as charity for us. Covers us, if we cover our brother. Why? Perhaps, because these acts create a positive impact, and He knows best. It all creates goodness. A smiling, jolly person lifts us. Kind words can literally shift how we feel.

Is somebody fundraising? We can give what we can, with the intention of helping, giving sadaqah and pleasing Allah. Is there a nursing home near us? Perhaps we can pop in and chat with the residents at allocated times; provide conversation, comfort and presence, insha’Allah. Are we cooking? Perhaps we can make more for our families or others that need a helping hand. Does a friend come to you for advice? Start with Bismillah so as to to frame your advice with taqwa, sincerity and authenticity. And then help them wholeheartedly and remember that Allah rewards this potential postive impact.

Out And About

Another thing we can do is pick stuff off the path that is unpleasant for others. Wrappers in a building or lift, etc. My elder child once asked me why I picked up something off the road and I said something along the lines of the Prophet SAW recommending that we do and that it is written as charity for us. I think I also explained to him that it makes it nicer for people when they use the path after us: our action, of removing the unpleasant, will make the experience of the next person there, far more pleasant. Some time later, he picked something up and made reference to the Prophet SAW’s advice in this regard.


Du’a is also another Mum’s-act-of-worship-best-friend and here is a piece that I wrote in how I personally use du’a in my role as a SAHM. The beautiful thing about du’a is that you can literally ask Allah for anything, and speak to Him and He always responds (in different ways). That’s it. The Prophet SAW states that du’a is worship. Subhan’Allah.
We are the beneficiaries as we ask and get, yet we are rewarded in that state.


Sadaqah is another form of worship that Allah asks us to partake in, in numerous ayaat and ahadith. Allah says:

Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reminders [of it] or [other] injury will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (2: 261-262)

The Prophet (saw) said, “Allah said: Spend in charity, O son of Adam, and I will spend on you.” (Bukhari)

So finding ways to support those in need through our money (or our effort) can be a great way of fulfilling the exhortations given by our Lord and Prophet SAW to engage in this act. Perhaps set up a direct debit to a good charity or cause.

In the meantime, below are some actionable ways we can remember Allah and engage in worship in our day-to-day lives.

Actionable Steps In Implementing The Tip

1) Consider the power of friendpower: buddy up to do acts of worship: We have set up a Qur’an Recitation WhatsApp Group (myself and a handful of sisters) and we check in with one another with the portion and interval we have selected (one page of Qur’an, daily, for example). Some of us check in to say we have recited our portion and sometimes, share the verses that stood out for us, and more infrequently, write and share our personal reflections on certain ayaat. We also share reminders on the topic of Qur’an.

Buddying up with just one friend to memorise one ayah a day is also another useful way of keeping connected to the Qur’an.

Fasting is the same; we can buddy up to make up our Ramadan fasts with friends, thereby making it easier.

Dr Mark Hyman, a functional Medicine doctor, says the following regards to buddying up for common goals “friendpower is stronger than willpower” Hearing this in an interview of his was what inspired the idea that perhaps we could buddy up for acts or worship.

2) Choose certain portions of your week (and/or days) to dedicate to just ibaadah. Maybe there is a time in the week that you’re just going to focus on your ibaadah (for example: one evening a week for qiyaam ul layl)

3) Making Du’a During Sa’at ul Istijaabah – The Hour/Time of Response. We can set weekly alarms on our phones for Fridays, around an hour before Maghrib time and take advantage of this specially mentioned time to make du’a. We can adjust the alarm time accordingly as the salah time changes.

  • Sa’at ul Istijaabah: The Prophet (saw) said: “Friday is comprised of twelve hours. There is one in which a Muslim who asks Allah for something will have it granted to him. Seek it in the last hour after `Asr.” (Abu Dawood and al-Nasaa’i)

4) Listening to the Qur’an At Certain Times Of The Day. I want to be more consistent with this one. So for example, in the morning, during breakfast making, where we can hear it and be reminded, and our children get accustomed to hearing it, too insha’Allah. If they are little, the last juz of the Qur’an, Juz ‘Amma may be helpful: so that it becomes a familiar sound and putting it to memory may then become easier, insha’Allah.

6) Collect and make a playlist of Khutbahs pertaining to topics we need reminders on and/or those that interest us and listen to them during the week.

7) Embed your days with dhikr, and say them out loud in front of the children. So that they learn them too and see them in practice, insha’Allah. Saying our du’as (for leaving the house, entering the house, entering the marketplace, etc) out loud(er).

8) If you’re putting time, money or effort into a cause for good or involved in a sadaqah drive, get the kids involved and talk to them about it. Just thinking out loud here, but talk about the experiences, what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, what Allah encourages and is pleased with (Allah assists us when we assists others), what impact it has (it will provide them with food so that they are nourished), that our wealth, our time, our energy, indeed our whole lives are gifts from Allah (not really ‘ours’) and that we utilise all those in His cause (and His cause is that which is best for all of society). We can begin to discuss and engage in these conversations in a natural and age appropriate way, insha’Allah.

Now, I would love to hear how you keep connected to Allah in your motherhood journey and in your role as a SAHM…please do share so that we can all benefit and so that we can incorporate more dhikr into our lives.

I hope some of these tips help, insha’Allah.
And I wish you great days with your blessings 🙂


‘Surah And Chat’ – Bedtime Ritual For Young Kids



After the boys use the toilet and brush their teeth, and we have storytime, we have what what we now refer to as ‘surah and chat’. We usually recite:
*Ayatul Kursi
*Usually, a shorter surah of their choice from Juz ‘Amma
(I’m choosing to do a short surah from Juz Amma so that they are accustomed with hearing these…so memorisation and salah insha’Allah become easier; the boys take it in turns to choose a surah…so I’ll say something like ‘do you want suratul Quraysh, suratun-Nas, Suratul Fil, Suratul Ma’un, suratul Dhuha?’ etc…they are now familiar with the titles so they sometimes ask for one unprompted)
*Du’a for sleeping

Chat consists of some questions we ask one another and we all answer. Our usual and most consistent three are:
*How was your day?
*What was your favourite part of the day?
*What are you grateful to Allah for today?

I also try to ask:
*Is there anything that you didn’t like/struggled with today? (Though not consistent with this one)
*Did you make any mistakes today? (What can you learn from them? And if relevant, what do you think you can do next time?)

We all answer, myself included…I hope asking these and having these chats will create emotional safety and closeness…insha’Allah…and I hope it’ll lead to us to not shy away from our mistakes but to own them, use them and learn from them…and so the mistake isn’t wasted but used for good iA. So on the days I have snapped, I usually mention that as my mistake and try to tell them what I’m gonna do next time insha’Allah…they also sometimes mention theirs and we make a plan for next time…we sometimes, outside bedtime, talk about the hadith of the Prophet SAW where he advised us to follow up a bad deed with a good one, and it acts as a nice principle when we talk about our mistakes…we can make it better, we can grow, we can use it as a springboard for good type of thing.

I like doing our gratitudes, too…to focus in on and ‘take in’ our blessings …and because, some days, it does take more of an effort to think of one for me, so it’s nice that this routine allows us to pause and think of one.

Recently, I also sometimes ask (to foster goodness between the boys, insha’Allah):

*What do you appreciate about your brother? (To each of them)
*Did you do anything kind for your brother today?
*Did your brother do anything kind for you?
(I will help them sometimes with these if they can’t remember…but they often do…’i said he could have a turn with my car’, that type of thing…)

The answers to all these questions are sometimes very trivial…sometimes just sounds…often full sentences…sometimes profound…often revealing…sometimes funny…it’s all allowed, alhamdulillah. And that’s how we roll 


SAHM Tip #5: ‘Being Inspired’ – Developing A Reading Habit (And Seeking Reminders)


‘Being inspired’ is about learning and growing within our journeys of motherhood. For me, this has meant developing a reading habit and also, of seeking reminders on our purpose – mainly through Qur’an and sometimes, through beneficial talks.

When I first became a mother, I wouldn’t say I was a reader. I would read from time-to-time, when life perhaps presented a challenge and I needed to gain new insight, more knowledge or skills on how to solve it. I found reading enjoyable, and the new insights exciting, but I found book reading…well, a bit hard. I was used to the ease of sitting down to watch something rather than engaging with the written word over several hundreds of pages.

In my early twenties, I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and loved it. It was hard to read for me and I stopped and started over several months. Eventually, I read a few pages every morning and finished it. I did the same with David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’.

Post getting married and having a baby, I still read articles but I never felt like I’d be a habitual reader of books. There was a book I read, devoured actually, when I first had Mr. 4; to prove to myself that I could indeed finish books and not at a snail’s pace either (though there ain’t nothin’ wrong with small amounts when starting anything; in fact, it’s great when coupled with consistency)

Benefits of Reading, And The Beginnings Of A Reading Habit

I read a few other books around the theme of marriage, too. And it was around this time that I came across an infographic about reading that listed some positive statistics on the topic. One of the points that were mentioned on the infographic was that those that read were able to achieve more desired life outcomes, and earned a higher income, than those that didn’t. This infographic from Harpers Collins really did make me pause. ‘Til now, I had read more books but wasn’t necessarily a book reader. But I noticed that I came out enriched in some way from reading a book: by being inspired to think along new lines, or move in new grooves as such, in my life. So a little later, I began to look for more books: on topics I was wanted improvement in or books of people whose ideas I found inspirational online (I took it one book at a time).

I found it helpful to begin a list in my diary where I jotted down the books that I remembered reading in the past few years at that point. It was a new habit I wanted to develop and frankly, a new book, in some ways, made me nervous sometimes. But I began to embrace the process, though I Initially found it challenging, and then forgot the process and just enjoyed reading when the content was especially good.

My reading habit has been a means of inspiration and rejuvenation for me as a mother, alhamdulillah. I often, though not always, read at certain parts of the day (when my children have quiet time or their afternoon portion of screen time), alhamdulillah.

Reading And Personal Development


It’s been helpful to read within the areas that I feel need improving in my life or the things that I spend most of my time doing: for attempting to optimise that area of life. Becoming more skilful in areas that need improving in our lives  can also allow us to journey towards ihsaan (excellence), with Allah’s help and permission.

There are benefits to optimising and tangible results. So if the subject of the book is the home and how to keep a ‘better’ home (cleaner, more organised, etc), the area benefits in that it is cleaner and better, and we benefit too as, with Allah’s help, our effort would have contributed to improving or fixing something. This can build our confidence in being able to remedy whatever comes up, with du’a and Allah’s permission. It can also cement a more positive understanding of tests; and being tested is one of our purposes of life:

**He] who created death and life to test you** [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving (67:2)

We know intellectually (though we sometimes forget) that tests are meant to build us, bring us closer to Allah, test our faith, allow us to grow. But when we begin to practise that *continuously* in life, with real-life practise, through embracing or accepting the tests, we can begin to generally feel like *okay, I can tackle things*, insha’Allah (we may still have our wobbles but we can begin to journey towards acceptance and proactivity). Feel less helpless. Allah brought us to the test, so He will get us through it. So, along with a proactive attitude, being exposed to books that promote improving, as well as engaging with the Qur’an and beneficial Islamic reminders, can really help us build the muscle of thinking of tests as opportunities for growth (even if we are saddened or hurt in some moments, we can still have *hope*, gain lessons and see the bigger picture, insha’Allah: that Allah is in control, so we have faith).

Reading And Ideas

I think reading also exposes us to some great ideas. This allows us to become company with those who do ideas, which is great, because guess what, good company rubs off on you (even if from the page; I’m not suggesting we become recluses by the way…though I am an introvert…but anyway, I digress!). And definitely, our ideas can take flight with reading i.e. we are very likely to experience having more of them, and being more likely to follow through. The idea of being exposed to great ideas through books reminds me of the following quote: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” (Eleanor Roosevelt). I know it talks about people but it feels like this quote works nicely for the author and reader, too: that there is this transfer of great ideas.

An added benefit is that being exposed to new ideas, ways of thinking or other beneficial take-aways can feel exciting and can leave us feeling empowered. And whatever fills our cup can help us to engage with our families in a better state. So we benefit and they benefit. Hence, ‘being inspired’ (by books in this case) has been a great way of being joyful for me in my role.

Qur’an and Reminders

Another way of ‘being inspired’ that has worked for me as a mother is reading the translation of the Qur’an in English. A few ayaat with reflection can work well. With stillness and pausing and pondering, The Qur’an can put our tests into perspective and allow us to remember what it’s all for (though the pausing and pondering can feel hard sometimes when our lives are a-go-go…). It is also a good way of reinforcing the commandments of Allah and beneficial for drawing inspiration for our lives. I know I need those reminders.

Watching Islamic lectures from time-to-time has been a means of inspiration, too. As I don’t listen to lectures much in the evening; a format and show that I have enjoyed is The Deen Show. As it is more of a talk show, I find it easier to take in yet it still serves as a reminder of my Lord, my Rasuul (SAW) and my purpose. And reminders can make us more mindful with our acts of worship. They can remind us, because we are reminded of our Lord, to do them intentionally, mindfully, rather than absent-mindedly (which I sometimes fall into). Another show I’ve loved is Guided Through The Qur’an. And again, it serves as a reminder for me. All these, and other forms of remembrance or ibaadaat specifically (like the adhkaar of the morning and evening, for example), have the capacity to make our day-to-day lives as mothers just that little bit more peaceful. In the sense that we remember what it’s all for. The benefit that a reminder provides – of reminding us of our Lord, our purpose, the reality of this life and the next – can help us learn to not repel the tests that come up even if they’re difficult but rather to find peace of mind knowing that He’s in control. I have my days and moments where I forget…or where I resist the tests or mentally tune out. But the reminder benefits the believer. And it’s helpful to bring to mind that the mundane everyday is witnessed by Allah, is potentially ibaadah, and that we can choose to align it to work into our bigger life purpose: through our intentions.

So how can we work in reading, reminders and inspiration, as Mums?

Actionable Steps in Implementing the Tip

1) Recite the Qur’an and/or read the translation regularly. If the morning permits, it’s the best time for me to sit and reflect with the Qur’an. Perhaps the evening may work for you: when the little people are asleep, masha’Allah. Or even in the day when they’re busy: this one is great as it is good modeling for them to see us reciting.

Set up a support group around the Qur’an, if need be. I have set up a Qur’an Recitation WhatsApp Group with a few sisters and we check in with one another with the portion and interval we have selected (one page of Qur’an, daily, for example). We just check in to say we have recited our portion and sometimes, share the verses that stood out for us, and more infrequently, write and share our personal reflections.

2) Listen to the Qur’an. Playing and listening to the Qur’an can really work (though I do this less than reciting).

3) Don’t have a reading habit and would like to develop one? Try these:

a) Use a timer. Just 10 or 15 minutes at regular intervals (daily or every couple of days: read for 10 or 15 mins and then when the timer dings, stop, say alhamdulillah and pat yourself on the back :-)). Because 10 or 15mins really isn’t long and thus, no matter how much you don’t wanna do it, you know ‘it’s just 10 mins’; it’ll be over before before you know it. And so you do it, insha’Allah. Best. Trick. Ever. And yet it really does build up. If you don’t do it from time to time, be kind to yourself, see if the strategy needs adjusting and try again. Keep going, insha’Allah. you got this 🙂

(You can also try to read once a week or so for a longer stretch of time. So perhaps read however long your day and circumstances permit throughout your week and then definitely read for a longer stretch, like 40mins, on a quieter day – or days – of the week).

b) Make a reading list. This list will, in this instance, be a list of books that you have completed reading. You jot down the title of the book you have completed reading on this list and add more titles as you complete more books. Celebrate that list as it grows, masha’Allah! Even if it takes us really long to get through books at first. The list can become redundant when the reading habit is in place.

You could also create a separate reading list where you list all the books you **wish** to read. So that when you’re done with your book, you have a list of books you can select your next read from.

c) Embrace Audiobooks. I began listening to audiobooks on Audible when I first began to read: in a bid to get the info, without the challenge of sitting down and reading. Now I do both: I prefer actual books but with two young kids, I also use audibooks to get through books quicker. You can search for and then purchase audiobooks on http://www.audible.com or http://www.audible.co.uk

You can then download an app for Audible on your phone (and/or your pc or laptop), log in, download your purchase(s) and listen away! I listen whilst pushing the boys on the buggy and buggy board. This could really work for us as busy Mums, as listening to our audiobooks whilst doing chores etc becomes an option.

4) Below are some links to some lectures and programmes I’ve enjoyed and benefitted from. The links are to episodes I’ve particularly liked, and I recommend checking out more with regards to the shows mentioned:

I hope some of these tips help, and I wish you great days in your role, insha’Allah 😃

Please share if you or someone else you know may benefit: jazakum’Allahu khairan and thank you.




The Perfume And The Empty Spray Bottle: Redirecting And Play Schemas :-)


I found my little boy perched up on a stool in the bathroom, reaching for my perfume… He has shown interest in wanting to spray these days. I’ve seen him fiddling with my perfumes a few times now, and I let him explore but its the spraying action he’s interested in and he tries to spray… near his eyes. A few times I’ve moved him away from the perfumes, but of course, he isn’t best pleased when his exploration is halted. But his week, I remembered that we have these little plastic empty spray bottles. So when I took away the perfume bottles, I explained to him why and filled up the empty spray bottle and gave him that to play with instead. He was more than happy with that! Spraying galore for him, and no vigilance or solely taking something away for me.

I try to substitute my younger son’s urges to throw, to pour, etc, into a safe or contained space, so that he can fulfill those urges and I can keep it safe for him and all of us (and easier to clean up!) But it can be quite triggering! With my elder son, it used to uber triggering for me when we’d sit down for a meal and he’d try and mix up my pasta with other things. If I understood that he just wanted to mix (I didn’t back then!), I could have facilitated some mixing for him in some other way. He would’ve enjoyed it and I would’ve enjoyed my dinner

I do sometimes still get triggered and say ‘no throwing’ to my younger son (2). But what works better is when I give him a replacement to fulfill that urge in a different way. To redirect his need. He wants to throw? We can’t throw the hard thing he just threw, but why don’t we throw those soft, foamy letters around? Fun! He wants to pour the milk I’ve left out into an empty cup? I’m not down with the milk being poured (no thanks to cleaning the milk!) but why don’t we grab some water, some containers and a towel to put on the floor? Then he can pour to his hearts content.

Redirection in the spray bottle incident also reminded me of Allah azza wa jall. Allah only prohibits that which is harmful/potentially harmful to us to us (subhanAllah ), and we generally have a better halal alternative that fills the drive.

Below is a video about schemas (I.e. urges) that young children engage in in their play. Learning about them helped me to understand my now 4 year old’s play when was a toddler, and help in redirecting it.


©AtHomeWithThePrinces. Dec, 2016


The Yellow Pen: A Tale of Sibling Squabbles :-)


Hear some kind of discontent in the living room and then Mr 2 (aged 2) crying.

Context: The kids were playing with felt tip pens and paper. Mr 4 (aged 4) is drawing, Mr 2 is taking the lids off the pens and occasionally drawing.

I go into the living room after hearing the crying

Mr 4: “I’m using the yellow pen, but Mr. 2 had it, but he put it on the floor and now I’m using it”

Me: *Pulled Mr 2 close to comfort him*

Me: “Okay, so Mr. 2 is crying because he’s not done with the yellow pen and you have it because he put it on the floor?”

Mr 4: *showed some sign of agreement*

Me: “So the problem is that you both want the yellow pen. What should we do?”

Mr 4: “Share: let’s take turns! I’m going first”

Me: (pause) “Mr 2, Mr 4 wants to go first”

Mr 2: “No”

Me: “That solution doesn’t work for Mr 2, hun. Hmm…What should we do?”

*silence for all of us; it looks like Mr 4 is thinking in the pause*. Mr 2 is paused too, not crying any more but pulled close to me. Literally a second later:

Mr 4: *hands over the yellow pen to his brother*

Me: “Aww, you gave it to him? Jazakillahu khairan, Hooyo, you made him happy”

So that was our solution. Chosen by them. My role? Commentator of what’s going on, without judgment and whilst working to remain calm internally, and then facilitating problem solving for them. Not rushing to solve it for them (which I fall into often as this is new to me). It doesn’t always go down like this at all. And it doesn’t always end as smoothly. And I fail this scenario too: my voice – and unfortunately my words – reek of judgment: ‘Did you hit him?’ Eek). But I am trying to transition more into this way instead of just sorting it for them. So that they think. In the hope that they are empowered with problem solving skills, so they actually have the tools to sort their problems out in general and with others, insha’Allah. In the hope that they look for solutions that work for everybody as much as possible, insha’Allah.

-Learning from ‘Peaceful Parents, Happy Siblings: How To Stop The Fighting and Raise Friends For Life’ by Dr. Laura Markham (currently listening to this in audiobook format on Audible)
©AtHomeWithThePrinces. Jan, 2017


Activity: Playing Dress-Up

My children love to pray dress up. We don’t have any clothes specifically bought for this purpose (I may get them some in time insha’Allah). But they frequent and choose the same garments for the purpose of playing dress up. It all started when my elder son was a toddler. He asked to put on my husband’s t-shirt and loved it. He walked around in it smilingly, enthusiastically. And ever since, it has become something that he does. My younger son has now joined in the fun, too.

The garments they usually choose are coats and jackets: both mine and my husband’s. More frequently, my husband’s. Hubs’ t-shirts. Sometimes, little thobes my elder son has been gifted with. Sometimes, my headscarves that they want them tied around their body (so fastened loosely around their necks) so it’s almost like a free flowing blanket all around them. And with these grown up, spacious, flowing garments around them, smiles are plentiful. Words and observations regarding the garments are inflected with a tone of joy and enthusiasm, punctuated with giggles and laughter. They go to the mirrors to look at their transformation, walk around the house, almost floating, in their new state that the costume has enabled.

If my husband is working from home when our sons are playing dress-up, they’ll go to our room and show Daddy their outfit. I’m very often asked to join in and wear one of Daddy’s jackets. I often oblige with this game, even if for a short stretch. It is a nice way of doing something together for us, and feeling connected. Sometimes, I’m asked ‘Mummy, can you be Daddy?’, in which case I say things that hubster typically says in a much deeper voice 😃

But yeah, dress-up is definitely an activity which works well for us, that they initiate from time-to-time and sometimes, more frequently. It injects playfulness into our home and I (mostly) enjoy it when I partake. When my elder son was a toddler, he mostly played; I didn’t join in with him – I was simply his assistant in putting on, and then adjusting, his chosen garment. 

I might initiate it for something we are recently trying to establish every afternoon which is family play time for the three of us (we’ve only done family play time once and I’ll write about it when – insha’Allah – it is cemented as a habit/something we’ve done more frequently). Family play time is, essentially, a time I’ve devoted to playing with the boys every day (4.10pmish – after Maghrib time, as Maghrib stands at the moment, to around 4.30pm). So I’m thinking playing dress-up could fit nicely into that slot as something we do together from time-to-time, if they want to.

The materials we have used for dress up:

• Hats

• Sunglasses and other novelty glasses (we were gifted a sunshine pair of glasses at an airport from somebody once)

• T-shirts (usually hubby’s)

• My headscarves (which we use as open ended garments: to tie around as capes, as blankets almost, etc)

• Jackets and cardigans (mine and hubby’s)

• Thobes

So yeah, maybe playing dress-up will work for you and/or your children? It’s provided us with fun, novelty in our daily routine and voices talking about the costumes we are wearing, inflected with beautiful enthusiasm, alhamdulillah.


©AtHomeWithThePrinces, December, 2016


SAHM Tip #4: Be Playful


Being playful with our children and injecting humour and good old silliness into our days with them is a really great way to ‘lighten’ our days. Young children (as my experience is only with young children) love to play, and are full of beautiful wonder and enthusiasm. And us parents often have a lot on: perhaps work to be done, spaces to be cleaned, things that we need to do for our children (feed them, bathe them, dress them and change their nappies if little, move the routines of the day along), food we need to make to nourish our families, etc. All very ‘serious’ stuff; and sometimes, seemingly monotonous (I know it often takes an intended effort, and a filter coffee [!] for me to tap into my enthusiasm)… But what if we injected a little humour and a little fun and joined them in their world? What if we could focus on being playful and connecting with our precious beings as we move them through the day and the things we need to do? And what if that could actually be helpful in filing their connection cup, so that when we do need to do stuff, they are more likely to play alone, satisfied in their connection with us, so that we can try to get a few things done (laundry and cooking, anyone?)

This post is a great reminder for me, as whilst I try to inject play and playfulness into our home with our little children, and our routines, I feel like more in this area would help me lighten my days further. What if brushing teeth became a song, and you could hop or walk backwards to the toilet when you encouraged your child to use the potty? Those tasks, then, neither feel dull, or like weighty or like ‘to-dos’, and more importantly, have less chance of becoming tension points between us and our children. This approach benefits us as the parents; I enjoy my role a lot more with an injection of play which can snowball into enjoyment and joy, alhamdulillah. Such playfulness benefits our child, too: instructions and things to do such as getting dressed and getting ready to nap become easier/like more exciting things when our children can hop to the potty or we can race in trying to tidy up their room, for example. I think they also work well for our parent child bond: I feel connected to my son as we laugh, or play a game of eye spy or hide and seek in our home, or as we giggle at something silly at bedtime. This playfulness, in such instances, has created a lovely atmosphere in our home . Conversely, when I just try to get the job done and want to get my child into bed already (!) to nap, it seems like neither of us enjoy it or connect, really (and this does happen more often than I’d like, at times). I’m disengaged, and that doesn’t work so well. The things to do do start to feel weighty. But when I embrace the moment, engage in it, and add a dose of play, I’m not just looking to complete tasks. I’m looking to really be there, to fully engage, to accept the moment as it is and more so, to enjoy and connect with my child. When I take this approach, I feel like I’m living and enjoying my life, alhamdulillah. As opposed to trying to get the moment over and done with, which feels…heavy.

Using Play To Move Through Routines

Using play to move through routines –  such as a morning, dinnertime, and bedtime routines –  also really helps us. I saw a practical example of this on ahaparenting.com. The post I read on there was on a different topic but it exemplified an interaction where the parent was asking a child (who was playing) to have a bath. So they ask: ‘do you want to leap the two engines off the track and race all the way to the bathroom? Here, I’ll take this one and you take that one; let’s zoom!’. As I read it, I thought that this was a great example of using play to move through the daily routine, from one activity to another; in this case, from playtime to bath time.   I noticed that I do this kind of thing with my son, too. He watches Barney, and there’s this segment where there are three children standing outside, and they move in different ways from one place to another; they say things like ‘green grass and clover, let Stephen hop over’ and ‘green grass and clover, let Barney dance over’ etc. The person whose name is mentioned then has to move to another spot in the way that is described (hop/dance/skip). I remember nappy changing being a real challenge with my toddler at times – before he was potty trained. It would be like ‘Smiley. Nappy change please!’ from me as I called him over, accompanied at times with a desire (and perhaps an undertone!) of just wanting to get the nappy changed and that task done, already! He, being my confident son, would drag out a ‘noooo’ or a ‘no, nappy change!’. Then our exchange and my trying to convince him to come over, coupled occasionally with mild frustration setting in internally for me as the interaction continued, would at times result in the exchange not being our finest interaction experience. One day, I thought of the Barney episode and said something along the lines of ‘hey honey, shall we change your nappy? C’mon, green grass and clover, let Smiley hop over!’. This playfulness, along with other things (like being mindful to connect before asking him for something, and/or giving him time to finish what he’s doing before I make a request) changed his reaction. He would hop over or say something like ‘ermm, I will jump over!’. I would say something like ‘you wanna jump over? Okay!’ and he would. Potential unpleasant interaction and power struggle averted, alhamdulillah, and enjoyment-meter cranked up.

Play And Redirecting Our Children

Playfulness also really works for me in redirecting my child. Many times, children act in ways that can feel really triggering (biting, hitting a sibling!) and can be a big test for us. But their behaviour is very often developmentally appropriate. Yep. Completely developmentally appropriate. My son will often just jump on my back from behind, without prior warning, though I have asked him many times to please ask me beforehand, so I know what’s coming. It can be a test for me as I may be changing his brother’s nappy and all I will feel is all his body weight suddenly my back, and an elbow digging into the nape of my neck or shoulder (and hurting!). At times, I have let out a ‘Smiley!’ in an annoyed tone. What works better though is when I connect first, through play, by pausing, perhaps wrapping my arms backwards around him and squealing something like “are you climbing on me?!” playfully and moving about. This ensues smiles, laughter, connection or all three, then playing for a few seconds and then asking empathically “is it fun to climb?” which will bring up a response of “yes” or some comment about play. And then I may kiss or hug him whilst reminding him “do you mind asking me first please, sweetie?” and then also explain why I’m making this request. In this particular example, it’s: “so that I don’t get hurt”. Often though, if I’ve squealed “are you climbing on me?!” or “You, Mister?!”, he will laugh or smile and remember “can I climb on you?”. I think we personally find it easier to accept a point of correction from those who understand where we are coming from (even if they don’t agree). It’s far more palatable to accept redirections from those that empathise with us. Play with our children can help us to establish that ‘we-ness’: that connection before we move onto redirection. (Dr. Dan Siegel talks more about connecting before redirecting in his book ‘No Drama Discipline’ which he has co-authored with Dr. Tina Payne Bryson).

Saying Yes To Play Invitations

It works well for me to accept play invitations from my child. I struggle with it, because as much as I may (sometimes) want to let go and play with him, I also have to try to balance that with getting things done around our home and also wanting to read or do things that replenish me. But it helps when I do just let go and sometimes say yes to the invitation. When I do play, and try to take it one step at a time, and join him in doing a puzzle for example, we put pieces together, and as the minutes tick, we begin to talk whilst doing the puzzle, and we begin to feel…together; connected. Affection often flows in these moments and it is lovely (he often says no to kisses at other times, which is fine by me). Then I think, this play stuff, it’s his love language almost, his world. Smiley loves for us to play with him. And when I get into it, and mentally halt the to do-list or stop observing the mess and when to do it, and choose to just be with my son, it can be a lovely and welcome diversion for me, too. I come out replenished. Sometimes, it doesn’t have this replenishing or internally lovely effect on me, but I’m glad whenever I do play with him as I know he likes it, and compliance is often a welcome by-product from connection time and play. I also like it as I feel like I invested in my relationship with my child for a while, and I’m often grateful that I did take that time.


Roughhousing, rough-and-tumble kind of play, such as pillow fights, wrestling etc, is said to build emotional intelligence in children by allowing them to process their emotions. Games that get kids moving and laughing are also good for kids. According to Dr. Laura Markham of AhaParenting.com:

“All day, every day, children have to manage complicated feelings: Fear (What if there IS something under the bed?), Jealousy (Maybe you do love their sibling more!), Humiliation (The teacher acted like he should already know that, and all the kids laughed!), Panic (What if she doesn’t make it to the bathroom on time?), Anger (It was my turn!), Disappointment (Doesn’t anyone care what I want?!)…. The normal challenges of every day for a growing child of any age stimulate all kinds of feelings. Children release these emotions through play. Laughter, specifically, transforms our body chemistry by reducing stress hormones and increasing bonding hormones [like oxytocin]”

She continues:

“…because when we play physical games with children, they giggle and sweat and scream — and they release the same pent-up stress hormones that they’d otherwise have to tantrum to discharge. ”

I know for me that if my child is a bit whiny, and the cause isn’t hunger or tiredness, trying to play a quick chasing game around the house can turn around the moment, and sometimes eradicate the whines. We feel connected, he has discharged whatever he’s struggling to navigate and then we get on with our day. Sometimes, he has already passed the point of no return and a tantrum is inevitable. But a fun, movement and laughter-ensuing game helps us both with connection and cranking up the feel good factor.

We go out to play a lot more now, the boys and I, but before we did, or on the days that we don’t, it has helped when I’ve sometimes looked up a gross motor activity for us. Wikipedia gives the following definition for gross motor skills: “Gross motor skills are involved in movement and coordination of the arms, legs, and other large body parts and movements. They participate in actions such as running, crawling, swimming, etc.” I personally didn’t look up these activities to develop particular skills in my children but rather because that description tends to bring up movement involved games, which is what I was after: to get Smiley and I moving, and potentially laughing and therefore feeling better, and more emotionally centred. Games such as hopscotch are an example. We’ve played a game that we’ve named ‘cushion track’ in our house (we found the game idea on Hands on As We Grow) whereby we put cushions and pillows on the floor and hop all over them. We put our own twist to the original game idea as we had to avoid the bits of floor between the pillows as we jumped, etc.

So, how can we inject playfulness and play into our days with our children? (Tips are based on my experience with young children; perhaps some can be used/tweaked with older kids, too)

Actionable Steps in Implementing The Tip:

1) Use play and playfulness to move through the routines of the day. This can mean, for example, that when you’re inviting to nappy changing or calling to breakfast, you use your imagination and make it playful. An example would be “do you want to run to bed, or walk backwards, or skip?” It might be that you announce in a high pitched or singing voice that dinner is ready, and invite sitting at the table in the same funny voice (being light will be fun us too). You could ask them how they want to go to the bathroom: run, hop or walk sideways, and then do it together.

2) Use play for ritual activities of the day that may bring up tension, or resistance on the part of your child. In my context, it is brushing teeth, nappy changing, getting dressed etc. So for brushing teeth, I ask my son if we should do ABCs or 123s as we brush. And I usually sing whatever he chooses, in an animated voice while I do the business of brushing. These days, he usually responds by saying ‘Arabic alphabet’ or ‘shapes!’. So I can be found in the bathroom at times exaggeratedly saying the Arabic alphabet or random shape names. Good fun, alhamdulillah! And the other day, Smiley wanted me to speak really fast at naptime. Then he wanted me to read his bedtime story book at a super fast pace. I loved it and he cracked up. We shared a laugh and a kiss and felt connected. Maybe you can skip to put shoes on before you leave the house, or something like that?

3) Doing gross motor activities helps. It helps to incorporate rough housing and movements into our day if possible; these kinds of activities are particularly helpful when the kids happen to be indoors all day/when you are not going out. Here are two links with a list of fun activity ideas from Hands On As We Grow:

http://handsonaswegrow.com/gross-motor-activities-preschoolers/ – From this list, we have played Newspaper Throwing, Sticky Spider Web, and a variation of Hop, Skip and Jump.

http://handsonaswegrow.com/get-the-kids-moving-activities/ – On this list, ‘Silly Races’ seems like a fun and easy one to do.

With regards to these, don’t forget that you can vary them; you don’t have to have all the stuff that is listed to make an activity work in a different way. So for the Hop, Skip and Jump activity, it listed that you should place paper plates on the floor, and Hop, Skip and Jump off them. However, we didn’t have paper plates, nor did we want to use them; so we drew circles with chalk on our vinyl kitchen floor and wiped them off when we were done.

Our very own movement involving games that we play at home are Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses, What’s The Time Mr. Wolf, Hide and Seek, Ben Aqui (which means ‘come here!’ in Spanish): a game my husband made up and played with my son a lot where we would chase him all around the house, saying ‘ben aqui’.

4) Imaginative Playfulness – Things like making up a rhyme together work well when we are doing routine things around the house (we have a song we have made up with funny made up sounds we sing) . My son also once made up a make-believe game whereby he said that characters from a show he used to watch were coming to visit our home; I joined in: we said some were waiting at the local station; he said something like that another was next door at the neighbours. We were looking outside the window at the sky for the bird character; we were talking about when they arrived and what room in our house they were in; out tone was very animated and conversational and he was excited. Making up stories is another one that works well for us (we picked this one up from The Peaceful Papa’s Facebook page). So if my son whines or is reluctant to move on to the next part of our routine, or we are just sat on the sofa, I will make up a story occasionally, in a dramatic voice about the adventures of two princes and their Mummy and Daddy (Smiley asked for one the other day). This really changed his mood one day when he was either whiny or resistant (I can’t remember which it was). He becomes absorbed with the story.

5) If our young child begins to whine (and it isn’t caused by something like hunger or tiredness), we can try using movement involved play to help in dialling it back, recharging our child, and establishing a connection. This is a good reminder for me, as I’ve forgotten to do it lately, but a while back, I used to do this a lot. If my son began to whine and it was ongoing, I’d sometimes sit on the floor, put something padded like a cushion or a changing mat behind us, and ask him if we should ‘play fall’ together. He knew what was coming, would usually oblige and I’d grab him when he ran towards me and we’d fall backwards on our prepared padded/cushiony item. As and after we’d fall, we’d laugh a lot, and often it would be a quick little recharge for us both.

I hope some of these tips help, and I wish you great days in your role, insha’Allah 😃
Please share if you or someone else you know may benefit – I’d be super thankful!
© WAA, AtHomeWithThePrinces, September 2016

SAHM Tip #3: Make Du’a


Making du’a is something that I rely on heavily in my parenting; as a source of strength, solace, hope and Divine help. It’s comforting to think that if we have whispered it up to my Lord; if our Lord has guided us to pray about it, then it’ll be okay. I often make du’a in the realm of parenting: both for everyday things (like Allah’s help in the days whilst I look after the boys) and more long term things (like the boys being given the gift of eemaan, the ability to do ‘amal saalih – righteous deeds – and being of kind and good character).

Asking for Barrakah in My Sleep And Miracles in My Day

In the short term, everyday things, du’a helps in the midst of hard parenting moments and for me, very often in the context of getting very little sleep. If I have gone to bed really late, for example, either by way of poor decision making (it happens…you just want more time to yourself in the evening…) or just because I may be up with an ill child, or a frequently waking nursing child, and it’s super late, and then next day crosses my mind; how I am going to parent with such little sleep, such little energy, feeling so zapped, etc? When those thoughts cross my mind, I know it’s du’a time. So after praising and thanking Allah, and sending salutations upon Rasulullah, I ask: “Yaa Allah, please put barrakah in my sleep and miracles in my day, ameen”. I ask for these things because I deeply believe that He can and He will. And after making this du’a, I fully expect Allah SWT to help me, having husn an dhan billah (good expectations from Allah).

I ask for barrakah (blessings) in my sleep because I’m fully aware that three hours of sleep, on paper, is not sufficient. However, the One I’m asking, owns us and owns, and can change, our internal states (we are taught that the hearts are between the two fingers of Ar-Rahman, right?).  So asking for His barrakah in something will make it plentiful and…sufficient. Of course, I wouldn’t neglect doing your part: i.e. trying to get as much sleep as you can (I struggle with this…because you wanna wake up rested but you want those precious few hours in the evening after the kids’ bedtime too…the conflicting decisions struggle is real!)

I ask for miracles in my day as, at times, it is 3am and I find myself in the living room as my baby has decided he wants to hang out with Mummy (who needs sleep?!) and going back to sleep is not in his imminent plans. So in that moment, when I remember, I remind myself to submit to the situation that Allah has decreed for me, and to not project the moment forward; i.e. just because I may feel shattered now, it does not mean I will feel very tired later/tomorrow/the next moment. Or even, if at 3am, and I’m okay and begin to be present, and to enjoy my baby even, to still not project the ‘rational’ side of it forward, which is that if you are up at this time, tomorrow is going to be hard: not necessarily. The thoughts do begin to flow when it seems the fatigue odds are against you (and if you’re incessantly up and continuously getting very little to no sleep, you may need some help; for someone to take the kids while you top up on rest and sleep, etc); but I find it helpful to think of Allah and to put trust in Him, and to ask Him for miracles in my days.

The Hadith About The Man Who Killed 99 People, And Miracles

One of hadiths that I love is about the man who killed 99 people and asked an aabid (a devout worshipper) if he could be forgiven. The worshipper responded in the negative and the man killed him, also. He then proceeded to visit a scholar to ask him the same question; to see if there was hope, if Allah could forgive him. The scholar, being both a learned person as well as a worshipper, affirmed God’s infinite mercy. He told him “who can stand between you and tawbah (repentance)?”. He also advised him to move to another place, a place that would be conducive to his goal of reform, of tawbah, of coming back to Allah SWT. The man took this advice and began his journey to this place. En route to his destination, the man passed away. The angels of mercy and the angels of torment then disputed where his final abode would be, and then Allah sent down an arbitrar that suggested that the distance between where he died relative to the town he was coming from, as well as the town he was going to, be measured. And then to see which place he was closer to; if he was closer to the the place he was coming from, he would be taken by the angels of torment, and if he was closer to the town he was going to he would be taken by the angels of mercy. The distances were measured and it was found he was closer to the land he was travelling to. And so he was shown mercy. In the narration of Imam Bukhari, it states that Allah SWT moved the earth so that he would be closer to the town of mercy. Subhan’Allah. When I have come across this hadith being discussed, it is usually from an angle of the vastness of Allah’s forgiveness and mercy, which is profound. But more specifically, what I find amazing about it, is that, this man, Allah *moved the earth in his favour*He moved the earth in his favour. Like, He, Al Wadud, Ar-Rahman, Al-Karim, moved the earth in this man’s cause. Subhan’Allah. What makes us think He won’t perform miracles in our favour? And this is why I ask for miracles in my day: because I know He can, and I know that He will.

Reaping The Fruits of Du’a in My Role

I find that when I make the two du’as regarding barrakah in my sleep and miracles in my day on the tired nights, some level of ease manifests the next day. Some days, it does feel miraculous: I find plain ease and joy, and on other days, even if some parts of the day feel testing, it overall feels manageable. For example, it may be really demanding with one of my boys, but subhan’Allah, the other is completely engaged in his play and I don’t have to worry about him at all; my elder son takes some quiet time whist the younger one naps, and I get lost in a good book for 20 minutes; nothing has really changed but in the midst of the routine and the nappy changing, I observe that I’m content inside; we are all singing and laughing through parts of our day; one of the boys do or say something that is beautiful; and most frequent of all, I don’t feel as tired as my thoughts the night before were convincing me I would be (that barrakah was put in my sleep!); or I do feel tired, but with some internal self-kindness talk, I trod on, one task, and one moment at a time, and overall, it is okay and I feel thankful. And in the midst of a moment of ease, I feel warm as I suddenly remember that I’m reaping the fruits of the whispers I made up to my Lord.

The Power of Du’a

Du’a is powerful. Allah says:

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. *I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me*. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” (2:186)

(emphasis added by me)

Furthermore, the Prophet SAW says about du’a:

‘Du’a is worship’ (Abu Dawud)

Subhan’Allah. This act that is a such a generous gift to us, a benefit to us, is, in and of itself, worship. The whole act, in this hadith, has been equated to worship. Engaging in du’a is engaging in worship subhan’Allah: our very purpose of creation.

Du’a And Mindful Parenting

Making a change for the better in the realm of parenting used to, and can sometimes still, feel really hard for me. I wasn’t good at calming myself down and regulating my own emotions for example; yet I knew this was important (for my own well being) and more urgently, in my example as a mother, for my own children’s ability to self-regulate. So because these things felt challenging for me (and sometimes still do), I would take steps and read about how I could do them and try to do them, but often with du’a preceded by it, or along with it. I felt that the Lord that leads us to khair and beneficial learnings helps us in embodying such changes, with effort and du’a. And when we’re inevitably imperfect, it’s comforting to know that we could apologise/seek forgiveness and keep going. And now I personally feel like some of the positive changes that have come about in my parenting are because of accepted whispers to Allah.

Making du’a in really testing moments with the children helps too, though I don’t always manage to or remember. When I’m flustered, or pushed to the limit or angry, pouring it all out in du’a is an outlet and a vehicle for change, insha’Allah…by asking Allah for what I do want to see and experience, beyond my current reality.

So with regards to habitualising du’a around our important amaanah (trust) of parenting, what can we do?

Actionable Steps In Implementing The Tip:

1) Get into the habit of asking Allah for *everything*; so in motherhood, this means for your everyday tasks such as asking for a blessed day, for alleviating anything less than optimal that you may feel: help with a hard day, tiredness, barrakah in your sleep, potty training, sleeping through the night, the ruts or wearing enthusiasm/monotony that you may feel or run into with the repetitive nature of the daily tasks of motherhood, challenges. Do your part, make a plan, take some small action to change whatever it is that you are finding challenging, make du’a and then figuratively peel those eyes and observe the smallest positive changes; or the very apparent, specific du’a you asked for being answered.

2) Habitualise uttering one (or more!) du’a(s) from the morning adhkaar. One sunnah du’a from the morning adhkaar that I find to be really beneficial is the du’a that starts ‘Asbahnaa wa asbahal mulku lillah, walhamdulillah’* (I will place the whole du’a along with it’s transliteration and translation at the bottom of this piece, insha’Allah). Since I became a mother, I don’t do, or struggle to do, my morning adhkaar, but one du’a I say more often than the others, that I can do in the midst of breakfast prep and nappy changing is that one. I love it, it really resonates with me, makes me aware of Allah and His Greatness as I utter it, gives me perspective, and makes me hopeful about the day.

3)  It is a nice habit to thank and make du’a for your children in their presence. You can start off with an intentional ‘jazakAllahu khairan’, it is essentially a du’a right (though we may perhaps think of it as interchangeable for ‘thank you’; I think of it as an accelerated form of thanks as it asks the Lord of the worlds to recompense the person you are saying it to with khair) and then move onto praying for your child at times they perform a nice gesture: ‘may Allah bless you/may Allah increase your goodness/Allah is in the assistance of those who are in the assistance of others; I pray Allah always helps you’. A lovely thing that I’ve observed some Somali mothers do is that when their child does something good like assist them, or assist others, or any other acts of goodness, they would say to the child “khair Allah hakku siyo” (May Allah grant you khair).

4) Memorise the du’as in the Qur’an that pertain to one’s offspring and ask Allah through them. I haven’t memorised them all. The two that I love and say are (du’a translations underlined) :

• Coolness of the eyes du’a: ‘And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”’ (25:74)

• To establish salah and accept our supplications du’a: ‘”My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication.”’ (14:40)

I love the above two du’as because the first one asks Allah to make our spouses and our offspring the coolness of our eyes: don’t we all want great relationships that, despite inevitable tests, are generally embedded in tranquil; that bring us ‘coolness’ as such? I know I do. And I love the second du’a because salah is the first thing we will be asked about on the Day of Judgment, as the Prophet SAW told us. If our salah is sound, then and only then will we have succeeded. So it is an important and wise du’a as our ultimate and eternal success depends on it. The latter part of this du’a asks that our supplication be accepted; I love it because I feel like if we are blessed with the gift of accepted supplications from Allah SWT, the One who controls the world, we will be fine.

5) Assign a portion of your du’a list to your parenting and children. Spend some time thinking about the traits you would want your children to embody both short and long term, as well as your parenting goals/the kind of parent you want to be, and write these down into a du’a list. Try to make some time asking Allah for these, especially at times we’ve been told du’as are accepted: when it rains, last hour before maghrib on friday, at the time of breaking your fast when you are fasting, etc.

6) When (I won’t say if!) your children push your buttons, try praying for them, for you, and for your unity and success in both worlds. So in the midst of testing moments, pause. Take some deep breaths and make du’a if you need to. Allow supplication to Allah to be one of the things that helps carry you through the difficult moments.  If you are angry, here is a piece which includes helpful things you can do to help you move through the anger in a healthy manner, insha’Allah.

I hope some of these tips help, insha’Allah. And I wish you great days in your role 🙂

© WAA, July 2016 (Ramadan)



The translation and transliteration of the du’a mentioned in Tip Number 2:


‘We have reached the morning and at this very time unto Allaah belongs all sovereignity, and all praise is for Allaah. None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner, to Him belongs all sovereignty and praise and He is over all things omnipotent. My Lord, I ask for the good of this day and the good of what follows it and I take refuge in You from the evil of this day and the evil of what follows it. My Lord, I take refuge in You from laziness and senility. My Lord, I take refuge in You from torment in the Fire and punishment in the grave.’


Asbahnâ wa asbahal-mulku li-l-lâhi, wal-hamdulillâhi.

Lâ ilâha illâ l-lâhu, wahdahu lâ sharîka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-

hamdu, wa huwa ‘alâ kulli shay’in qadîr. Rabbi, as’aluka khayra

mâ fî hâdhâl-yawmi wa khayra mâ ba’dahu. Wa a’ûdhu bika min

sharri mâ fî hâdhâl-yawmi wa sharri mâ ba’dahu. Rabbi a’ûdhu bika minal-kasali,

wa sû’i-l-kibari. Rabbi a’ûdhu bika min ‘adhâbin fi n-nâr wa ‘adhâbin fil-qabr



SAHM Tip #2: Working on Being Grateful

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So there are days when I wake up or situations occur at home and I feel…done. In my personal situation at the moment, it is because my little one is teething and he wakes up in the night and then stays up; very, very often. And the boys are also a little unwell – runny noses, deep coughs, and a painful rash. So when my little one does go to sleep, he will cough, and then cough some more, and then wake himself up from the coughing, and then we have to start all over again with putting him to sleep.

At other times as Mums, perhaps we have a lot on or perhaps we haven’t taken an intentional break or me-time for a while that you kind of run out of steam (I do not advocate this! I advocate self care; intentional, even if little). You feel done.

So when your day is just super demanding or your patience is wearing thin or you feel negativity trying to seep in, I find that one of the best ways to begin to counteract all these things and begin to find internal peace (and to just feel more…centred, as opposed to disoriented) is with gratitude. Shukr (gratitude/thankfulness) to Allah. I have found personally that in order to be patient, I must be grateful. This is for all of life, but I find I use it a lot in my context of being a Stay at Home Mum.

This morning, I tried to put my baby to sleep three times for his morning nap, and it just wasn’t happening. It felt like it took forever. My three year old was in the living room waiting for me; I had put on a show for him whilst I tried to put his brother to sleep. And I was beginning to feel frustrated, notice my tiredness, and… messy, as I couldn’t get ready in the morning. When my little one eventually did fall asleep, I quickly got ready and then explained to my three year old why I took so long and then said to him that I would write for about 5 minutes and then we could play together. He agreed. I felt I needed this time because as the morning, as well this whole recent period, had felt demanding for me, I wanted to take those five minutes to write down all the things I was grateful to Allah for. To see all the abundant good there always is, and to take my mind off what I was finding frustrating and to focus on what was working, what is working. This doesn’t mean things still don’t bother us at times – and we’re allowed to feel those feelings. It just keeps those things in their rightful place as minor – on the days that we can manage to reframe it (hey it doesn’t always happen for me!) Gratitudes simply allows me to shift my focus and tap into the bigger picture.

So I got my phone and opened my gratitude app and wrote. I tried to write down every ‘little’ thing that I enjoyed, felt blessed to have and just generally felt grateful and positive about. Subhan’Allah, that day, my feelings changed quickly: I began to soften and feel at peace; my gratitude writing had softened me, loosening the prior knot of frustration. I noticed that I wrote down so many things and still had so many that I wanted to add. Which brings to mind a verse from the book of Allah. And it is this:

“And if you should count the favours of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (16:18)

Subhan’Allah. Indeed, His blessings and favours are many. Gratitude and counting our blessings allows us to focus on the good in our lives, and to relate to the world and those around us from a place of “what I have is more than enough and I am thankful for it”. This, I find, breeds contentment and an internal peace. I remember once hearing somebody once say ” what you focus on expands”. Absolutely, I think, when I read that. Particularly when you focus on all that you are grateful for: you just find more to be grateful for.

That morning, I felt so much better when I wrote down all that I was grateful for. I related to my day in a much better way. I turned back to my toddler in a much more tender and less frustrated state. When we can’t change our external circumstances at times but do manage to change our focus, how we relate to our outer world then also shifts for the better. That day, I still had very little and broken sleep, tons of things to do, messy spaces to be cleaned, and two children who weren’t in optimal health to care for. But internally, a lot had changed. My focus had changed, and that now changed how I related to my external circumstances.

When I started this note, I wrote about how gratitude is a good place to start when you’re having one of those days where you just feel like you don’t have much to give. And then I stopped writing. That night, when my baby woke up a few times, I remembered these very words. So as I picked him up, I thought “alhamdulillah, that he isn’t staying up in the middle of the night, which he could do, and does sometimes do lately”. And I immediately felt better, and more importantly, at peace and present with my baby, alhamdulillah. Prior to gratitude journaling that day though, spotting the good in that particular situation either wasn’t happening.

Of course, we won’t always internally accept situations easily or quickly, let alone move to spotting the good. Sometimes, we need to feel our feelings and the reframe doesn’t come quickly and that’s a-okay. But with practice and when we can manage it, it is something that can really help with life with our littles.

So what can we do to develop gratitude as Mums?

Actionable Steps in Implementing The Tip:

  1. Get a gratitude app or a notebook/ diary and *regularly* write down a few things that you are grateful to Allah SWT for. (Everyday is great. Or perhaps start off with once every few days). I have an app on android called ‘Attitudes of Gratitude Journal’.
  2. *Especially* on the days or moments when you are feeling out of sorts, write down the things that you are grateful to Allah for. That morning, for me, my gratitude list begun with the make up that I had just put on. Might sound trivial, but it made me feel good, so I was thankful to have it.
  3. Make sajdatush shukr (prostration for thankfulness) a habit; it is a sunnah of the Messenger, PBUH. How? By making sajdah to Allah whenever something that you like happens.
  4. If you have time to sit after salah, and you do your tasbeeh, tahmeed and takbeer 33 times each, then after every salah, bring to mind one thing, that you are grateful to Allah for when you are repeating “alhamdulillah”. I personally don’t do this much now, with very young children, but I have benefited from it when I did.
  5. This is something that I’ve recently begun, but haven’t made habitual, so I need the reminder: Thank Allah when you are in hardship. Ask Him for help, but thank Him also. I find it can help in keeping in mind that Allah is there; He is always watching, and He has decreed whatever is happening in your life. Which is a soothing balm, and can shift our internal state to accepting our situation and owning it (and dealing with it quicker, and growing through it insha’Allah)
  6. There is a specific du’a amongst the adhkhaar (words of Remembrance) of the morning and the evening which translates to “O Allah , whatever blessing has been received by me or anyone of Your creation is from You alone , You have no partner . All praise is for you and thanks is to You.” I will place the transliteration of this du’a at the end of this piece (one word of which changes depending whether you say it in the morning or in the evening). What is a ‘wow’ moment for me is that it is stated that whoever says this du’a in the morning and evening has completed his obligation to thank Allah for the day. Subhan’Allah, making this habitual could be a way that works for us to stop, take a moment and be grateful, twice a day, every day.

I will end this tip with a part of one of my favourite verses in the Qur’an; that talks about gratitude:

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” (14:7)

I hope some of these tips help, insha’Allah. And I wish you lovely days with your littles 🙂

© WAA, 2015




Transliteration of the du’a mentioned in tip number 6:
Allaahumma maa ‘asbaha bee min ni’matin ‘aw bi’ahadin min khalqika faminka wahdaka laa shareeka laka, falakal-hamdu wa lakash-shukr.
Meaning: O Allah , whatever blessing has been received by me or anyone of Your creation 1 is from You alone , You have no partner . All praise is for you and thanks is to You. 2
1 When you say the dua in the evening, you should say: Allaahumma maa ‘amsaa bee…: “O Allah, as I… enter this evening…”
2 Whoever recites this in the morning, has completed his obligation to thank Allah for that day; and whoever says it in the evening, has completed his obligation for that night. Abu Dawud 4/318, An-Nasa’i ‘Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah (no. 7), Ibn As-Sunni (no. 41), Ibn Hibban (no. 2361). Its chain of transmission is good (Hasan), Ibn Baz, p. 24.