Wednesday, 4 February 2009

My pregnancy

Alhamdulillah I am pregnant for the second time. My son is 13 months old now and recently started walking mashallah. Insha-Allah I am looking forward to have another tiny angel after couple of months. I always wanted to be a mother and am so glad that Allah swt has granted me my wishes so quickly. The feeling is overwhelming. There is nothing in the world which can give that much pleasure, subhanallah. I am very grateful to Allah SWT. There is a supplication ( dua) taught by our beloved prophet Muhammad SAW which I like to recite as much as possible to thank Allah for all the blessing in my life. The supplication is really beautiful that’s why I would like to share this wonderful supplication with you all:

“Subhanallah wa bihamdihi ‘adada khalqihi wa rida’ nafsihi wa zinata ‘arshihi wa midada kalimatihi” which means “Glorified be Allah and praise is due to Him to the extent of the number of His creation and to the extent of His pleasure and to the extent of the weight of His Throne and to the extent of ink used in recording words for His Praise.”

However, life during pregnancy can be quite difficult too. Recently I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It’s a form of diabetes which occurs during pregnancy and usually disappears after the birth. People who suffer from gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within five to 10 years. Sometimes diet is enough to control the blood sugar level but for some people they may need to take medication or insulin to control their blood sugar. Alhamdulillah up until now I am managing my blood sugar level just through the diet. With my first pregnancy I had gestational diabetes and after couple of weeks I came to know that I am also suffering from high blood pressures which lead to pre-eclamsia. I was induced at 34 weeks and Alhamdulillah was able to deliver my baby boy normally within couple of hours. Although the timing was quite early, he was healthy and didn’t have any problem Alhamdulillah. I believe babies are miracles. Allah SWT provides for them with lots of strength to survive in this world. As a first time mother, I was very scared and confused. I had a constant fear and doubt about whether I will be able to bring him up properly and whether I was doing the right thing at the right time. But Alhamdulillah things went well and mashallah he is a happy and healthy toddler now.

Although through out my pregnancy I had to go through different sorts of complications, I still believe I am very lucky Alhamdulillah. Allah SWT likes to give us test to see how we react to difficult situation. But one thing I have learned from my life is no matter how terrible things may seem, by the grace of Allah SWT problems eventually get sorted out. I feel closer to Allah SWT when I am in pain and sorrow. The feeling of being totally dependant on Allah swt but none else is really wonderful one. We are created by Him and we are always in need of His help. I have never felt disappointed after making a sincere prayer to my Lord. The more the difficulties the more the rewards are allocated for us. That’s how we are supposed to see our life.

While going through the difficult phase of pregnancy, I have tried to gain as much knowledge as possible from the Quran and the Sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad saw about pregnancy and motherhood and of course there is no end to learning. However, whatever I have managed to learn I would like to share with my sisters as it will definitely help us all to accept all the difficulties with ease. Knowledge gives us the firm conviction we need to worship Allah swt with love and sincerity.

In the Qur’an the word used for womb is Rahim, which comes from the same root as Raheem (Merciful). Moreover, a pregnant woman is literally referred to as one with a burden, dhat haml.

And for those who have a burden (pregnant) their term is when they bring forth their burden. 65:4

If they have a burden (pregnant) then spend on them until they bring forth their burden. 65:6

Although pregnancy is a beautiful feeling and state of being, it also has lots of complications attached to it. This is also a time of frequent urination, backache, leg cramps, bleeding gums, hair loss, and hormonal overloads, kicking from the inside out, tender breasts, groin pain, and of course plenty of everyday complaints. Moreover, pregnancy is also a risk to the health of the mother, ranging from high blood pleasure, low blood pressure, gestational diabetes, forms of cancer, potential blood clotting problems and a slew of other real medical dangers. So, pregnancy itself is a burden for the woman, not to mention the burdens of delivery.

However, Allah SWT is very merciful to us. Whatever pain we go through in life, if we are patient enough to accept it without questioning our faith, then Allah SWT will reward us. It’s same with pregnancy. Here are some virtues of being pregnant:

It is mentioned that Rasulullah saw said: "Does it not please you (O Women!) that when you conceive from your husbands while he is pleased with you then that woman will receive such reward equal to that of a fasting person in the path of Allah and spending the night in ibaadat. When her labour pains commence the inhabitants of the earth and the sky are unaware of the stores of comfort that are prepared for her. When she delivers and breast feeds her child then she will be granted a reward for every gulp of milk, and if she had to remain awake during the night for the sake of her child, she will receive the reward of emancipating seventy slaves in the path of Allah. O Salaama! Do you know who these women are? They are pious, upright, and delicately natured but yet are obedient to their husbands and not ungrateful to them."

Rasulullah saw also said: "A woman from her pregnancy till the time of weaning her child is like one protecting the boundaries of the Islamic state. If she passes away during this period she attains the reward of martyrdom." So being pregnant is like being a mujahidah i.e. someone struggling in the path of Allah SWT to gain His pleasure. That’s why it is mentioned in one of the hadith that the woman who dies of labour pains is regarded as a martyr (shaheedah).Subhanallah what else we can ask for! We are already aware of the excellence of jihad in Islam and as women we are given the exclusive opportunity to engage in such a special form of jihad ! All praise belongs to Allah !

Through out pregnancy, it is recommended to ask Allah SWT as much as possible. In terms of what to read during pregnancy, the following supplications I have gathered from different source especially the Quran and the Sunnah:

Rabbana hablana min azwajina wa dhuriyyatina qurrata a’yuniw waj’alna lil muttaqina imama.

Our Lord! Grant that our spouses and our offspring be a comfort to our eyes, and give us the grace to lead those who are conscious of You. (25:74)

Rabbi habli mil ladunka dhurriyatan tayyiba. Innaka sami’ud dua.

O my Lord! Grant me from You a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation. (3:38)

There is also a very beautiful dua from surah Ah-qaf (46:15) . I am just giving the meaning of the verses:

My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that i may be grateful for Your favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and that I may do righteous good deeds such as please You and make my offspring good. Truly, I have turned to You in repentance and I am one of the Muslims.

Hasbunallaahu wa ni'imal wakeel

Allah suffices us and He is the best guardian.

Also it is mentioned that Fatima (radiyallahu anha) reports that when it was time for her to deliver her child, "Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) sent Umme Salma (radiyallahu anha) and Zainab (radiyallahu anha) to me with the instruction that they read Aayatul Kursi, surah Al-Falaq and An-naas and the following verse for easy delivery:

"Inna rabbakumullaahul ladhiy khalaqas samaawaati wal ardha fiy sittati ayyaamin thumma-stawaa alal arsh, yughshiyl llaylan nahaara wa yatlubuhoo hatheethan was shamsa wal qamara wan nujooma musakh-kharaatim bi amrihi. Alaa lahul khalqu wal amru, tabaaraka llaahu rabbul aalameen. Ud'oo rabbakum tadharru'an wa khufyatan, innahoo laa yuhibbul mu'tadeen." Surah Al-A'raf (7:54-55)

Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and He rose over the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty). He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His Command. Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the A’lamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists) Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors.

May Allah SWT give us the strength and patience to go through the different phases of pregnancy and Insha-Allah grant us healthy and pious offspring and reward us for our struggle, ameen.