The next contributor to the Global Muslim Mummy series, is one of my best friends that I havent met yet… Yes, you read that right! Lisha and I met over Facebook, and as our friendship grew, I realised that sometimes you dont need to meet in person to have a strong bond with someone. Lisha is an accomplished author of childrens Islamic books, and also the admin of one of my favourite parenting pages on Facebook, Conscious Parenting Approach.
She lives in Doha, Qatar and is a mum to 2 young boys.
These are her answers:
1. How many children do you have, and how old are they?
I have 2 boys, aged 4.5 and 10.
2. What was your first reaction when you found out you were going to be a mum?
Gratitude basically (as we had had trouble conceiving for a few years after marriage) and then relief and of course we were overjoyed! 🙂
3. What was the most difficult part of your pregnancy?
Al Hamdulillah, both my pregnancies were quite smooth. But my elder one was breech and hence I could quite feel the roundness/hardness of his head just under my ribs during the last few weeks of pregnancy, making it a bit difficult to turn during sleep to change position etc.
4. How did you decide on your childrens names?
‘Arman’ means ‘wish/desire’, in quite a few global languages, as in our own mother tongue. Since he quite literally our ‘wish’, it seemed appropriate to name him so!! ‘Afraz’ was just a matching choice to my husband’s name Azad but we were glad that it also has a good meaning, ‘standing tall and strong/religiously inclined’ etc.
5. How would you describe your parenting style?
I try to parent consciously, to educate my children on the good and bad of a decision/choice as age-appropriate instead of just forcing my viewpoint down their throats, no matter what the issue. I think that even if they made a wrong choice or decision this way, they would know it while making it and also when faced with the ill consequences of their decision/choice, they would be better informed to take a more suitable decision next time.
6. What has been the most challenging part of being a parent?
I can be a softie so my kids know well to manipulate my tender side, in order to get what they want, which isn’t necessarily the best for them. Not a good thing, but I’m known to give in to their preferences and choices, even when sometimes it costs me a lot in terms of personal freedom, privacy etc.
7. What’s been the most rewarding part of being a parent?
I think parenting is a rewarding blessing in itself as it gives you a chance to become a better person, for the sake of your children primarily because you want to be a role model etc but in the long run, you are the one to benefit in every way out of this blessing to touch your life. Secondly, the reward of raising children to take on after you in life…isn’t that rewarding in itself, if you have done it well??
8. How does being a Muslim influence your parenting decisions?
Islam is a practical way of life and it gives guidance to live life fully and as God intended man to and created him for, so being a Muslim parent is about finding a parenting style and raising children who are not just good people but eventually who will turn out to be good Muslims. Of course a lot more is there to this, but I think Islam gives us an excellent framework to build upon our parenting skills…
9. How do you instill Islamic identity into your children, in terms of lifestyle, education ect?
By trying to be role models in the practice of our religion, trying to take pride in our customs and celebrations and trying to really understand the rationale and communicate that understanding behind why things are prohibited/encouraged instead of just taking them at face value, which in the case of prohibitions can be really tasking and demoralizing for young children. We also try to provide them Islamic education along with secular education and integrate both into our lives as seamlessly as possible – a lot of work indeed, but of course worth it, Al Hamdulillah!!
10. As a parent, what is the most oft-repeated dua that you make for your children?
I pray that Allah always guides us all always and keeps them (and us) steadfast on the path of Truth, Ameen!
11. What advice would you offer to other parents?
As the boys are growing up, I increasingly realize how important it is to become close to Allah, to share our concerns and worries with Him, because ultimately He is the only one who can help us in our parenting. I have a lot of work to do in this regard personally, but I think being a parent makes you realize with certainty how little power one ultimately has in this game of life and how, without His help and guidance, we really cannot progress in any path and particularly in this path of effectively and efficiently raising the next generation.
12. And to end off on a lighter note, share with us your favourite parenting quote/joke/meme ?
It’s not a joke, but some wise words that I often bring to mind during challenging parenting situations: THIS TOO SHALL PASS! 🙂
Doha is the capital city of Qatar and is fast-growing, since being selected for the World Cup 2022. Qatar is on a mission to grow into one of the smart and super cities of the world, with world-class facilities of every kind, including malls, stadiums, restaurants, metro network and other public amenities/utilities. According to Lisha, as modern as it appears to be, its core is Muslim/Islamic and this is reflected in the most beautiful and stately mosques that dot the city, including the ladies’ prayer halls.
Thank you for sharing Lisha. Please do check out her Facebook page, and also keep a lookout for the upcoming reviews of her books which I have planned for early next year.