My recent post on creating a child-like Ramadan generated a lot of attention on Twitter and Facebook — with many commenting about the frustrating balance between motherhood and the sometimes unfair expectations placed upon mothers during Ramadan — usually at the expense of their spirituality. I thought it might be productive to create spaces where people could share stories, commiserate, debate or come up with plans of action to address the issue. Especially now that we’ve entered the last 10 days of Ramadan.

I’ve teamed up with the amazing Asiah Kelley, to explore some of the problems in the discourse on motherhood and Ramadan — which we’ll look at over the next two postsAsiah Kelley is a fantastic person and mother and I am honoured to share her work with all of you. Please join me in welcoming her as she shares her thoughts and reflections on the importance of recognizing motherhood spirituality.


Ramadan is supposed to be the month of mercy. But for many mothers and wives, it can feel merciless. The work is unrelenting — food preparation, child care, house work, and all the while trying to fit in any act of worship possible.

Muslims start mentally and physically preparing for Ramadan at least a month ahead of time. The excitement builds as people think of all the food they will eat, and all the events they will go to. Young girls shop and prepare their outfits for the different parties they will attend. Boys think of the fun they will have staying up late nights with their friends, while sleeping it off the next day. But mothers? They just might tell you that Ramadan is met with a sense of dread. All the expectations — their family’s and their own, are hard to live up to.

Something has to give, and that something is usually the mother.

Ramadan crept up on me this year. My husband came home from the store with $45 worth of Gatorade, and I was more than confused until he said “For Ramadan? It starts next week.” I guess I knew on some level that it was coming, but had been ignoring it. In fact, I was dreading it. Since having my daughter two years prior I had slowly sunk into an iman hole. My faith was shot.

Ramadan wasn’t a welcome friend, it was a reminder of how bad of a Muslim I considered myself to be.


First in our series of guest posts is the ineffable Rawiya. A brilliant on-again, off-again blogger who really should be writing full time, Rawiya spends most of her days as an academic and moonlights as an artist. Please join me in welcoming her as she shares her thoughts on finding faith and recognising serendipity in the most unlikely places.

You can read more by Rawiya here.

And We have created mankind and We know what his soul whispers to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. (Qur’an 50:16)

I opened the fridge door, on the hunt for some breakfast. I felt a little bit like an intruder in an unfamiliar apartment, having driven the previous day from the States to Canada, where I was about to start some research. My gracious hosts had gone to work. I had slept in after my ten-hour drive, and was ravenous. I padded my way to the kitchen, pulled on the handle of the fridge, and locked my eyes onto a sight I hadn’t seen in years.

Oh yeah. They have milk in a bag here!” I laughed and said aloud to myself, recalling the six years I had lived in Canada during my university education. But in that moment, my hunger dissipated and I closed the fridge door, my eyes filling with tears.

How silly I felt, to have this familiar foreign thing, this stupid Canadian milk-in-a-bag, provoke me so much. Why was I crying? What the hell was going on?