As a gender, in general, I believe women are very selfless and giving. This can and does become a serious weakness for us. For me. We are taught to “grin and bear it.” Not to complain. We are emotional. We are caregivers and want to help everyone no matter the detriment that it can cause if we are not careful. But that is the point. We have to be careful. We have to be strong and learn to say one little word, “no.” Women, in general, have a hard time uttering this two letter word. The way it usually happens is the pursuer (husband, boss, friend, collegue, etc) will ask us to do some sort of favor. We know that we have too much on our plate already but after a full on session of sob stories and guilt trips we cave in and end up adding it to our list.
As Muslim women, we have to be doubly careful of this. You see, not only do we have our schedules but our life should be scheduled around worship and devotion to Allah (swt) (not the other way around). So, once we pile obligations, trusts, and responsibliies up we automatically deduct the time that we would have spent in rememberance of Allah. Our prayers become rushed and squeezed in here and there. No longer do we sit after salat and make dhikr. Because, really, we don’t have time for that. We no longer read the Qur’an because it takes up too much time, or if we do read the Qur’an we read it to get it over with and don’t ponder what we have read which results in us coming away with little to no benefit whatsoever.
Even those of us who look like we have it all together may not. Even those of us who play Islamic lectures day and night and post up islamic information may not have the time to actually sit and listen and ponder or read what we are posting, playing, etc. Those of us that volunteer with Islamic organizations may have had admirable intentions when we began but then it becomes just another trust that we feel responsible for. Afterall, if we don’t do it, who will?
As a result, we suffer, our relationship with Allah suffers, our children suffer, our marriages suffer. We may or may not be asked about what we volunteered to do on the Day of Judgement. We may or may not be asked about how sucessful we were in our vocations. But for certain we will be asked about our prayers. Did we complete them perfectly? Or were we too busy? Did we concentrate on the words letting them penetrate our heart? Or did we stand up half asleep and go through the motions to mark it off the list for the day? We will be asked about our obligations to Allah. Did we take our time to fulfill them? We will be asked about our children. Did we give them their rights or were we so caught up in other things that we neglected to teach them and bring them up on the Qur’an and Sunnah? Were we good wives, did we give our husband’s their rights, did we give our parents their rights?
Sadly, many of us on that day will probably be in a state of shame and regret. We will beg and plead to go back to this time and vow that we will say “no” to the things that we can’t add to our hectic schedules. We would probably wish that we had lived simpler lives and concentrated on our obligations and fullfilling them perfectly while volunteering and spreading daw’ah as we are capable…..not to the point that obligations are neglected or half performed out of laziness and tiredness. But it will be too late by then. We won’t have a second chance that day.
That’s why we must evaluate ourselves now as Umar ibn Khattab once said:
“Judge yourselves before you are judged, evaluate yourselves before you are evaluated and be ready for the greatest investigation (the Day of Judgement)”
As long as we have a breath left, we are capable of making changes in our lives. We are capable of saying “no” to overworking ourselves, neglecting our relationship with Allah (SWT), and allowing things to pile up in our lives unnecessarily. Allah has given us all this ability to choose, free will. It’s up to us to learn to balance our lives and use them to strive for Paradise. To struggle For the ability to be able to stand up before Allah (SWT), Our Creator, on the Day of Judgement, knowing that we made every effort to fulfill all our obligations perfectly with love, hope and fear for His Sake alone. That is the ultimate goal. How many of us will reach it?