Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Barakah of Trusting Allah: Continuing After A Miscarriage

The Barakah of Trusting Allah: Continuing After A Miscarriage | ProductiveMuslim

“I am very sorry. The baby does not have a heartbeat.” Two sentences. Eleven words. These words shot through my ears like a rocket. Pain, heartbreak, and sadness rushed through my veins. I felt confusion, denial, and shock. I cried, and cried, and cried. I began to think of all the plans and dreams my husband and I had for our first baby.

I then remembered that I was just a human. A flawed and imperfect piece of flesh made from clay. This was not something I could control or could have avoided. This was part of Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) plan for me. As humans, we plan, and plan, and plan, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is the best of planners. I knew this was the plan that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had prepared for me since I was in my mother’s womb. I was confident that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had a reason behind this sadness. I was happy to know that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knew I was strong enough to handle this trial. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an,

“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.” [Qur’an: Chapter 2: Verse 286]

It was after this realization that I uttered “inna lilah wa inna ilayhi raji’oon, alhamdulilah alaa kulli hal” –

Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return. Praise be to Allah in every circumstance.

In the past years, whenever I was in the need for help or motivation, I always turned to Productive Muslim for encouragement and support. This was my secret source of energy. Unfortunately, this was the first time in eight years that I could not find what I was looking for at Productive Muslim. I settled for searching up random articles on google with the phrase “continuing after a miscarriage”. As I was looking through a variety of articles on miscarriage, I thought of all the Muslimahs who had gone through the same painful experience as I was going through. It was then that I felt the need to give you my advice on how to continue with life after having a miscarriage.

Dealing with pain

Pain comes in two different ways: physical and emotional. Getting sick would be considered a physical pain while the loss of a loved one would be an emotional pain. Unfortunately, miscarriage falls under both types of pain. It targets you physically and emotionally.

I tried to fight back the emotional pain, but sometimes the physical pain became stronger making me vulnerable to the emotional pain. I tried to put on a happy face, but I somehow associated everything around me to my precious unborn baby. I tried and tried, but I unwillingly succumbed to pain each time. I didn’t feel like leaving my bed. I was in no mood to study for my upcoming midterms. I didn’t want to return to school or work. I didn’t want to be around people. The first time I tried to go out of the house after my miscarriage, everyone I saw either asked about my pregnancy or gave my condolences for my miscarriage. Each time I had to explain, it brought back all the pain again.

However, I am getting better, day by day, and I am learning to live with this. I no longer feel like bursting into tears every time I see a pregnant lady, or a mother playing with her child, or baby clothing in stores. I am beginning to feel happiness again, and no longer have to pretend when I smile. This does not mean I have forgotten. I will never forget the precious weeks I spent with my unborn baby. This only means I am learning how to continue after a miscarriage.

For those who have been in the same situation as I was, I am very sorry this happened to you, and I make sincere dua that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) blesses you with healthy children in the near future. For my readers who have not experienced such heart break, I pray that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives you healthy pregnancies to term.

During my miscarriage, there was one specific thing that gave me comfort. It was my faith in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and the barakah we gain from trusting Him. It gave me the boost I needed to regain control of my life. I thought of how blessed I was as a Muslim to be able to have confidence that my life was in the hands of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). It was then that I added the word “Islam” to my google search phrase “continuing after a miscarriage”. Having this tawakkul in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) brought me so much barakah strength I needed to continue. It was the barakah in this knowledge that gave me the shed of light I needed to continue. Educating myself on the topic of miscarriage in Islam was my first step in recovery.

Step 1: Educate yourself

Alhamdulilah we are blessed with the most merciful and compassionate religion. I was astonished by all the information I found on Islam and miscarriage. Reading ahadeeth regarding miscarriage and stories of companions who had miscarriages or lost their children gave me an unbelievable amount of comfort. I thought that I had lost my baby forever – until I came across this beautiful hadeeth.

Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The miscarried fetus will plead with his Lord if his parents are admitted to Hell. It will be said: “O fetus who pleads with your Lord! Admit your parents to Paradise.” So he will drag them out with his umbilical cord until he admits them to Paradise.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

How beautiful is this? Out of Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mercy and compassion I will be reunited with my baby in sha Allah by the doors of heaven. This hadeeth made me burst into tears of happiness and joy.

Step 2: Pray the night prayer

I barely slept after my miscarriage, due to both the physical and emotional pain. One night I forced myself out of bed, made wudu, and prayed qiyam. I felt the closest I had ever been to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) during that single prayer. Usually when I would start crying randomly, my husband, or mother, or mother in law would comfort me. This time it was different. I cried my eyes out on my prayer mat as I made dua to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and He was there comforting me. It was such a beautiful feeling for me alhamdulilah. I cannot even describe the level of comfort this prayer gave me. There I was, making sujood on my prayer mat feeling like I was directly pouring my heart out to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and telling Him about the suffering I was going through. My qiyam prayer was one of the strongest steps towards my emotional recovery.

3. Make intense dua

In addition to prayer, I used the tool of dua to speak with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). I raised my hands to The Most Merciful and cried my eyes out to Him subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “There is nothing more honorable with Allah [Most High] than supplication.” [Tirmidhi]

I prayed for physical, emotional, and spiritual strength. I prayed for healthy pregnancy in the future. I prayed for my husband’s comfort and emotional recovery. I prayed for my sisters in Islam who have experienced this. I prayed to be reunited with my unborn angel in heaven. I prayed for everything and anything. Making dua was the only thing I was able to do while I was on bed rest, and I did my best to take advantage of this source of barakah.

4. Have a support system

It would have been unbelievably hard for me to overcome this burden without my family and friends. My husband gave me a shoulder to cry on and constantly reminded me that this was a test from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and that we are strong enough to pass it. My mother and mother in law stayed by me, cooked for me, completed my house chores, and were there for me every minute of the day. My friends helped me catch up on school assignments and spoke to my professors. I was very blessed to have this support system. If you are going through a miscarriage, find your support system, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you.

5. Take some time off to grieve

Taking time off was essential for me. I emailed my professors to excuse me from their classes, and I emailed my boss to take a leave from work. I needed this break, not only to recover physically, but emotionally. I wasn’t ready to see people and answer their many questions concerning my pregnancy and miscarriage, or see all the things outside of my bedroom that reminded me of my baby. I needed time to heal. Don’t feel like you are weak if you need time off. This is normal.

6. Don’t go to social gatherings until you are ready

Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way. Just a week after my miscarriage, I had to attend a family engagement party. I honestly didn’t feel like getting dressed up and seeing people, but I had to because of family obligations, and without doubt, I got questions about my pregnancy and miscarriage. I fought with all my strength to not tear up and cry, asked my husband to leave early. Seeing all those people at the engagement was too overwhelming for me; it was just too early.

7. Prepare to answer questions

When you feel ready and comfortable to get out of your house, think about the answers you want to give people and how much information you want to share. Unfortunately, sometimes people can be nosy and curious. Don’t share more than you are comfortable with, and don’t hesitate to tell people you don’t want to talk about it. Don’t let anyone force you in a situation of discomfort.

8. Never lose hope and grow impatient

This last piece of advice is very important. Never ever lose faith and trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), for everything He does has a purpose and wisdom behind it. Be patient. Your time will come in sha Allah. Constantly make dua that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives you what is in your heart. This is what will ultimately be a source of barakah in your life.

Prophet Zakariya asked Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) in the Qur’an, “He said, “My Lord, how will I have a boy when my wife has been barren and I have reached extreme old age?” Then an angel replied to him saying, “[An angel] said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, for I created you before, while you were nothing.’ “[Qur’an: Chapter 19: Verses 8-9]

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can easily bless you with children; it is just a matter of when. Put your trust in Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and have faith that there is barakah in everything Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) does. I end this article with a prayer and I ask for you to keep my husband and I in your dua.

“O Allah, I ask you to give every husband and wife the feeling of being a parent and to bless every couple that is struggling with infertility with a healthy child in the near future. Ameen.”

Have you or anyone close to you suffered from a miscarriage? Share your advice in the comments section below on how to deal with the grief and continue after this trial.

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