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Podcast 2 – Depression SoundCloud

What is depression? why does it occur and what can we do to alleviate it? Using methods from the Islamic Sunnah and her own experiences, Misbah Akhtar tackles this issue.

Listen to Podcast 2 – depression by Single Muslim Mums

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Single mothers in UAE will shoulder the blame after most divorces

Since she separated from her husband, Fatma Salim has been through a tough journey that started on the very first day after the divorce. First and most importantly, she faced obstacles as she fought over the custody of her son.

Her 10-year-old would often beg her to move back in with him and his father so that the three of them could live together as they once did. And so she had to convince her son that it was better for him – and for her and her former husband – for them to live apart. It reached a point where the son knew that the only way he would be able to live with his mother again was for his father to pass away. It was a heartbreaking realisation.

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Pure Matrimony Feature

http://www.muslimmarriageguide.com/the-truth-about-being-a-single-muslim-mother/

 

The issue of single Muslim mothers is fast becoming a prevalent one; with divorce on the rise it seems only logical that some of these statistics would also apply to Muslim households. Why then are they not revered as they deserve to be and instead looked down upon and scorned by many communities?

Is it really seen as so contagious that girls from ‘respectable’ families should stay away from these women in case they too, catch it?  Why are these women made to feel humiliated and isolated from their community as if they chose this path for themselves?  Being left with no option but to walk is not the same as breaking up a perfectly happy marriage for selfish reasons; only Allah knows the whole truth and what is in someone’s heart so why then do people assume? Continue reading

Get West London Feature

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/muslim-mother-reaches-out-single-5976392

 

MUSLIM who faces challenges as a single mother has started a support network for women in the same position.

Misbah Akhtar, 31, said after separating from her husband she received very little support from Muslim organisations and was shunned by her community because of the stigma of divorce.

The enterprising mother set up a Facebook group, Single Muslim Mums, which women from Harrow and around the world visit for advice and encouragement.

The page has attracted 600 users since it was created a year ago.

She said: “Many single mothers feel isolated from their community; they are not encouraged to speak up about their struggles in an attempt to console other women, rather they are warned to keep quiet and suffer alone so as not to bring shame on their families.

“There is no organisation in place for them where they can go to for help or just to meet other single Muslim mothers.”

Ms Akhtar said a Muslim woman should not be out after dark for the sake of her own safety, which makes it difficult to collect her children, and a Muslim woman is not allowed to be alone with a male stranger, so it is difficult to let a landlord or a builder into the house.

The mother of Zarra and Daiyaan, who go to Norbury School in Harrow, said: “I was surprised by the response when I made it [the Facebook page]. I am now setting up a website for Single Muslim Mums and I’m hoping to set up a charity.”

Sara Khan, who runs the national human rights charity, Inspire, said: “Divorce is one of those things that Muslim communities don’t like to talk about. In a lot of cases the women take on looking after the children and they have to become mothers, fathers and homemakers and they end up getting very little support. We need to change attitudes but the challenges are very diverse.”

Aaila Feature

http://aaila.org/issue/january-february-2015/article/the-truth-about-being-a-single-muslim-mother

The truth about being a single Muslim mother

By Misbah Akhtar   Thu, Apr 05, 2012

The issue of single Muslim mothers is fast becoming a prevalent one; with divorce on the rise it seems only logical that some of these statistics would also apply to Muslim households. Why then are they not revered as they deserve to be and instead looked down upon and scorned by many communities? Continue reading

The Revival Feature

http://www.therevival.co.uk/article/truth-about-being-single-muslim-mother

 

The issue of single Muslim mothers is fast becoming a prevalent one; with divorce on the rise it seems only logical that some of these statistics would also apply to Muslim households.

Why then are they not revered as they deserve to be and instead looked down upon and scorned by many communities?  Is it really seen as so contagious that girls from ‘respectable’ families should stay away from these women in case they too, catch it? 

Why are these women made to feel humiliated and isolated from their community as if they chose this path for themselves?  Being left with no option but to walk is not the same as breaking up a perfectly happy marriage for selfish reasons; only Allah knows the whole truth and what is in someone’s heart so why then do people assume?

No-one asks to be a single mother, it’s a relentless job; work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; no pay; and no training is given.  You cannot quit and are expected to play the role of both mother and father.  The pressure that you face from society is massive. You feel that everyone is waiting for you to make a wrong move which, if you make, will lead to them pouncing on you saying that your child has turned out faulty because of a lack of mothering skills that you possess – which is why you are a single mum.

It is due to this reason that many single mothers feel isolated from their community; they are not encouraged to speak up about their struggles in an attempt to console other women, rather, they are warned to keep quiet and suffer alone so as to not bring shame on their families.  There is no organisation in place for them where they can go to for help or just to meet other single Muslim mothers.

There are organisations for revert sisters, people wanting to know about Islam, da’wah giving charities for Muslims, even organisations for people suffering from drug abuse but ironically nothing for sisters born into a Muslim household who are single mothers.  Society assumes that if you are a single Muslim mother that your family will automatically take the initiative to help out; that you have a baby-sitter for when you are forced into work and that you live at home with your parents and that your father takes over your financial burden.

This is not always the case. Some women are not allowed to return to their parent’s home. They are told to lie in the bed they made because they could have stayed with their husband even if it meant tolerating domestic violence and having their mental health suffer.  These women are not just defined by their role as mothers; they are human beings too and people tend to forget this.

Being a single Muslim mother is so different to being a non-Muslim single mother, the latter will do anything to make sure their child fits in as they do not want their child to be singled out any further; a Muslim mother has to remain within her boundaries set by Allah at all times.

There is no united front from a husband and therefore no ‘good cop, bad cop’; there is only her.  Children may rebel against this and then a mother has to be both firm like a father but soft and loving like a mother; it must get confusing for a child, they may wonder why their mother is all of a sudden behaving like ‘daddy’ too.

It is a father’s role to protect his family but now a mother has to adopt that role and try and provide physical safety and security; she cannot show fear in front of her children.  It’s not safe for women to be out after dark, but this now, cannot be helped if children need picking up from mosque or other activities.

A Muslim woman is not allowed to be alone with a non-mahram (non-related) man as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No woman should travel except with a mahram, and no man should enter upon her unless a mahram of hers is present.” (Bukhari) Now if her landlord is a man and wants to come round, or a builder or plumber she has to let him in; if she has no support she won’t have a brother to be there with her.

They may have no guardian to help them find a new husband and sadly not all masjid’s are dedicated to helping find spouses for women; besides which, single Muslim mothers are seen too often as ‘damaged goods’.  A vulnerable woman attempting to find her own husband therefore may be preyed upon by evil men or and may not be above the whisperings of Shaytaan.

Whilst there are a lot of good brothers out there willing to accept the responsibility of a ready-made family, a lot of them honestly admit that their mothers would not be happy with this because as one brother put it “which mother would want her son to marry a divorcee when he could marry a virgin and have his own children with her?”

We have role models from Islamic history of single mothers (or mothers who raised their children alone) whose children went on to become great men and prophets; Hajar, the mother of Prophet Ismail (pbuh), Maryam, the mother of Prophet Isa (pbuh), and Amina, the mother of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who all raised their sons alone.  Also, the mothers of Imam al-Shafi’, Imam Ahmed and Imam Bukhari raised their sons alone, all of whom later became renowned figures that left a major impact on the world.

Many single mothers are lonely and in need of support; it is the Ummah’s responsibility to help them, because they are still our sisters in Islam. But if everyone shirks away from this responsibility then who is left to help these women? They have been left alone to do the job of two people and deserve double the praise.

Organisations and charities need to be introduced where help can be administered or maybe a key worker can come round and sit with the mother and offer advice. Support groups are a good start; one such group can be found on Facebook: single Muslim mums – a group dedicated to providing support to mothers globally who feel depressed, isolated and alone.

We need your help in promoting awareness for the struggles that many single Muslim mothers face globally, let’s make a change and be the change we want to see.

 

 

Muzmatch Feature

http://www.muzmatch.com/blog/2013/02/muslim-marriage/no-one-talks-about-the-single-muslim-mums-looking-to-remarry/

 When Looking for a potential spouse there is much to consider especially if you are a single mum, but one thing I never thought I would have to think about was asking a man if he could think as a father rather than as an individual.  Call me naive, but I automatically assumed that he would have thought about the sacrifices he would have to make as a father and also would have carefully thought things through.  Maybe it’s just in my experience, but it seems men are somewhat clueless as to the degree of responsibility they face if they choose to marry a single mum. When they go to such intimate lengths to do their research on a car, check it out, make sure its worthy enough to own and don’t judge it on appearance alone, I dare say I had hoped they would apply the same formula for marriage; obviously not.  They see someone they like and try to squash them into a Stepford Wife mould; they want their wife to wrap her and her children’s lives around them instead of doing it the other way around.  Is this fair? Is this what we have to expect now as single mums?

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Single Muslim Mums Featured In Sisters Magazine

http://www.sisters-magazine.com/index.php?route=articles/articles&articles_id=219

 

 

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Single Muslim Mums

Marital breakdown is acknowledged to be one of life’s most stressful experiences. As well as huge personal turmoil, the failure of a marriage may bring with it financial burdens or the upheaval of a move to a new home. Also, in cases involving children, there are the traumatic issues of custody and court proceedings. Divorcees may also have to consider the prospect of raising their children alone, a situation that few will have envisaged for themselves.

Promotion: Readers of this article are entitled to a free full copy of the magazine today. Click here to download. 

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Media

Alhamdulillah Single Muslim Mums, by the permission of Allah swt, has been featured in the media. This has helped to spread awareness and tell others out there that we exist and want to help our single Muslim mother.s. Please click on the links for the full articles/audio in sha Allah. Barakhallahu feekum for your time