I know I’ve written about doing Dream as a mother before, but after a conversation last night with some other mothers and some personal reflections this morning, I have more things to add regarding doing the Dream program as a mother.
As I’ve said before, the Bayyinah Dream program is an intensive enough program for someone single or married without children. Now, imagine a wife and mother or a father and husband for that matter doing the program. The intensity is thus ‘ism mubaalagh’-ied!
I have teenage children, 3 of them. Someone might ask, “Why aren’t they doing the program instead?” To be honest, I ask myself that too. In fact, I never seriously contemplated even applying for the program because I always wanted my kids to do it. With my responsibilities and schedule, I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t even think of asking hubs if I could do it. He was the one who suggested it, and to which I protested because of the reasoning above.
How about the kids? The house? They’re also homeschooled. How?
Knowing hubs, I knew he was going to say, “We’ll figure it out. We can do it.”
Lo and behold, subhaanallah, here I am, in the program, living life at 250 mph per hour. At times, I think to myself,
“Why am I doing this, and not my kids?”
My classmates are made up of mostly young adults, and I knew this would be the case even before. Some of my classmates are the age of my daughters! Now, I don’t agree in older people stepping back from engaging in pursuit of knowledge for reasonings such as, “I’m too old, my brain doesn’t remember or want to spend time studying anymore.” Seriously, المَعَلذِرُ مَكَاذِبُ (Excuses are lies). So I don’t have a problem being an oldie in the midst of younger people in pursuit of knowledge. But I can’t help mulling over why Allah put me in this place, instead of my kids.
Last night, a fellow mother was telling another fellow mother how, as mothers, it’s beneficial for us to sacrifice and leave our little ones in order to learn, because in the long run, this will benefit them. After all, mothers are the educators of these children. She mentioned how when she wanted to teach her son, she had to learn it herself first. Tell me about it. All my motherhood life, that’s what I’ve been doing; I’ve been learning slightly ahead and alongside the kids. That’s why I don’t have a problem with the concept of ‘homeschooling is a learning process for both parents and children’. Why I mention this is because one of the concerns of a parent undertaking the huge responsibility of homeschooling is the worry,
“How can I teach my child if I don’t know it?”
Well, I can tell you what I’ve done. I have trudged along with the kids, and in the process, they also are learning that learning is a lifetime process. You don’t finish school and stop learning. Learning is a way of life. Let’s put it that way. And that, my friends (as Ustaadh Adam likes to say), is a great lesson in and of itself (as Sh. Yasir Qadhi likes to say).
To be honest, I don’t know if I as a mother, will be teaching my kids what I’ve learned in Bayyinah, though I so share with them the Quranic gems. The older 3 are old enough to take the program themselves, and I’d rather them take the program and experience it themselves! So, why am I taking this program?
I narrowed it down to,
“Maybe, this is one of those things where I needed to plow the path, to be the pioneer in our family, to set an example, so the kids will follow suit.”
When I see the other students, I feel this. Their mothers didn’t take the program. They did. That’s the typical scenario, especially when the kids are old enough. Last night, a sister talked to my eldest and asked if she was doing Bayyinah and my daughter said, no, my mom is. So, naturally, even other people might have this assumption and maybe question.
Whatever the reason and wisdom is, I am certain that Allah’s wisdom and reason and decree is good. If what I thought of (above) is true, may Allah put barakah in it. In fact may Allah put barakah in this whatever the reason is. Ameen.
I was looking at files to delete on my laptop this morning, because I am supposed to download a downloadable version of ejtaal on the laptop. Ustaadh Adam is going to teach us how to use the Arabic digital dictionary on Sunday in sha Allah, so we are to download the offline version on our laptops to use in class. I saw some photos of our homeschooling snapshots with my youngest. All of a sudden, I felt a pang of sadness.
I used to sit and spend time with my youngest, and he enjoyed it. Now, I barely have time to do anything with him other than hug and kiss him, read some books to him, help him with his Sunday school homework, watch some movies or educational videos with him. May Allah put barakah in those also, Ameen. I need it.
Ustaadh Nouman gave a short khatirah last night at the dinner, and he talked about how we all need to have future plans for ourselves. I thought about my plans after Bayyinah. One thing is for sure, I want to finish hifdh. During Bayyinah, I will strive to review and make it really solid in sha Allah, so that by the time I am done with Bayyinah in sha Allah, I can pick up where I left off. I also need to continue picking up where I left off with homeschooling my kids, especially the youngest one. I have to make up for this year with him. I have to make it up to all the kids in fact.
Sometimes I do feel like maybe it’s a waste for me to take this program, because I’m not in a position to benefit others as much as someone with less responsibilities(relatively) can. I’m only going to go back to my role as a mom after Bayyinah. Deep inside though, I know that contradicts my strong feeling about mothers in general. Mothers are the hands that rock the world, because we raise the future, and so we need to be educated and no education is of any waste. Allah knows best and has planned everything out. For what I can think of now, it should deepen my relationship with the Quran and that in and of itself is a huge benefit in and of its own to any human being let alone a mother.
قإذا عَزَمتَ فَتَوَكَّل عَلي الله
This ayah was the one that came up when I was making istikharah about doing Dream. The journey to Dallas itself, is a story on its own. Bayyinah you can say is a bonus. Subhaanallah. Allah in fact has given us a LOT of bonuses, not just Bayyinah. It’s like,
“Juli, you don’t know what you were asking for when you asked for this Dallas thing.”
I didn’t even know how to phrase my dua at Arafah with regard to Bayyinah. I knew what I wanted with regard to Dallas, and I did maybe mumble Bayyinah, but I didn’t specify anything about it in particular. I was almost afraid to ask for myself to do Dream, but I think I did ask for it not just for myself but for all of us. So, maybe, it needed to start with me.
As Ustaadh Nouman said in one of our Surah Kahf sessions, one of the themes of this surah is that it has to start with you before anyone else. Inner before outer. You before others.
I may not have it as tough as other moms with younger kids have it, so there is probably more onus on me to work harder and make full use of this opportunity. Alhamdulillah so far, Allah has made it easy in terms of me grasping the concepts, that I’m really surprised. I keep saying,
“The way Bayyinah teaches, it really makes learning Arabic grammar NOT intimidating. You’d think learning Arabic grammar is intimidating, but the way they teach it, makes you feel that, ‘Yes, I can do this!'”
That is a lot coming from someone who was allergic to Arabic grammar (in particular) for a long time. Really. When Allah opens up your heart and mind to it, ya Rabb, it can belie all logic of your own stupidity/weaknesses. All I want is to be in Allah’s service. Allah knows which form will the best for me, and I leave it up to Him. I know my strengths and passion, and I can form a rough idea of how I can maybe do this, but in terms of forming definite goals, I’m still up in the air because of my responsibilities as a homeschooling mother.
May Allah guide me to what is good in this dunya and akhirah. Ameen.