Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,
Having children is one of the blessings of Allah. God provides us all with different rizq (well-being), health and offspring. All of these things are gifts from God and we should be grateful for what we are given and never complain for what we don’t have. It is Sunnah to announce the birth of the child once the baby arrives but until that moment below are some beneficial practices for you and your child In shaa Allah.
If you are expecting a baby, keep thanking God for this gift and keep it private amongst close relatives. There is a general principle which should be paid attention to when telling others of blessings. The news should be given only to those who wish good for you and will rejoice over it, so as to ward off the evil eye and destructive envy (hasad.) The evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Be discreet in order to achieve what you want, for everyone who is blessed is envied.” (Narrated by al-Tabaraani and Abu Nu’aym; classed as Sahaah by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 943).
Be thankful to Allah for having chosen you for such a gift. The first trimester is hard for some women who suffer from nausea (morning sickness) and weakness; and the last weeks of pregnancy are exhausting: Allah says in the Quran: “…His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness…” (Surah Luqman:14) “…His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship…” (Surah al-Afiqaf:15) – even then, keep thanking Allah and believe that He will never burden you more than you can bear! He is indeed the best of planners and knows what is best for us!
It is narrated in a Hadith by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that: “Each one of you is constituted in the womb of the mother for forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into him… “(Bukhari). Based on this Hadith, jurists have inferred that the soul enters the foetus at around 4 months / 120 days after gestation, that is, the second trimester. As you enter your second trimester, make frequent dua to Allah to pre-ordain for your baby a life of unwavering faith.
Around the 20th week, the baby in the womb gains the ability to hear. This is a great time to create a one-on-one, exclusive bond with your unborn baby by reciting the Quran every day. The sound waves of your voice will reach your baby and what better words than the melodious Quran for your baby to hear and get familiar with. Give your child a head start in creating a relationship and bond with the Quran even before he comes into this world. This is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child!
Perhaps one of the things that the woman should focus on during this period is learning about sound methods of raising children, reading books on this topic or listening to useful lectures by scholars on it. Whether that has to do with moral upbringing, health, psychology, pedagogy and so on, in preparation for the great mission with which Allah has entrusted the parents, which is the trust of raising and caring for the child, so that the parents may embark upon it with knowledge and insight and achieve the best results, and attain the pleasure of Allah in this world and in hereafter.
As for the acts of worship that the pregnant woman can do, they are all the acts of workshop that the Muslim does by day and night such as praying, fasting (so long as there is no fear of harm), giving charity, reading Quran, regularly reciting the adhkaar that are prescribed to sharee’ah, treating people kindly, visiting relatives, and striving to attain the best attitudes, actions and words.
Meditation through prayer: many people will guide you towards yoga and meditation, which are a great way to relax your overworked body. However remember that prayer is the best form of meditation and it will calm you and soothe your baby aswell.
Keep checking in with Allah: stay connected with Allah and talk to him about your fears and difficulties. Make istikharah (guidance prayer) for all decisions, especially when choosing your delivery options. Ask Allah to grant you a safe delivery, a righteous child, and an easy transition into motherhood.
Avail the maternity leave Allah has given, if needed: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has relived the traveller of half of the prayer and of the duty to fast and he has relived pregnant and nursing mothers (of the duty to fast)” (Sunan an-nasa’i; reliable). If you feel that you are unable to fast due to weakness or any other complication, you can leave your fast without any worry, however do remember to mark it somewhere so that you don’t forget to make it up later.
Eat beneficial foods: add honey, milk, figs and dates to your diet as all of these have been mentioned in the Quran or the Hadith for their benefits.
May Allah make your pregnancy easy, and grant you a pious child who will be sadqa-e-jariah for you. Ameen.
Checked & Approved by Molana Mohamed Aadil Saleh (Bradford, UK)