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My Defective Daughter: Blessing or Punishment?

Questioner

Parveen

Reply Date

May 19, 2017

Question

As-salaamu alaikum,I strongly believe that everything happens only by Allah, I felt he gives both happiness and sadness. But my hope got shattered; now I feel that Allah gives only pain. I conceived through treatment. I had lot of trust and felt Allah has heard my dua’, but in scan they said baby has defect. I prayed all nights in Ramadan that scan should be wrong. My dua was not accepted as my daughter has a problem. My whole life has become waste, whenever I look at her I feel I have done something wrong for which my daughter is born like this. I think Allah doesn't have mercy. I feel like committing suicide with my daughter, but since its haram I couldn't do that now. Tell me why Allah didn't hear my prayers? How will my daughter survive in this world? I know most of them would give the answer that there is something good in this and you too will say the same.

Counselor

Answer


daughter

As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa baraktuh sister,

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. May Allah reward you for all the burdens of pregnancy that you bore. Pregnancy comes with the physical pains that your body goes through as well as the emotional changes you face too.

Likewise, after childbirth, you then face the challenges of adjusting to a new way of life with so many changes, with the biggest being that you are now responsible for taking care of a new life that Allah created and you will be facing a whole bunch of hormonal changes again. This alone, whether a woman gives birth to a child with or without problems, is enough to make any new mother go through some serious ups and downs emotionally.

You have done the right thing to reach out for help rather than suffering in silence, which is a good sign that you are willing to work through this. If you continue to have very intrusive thoughts, do not hesitate to seek help locally from your doctor. There is no shame in this as what you are feeling is perfectly normal so they are very used to seeing new mums experience such feelings, especially after having given birth to a child with problems.

You are quite right that I will also say there is much good in this. Many people give birth to children without problems, but that is because Allah knows that they are not able to manage this. For those who give birth to babies with problems, not only does Allah know that you are strong and able to bear the difficulties that come with the challenges of raising a child with problems, but he wants to give you the chance to have any sins you might have committed to be expiated and erased.

We all sin in some way or the other and to endure a trial gives us the chance to erase these sins, alhamdulilah. This is surely a sign that Allah loves you, not that He is trying to punish you in anyway, because instead He has given you a means for purification of your sins. Looking back to the Prophets and Sahabas before us, the best of people, and look how they were tried and tested beyond what you or I could even begin to imagine and we know that Allah loved these blessed people very much.

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5641, 5642)

All believers will face one trial or another and this is yours sister. At first we might feel like we have been sent the worst of possible trials and question why couldn’t we have been tested in some other way? but if you remember those who face even graver trials than we do then you will be able to appreciate that actually, things could be a whole lot worse. Look at our brothers and sisters in war torn areas right now.

There are children who become severely disabled after being hit by shrapnel from a bomb, who now have to adjust to a new life full of the restrictions that their new disability brings. In many cases, these children may have also lost family members AND been displaced from their home as it was destroyed. When you look outside at the wider picture you will see that there are people currently in even more testing situations and you will come to appreciate the test that Allah has sent you. Even looking back in Islamic history, look at the greatest trials that the best of us faced.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Look at those who are beneath you and do not look at those who are above you, for it is more suitable that you should not consider as less the blessing of Allah.” Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4142

However, that does not take away the pain you are facing as you come to accept the situation that you are in. What you are going through emotionally right now is a normal response to the situation you are facing. Whilst you perhaps feel hurt that Allah did not answer your du’a, remember He is the best of planners, He knows what’s best for you. With time and prayer Allah will make you feel a whole lot more at ease with your situation as the love for your child grows.

You might feel this will never happen due to the stigma that widely exists around birth defects and disability, but it will help you and your daughter to distinguish between people who are good in your life and those that are not. A Muslim who is true to their Deen will accept your daughter and welcome her and be kind to her as we are told to as Muslims, respecting everyone, regardless of colour, nationality, disability…etc… You will soon be able to tell who the good people are in your life are and with their support, things will be a lot easier for you, insha Allah.

Most importantly amongst this, as much as you just feel like giving up, you should feel honoured that Allah knows that you ARE strong enough to bear and survive this trial otherwise He would not have sent it your way. Although you don’t feel like you are, continue as you have to make du’a that Allah will help you to accept and pass His test. Facing such a tough trial gives you the chance to show your love for Allah by not giving up and continuing to worship Him and appreciating the good things that He has given you.

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (2:286)

You daughter is just a baby and it all feels very fresh right now as you come to adjust to your new situation. Although you might not feel like it right now, continue to keep up with your obligatory acts of worship and maintain your bond with your creator and keep yourself in good company. All this while keeping in mind that this is your purpose in life; to worship Allah, so your whole life is not a waste at all sister. May Allah make it easy for you to pass His test and bring your comfort in your difficult situation. May your daughter be the coolness of your eyes.


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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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