April reveals more of the delightful miracles given to us by Allah SWT in this season of spring. The blossom trees begin to bloom (oh how I looove this beauty), the buds on the trees emerge discreetly, and the hope of more daylight is prevalent in the coming days.
April is my birth-month, according to the Gregorian calendar. I don’t particularly celebrate my birth-day, but of course, the reminder of growing older is present more so in this month. And with this reminder of the passage of time, I naturally reflect on my priorities, my routine, and whether I have the correct balance of all things in my life.
Coincidentally, this month in the Cherished Seasons course, we are working on the characteristic of balance and how we can apply this to our lives in the best way, In Sha Allah.
Balance your Scales of good deeds
Alhamdulillah several years ago, I trained as a Mizan therapist, a traditional women’s healing technique that can help to restore physical and emotional balance. The word Mizan translates as balance in Arabic. For me previously, this word would instil an element of fear as I would imagine the scales on the Day of Judgement, reminding me of what deeds I was taking forward.
And the weighing on that day (Day of Resurrection) will be the true (weighing). So as for those whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy, they will be successful (by entering Paradise).
Surat Al Araf, Ayat 8
I reflected on this Ayah and realised to surely have a heavy balance of good deeds on that day; I needed to have balance in all areas that have a rite upon me.
Divine and Prophetic Perfection and Striving for Balance
How can we do our best to establish this characteristic of balance of the four traits of a Cherished Muslimah and connect this to our wombspace? In this month’s workbook, A Balanced life, Sara discusses recognising the Absolute Perfection of Allah SWT and emulating Rasool Allah ﷺ the best example of creation in balance and all characteristics sent as Rahmat Al Aa’lameen, a Mercy to the worlds. We also learn how to have balance of the four traits, not being deficient or excessive in them so we can achieve the equilibrium we need in all the roles in our lives.
Although we may strive to attain perfection, at the forefront of our minds, we need to remember that it is only Allah SWT that possesses divine perfection and balance. We are always mindful in emulating the best of creation, Rasool Allah ﷺ in their characteristics. Of course, we cannot achieve perfection, but wherever we can, we do our utmost, in creating harmony for our mind, body and soul. So being aware of our wombspace is a woman’s way of finding that balance with purpose in submitting to Allah SWT and emulating Rasool Allah ﷺ
Seasons of the womb
As discussed in the month of March, it is important to acknowledge, honour and connect to the wisdom of our wombspace. Understanding there is a rhythm of each part of our cycle can really aid us to be our best selves at all stages of our cycle (which we can also name as seasons).
It was also discussed the season of spring in the menstrual cycle is the time after the bleed ceases and before ovulation, or for non-menstruating women, after their bleed would have ceased. There is generally where we have more creative energy, but it is important to ensure this energy is balanced correctly amongst our responsibilities.
For me, knowing where I am in my cycle allows me to honour myself and honour my responsibilities in proportion. So after menstruating, I know I am generally at the peak of my creative energy. Although I may want to start something new, e.g. read a new book, I need to ensure I am not neglecting another responsibility that is really a priority.
Role as women
As women, it is important to search for the balance in all our roles. This doesn’t mean that we will be able to give equal portions of time to these roles as each has a priority. And of course we know each woman has unique responsibilities, designed specifically for us by Our Creator. So whether you are married, have children or do not have children, are serving your family, your community, searching for your dear husband, we all still need to establish the correct balance, with the right intentions In Sha Allah!
As described in the book Four traits of a Cherished Muslimah, these areas are with Allah, our family, our friends, our own self, marriage (if relevant), dependants and our community/career. In the Four Traits of Cherished Muslimah workbook, we learn how to recognise imbalance and restoring it In Sha Allah.
Role as mothers and acceptance
I was talking to a friend about her role as a mother (well voice memos to be precise!). As she was talking it dawned on me the guilt we as women can experience in not “achieving” what we expect of ourselves. These thoughts may cause us to feel deficient or inadequate in not doing everything we think we should be doing.
As she continued telling me how she wasn’t able to complete her long list to do list, she said the most beautiful thing, it was about being content with the balance we can have. Yes, exactly that! Accepting the Qadr of the phase we are in and what we can realistically do. And if we cannot give time to an area, we have wisdom knowing we can return to it in another phase of life, In Sha Allah.
Just as a mother has mercy on her baby, this mother has to have mercy on her own self and realise balance is trying her best with her current priorities.
Our indicators, reminding us to be balanced
Allah SWT has given us indicators of distress or pain to help us recognise imbalance. We are to respect these indicators and thank Allah SWT for them. E.g. a mother with a new baby has to prioritise her baby’s needs so her exhaustion may help her to re-assess how much time she gives to her wider circle of family of friends. Perhaps by sending short voice memos or having video calls when possible will be helpful for you and loved ones.
It is very important to keep our thoughts, positive and negative in balance, as these affects our feelings, and in turn our behaviour.
Please see footnote below for some useful resources.1
Nourishment: Balancing food
To help us to be balanced, we are to be mindful and responsible for our own self-care.
Mizan therapy, likened to gardening of the womb, takes care of the practical elements of our wombspace for better circulation, repair and healing. As well as the practical elements, it is important to cherish our bodies with what we nourish them with. We do our best to look after this miraculous Amaanah, trust, so we can be healthier servants of Allah, In Sha Allah.
We try our best to reduce our intake of inflammatory foods such as wheat and yes, sugar! Of course, we may crave our favourite biscuits, but the importance is having balance. The odd treat doesn’t mean we over-indulge or that we punish ourselves when we do have a small treat, but remember to be in control of what and how much we consume.
Nourishment: Balancing extra hormonal influences
We can also look at reducing our exposure to xeno-oestrogens, which are basically fake oestrogens. As they mimic oestrogens they can cause imbalance to our hormonal system, particularly making conditions from oestrogen dominance worse, such as fibroids, endometriosis and PCOS. Xeno-oestrogens are by-products of plastic and pesticide products, examples are plastic tupperware, cling film and bleaching in feminine hygiene products. Although it can be difficult to escape, I have made changes where I can by using organic products where I can afford to, never wrap food in cling film and always use glass containers for heating and food storage.
In this month of April, as we learn to establish balance in our lives and our wombspace…
- Let us remember to work towards having excess good deeds for our balance on Yawm Al Qiyaamah.
- Let us be aware of any imbalance of our negative and positive thoughts.
- Let us accept the realistic balance and limitations we can have with our priorities.
- Let us choose wisely of what we eat and try to avoid our use of plastic to help reduce hormonal imbalances.
Have a balanced April In Sha Allah!
- Please seek professional medical advice if you feel you are struggling with your thoughts and feelings; some useful websites shared by a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist are below.