Some years ago, I had difficulty finding a reliable and guilt-free childcare option for my toddler. We were very far away from home. Our nearest family friend, who lived 90 minutes drive away, offered to help since she was a stay-at-home mum with young children that would be perfect playmates. I obliged her, albeit unwillingly. The one statement she made that finally convinced me was: “what if you were dead? Won’t she be cared for by someone?”.

That statement struck me but I didn’t give a deeper thought to it. I just did what I had to do. But I heard it again recently and I’ve been wondering if this is supposed to be an acceptable excuse/justification to be uttered by parents. A couple had a divorce and the woman left 3 children behind. She narrated how she had suffered a lot of emotional and verbal abuse from the husband. She added that she couldn’t endure anymore, not even for the sake of her children, because if she was dead, the children will live their lives.

I get it. I can’t force a woman who is being abused to stay in a marriage, but at the same time, I don’t expect her to say, “if I die, they will live their lives”. There is a reason why children don’t fall from the sky like snowballs. They come through us so that we can be their guardians and custodians. An orphaned child may do well eventually, if she gets the necessary care and support. But good parents always strive to live long and be there for their children. Likewise, children from a broken marriage may heal completely and outshine their peers from stable homes. But that is not the license for us to jump into divorce at the slightest provocation.

If your marriage, career or any other commitment is taking a toll on your efficiency as a parent, it’s probably time to reevaluate yourself. You need to strike a balance and put things back in the right perspectives. If you die, the pen will be lifted and your book will be closed. But as long as you are alive and well, you are accountable. You will be questioned about anything and anyone placed under your care.

“And the Book (one’s Record) will be placed (in the right hand for a believer in the Oneness of Allah, and in the left hand for a disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah), and you will see the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.), fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. They will say: “Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers!” And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice.” (Quran chapter 18 verse 49)

WaLlaahu Ta’ãlã A’alam.


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