Doubt and the Whisperings of Shaytan

I tried standing.  That didn’t work.  I tried sitting.  The hard plastic chairs just weren’t adaptable to my new, oversized baby belly.  I tried sitting on one leg, propping one on a chair, leaning back, leaning forward.  Nothing helped.  I just could not get comfortable.

I had to wait an hour at the doctor’s office this morning.  They had me do a glucose test, which is where you drink a bottle of very sugary liquid, then you wait for an hour so they can determine if your body is digesting the sugar properly.

Baby was fussy the whole while, probably due to the fact that I overdosed it with a fat wad of sugar just moments before.  Not like it’s not used to that – I’m regularly snacking on sugary sweets that I really shouldn’t be eating (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are NOT part of a balanced diet?  Oh my….)

As I sat there, feeling uncomfortable, angry, impatient, other worries started to enter my brain.  Sicknesses in the family, difficulties at work, trying to etch out a brand-new baby-budget on a limited income.  I could feel myself shrinking, feel the tension rising in my shoulders, pressing down on every muscle, rushing through every vein.  I momentarily imagined myself with baby crying on my shoulder, tears running down my face, behind on the rent, behind on the car payment, trying to decide where to spend the last $50 in my pocket – groceries or heat?

And then I remembered a phrase in Islam that I am constantly reminded of:  Allah knows best.  The shaytan loves to get the best of me.  Loves to sit on my shoulder and whisper in my ear all the doubts, all the fears, all the stresses that seem catastrophic in this earthly life.  The shaytan has no power over us other than this, the ability to quietly sneak up on us and gently steer our minds down the wrong path, to nudge us down that dark road of self-doubt and fear.  Reminds us how much we have to lose, reminds us how many times we’ve failed, makes us feel as though a heavy weight has been placed on us, making us feel we are alone in the world, wandering aimlessly with no direction and no hope.

The shaytan often approaches me in my moments of weakness and can sometimes grab a hold of my ear and whisper non-stop into my mind, a stream of consciousness with these powerful means of persuasion.  But I am Muslim – this world to me is temporary.  I have nothing to fear in this world – it is the afterlife which matters most to me.  Shaytan tries to keep our heads in this world with temptations – money, greed, power.  Allah has always provided for me, enabled me to always have enough food, clean clothes on my back, a warm house to relax in and feel safe in.  A beautiful, loving family to support me and encourage me and stand by me.  Never has Allah presented me with anything that I could not bear, and which did not make me stronger.

This baby moves inside me and when I place my hand on my belly, feeling its tiny kicks and movements and wiggles, I feel the miracle Allah has granted me.  Each time I go to the doctor, they update me on all my tests, all the possibilities of what could go wrong, and each time they inform me that everything is fine, everything is normal, baby is healthy and growing and stable.  And so am I.

And when the shaytan tries to approach me, I have to remember what Allah has taught us, that if we persevere and trust in Allah, have patience and say our prayers, then Allah will help make our lives easier in this life and in the next.  I know that the fears and worries I have only serve to lead me down the wrong path, down the path full of self-doubt and anger, jealousy and fear.  If I trust in Allah and keep Allah in the forefront of my mind at all times – then my heart will have no room for anything but faith, and I will have greater strength to recognize and ignore the whispers of the shaytan in my ear.

So as I drove away from the doctor’s office, I prayed a silent prayer to myself, asking Allah to forgive me for allowing the shaytan to have that power over me.  I prayed for Allah’s help, to keep me from wavering down the wrong path, and I thanked Allah for this beautiful miracle inside my womb, thanked Allah for keeping me and my baby fed, healthy and safe.  What more can I ask for in this life?

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2 responses to “Doubt and the Whisperings of Shaytan

  1. Inshallah you are going to be fine, and your baby too. Every baby is born with it’s rizq. I don’t know the literal translation, but basically it’s own sustenance/what it needs to survive! Don’t worry! Babies don’t need much, and it’s easy to buy too much stuff you won’t need or use! If you nurse, food is free : ) Inshallah you’ll be blessed with friends who can give you hand-me-downs. You can also check freecycle, a yahoo group for asking for or giving away free stuff. You need to check freecycle for your area or county.

    If you have more children I highly recommend a midwife—they are very caring, supportive, and a whole lot less invasive than doctors. Doctors can make the process seem more dangerous, and worrisome. The midwifes kept reminding me of how amazing the process was and how much work your body is doing (so take it easy!. They are wonderful. Best of all they come to your house for the checkups, even the postnatal!!! This has helped me even more for baby number two—can you imagine all those doctors visits with a toddler in tow, and having to negotiate having the car?
    I wish you the best. When are you due?

  2. Thank you for this advice – it is really helpful! I am due insha’allah in November. It’s my first one and we want to have lots but we have so little. With this one, we just decided to take a step out on faith and trust that Allah would provide for us and the baby. I don’t know where it says it, but there is a hadith or a part of the Qur’an that says that you shouldn’t be concerned about money and things like that when it comes to children, and that the more children you have, the more Allah will provide for you. I’ve heard from lots of muslim mothers (online) that this is very true for them and their families. That made me take the leap and just put my trust in Allah. We still “tie our camel” (prepare ourselves, do the work we need to do to provide for our kids) but we couldn’t do it without Allah’s guidance.

    I would LOVE to have a mid-wife, but I couldn’t have one due to the insurance not providing one. Insha’allah for the next one, that would be wonderful!

    Right now we are only a few months away from baby being born insha’allah, but I still don’t have the necessities. This worries me; I try to be patient and hope for the best. We are trying. Thank Allah for my husband; I don’t know what I would do without him.

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