There have been a lot of posts about mom-shaming recently, where moms relentlessly judge other moms or call them out on perceived failures. It’s a real issue. But there’s another real issue in town too. And it’s called faith-shaming.
Anyone of any faith can be a victim of faith-shaming.
For Muslims, this monster often surfaces in Ramadan as they increase their own worship levels and then proceed to judge others for how much they’re doing. The judgment comes in so many forms: people who go to the mosque but don’t do things “right”. People who don’t go to the mosque and are too “lazy”. Men who have long beards for “show”. Men who don’t have beards and are not “good” enough. Women who wear hijab but are not “modest” enough. Women who don’t wear hijab and are too “modern.” Another category on the chopping block is moms of littles who “make excuses” instead of bringing their kids at night to the mosque, or sleep instead of staying up late praying.
Ramadan is a challenging month. Moms with littles already have a lot on their plate because those little humans cannot even perform basic functions without their aid. It is therefore a mother’s religious duty to tend to her children FIRST. They have that right over her, that she should care for them and fulfill their needs. God entrusted childrens’ care to their moms, so it is part of being obedient to Him, part of being grateful to Him. What better form of worship could there be? How beautiful is it that by doing what we already want to do, need to do and are programmed to do, we are serving our Lord? That in itself is enough. On top of that, if moms are able to teach their children good things, engage in extra prayers, volunteer or give in charity, that is way above and beyond. Don’t hold a fellow mother accountable for late nights. It’s not your job to hold people accountable anyway. Leave that to God.
And while you’re at it, don’t judge a mother just because you made it to the mosque with your kids and she didn’t. Don’t judge a mother as being an over-achiever for cooking a feast for her family’s dinner or Iftar, and then judge another mother for barely getting a meal on the table. And my favorite: Don’t judge a mother for skipping her fasts because she is pregnant or nursing, just because your health was strong enough to handle that kind of strain. That’s correct – your health. Not because your “imaan” or faith was stronger. Because you do not know what other people’s relationship with God looks like. And besides, taking an ease that your Lord has provided for you is a form of gratitude for His Mercy; not something to be ashamed of.
Stop mom-shaming. Stop faith-shaming. Because guess what, at some point in life, you’ll be guilty of one of those same shortcomings that you are quick to point fingers at others for. As we reflect on our character this month, we should examine our desire to judge others and why we use that as a scale to make ourselves feel better. Instead, we should look deep within and accept our faults and be proud of our achievements. Everyone has different circumstances and different challenges in their lives. As long as you are working your very hardest to be a good person, a good mother, a good wife, a good daughter, a good friend, a good community member – then you’re on track. Don’t let the off days convince you otherwise. Honesty and strong self-worth will help you fulfill your faith in this life much better than comparing yourself to others, or worse, putting others down.
And that, is my reminder to myself and to all my readers today.