22 November 2018| 14 Rabi ul Awwal 1440| Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed

December is days away and we know families often take advantage of the long weekends to host events, but let’s be honest, these family gatherings can quickly turn pear shaped with awkward questions being posed to just about anyone.

The long lost cousin from Stanger who only ever comes to Durban for December gets interrogated about when she is getting married. The whispers around the nephew from Johannesburg’s new car also makes fit for conversation, not forgetting the mouth covering and eye-to-eye conversation that are usually exchanged by the notorious gossiping aunties at these events.

With that being said, perhaps the most infuriating question has got be to the one posed to married couples as to when they will be having children. Have you ever noticed how this question leaves a couple fumbling for words? Yet we find this to be the only possible question to ask someone who has been married for a good few years.

It is almost like there is an invisible survey that needs to be filled out. There are questions that are formulated to go in a certain method. Its starts with the cycle.

Once you have completed school the question of when you are getting married hovers over you like a dark cloud.

Once you do get married, the question of ‘when the children are coming’ dominates conversations for a few years accompanied by a list of reasons as to how having children when you are older get’s difficult and of course you cannot escape the ‘You gone so fat after you got married!’ comments.

Once you have your first child and the world sees them walking and talking you are then in the same spot of answering questions on the arrival of the next baby.

The questions are endless and the inconsideration is growing. Out of respect one is forced to bite the lip and hold back an answer.

However, do we ever sit back and think that maybe someone else’s life is none of our business? If they choose to have children at 30 or even start having kids in the first year of their marriage, that it should not be of any of our concern?

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Part of the perfection of one’s Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.” (Tirmidhi)

From this we learn that even the messenger of Allah (SAW) encouraged us to not pry on the lives of others. What if the couple have been struggling to have children and you asking this question strikes a raw nerve? Perhaps the man and woman are experiencing trouble in their marriage which is why they are holding back on having children.

Whatever the case is, asking someone when they plan on having children is insensitive and quite frankly NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

In fact even if the couple can have children and do not have any kids after 5 years of marriage it is the couples choice to embark on the journey of parenthood. With that being said we must also realise that Allah (SWT) wills how many or if any children are to be given a couple.

Children are a blessing form our creator and when it comes to family planning we miss the most important point of having children. They may come from you but they are meant to go through you. They are meant to take on the world by making use of the skills and values you have instilled in them while raising them as good Muslims and good people. With that being said, if you feel right now you and your partner are not ready to take on the journey of parenthood then you need not explain this to anyone.

At the same time if you have been struggling to conceive, understand this, like many of the other challenges you have encountered, this too shall pass. Keep your faith in our creator strong. The following dua can be read for those struggling with fertility:

Dua to have a baby

Rabbi hab lee mil ladunka thurriyyatan tayyibatan

innaka sameeAAudduaa

My Lord! grant me from Thee good offspring;

surely Thou art the Hearer of prayer

(Surah Al-Imran ,verse 38)

It’s time we start minding our tongue before we hurl out half thought questions at people. If someone isn’t married yet make dua for them. If a family member has recently been married make dua for them too. Do not be the reason someone dreads to attend a family function because you will play 21 questions with them.


Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed is a journalist currently producing and hosting the afternoon show On The Pulse. Formally from Durban and having lived in both Cape Town and now Johannesburg has given her deep insight into people. Najma uses her experience with the different communities to write up dramatic sketches. In her spare time she reads memes and cooks up a storm.



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