Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Recently, my mother has undergone a significant increase in her spirituality and religiousness. She now wears the niqab and is in constant dhikr, prayer, and recites Quran all day. She has also begun to not speak much anymore and does not answer mundane questions that we ask her if she is not absolutely sure of the answer. She no longer goes grocery shopping and brings ingredients into the home as she believes she shouldn’t go out in public.
Personally, I don’t mind if she becomes more religious but it has had a severe impact on our family dynamic. Although this is commendable, we can not help but feel emotionally neglected. It’s as if all of us must conform to her new lifestyle and it is bearing hard on her children.
Is this extremism?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for being a supportive son and I pray that you can be patient and find a balance with your mother.
It is very common for people who are new to practicing the religion to have zeal like nothing else. They are inspired by the faith that they uncover within their hearts, and their hope and fear of Allah drive them to change for the better. I see that your mother is going through this rapid transformation and perhaps is trying to make up for years of emptiness and soul-searching. I admire her and yet I understand your burden as well.
The first piece of advice that I can give you is to be patient with her as much as you are able. Although not necessary, this zeal usually dies down when one gets burnt out and a person achieves a better balance of worldly duties and worship. Your mother is mistaken that she should not leave the house for groceries and I fear that she might be getting her Islamic learning from the wrong place. Please point her out to Seekerguidance and ask her to take free courses here, the knowledge here is authentic and reliable.
You should communicate to your mother how you are feeling, and point out to her that taking care of her family’s needs is worship itself. She doesn’t need to fear that her time will be wasted. Please remind her of this prophetic hadith, Allah’s Messenger, (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant, even if it were little.” [Bukhari]
Please see this link and share it with your mother:
How Can I Find Balance in Religious Practice?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.