I can only speak for myself, but The Journey of Muslimah Homemaker: Spirituality in Homemaking by Sister Ameer Rahim was a perfect reminder for my heart and soul.
Growing up influenced by all the `modern woman' rhetoric that often implies staying home and caring for one's family--especially one's husband--is akin to slavery and oppression, this concise, 34-page booklet was a breath of fresh air. While reading it, I was able to release the tension from the schizophrenic mindset of trying to be a housewife yet worrying about keeping up with secular society expectations. It reminded me that I don't have to feel rushed, unfulfilled and angry because concentrating on one's family is NOT to give up on self. How easily it is to forget the lofty value Allah swt placed on motherhood and wifedom!
Ameera allows us a glimpse at the process she underwent to get to the point of cherishing her roles. Quranic and hadithic advice peppered throughout the booklet reminds traditional, stay-at-home moms that they are on the right track in following the "ways of old."
There is an ample amount of positive advice, religious wisdom and straightforward "girl talk" in The Journey of a Muslimah Homemaker.
The booklet begins with the chapter "Happy Muslimah Homemaker," her personal tale of how the author came to realize her role as wife vis a vis Islamic mandate. She admits the journey was not easy after being divorced and on her own for some time. But, with prayer and study and simply submitting to the beauty of being the `soul' of the home, she learned to cherish Allah's gifts of allowing her the freedom to stay home, and to serve Him by serving her family. She is free enough to also take care of herself as well as increase her spirituality by, for instance, dhikring while cleaning.
Included in this booklet are motivational quotes Ameera says she reads everyday. She explains that she actively decides to embrace her blessings and the struggles that life brings. The booklet also comprises comfort food/love recipes (bread, danish, cheesecakes and muffins), resources to traditional housewife blogs and Islamic lectures, motivational quotes for homemaking, chapters entitled, "the Righteous or Rebellious Wife (the wives of Lut or Noah vs. Hajar, Khadijah)," "Service with a Smile," "Virtuous Homemaking Qualities," various duas for good, bad and impatient times, and more.
With a forward by her husband Ameer, and a dedication to family and close sister friends, it is apparent that Ameera's journey to becoming a Traditional Muslimah homemaker was, and is, full of love for The Creator and the people He has blessed her with.
In essence, The Journey of a Muslim Homemaker is a motivational introduction to the philosophy of fully welcoming being a wife and mother, and above all, thanking God for the blessing. It's an easy read just short enough to influence and inspire, but not too long to overwhelm.
Ameera's friend, Zarinah's quote in the dedication clarifies the bottom line:
"Always try to make pleasing Allah first a priority. Accept the challenges as a normal part of being on the righteous path. Learn your deen and always apply what you know to the best of your abilities. There's always room for growth, and no matter what your family might be struggling with, you can be very happy knowing you're pleasing The Creator, serving others, especially your family."