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Infertility – a test of faith

Shakirah Hunter

It seems as if it is a lifetime ago- those moments of making dua to Allah Ta’ala to bless our home with a child. At first, I was young and enjoyed the freedom of travel and the excitement of being a young newlywed. At the time children seemed to be a far-off reality and my focus was on achieving my goals and traveling the world to teach the Deen of Allah Ta’ala. Being so busy and focused on my path, no part of me found any lack in my life. And at first, the world accepted it. We were young and energetic – we had ‘time’.

As the days turned into months and the months into years, slowly the questions began to flood us. What was wrong? Why haven’t we had children yet? Then the questions slowly turned to heartfelt duas. Constant words to fill the space that people felt were left empty by the lack of children. I found myself constantly making excuses and looking for suitable answers. Yet all the while I could not understand the reason that people put so much of pressure for one to have children. After the questions turned to duas, slowly the duas turned to the perfect solutions that definitely worked for someone or the other. We travelled to Pakistan, Bolivia , Uruguay and people would fill our hands with concoctions and scripts and different duas that were ‘certain’ to work. They meant well. Their intentions were genuinely out of love. Yet it was in those well-intentioned moments that slowly break you down. It starts to make you feel like you are less than, like you will never be enough.

Being married for five years seemed too much for people, yet as that amount moved to ten years and quickly to thirteen years- you could feel the narrative changing over the years. You felt the way a room of laughing ladies with babies would quickly go quiet as they felt uncomfortable to show that joy. You felt the difficulty of people in handing their babies over to you to hold. I remember loving children and would always hold them with such love and joy – yet as the years moved on, I slowly moved away from picking up children. Once a well-meaning colleague grabbed a new born from my hands and said – you don’t know how to do it right!

Alhamdulillah years passed and even as the test became bigger, I realized just how this test was a means of gaining closeness to Allah Ta’ala. And slowly I came to terms that this was indeed a test from Allah and not in any way due to any lack or ability on my path. Allah Ta’ala beautifully demonstrates to us in the Qura’an  in Surah Ash Shurah that: “To Allah ˹alone˺ belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates whatever He wills. He blesses whoever He wills with daughters, and blesses whoever He wills with sons,or grants both, sons and daughters, ˹to whoever He wills˺, and leaves whoever He wills infertile. He is indeed All-Knowing, Most Capable”.

 It took years of trying to understand this will of Allah Ta’ala and breaking down all the logical reasons and not so illogical ones that people tried to attach to this test.

And then, as the years passed by – Allah Ta’ala once again simply decided that He will grant us the gift of a child – nay not one but two – as I write this I find myself at the sheer impossible moment of being pregnant with my second child. A seeming impossibility. No treatments or concoctions. Simply the decree of Allah at a time that He deemed to be correct. A test from the All- Mighty serves only to highlight that He does exactly as He pleases, and it is all a unique choice by the Almighty Himself.

Lessons that I have learnt during this test:

  1. It does not matter if someone was successful using a certain treatment or not – Allah has placed the means that will be your shifaa specific to you. I received so many messages from people asking what did you’do’ etc and the reality is we can do everything yet it is only the choice of Allah that will bring that change when He decides.
  2. Dua has to be tied to a deep faith– Often people ask for the perfect dua , the dua that ‘worked’ for you. Yet duas are words which have no value if not attached to the essence of Duaa and that is a deep sense of understanding our inability in the face of the total Power of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala.
  3. The kind words of people can break you down – People mean well and their duas are often sincere, yet this creates so much of pain when done without wisdom. These duas should be done genuinely, and never in a public setting. This simply causes embarrassment and makes one feel inadequate.
  1. Accept and admit that this test is a massive one – in pretending to be ‘fine’ we don’t allow ourselves to take solace from Allah Himself. Talk to Allah and admit to Him the hurt and the pain.






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