When it comes to providing single Muslim mothers with a role model they can relate to and connect with, the list is short. If there are any fellow single mums out there they are keeping their marital status firmly under wraps. That’s why it is refreshing to be able to hear from someone who does not shy away from mentioning her past, the impact it had on her and how she used it to better herself.
Fatima Omar Khamissa is a single mother. She is a successful single mother – not just in terms of business, but also in transformation of self and mentality. Her story is one that many women can relate to, Fatima was miserable and oppressed in an unhappy marriage and abusive marriage. After 21 years she finally found the strength to leave, taking with her five children with her, one of whom has cerebral palsy. In her own words she describes how she used this “transformational journey as a springboard to create change” in her own life.
Fatima has a passion to help other women in need too. Her company Spiritual Biz Moms, helps to empower women on their road to success. She has been accredited via awards for her role as a mentor and leader. She offers seminars on work-life balance, empowerment, positive mindset, entrepreneurship, and overcoming adversity. . Fatima is also the author of several books.
How did you find the courage to leave an abusive marriage after so many years?
I didn’t. I didn’t find the courage. I had a dream that my daughter had phoned me as a grown-up. When the dream happened in real life she was 8 years old but in the dream she was a grown woman in an abusive relationship. She called me to let me to tell me what her husband had done to her. I had this incredible feeling of hopelessness. That was the day I realised that I had been a completely irresponsible mother by being a victim and thinking I am staying in my abusive marriage for the kids, I am staying for the kids, and what I really was doing was modelling an example of hopelessness, helplessness, and abuse.
I was teaching my daughter how to attract an abuser and I was teaching my sons how to treat women. That was the day I left. It had nothing to do with courage. It was all about responsibility and doing the right thing.
Looking back on it now, why do you think it took you so long to leave?
Because I made all these excuses. Every excuse in the book. I’m doing it for the kids, I don’t have any money, and I’ve never worked a day, what will people say, how will I survive, what will we eat, where will I go. All these excuses, but the day I had the dream that was it. The curtain came down and I had no choice. I had to leave.
You clearly love helping others. How did you get started on this road? Did you have any specialist training in any field?
Yes Ahumdidillah. I’ve studied applied psychology for years, I’ve done energy healing, matrix energetics, TAT, EFT, NLP, Neurolinguistics Programming, I’ve done mind body connection, I’ve studied how to become a bestselling author, I’ve studied marketing and social media. I am addicted to understanding human behaviour and why we do the things that we do. Before I became a certified master coach — I was the girl everybody came to. So the only thing I had to learn afterwards was how to make money, how to create a business model where I could serve people and make money
What kept you going through the tough times?
Prayer. My mother told me on the day I got married, and I don’t know if this was good or bad, but she said to me “if you have a problem with your mother in law and you have a problem with your sister in law or your husband, don’t phone home. Get up, make your wudu, and make your salaat because Allah’s complaints department will always be there and HE will never die and HE will never forsake you. I cultivated this relationship with my creator and for me it’s like I’m alone. I’m completely 100% alone. There is nobody besides HIM.
Did your sons Cerebral Palsy make it harder for you to accomplish your ambitions?
In some ways yes and in some ways no. For example, I couldn’t go get a job and so that door was closed. Since I had never worked except in my ex in laws family. It wasn’t like I had a history of working and things like that. The best job I could get was working in a coffee shop and they were going to give me $11 to $12 an hour and to take care of Tariq who has Cerebral Palsy, Spastic Quadriplegic, and Scoliosis I needed a special PSW or nurse for which I needed to pay around $25 an hour. It didn’t make sense. Just like we know that the way to one door closes it doesn’t mean that Allah’s not in your corner. That forced me to create a business. Having Tarik at home I didn’t have any choice but to create something at home, look after him at the same time, care for his needs, make sure that he’s safe, and
then build this business. Was it harder? I don’t know. I think it was just Allah creating a situation for me where I had no choice. I had absolutely no choice and Alhumdulillah for that.
Did you find support within the Muslim community for what you wanted to do?
Absolutely not. I did not find any support within the Muslim community at all. The women shunned me because they thought as a divorced Muslim woman that I was after their husbands.
The husbands and men shunned me and kept a distance away from me because they felt I was going to teach their wives what their rights were in Islam. The Masjids turned their back on me because they kept saying “we’re not social services. We can’t just give you money. Go on welfare and whatever welfare gives you is enough because you’re going to be a drain on society and if we give you a little bit you’re going to keep on asking for more and more”.
I found no support in the Muslim community after my divorce, when I was on welfare. My kids were struggling, I was hungry, no support in what I was going to do or how to help me to build my business. Zero! None whatsoever.
What advice would you offer to moms without support or an education wanting to achieve their dreams?
Start writing it down. Start writing it down and start dreaming. Start visualising. Grab a pen and paper or on your phone. Everyone has a digital device. Every single time you pray your salaat, after your salaam and your dua and your tasbih, write down your goals. Five times a day. Write them down, write them down, write them down. Write why you want it or what you want to create for yourself and make those dreams come alive in you. Go online and get the free courses. Take some courses, upgrade your skills. Even if it’s bartering. I did that. I would say I’ll do this for you if you do this for me. You’ve got a skill.
Even if it’s babysitting their children, even if it’s cooking a pot of food, even if it’s massaging someone’s head, even if it’s colouring their hair, whatever it is offer them something and let them teach you something else. You need skills. You need to upgrade your skills and achieve your dreams. Every single day you’ve got to make those dreams come alive. You are the only one that can fight for your dreams.
What are your achievements so far?
SubhanAllah. I don’t know. I don’t even know what my achievements are. I mean Ahumdulillah today I’m a global thought leader, I have written five books online. I’m kind of shy to actually talk about this. Two of my books became number one bestsellers in one year. I have coaching. I have clients all over the world. I’ve received numerous awards. I travel everywhere, I get invited to share the stage with big honourable speakers, and I’ve been able to be on webinars. Ahumdulillah my biggest achievement is that my dream is intact, my children are safe, my children are thriving, and we’re all together. They’re doing phenomenal. I’m remarried. I’ve been able to live a congruent life. I don’t ever teach what I don’t live. If I live it – I teach it and if I’ve been able to find a short cut and find a way to be able to shorten the distance in your learning curve and show you how to do something, that is what I am teaching Ahumdullillah.
What are your future goals and aspirations?
I would like to write a number one bestselling book every single year and inshaALLAH and help 10,000 authors write number one bestselling books to position them as authorities in the world. I would like to coach and help 1 million women in all walks of life in all villages in remote places to come and I can coach them and train them in a 2 week intensive programme where I teach them coaching,I teach them mindset, limiting beliefs, psychology, emotions, and then I can also teach them a business model that you can give back to your community, micro-loans, and how you can become wealthy yourself and then go back into your communities with your language and your customs and teach the women in your villages, in your cities, in your towns how to empower themselves and so 1 million lights can start shining and glimmering and glittering all over the world inshaALLAH.
What is your one top tip for achieving a positive mindset?
I actually don’t believe in a positive mind-set. Positive thinking, positive mindsets, without strategy. You can get up in the morning and say I’m going to have a million dollars, I’m going to have a million dollars, I’m going to have a million dollars, but if you don’t actually have goals on how you can actually get that – the thinking positive is useless and pointless. You can say I want to lose a pound and I want to lose a stone and I want to get thin and you keep eating that chocolate? There’s no benefit in thinking positive without strategy. For me if you say you’re going to do something then you’ve got to follow up with an action. You’ve got to follow up with an action and for me that’s key. Every time you follow up your positive thinking and your goals and your aspirations with a positive strategy and you create strategy and you create an action step it will give you more confidence to do more.
It will give you more confidence to create another step and another step and another step. I am very approachable if you want to talk to me about coaching, about parenting, about lifestyle, about writing bestselling books, about positioning, contact me. I’ll take my time to help inshaAllah.
To find out more about Fatima Omar and the services she offers, please go to http://www.fatimaomarkhamissa.com