It is the mother that bears babies with hardship during pregnancy and gives birth to them with hardship. It is the mother that nurses, feeds, clothes, looks after and educates those little humans for years.
A mother’s job is not part-time but fulltime, not temporary but permanent, not paid but voluntary. It is a life-long, honorary work which continually employs her even at old age.
It is the mother that first shapes a child’s character. All of us are directly affected by those first years of our lives with our mothers. Having a good mother, having a careless mother, or not having a mother during those first years of life openly influence an individual’s entire life.
Individuals form a society. So that means that individuals affect a society. Then it is clear that a mother has a great influence on a society.
Many of us are not fully aware of mothers’ contributions to their
children and their families. Many of us may not know that mothers specifically
and parents in general are held with high esteem in Islam. There are verses and
hadiths that emphasize the importance of mothers.
There are verses in the Quran which clearly explain the difficulties of a mother’s pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding and the labour. Mothers are facing a lot more challenges in their family life compared to fathers. Al-Ahqaf Verse 15 illustrates this point:
“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His
mother carried with him with hardship and gave birth to him with
hardship, and his gestation and weaning (period) is thirty months.
(He grows) until, when he reaches maturity and reaches (the age of) forty
years, he says, ‘My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favour which You
have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which
You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have
repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslim.’ ”
Amongst the clearest example in Islam, is that Islam commands kindness, respect and obedience to parents, and especially gives preference to mother. The Quran emphasizes the great difficulties that the mother goes through for her child in order to highlight the need for one to reciprocate their parents’ sacrifice for him:
“And We have enjoined upon man (care) for his parents. His mother carried him, (increasing her) in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the (final) destination.” (Luqman 14)
Our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) continuously used to remind his followers of the status of the mother and the obligation of being good to one’s parents. The following narration is a great example of the noble position of the mother:
“A man come to the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and said: ‘O Messanger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me?’ He replied: ‘Your mother.’ The man asked: Then who? So he replied: Your mother. The man then asked: Then who? He replied: Your mother. The man then asked: Then who? He replied: Your mother. The man then asked: Then who? He replied: Your mother. The man then asked: Then who? He replied: Your father.” (Bukhari 5971 and Muslim 7/2)
As we also all know our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said in a famous narration: “Paradise lies at the feet of your mother.” (Musnad Ahmad, Sunan An-Nas)
All verses and hadiths on mothers demonstrate the importance of them in Islam. They also show higher honour to the mother than the father because of all the responsibilities she has towards her children.
So, as children of our mothers, we must be aware of the respected role of them. What is more, fathers have the most important responsibility in helping this most important occupation of mothers. They should help their wives as much as possible. They have to keep in mind that mothers are need of a lot of actual support while taking care of kids; especially when there are more than one child. That’s a responsibility of fathers which is related to both this life and the next. They cannot leave mothers alone in this great job.
Finally, the administrators of a country must be aware of this sacred occupation of mothers. They should know that good mothers mean a good society. They must help mothers do this great job in the best way possible. They should not allow any trouble to prevent mothers from doing their job.
O Allah! Let us fully understand the value of our own mothers and the mothers of our children and the mothers of our grandchildren. And help us treating them with love and respect that they deserve most. Amin.