By Rahila Ovais
‘Paradise lies at the feet of your mother.’
~ Musnad Ahmad, Sunan An-Nasâ’i, Sunan Ibn Mâjah
One of the most quoted sayings of our beloved Prophet (SAWS), this hadith means that if you respect your mother, obey her, love her and take good care of her, you will enter paradise. What can be greater evidence of a mother’s status in Islam than this? Islam places the ultimate reward for human beings in their dedication to their mothers. It puts such an emphasis on the importance of mothers that Mother’s Day is not one day a year but should be everyday.
That is not to say that fathers’ status is any less, in fact Muslims are commanded by Allah and His Prophet (SAWS) to be equally kind and gentle with both parents.
“The greatest sins are to associate partners in worship with Allah, to be undutiful or unkind to one’s parents, to kill a soul forbidden by Allah and to bear false witness.”
~ Sahîh Bukhârî
Recognizing the difficulties and the pain that a mother endures during pregnancy, childbirth and parenting the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) has given precedence to the kind treatment of mothers than that of a father.
A man came to the Prophet (SAWS) and said: O Messenger 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? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: “Then your father.”
~Sahîh Bukhârî 5971 and Sahîh Muslim 7/2
Allah assigned pregnancy and nursing as purely feminine tasks. He granted women the special talents needed to take care of children. Only with her patience and kindness is she always willing to sacrifice her own comforts for her kids’ needs. Only a mother understands her children’s problems even when they can’t or don’t say anything.
Sallama, the nurse of Ibrahim (AS) who was the third son of Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), said to Him (SAWS): “O Messenger of Allah, you have brought tidings of all good things to men, but not women. He (SAWS) responded, ‘Did your women friends put you up asking me such question?’ to which she replied ‘yes’ then Mohammed (SAWS) replied, ‘Does it not which please anyone of you that if she is pregnant by her husband and he is satisfied with that, she receives the reward of one who fasts and prays for the sake of Allah (SWT)? And when her labor pain comes no one in the heavens or earth knows what is concealed in her womb to delight her? And if she is awake at night by her child, she receives the reward of one who frees seventy slaves for the sake of Allah (SWT)”.
Such is the reward promised to mothers only for doing something that comes so naturally to them. There is no substitute for a mother’s love and we can never repay our mothers for the kindness they endowed upon us while raising us. We can only hope to do the same for our own kids.
Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar saw a Yemeni man performing Tawâf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) while carrying his mother on his back. This man said to Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, “I am like a tame camel for her! I have carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I have paid her back, O Ibn ‘Umar?” Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar replied, “No, not even one contraction!!”
~Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhârî 1/62
May Allah grant us the courage and the patience to reciprocate the same kindness to our parents and especially our mothers.
Rahila Ovais is a mother to four ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She’s called Jeddah, KSA, where she was born and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto twenty years ago. She is also a very opinionated person who has a hard time keeping her thoughts to herself. You can follow her on Facebook: HijabiMommy