The Mother in Islam

Since May is the month of mothers, it is an ideal time to look at mothers in Islam. The Muslim mom has a very special place, high up on a pedestal. Mothers are revered and adored, showered with affection, and shown great respect.

In a well-loved hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said, “Paradise lies at the feet of mothers.” This means that we gain admission to Jannah (Heaven) through our treatment of our mothers. We can also be denied admission through mistreatment of mothers. It is said that no person will ever be granted access to Paradise if his mother died while angry with him. Now, obviously, there are many other factors that determine whether or not a person will ever see Jannah. This hadith simply shows the importance of being kind to our mothers.

Still another hadith reports that a man asked the Prophet (PBUH), “Who is most worthy of my love and respect?” The Prophet (PBUH)replied, “Your mother.” The man asked, “And then who?” The Prophet (PBUH) again answered, “Your mother.” The man asked one more time and received the same answer. When the man asked the question a fourth time, the Prophet (PBUH) answered, “Your father.”

This is not to say that we should not love our fathers, or that our fathers are not important in our lives. Our fathers provide for us and guide us. It is mothers, though, who are generally tasked with most of the child-rearing responsibilities. It is usually our mothers who are there to comfort us, hold us, tend to us when sick, feed us, and clean us. In early childhood, it is usually the mother who witnesses her child’s firsts, who rejoices over their victories, and who commiserates over their defeats. Moms share their children’s childhoods, living each step with them.

Most hadiths go on to explain why a mother is so special… she sacrificed her youth and beauty for her children, she bore them in painful pregnancies, she withstood pain in labor, and she breastfed through hardship. It is often discussed that mothers give up their lives for their children. In return, the children owe their mothers a lifetime of love, care, respect, and affection.

When you have been blessed with a loving, nurturing mom, you should celebrate her every day. Do not wait for a circle on your calendar. A true mother is a divine gift and should be treated as such year-round.

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