by Abda Begum
A mother cooks, cleans, and looks after the family. Yes, she is there for you in your times of need, hardship, and happiness. How reassuring it is to come home see her there, the food cooked and the house is cleaned!
But what actually is this role of a mother? Why does Islam honour and value its importance? Allah ( swt) has commanded us to do good to both parents, yet why is the mother’s role honoured above the father’s? Why is it so important?
Why Does Islam Honour Mothers?
There are verses in the Quran and hadith that emphasize the burdens that a mother carries and that is why respect should be accorded to her.
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. [Quran, 31:14]
The Prophet (pbuh) said in one of his narrations: Paradise lies at the feet of your mother. [Musnad Ahmad Sunan An-Nasa I, Sunan Ibn Majah]
Motherhood is one of the most challenging roles, burdened with difficulty and responsibility, yet a role which brings a woman an honorable position and a privileged status in Islam. This role is also fulfilled with great qualities and numerous skills. If she has the ability to understand this role and to implement the teachings of Islam and raise her children in the best manner, using Islamic knowledge and the guidance of Allah (swt) she can attain success in this world and the hereafter.
Skills, Qualities, Abilities, Talents
Every job has a role and requires skills and qualities, and motherhood is a career that also necessitates certain qualities and skills. Some of these qualities are naturally in the mother because Allah (swt) created her biologically different from man.
She can offer abundant love to the children more than the father, and her gentleness can make her overlook their faults so the children feel attached to the home because of the mother. She feeds, clothes, and plays and communicates with her children; this is her kindness and care. Often when children are naughty or disobedient she will be more considerate towards them than the father in punishments.
Among her greatest qualities for being a mother are sacrifice and dedication. She sacrifices her sleep, her hunger, her social time, her friendships, and her social pleasures for her children. These are among the hardest things to do, but not only does this teach the mother patience, it becomes an investment from which she will reap great rewards.
A good mother can protect her children from the dangers of the world around them. With her Islamic knowledge she can give them security by being wise in managing the home with the stability of the provision of food, clothing, and comforts without being excessively materialistic.
Her awareness of responsibility as a mother encourages her to learn and to use techniques and strategies of better parenting. Not everyone notices to what degree the mother uses the skills of teaching, nursing, counseling, therapy, psychology, and many more in the nurturing of her children.
Teaching is one of the key skills used in motherhood, as it is used daily in everything as well as in informing her children about life, danger, difficulty, and wrong and right through good Islamic knowledge.
Her abilities to nurse them in their times of illness and to counsel them in difficult times at all stages in their life is also a valuable skill. Alongside this her other skills involve, time management, planning, organizational skills, and even financing. The list of skills is endless, yet is not recognized often enough, and this is why Allah (swt) has honored this position of motherhood.
Better Mothers Mean Better Families, and Better Families Mean a Better Humanity
From this beautiful role we learn that Allah (swt) has surely created the mother a unique individual. Look at all the qualities she uses in her lifetime to play such a major role—patience, love, sacrifice, gratitude, commitment, dedication, wisdom, etc., and the list is endless.
Why this unique character? We go back to the superiority of Allah (swt). He with his infinite mercy has instilled in the nature of the mother one qreat quality, and that is love. No matter how bad the children are, a mother will always find it hard to hate them, she will always forgive them, love them, care for them. This is the natural true quality of a mother.
For the development of strong families the mother plays a vital role. The deep love and affection she shows in raising her children, in treating them equally and individually and understanding their abilities, can lead to great achievements, whilst her gentleness can remedy any flaws and weaknesses in their character.
The skills of a mother help her to identify her children’s abilities and can develop them in reaching their potential. Raising sensible, virtuous children is extremely vital in Islam so that they can move on to build strong blocks in society which will form stronger societies. Therefore you can see the importance of the role of the mother and the role she plays, not only in serving her family but in the shaping of humanity.