Mother

The prophet of Islam said (PBUH)” the best of you are those who treat their families the best and I am the best of you because of the way I treat my family”.
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family” - Mother Teresa

Mother : the neglected person in our life

Family is essential for human survival. Man is not an island. We are social creatures, and at the foundation of our socialization is the familial unit. Building and guarding the family is of the upmost importance. But it seems everyday the family foundation is crumbling. Rather than bewailing this loss and this break down, the Muslim Council of America wants to focus on understanding the sources of it and do what is necessary to strengthen the family. Amongst other things, one specific project is to aid in the family functioning of various kinds by way of providing guidance as community service.

The central force of the family is the mother. We want to affirm the critical importance of the mother and raise consciousness of how the mother often becomes the most neglected member of the family. The Prophet (PBUH) said heaven lies under the feet of your mother (Ahmad, Nasai). Why do we not revere her more? We know a strong family is the keystone of a strong society, but we often forget that the mother is the heart.

For this discourse we have selected mothers as an ideal in Islam and will be contrasting this idea with the loss of the mother’s significance as a societal breakdown in the context of the West.

Islamic Ideal

We will quote an authentic Hadith – sayings of the prophet, a man asked Prophet Muhammad (sas),
” Who is most entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me? The Prophet replied,” Your mother”.
The man asked, “Who is next?”.
The Prophet said, “Your mother”. Again the man asked, “ Who is next?”
The Prophet repeated, “Your mother”
The Prophet asked for a fourth time, ”Who is next?”.
The Prophet then replied,” Your father”.

On another occasion, when a man came to the prophet and expressed the desire to join a military expedition, the Prophet asked him if he had a mother. When he replied that he had, the prophet advised him, “Stay with her, for paradise is at her feet”.

The following is an excerpt from someone’s writing that shows sensitivity to the plight of a contemporary mother; to reawaken that feeling and to reconnect us to our roots, if you wish, you may like to read the following

On BEING A MOTHER - (in the western context)

After 17 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, ‘I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.’

* * *

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been alone for 20 years, but the demands of my work and my two boys had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

* * *

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.

* * *

What’s wrong, aren’t you well,’ she asked?

* * *

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.

* * *

‘I thought it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,’ I responded. ‘Just the two of us.’ She thought about it for a moment, and then said, ‘I would like that very much..’

* * *

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last birthday on November 19th.

* * *

She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. ‘I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed,’ she said, as she got into the car. ‘They can’t wait to hear about our date’.

* * *

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. ‘It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,’ she said. ‘Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,’ I responded.

* * *

During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation- -nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie.

* * *

As we arrived at her house later, she said, ‘I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.’ I agreed.

* * *

‘How was your dinner date ?’

asked my wife when I got home.

‘Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,’ I answered.

* * *

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her.

* * *

Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: ‘I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates - one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me.

I love you, son.’

* * *

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: ‘I LOVE YOU’ and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till ‘some other time.’

* * *

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you’ve had a baby…. somebody doesn’t know that once you’re a mother, ‘normal’ is history..

* * *

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct … somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

* * *

Somebody said being a mother is boring …… somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver’s permit. Somebody said if you’re a’good’ mother, your child will ‘turn out good’….

somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

* * *

Somebody said you don’t need an education to be a mother…. somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.

* * *

Somebody said you can’t love the second child as much as you love the first …. somebody doesn’t have two children..

* * *

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery…. somebody never watched her ‘baby’ get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten … or on a plane headed for military ‘boot camp.’

* * *

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married….somebody doesn’t know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in- law to a mother’s heartstrings.

* * *

Somebody said a mother’s job is done when her last child leaves home…. somebody never had grandchildren.

* * *

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don’t need to tell her….. somebody isn’t a mother.

Pass this along to all the ‘mothers’ in your life and to everyone who ever had a mother. This isn’t just about being a mother; it’s about appreciating the people in your life while you have them.

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