The Islamic Perspective – Honouring the Mother
”In Islam Each Day is Mother’s Day So Muslims Respect their Mother’s More than any Community of the World ” Anonymous
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Worship Allaah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masaakeen (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allaah does not like such as are proud and boastful” [al-Nisa' 4:36] And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him.
And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour” [al-Isra' 17:23] It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “A man came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, who among the people is most deserving of my good company?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Then your father.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5626; Muslim, 2548) Al- Haafiz ibn Hajar said: “Ibn Battaal said: what this means is that the mother should be honoured three times more than the father. He said, that is because of the difficulties of pregnancy, then giving birth, then breastfeeding.
These are hardships that are experienced only by the mother, then the father shares with her in raising the child. This is also referred to in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years’ [Luqmaan 31:14] So the recommendation to be dutiful and good refers to both parents, but the mother’s share is greater because of the three things mentioned above. Al-Qurtubi said: what is meant is that the mother deserves a greater share of her child’s honour, and her rights take precedence over those of the father in cases where a choice must be made. ‘Iyaad said: the majority of scholars were of the view that the mother takes precedence over the father in terms of honouring one’s parents.
And it was said that both must be honoured equally, and this was narrated by some from Maalik, but the former view is the one which is correct.” (Fath al-Baari, 10/402). Indeed, even if one’s mother is a mushrikah (polytheist), the wise and pure sharee’ah of Islam encourages one to uphold ties of kinship with her: It was narrated that Asma’ bint Abi Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “My mother came to visit me at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and she was a mushrikah. I consulted the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), saying, ‘My mother has come to visit me for some purpose, should I uphold ties of kinship with my mother?’ He said, ‘Yes, uphold ties of kinship with your mother.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2477) It is extremely unfortunate that Muslims throughout the world have begun to adopt and practice western ideas and understanding when it comes to the quality of relationship between the mother and child.
For Muslims to begin to selfishly adopt a single day out of the whole year to express gratitude and show a materialistic form of affection. Islam has no need of things that are innovated by others, be it Mother’s Day of anything else. Its teachings on the honouring of mothers mean that it has no need for an innovated Mother’s Day. Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas issued a statement: It is not permissible to celebrate the so-called Mother’s Day and similar innovated festivals because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected.” He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not celebrate Mother’s Day and neither did any of his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) or the salaf (earliest generations) of this ummah. Rather it is an innovation (bid’ah) and imitation of the non Muslims.
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion” [al-Maa'idah 5:2] Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/86 In light of this, Muslims should be aware that honouring and showing sincere affection and gratitude to the mother is a full time duty that should be practiced each and everyday of ones life, to merely set aside a single day and feel you have fulfilled their rights is a gross misconduct to the parents and the teachings of the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). “And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination” [Luqmaan 31:14] And Allaah knows best.
Paradise Is At the Feet of Mothers
A man once consulted the Prophet Muhammad about taking part in a military campaign. The Prophet asked the man if his mother was still living. When told that she was alive, the Prophet said: “(Then) stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet.” (Al-Tirmidhi) On another occasion, the Prophet said: “God has forbidden for you to be undutiful to your mothers.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
One of the things I have always appreciated about my adopted faith is not only its emphasis on maintaining the bonds of kinship, but also the high regard in which women, particularly mothers, are held. The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, states: “And revere the wombs that bore you, for God is ever watchful over you.” (4:1)
It should be obvious that our parents deserve our utmost respect and devotion – second only to God.
Speaking in the Quran, God ays: “Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents; to Me is thy final Goal.” (31:14)
The fact that God has mentioned parents in the same verse as Himself shows the extent to which we should strive in our efforts to serve the mothers and fathers who sacrificed so much for us. Doing so will help us to become better people.
In that same verse, God says: “We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him.”
In other words, the debt we owe to our mothers is magnified due to the difficult nature of pregnancy – not to mention the nurturing and attention paid to us in infancy.
Another narration, or “Hadith,” from the life of the Prophet Muhammad again shows us just how much we owe to our mothers.
A man once asked the Prophet to whom he should show the most kindness. The Prophet replied: “Your mother, next your mother, next your mother, and then your father.” (Sunan of Abu-Dawood) In other words, we must treat our mothers in a manner befitting their exalted position – and, again, revere the wombs that bore us.
The Arabic word for womb is “rahem.” Rahem is derived from the word for mercy. In Islamic tradition, one of God’s 99 names is “Al-Raheem,” or “the Most Merciful.”
There exists, therefore, a unique connection between God and the womb. Through the womb, we get a glimpse of the Almighty’s qualities and attributes. It nurtures, feeds and shelters us in the early stages of life. The womb can be viewed as one manifestation of divinity in the world.
One cannot help but make the parallel between a Loving God and a compassionate Mother. Interestingly, the Quran does not portray God as exclusively male or female. As a matter of fact, by revering our mothers, we are paying respect to God.
Each of us should appreciate what we have in our mothers. They are our teachers and our role models. Every day with them is an opportunity to grow as a person. Every day away from them is a missed opportunity.
I lost my own mother to breast cancer on April 19, 2003. Though the pain of losing her is still with me and her memory lives on in my siblings and me, I sometimes worry that I might forget what a blessing she was for me.
For me, Islam is the best reminder of my mother’s presence. With daily encouragement from the Quran and the living example of the Prophet Muhammad, I know I will always keep her memory close to my heart. She is my rahem, my connection to the divine. On this Mother’s Day, I am grateful for the occasion to reflect on that.