The Role of the Mother (Part 1)
Every society is made up of blocks of family units. The stronger each block is, the stronger the structure of the society. Families are thus the building blocks upon which rest the fate of society. For the development of good families, the mother plays a vital role. Many women today have aspirations of progress in their careers, and degrees in various fields.
However it is indisputable that the most important achievement of a mother is the raising of sensible, virtuous children who will then move on to build other strong blocks for society.
It has been said that it is easy to bear children but it is difficult to raise them well. In that lies the challenge for all mothers.
Islam respect for the Mother
A Muslim mother has a valued and dignified role. Her contribution is acknowledged and appreciated. Her unparalleled gifts to the child have been aptly described by Imam Sadjad (A.S) in Risalatul Huqooq "The Chapter of Rights".
It is the right of your mother that you should appreciate that she carried you [in her womb] the way nobody carries anybody, she fed you the fruits of her heart which nobody feeds anybody. She protected you [during pregnancy] with her ears, eyes, hands, legs, hair, limbs, [in short] with her whole being, gladly, cheerfully, and carefully; suffering patiently all the worries, pains, difficulties, and sorrows.
Till the hand of God removed you from her and brought you into this world. Then she was most happy, feeding you forgetting her own hunger, clothing you even if she herself had no clothes, giving you milk and water not caring for her own thirst, keeping you in the shade, even if she had to suffer from the heat of the sun, giving you every comfort with her own hardships; lulling you to sleep while keeping herself awake.
The foundation of the family is laid with the decision to marry, and the importance of the mother is evident in Islamic teachings beginning with marriage. The following points illustrate how Islam sanctifies the role of the mother.
Emphasis on choosing a good wife
Islam advocates choosing of a wife based on moral characteristics. The Holy Prophet says: Marry into a decent family, for genes have effects.
He is also reported to have encouraged Muslims to marry virtuous women in order to have virtuous children He has condemned those who look only for wealth and /or beauty when choosing a spouse.
Respect in this world
A mother commands great respect from her family. She is to be obeyed, and venerated. The Qur’anic verses which talk about the rights of parents include the mother. However the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has enjoined goodness to the mother even before the father. A man once came for advice to him, as to who he should be good to. The Prophet (PBUH) advised him to do good to his mother again. Three times the man asked, and three times the Prophet (PBUH) told him to do good to his mother. At the fourth time, the Prophet (PBUH) told him to do good to his father. This well-known story clearly illustrates the position of the mother in Islam.
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