Bermuda, along with our North American counterparts, celebrated Mother’s Day last Sunday. Moms received bunches of flowers, chocolates, spa treatments, gifts and the like. Mothers were happy for the special attention given them on this day.
But really, Mother’s Day is every day. Every day our mothers should be honoured and respected; in fact as should fathers as well. Islam commands us to honour our parents; the command to be good to one’s parents begins right from the Qur’an, “Worship God and join not any partners with Him; and be kind to your parents...” (4:36).
So important is the command to honour our parents that it is second only to the command to serve God. How we should treat our parents is found throughout the Quran.
“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood’.” (17:23-24).
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) continually reminds us of the status of the mother and the obligation of being good to one’s parents.
The following narration is a beautiful example of the noble position of the mother:
A man came to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? Prophet Muhammad replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who after that? Again the Prophet replied: “Your mother.” The man then asked again: Then who after that? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? And finally the Prophet replied: “Then your father.”
It is also told by our beloved Prophet that, “Paradise lies at the feet of your mother”.
The respected Shaykh Nidhaam Sakkijihaa explained that to “cling to her feet means to submit yourself to your mother, be close to her, protect her, serve her because in this is Paradise and should she be pleased with your treatment towards her then you will enjoy the good blessings of Allah.” (Sakkijihaa, Honoring the Parents, page 52)
So let us be mindful every day, all year in fact, to be kind and good to our parents and especially our mothers.
This brings me to another point: since mothers are reverenced in Islam, this shows how the status of mothers –– and consequently that of women –– is elevated to the highest position of honour and respect. This is clear proof that Allah holds Muslim women in high esteem and thus men are expected to share the same sentiment.
However, there are many stories, some true and most untrue, of the mistreatment of Muslim women by Muslim men. Well, I can tell you for a fact that such behaviour is absolutely frowned upon by Allah and hence Islam.
Recently in the media, we have been hearing and reading of an alleged kidnapping of girls from a school in Nigeria.
If this kidnapping is indeed true, and I have my doubts, then this is unequivocally and diabolically wrong and absolutely not within the tenets of Islam and Muslims everywhere are repelled by even the thought of it.
Islam considers women to be equal to men, except only by physical strength. Allah commands both men and women the same set of protocols for success in this life and the next.
All through the Holy and Noble Quran, Allah has the same set of guidelines for both male and female and promises both the same rewards. Allah addresses both the believing men and the believing women throughout the Quran, “That He may admit the believers, men and women, into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide, and that He may remove their ills from them; that, in the estimation of Allah, is the supreme triumph.” (48:6)
The Quran says in 3:196, “Their Lord would answer their supplication. I will not suffer the work of any worker from among you, male or female, to perish. You are spiritually akin one to another.”
Indeed Allah, the Sublime, is a God of Justice and Equality. Ameen.