The status of a mother in Islam is truly tremendous as Islam commands one to be dutiful to ones parents, being kind to them, respect and value them. Islam made the status of the parents much greater than any other religion or ideology. One should obey ones parents as long as they do not command us to disobey Allah. This emphasis can be seen in many verses in the Qur’an and ahadith. The prophet (Peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) emphasized the treatment of the mother in particular in the following hadith.
Narrated Abu Hurairah (ra), a man came to Allah’s Messenger and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me? The prophet said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The prophet said, “Your father.”
The role of the mother is not easy as she is the school, in other words she is mainly responsible for teaching her kids knowledge whether secular or religious and not only that she prepares food for them, takes good care of them, etc. This does not mean the father is not also responsible in this regard, but it is mainly done by the mother as the father usually spends many hours working to provide for his family. That is why there is so much emphasis on treating your mother with kindness, being dutiful to her, respecting her, and valuing her. I can not imagine someone who would be so harsh and rude to his mother after all the suffering she went through in her labor pain and taking care of him/her when they were little. Unfortunately we can never know all the suffering she went through until we become mothers. Only then we become more appreciative of what she did for us or at least this is the case with some out there.
I truly appreciate all the hard work mothers have done so their kids will be good in manners, education, morals, and are eager to please Allah. My humble advice to Muslim mothers although I am not a parent or a mother yet, from my experience dealing with kids and with seeing other parents treating their kids, I think it would be useful for others to take into consideration:
1. YOU ARE IMPORTANT
Never degrade or belittle the status that Allah (SWT) has put you in. Remember you are very important indeed, as you are raising a nation not just a girl or boy.
2. FIRST ROLE MODEL
Be the best role model for your children as they imitate exactly what the parents do. Be always at your best character, do all the good things in front of them, such as praying, reciting Qur’an, giving in charity, being kind to others, etc. Remind them always of the reward of doing such and such act so they are more encouraged to do it.
3. FIRST FRIEND – SHOW AFFECTION AND MERCY
Show affection and Mercy to your children as they need it the most from you. Be more like a friend to them who is willing to always listen to things they are embraced to speak about, because who else could they speak to about these sensitive matters.
4. DO NOT BE UNJUST
Never do any injustice between your children, as this will negatively affect them. It is quite a sad reality we see in many cultures where they prefer a boy over a girl and once they receive the news of a girl they become so saddened as if a misfortunate has befallen them. At other times, I see girls are given more attention and are better treated than boys by giving them more money, gifts, clothing’s, etc. This is quite sad, because one day you will be asked on why you did not treat them fairly.
5. DO NOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN DAUGHTERS AND SONS
Teach the boys to also be dutiful in helping out in the house. Unfortunately in my own culture and I believe in other cultures as well, we see the girls are the ones who only help out in the house and the boys are free to do whatever they want. This is not part of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace & blessings of Allah be upon him), as he would always help around in the house as described by Aishah (his wife), May Allah be pleased with her who said, “He used to serve his family, then when the time for prayer came, he would go out to pray.” In another report she said, “He was like any other human being: he would clean his clothes, milk his ewe and serve himself.” Having mentioned this, one day when this boy becomes a man then gets married; his wife will appreciate it a lot and thank his mother for it.
In summary, the mother should not be neglected or mistreated by her children and vice-versa. Thus, the children should not be neglectful of their mother, treat her kindly, respect her, and value all her hard work. The mother should not be also neglectful of raising her children in the best manner as this is a great responsibility with tremendous reward. Not only teaching them secular knowledge, but most importantly good manners and religious knowledge. The mother should treat all of her children equally without spoiling them too much or being too harsh on them. They must be accustomed to doing things on their own and not always with the help of their mother. And lastly, the most important part is making lots of du’a for the children as no success is achieved without the help of Allah. I ask Allah (SWT) bless all of our mothers and admit them to al-firdawus el a’la (the best place in paradise). Ameen