By Umm Isam and Muhammad Al Shareef

When my brother learnt about his bosses’ mother’s sad demise, he went to pay his condolences to him. His boss, a director of a multinational corporation established in the UAE, explained helplessly: “I can’t go back to my native country. It’s too dirty. Besides, my brother is arranging the funeral. I am so depressed that I am flying out to Hong Kong for a break.”

My brother just stared at this man in absolute silence and disbelief. This is not fiction. It actually happened.

Another mother that I am reminded of is my grandmother, whom I often caught holding on to my uncle’s crumbled graduation photograph that had seen better days. She held on to it for almost twenty years or so before dying, hoping that one day her son would come to visit her. Her son, who was not able to do so because he had a phobia of flying by planes. Can you believe that? This is not fiction either. It actually happened.

These were the sons, who gave up Paradise for trivial pursuits of the world.

Islam has a special place for parents, especially mothers. The following are some examples of it:

Allah (swt) has commanded us: “And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both attain old age in your life, then do not say to them Uff (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them; rather address them in terms of honour. And lower for them the wing of submission and humility through mercy. And say: ‘My Lord! Grant them Your Mercy, as they brought me up when I was small.'” (Al-Isra 17:23-24)

Ad-Daylami collected from Al-Husayn Ibn Ali (rta) that the Prophet (sa) had said: “If Allah (swt) knew any smaller word than uff (tsk) to be disrespectful to parents, He would have decreed it to be Haram!”

Ibn Hazm has said: “(Obeying ones parents) means placing their pleasure above the pleasure of anyone else, including ourselves, our wife, and kids, etc.; obeying them in everything they command or forbid, whether it agrees with our desires or not. Offering them with everything they desire, whether they ask for it or not that too with kindness and mercy.” But balance is essential. Obedience to parents does not also mean that one should be disobedient to Allah (swt) or denies rights of other relations such as spouse and children. Wisdom and justice should be the guiding factors for every offspring.

Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “(Of the) major sins are: to ascribe partners to Allah (swt), disobey parents, murder someone, and to take a false oath (intentionally).” (Bukhari)

Abu Hurairah (rta) reported: a person came to Messenger of Allah (sa) and asked: “Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He said: “Your mother.” He again asked: “Who next?” “Your mother” the Prophet (sa) replied again. He asked “Who next?” The Prophet (sa) said:  “Your mother.” He again asked: “Then who?” Thereupon he said: “Then your father.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The rights of a mother are three times more important than the father. Mainly because there are three troubles the mother suffers exclusively without the father sharing them.

Firstly she carries a baby in her womb for nine months in a state of weakness. Secondly she suffers labour pains to bring her child into this world. Thirdly for two years she suckles her baby, which disturbs her health, sleep and comfort. An ordinary individual cannot even dream of sacrificing selflessly to such an extent for another person.

Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) has said: “A man came to the Prophet (sa) to give him his pledge of allegiance. He said: ‘I have come to pledge allegiance to you for Hijrah! And I have left both my parents behind crying.’ The Prophet (sa) commanded him: ‘Go back and the same way that you made them cry, make them laugh.'” (Ahmad)

Narrated Mu’aawiyah Ibn Jaahimah As-Sulamee (rta): “My father Jaahimah (rta) went to the Prophet (sa) and asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah (swt), I would like to go out and fight for the sake of Allah (swt), and I have come to you for advice.’ The Prophet (sa) asked him: ‘Is your mother alive?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ ‘Then stay near her,’ advised the Prophet (sa), ‘for at her feet is Jannah!'” (Ahmad and An-Nisai)

During the funeral of his mother, Al-Haarith Al-Aklee (rta) wept. When asked for the reason of his tears he said: “Why should I not cry, when one of my doors to Paradise has now closed?”

Those, who consider that Islam has given scant rights to women, must know that Allah (swt) has thrown every believer’s Paradise at his or her mother’s feet. This is the value of women in Islam and worth of an able mother. Can anyone match that?