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THINK TALK: The eminence of mothers and how you may reciprocate that unconditional love

mindaviews thinktalk

MATALAM, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 07 May) — I am writing this to remind every child the unfathomable and unconditional love of mothers and how they should be revered, not only as a matter of parental obligation but also as enjoined and immensely rewarded by Almighty God. 

In the Philippines, Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday of the month of May which falls on May 8 this year.  

No other holy book gave so much more import and reverence to women and mothers than the Holy Qur’an. The Qur’an has one whole dedicated chapter to women called Surah An-Nisa (The Women), the fourth chapter in Islam’s holy book. It has 176 verses. The title derives from the numerous references to women throughout the chapter.

On marrying Muslim women, Allah (swt) enjoined Muslim men to “Give women you wed their due dowries graciously, but if they waive some of it willingly, then you may enjoy it freely with a clear conscience” (Quran 4:4). A dowry is a gift, or promise of gift, to the wife by the husband. It is negotiated before the couple’s marriage and usually given in cash or gold and expressed in written form.

A woman holds a very high status in the Islamic faith. She is honored and respected at all times but one has to distinguish some cultural influences that have no basis in Islam.

Mothers are expected to spend every moment nurturing her child. In recognizing this difficult task, Allah (swt) says in the Hoy Quran: “We enjoin every man to be dutiful to his parents. His mother bore him in burden upon burden (for nine months), and his waning is two years. Give thanks to Me and to your parents. To Me is your ultimate return” (31:14). We find the same injunction in the Bible under Proverbs: “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.”

The fifth of the Ten Commandments says: “Honor thy father and thy mother,” with a promise that if you are dutiful to your parents, things will go well for you, and you will have a meaningful life in this world.

In the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), a man came to him and asked, “Oh Prophet of Allah, who is next to be loved after God? And the Prophet (pbuh) answered, ‘your mother”. And the man asked again, “who should be next after my mother?” and the Prophet answered “your mother”. The man asked the same question and for the third time the Prophet (pbuh) gave the same answer. It was only on the fourth question that the Prophet (pbuh) answered, “your father”. 

This is not to say, however, that the father deserves only one-fourth of our love but the emphasis was rather on the importance of a mother and the high regard that should be accorded her. Islam has raised the status of mothers to the highest level and serving her is not only an act of kindness but immensely rewarded in Jannah (Paradise).

In another Hadith (a collection of sayings of Prophet Muhammad), he says: “Paradise lies under the feet of mothers”. Just who are the “mothers” described here? The Prophet did not say “your mother” nor “mothers of the Islamic faith.” Mothers as mentioned here are, therefore, generic.

This is further exemplified when Islam prioritizes the peace of staying at home with a mother over engaging in Jihad (holy war) or those who serve in defense of an unprovoked attack on Islam or restricting its practice.

In one of the holy wars of the Prophet, he was told that the enemies of Islam led by Abu Sufyan was to attack them in huge force. Immediately, the Prophet (pbuh) asked every able bodied Muslim male to volunteer and join the jihad fey sabeylillah. A Muslim man, feeling very worried, came to the Prophet and said, “Oh Prophet of Allah, I am so worried that I cannot join the jihad because my mother is too old to be left on her own.” The Prophet advised him to stay and care for his aging mother.

The Prophet’s hadith relative to this is worth mentioning here: “(If such is the case) Stay with your parents for, by the One in whose control lies my soul, their attachment of one day and one night to you is better than one year of jihad (in terms of reward).”

The affection and attachment that mothers give to their children are simply immeasurable, incomparable, and unfathomable. This is why Allah (swt) is very pleased upon seeing children who reciprocate the same affection, love, and care for their parents.

To somehow reciprocate that unqualified motherly love, you may want to pamper her on Mother’s Day with any or some of the following:

  1. Give a bouquet of flowers. Bringing a bouquet beautifully arranged in a vase adds to the sweetness of Mother’s Day celebration and starts her day in fine moods.
  2. Add to her garden. Give her a new plant; the one that she mentions more often as absent in her flower garden. This will make her feel you are more valuable than the flower you give.
  3. Plan a getaway. Help your mom forget those household chores for a few days by treating her on a vacation to her favorite resort.
  4. Book a spa day. She took care of everyone else; now it’s time to pamper her with a complete set of parlor services such as hair styling, manicure, pedicure, massage, and facial care.
  5. Design a collage from your family’s past. She will enjoy keeping those precious moments when you were small, fragile, and amiable.
  6. Make a slide show or video. The collaged photos may now be form into slide to make them livelier and more exciting to watch.
  7. Monogram an item. Buy her favorite item with her name engraved on it. She will treasure that personalized item.
  8. Emboss a journal. If your mom likes to keep a track of special events and occasions, give her a planner or journal with an added embossed message. Include a matching pen to compete the gift.
  9. Personalized a memento box. For the mom who collects and saves mementos, give her a special engraved box.
  10. Write a heartfelt “Thank You” message. Put together a list of the things you learned from her over the years. Say how grateful you are for each one of them. Let her know your true feelings for all that she has done for the family throughout the years.

Mothers are so easy to please. More often, they do not look at the material considerations but the act or just being thoughtful. 

It is better to give flowers now than on their wakes later.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Maugan P. Mosaid holds a doctorate degree in rural development. He is a freelance writer, planning consultant, and teaches Statistics and Methods of Research in the graduate school. He can be contacted at mauganmosaid6@gmail.com)

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