My Mother and My Religion

Mothers in Islam

By Tamim Saidi, Engage Minnesota

Tamim Saidi

There is a great deal of love and respect for mothers in Islam. Over 1400 years ago, one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked him who the most deserving person of his kindness and his companionship was.

The Prophet (p) said, “Your mother.”
The man asked, “Then whom?”
He said, “Your mother.”
The man asked for the third time, “Then whom?”
The Prophet (p) said, “Your mother.”
The man asked for the fourth time, “Then whom?”
The Prophet (p) said “Your father.”

It was after becoming the father of three-year-old twins as well as a 19-month-old toddler that I began to understand why the status of the mother is three times that of the father.

Over many months of pregnancies and the years after that, I have witnessed the difficulties that my wife has gone through for our kids: the pains, the sleepless nights, and the worries. I have also witnessed her unimaginable love for them. This is just a hint of why Islam has such a lofty place for mothers, right after God and God’s messenger.

Al-Tirmidhi, a prominent Muslim scholar, relates that a man wanted to take part in an expedition with Prophet Muhammad (p). The Prophet found out that his mother was still alive and said: “Stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet.”

Bukhari, another prominent scholar, relates that the Prophet (p) said that “God has forbidden you to be undutiful to your mothers.”

In a number of places in the Qur’an, the last revelation of God, God Almighty commands the believers to “revere the wombs [rahm, in Arabic] that bore you.” Muslims scholars have mentioned that rahm is the root word for rahma, which means compassion. Also it is very significant to note that one of God’s 99 attributes is “Al-Raheem,” the Infinitely Compassionate. So the immense love and compassion of the mothers is only a glimpse into the Infinite Love and Compassion of the Almighty, and there is a connection between the two.

In another places in the Qur’an, it is stated, “We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him.”

Islam makes it clear that the parents have an un-recompensable debt over their children, which no amount of love, service, or gifts can repay.

I have been truly blessed that my mother has given us the honor to live with us. And now that I have my own children, my mother’s place is even higher in my mind and my heart. I can only imagine how much pain she endured for me over the years, how many tears she shed for me and how much she still worries about my well-being.

After seeing the difficulties that my wife has gone through for our children, I am not jealous of my wife’s lofty position with them. After all, our mothers are our avid advocates, and they truly love us unconditionally. It took me thirty-some years to begin to understand why Prophet Muhammad (p) said, “Paradise is at the feet of your mothers.” So I hope and pray that my children and I can love, serve and celebrate our mothers every day of the year, not just single out one Sunday out of the year.

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1 comment so far

  1. Anonymous on

    I’m a student at a university and I’m writing an essay about Women’s role in mideval muslim. Thank you for your view on how women, specifically mothers, are seen in modern Islam. I hope you don’t mind me citing some of your beliefs in my essay.


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