Mother, mum, amma, ummi, ma and all the other names used all refer to the one person who gave birth to you. Some of us have never met our mothers, others see their mothers pass on right before their eyes, and others still, watch their mothers grow into old age outliving them.
Before we were born our mothers planned for us. They began by choosing for us, our fathers, and then chose a name for us. From the moment we were conceived our mothers have cared for us. She watched her diet to enable us to grow heavily, and she bore the burden of carrying us for nine long months. Then she agonised in pain to bring us into the world, and endured sleepless nights to feed and care for us. She stressed over our food and clothes, ensured we were comfortable, and secure, and when were sick she would do her utmost to to help us return to good health. She spent her days gazing at our little faces as they matured, and her nights she prayed for our well-being and success. May Allah reward all our mothers.
But how do we re-pay our mothers? Do we care for her now that she has reached old age? Do we run to her service, bend to put her socks on and tie her shoes? Do we try to make her smile, when she feels down?
Abu Huraira reported that a person said, “Allah’s Messenger, who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment?” He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness). (Muslim)
Our Prophet peace and blessings did not leave this stone unturned. He taught us Islam as a complete way of life; our mothers are instrumental to our life on earth, so how can we neglect the one who gave birth to us, whose heart cried when our eyes cried, whose heart tore when we were so much as scratched, whose heart broke, when our toys broke?
Our dear, dear mothers. Today, children; young and old alike, have no time for their mothers. They ignore their calls, tune out their voices, and feel burdened by the obligation of devoting time to her. How wretched we are! Do we not feel any shame, that our mothers sacrificed many things for our sake! She sacrificed her health, her time, her sleep, her enjoyments, her hobbies, her personal ‘me’ time, her pamper time, her food, and her money to take care of us, and we don’t even bat an eyelid! May Allah forgive us, and guide us!
Allah reminds us of this great obligation towards our parents,
“And 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 “uff” (a word of disrespect), nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour, and lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “O Lord, bestow upon them your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young,” (Surah Al-Isra 17:23)
The scholars have explained that Allah used “uff” to show us that such a small word that indicates dissatisfaction, or any sort of negativity, should not be used. Uff is barely even a word, so how about those words that blatantly illustrate disrespect, and rudeness?!
As the saying goes, “you only appreciate it once it’s gone.” How many will count the days until their parents pass on, eager to get them off their hands and be free of the responsibility! Even worse, how many will dump their parents in care homes, to absolve themselves of the duty of care! Only when we arrive at the hereafter will we realise the missed opportunities of earning our mother’s pleasure and will we regret those moments. But regret will do nothing, remorse cannot bring back the past.
Take the time enjoy your mother’s company, just as she used to treasure yours, and discover that she is the long lost best friend you never knew you had! Spend a moment, say a kind word to her. Kiss her forehead, and tell her that you love her. Ask her to forgive you for all the times that you’ve fallen short in serving her, and strive to make her happy; it’s well worth it.
Abdullah bin Amr narrated that, the Prophet said: “The Lord’s pleasure is in the parent’s pleasure, and the Lord’s anger is in the parent’s anger.”(Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Hasan).