Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|the Blessings of Motherhood: a journey of love, sacrifice, and paradise|
|08/14/01 at 22:12:38|
|Blessings of Motherhood|
[i] a journey of love, sacrifice and Paradise[/i]
by Hoda Shawky
taken from Al-Talib magazine, May 2001 (without permission.. sorry.. please don’t post or distribute..)
More often than not, we overlook the miracles that Allah surrounds us with daily. If our mere existence as perfectly-formed creatures is a sign of Allah’s Majesty, then how shall we consider the sacred wombs that each of us are placed in? None of us truly understands the miracle of motherhood, and many of us will never be able to experience it. Even still, to examine some of the signs that Allah shows us through our mothers is to better understand why Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that paradise lies beneath their feet.
The miracle of motherhood doesn’t begin at the time of birth or even at conception, but rather, it begins at marriage. As a sign of our Creator’s generosity and beneficence, He bestows His miracles upon all human beings, believers and non-believers alike. One need not be a Muslim to see how Allah unites soul mates in tranquility, placing between them inexplicable affection and mercy (30:21). Such a tightly-knit bond between the couples is a precursor to the production of offspring, a phenomenon described by Allah as a manifestation of the love shared between two mates: “It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love). When they are united, she bears a light burden and carries it about (unnoticed). When she grows heavy, they both pray to Allah, their Lord, (saying): “If Thou givest us a goodly child, we vow we shall (ever) be grateful.” (7:189).
Thus, if the relationship between a husband and wife is so sacred to Allah that He places mercy and love between the couple, what is to be said of the connection between mother and child, the very result of that sacred union?
The relationship between mother and child is one of continuous giving that cannot be reciprocated by the child, no matter how hard he/she may try to repay her. Once, Umar ibn al-Khattab saw a man carrying a woman on his shoulders and asked him who she was. He replied that she was his mother who had reached old age. Proud of his futile attempts at serving his mother, the son mentioned how he fed her, gave her drink, and cleaned her waste. Furthermore, he was carrying his mother on his shoulders from Syria to Makkah so that she might perform Hajj. “Am I not repaying her for all that she has done for me?” he asked Umar. At this, the Khalifa laughed. Not only did he not come near to repaying his mother, Umar replied, but he could not even serve her with the same intentions that she had served him. The man’s mother, Umar pointed out, used to take care of his son while wishing him life, while the son tended to his old mother all the while wishing that she would die.
Because He knows of our inability to match what our mothers have given us, Allah only requires that we treat them with mercy and gratitude, both small things in comparison to what we have received from them. “And we have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. In travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and his weaning is in two years. Give thanks to Me and thanks to your parents; unto Me is the final destination.” (31:14)
No matter how generous a person is, nobody willingly gives everything he owns, including his own sustenance, to another – unless it is a mother who is giving to her child. In a hadith (prophetic saying) reported by Abu Huraira, a person came to Allah’s messenger (peace be upon him) and said, “Who amongst the people is most deserving of fine treatment from my hand?” He responded, “Your mother.” The man asked, “then who?” He replied, “Again, it is your mother”. The man once more asked, “then who?” The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Again, it is your mother.” The man persisted, “then who?” Thereupon, the Prophet finally said, “then it is your father.”
It would be impossible to list all the things our mothers sacrifice for us, and there is so much more that we are not and will never be aware of. We can, however, begin to see the miracle that Allah has placed in women by examining the capacity with which He had enabled them to give while expecting nothing in return. Not only does a mother spend years willfully tending to her young day and night, she continues worrying about them and assisting them in life even after they are grown. She never feels that her duty toward her offspring is finished. It is something that Allah Most High instills in her nature as early on as pregnancy. Although she is unaware of it at this stage, Allah causes phe expecting mother to give her own nutrients to her growing baby in such a way that the baby never starves or is undernourished. The only one who might potentially suffer through this process is the mother. Thus, even before the child is born, the miracle of giving beyond limits already exists within her. Similarly, He changes the sensitivity of insulin in the woman’s body during pregnancy so that more of her sugar is transferred to her baby than is left for her, allowing for proper growth of the fetus. Without the generosity that Allah creates within a woman towards her children, it would be physically impossible for them to receive the tremendous care they need to grow.
Among His other signs are the connections that Allah places between parent and child. It is said that by the fifth month of development, a baby is able to hear the voices of its mother and father from inside the womb. And after it is born, it can only see a distance of nine to twelve inches, the distance between it’s mother’s breast and face, such that the first person it will ever recognize and find comfort in is its mother. The depth of this connection goes even further and is perhaps understood only by Allah. In the story of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him), Allah inspired Musa’s mother to cast her son into the river if she feared harm for him, promising her that He would reunite them. Knowing with what difficulty Musa’s mother did this, Allah blessed her with strength of heart and increased faith until He finally reunited them: “So We did restore him to his mother, that she might be delighted, and the she might not grieve” (28:13). What an honor Allah granted the mother of Musa (peace be upon him) by blessing her with inspiration, faith, and reunion with the coolness of her eye.
Elevating the status of women even further, Allah Most High reminds us of the story of Maryam, the mother of Jesus (peace be upon him). He did not leave her alone during the birth of Jesus (peace be upon him) but directed her towards a palm tree so that she might replenish her aching body with water and fresh dates. More importantly, however, He provided her with comfort through her baby, who spoke to her and guided her throughout the difficult encounter with her unsympathetic people. Through such stories mentioned in the Quran, we realize how deserving of honor the bond between mother and child is.
Such an honor is not limited to the mothers of prophets, but extends to all mothers. We are told in several hadiths (sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him) that a woman who dies during pregnancy is granted the status of a martyr. While addressing Salamah, the nurse of his son Ibrahim, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Does it not please any one of you [women] that if she conceived by her husband and he is satisfied with her, that she receives the reward of fasting and vigil in Allah’s sake? And none of the dwellers of Heaven or Earth knows the coolness of her eyes that she will get for the labor pains she suffered. When she delivers, not a mouthful of milk flows from her nor an instance of the child’s suck, but that she received for every suck and mouthful the reward of a good deed. If she is kept away by her child during the night, she receives the reward of freeing seventy slaves for the sake of Allah.”
While such tremendous promise of unfathomable reward from Allah would be enough for any believing mother, He does not stop at blessing her with a wonderful Hereafter. He gives her a miraculous power that no other human can possess, and for this reason, sincere Muslims tremble at the thought of earning their mother’s displeasure. While on his deathbed, ‘Alqama, one of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companions, found himself unable to utter the shahadah (testification of faith) as his last words. Upon hearing this, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked to see his mother. When he inquired about her son, she replied that he was good to her except that he used to serve his wife and children their meals before serving her. Although the Prophet (peace be upon him) urged her to forgive ‘Alqama, she was unable to do so until the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered that a fire be prepared in which to burn ‘Alqama. She could not bear the thought of seeing her son burn, and thus, finally forgave him. Upon returning to the dying ‘Alqama, the Prophet’s companions heard him uttering his last words, “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur rasulullah (there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).” What other human being could command such a powerful say as the whether or not we die with the shahadah on our lips?
Why then, do we not elevate our mothers the way we have seen Allah honor them? And why do we not treat them as kindly as He has ordered us to? Perhaps we forget that Allah’s apostle (peace be upon him) listed the major sins in order, making rudeness to parents more enormous than even murder or lying, and placing it second in rank only to associating partners with Him. We forget that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordered us to be good to our parents even before ordering us to fight jihad (struggling in the way of Allah Most High). Perhaps by pondering the miracle of motherhood, we may begin to respect and honor our parents more than we have in the past.
Abu Huraira related that Allah’s apostle (peace be upon him) said, “Allah divided Mercy into 100 parts and kept its 99 parts with Him, sending down one part to the earth; and because of that single part, His creations are merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts her foot away from her baby animal, lest she should trample it.” By trying to understand the overwhelming miracle that Allah Most High has created within our mothers, and by realizing that this is only one percent of the Mercy that He has on His creation, we are brought one step closer to realizing the miracle of the Creator Himself.
[i] Showky, a former president of MSA-UCLA, is a graduate of UCLA in physiological science. [/i]
Footsteps of Heaven's Mountains
Do you remember, young warrior spirit?
Before you had tasted air.
Your very first gauntlet... she does.
When she pained and she cried,
And He made each tear run worth a hundred oceans.
So cherish your time with her.
For when He leads her by the hand off this world,
You will cry and you will pain,
And won't be until He allows tears to fall,
From your soul with the weight of gold,
That you will have repaid your dept to her,
And keep this in mind,
As your last covenant with Him draws near,
If heaven lies beneath the feet of your
Mother, should we be surprised to find the rivers,
That flow beneath gardens,
Meeting heaven's mountains at waterfalls...
Made from their tears.
|Re: the Blessings of Motherhood: a journey of love, sacrifice, and paradise|
|06/12/01 at 15:15:47|
mashallah that was nicely written, i liked reading that!!!:)
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