Islam · Women

The Nation Builders

Nation-Builders

 

Ayesha Mahmood Malik, Surrey, UK

Mothers – whether perceived from a secular or a theocratic angle – or measured through a religious or irreligious lens – regardless of cast, colour and creed – the notion of motherhood embodies an innate sense of selfless love and giving that knows no bounds. A mother loves not for want of love in return, she endures and sacrifices endlessly and silently not in the hope of a great reward, and she strives resiliently not knowing when the striving will cease. She is the archetype of ceaseless and boundless affection that no other relationship in God’s earth has ever been able to emulate.

It would follow that the reverence attached to such an institution would be without question and universal. However, at the dawn of the Islamic faith, girls, including mothers of the future, would often be buried alive at birth. Islam became the first religion to afford mothers the lofty station of having paradise under their feet, as stated by the Holy Prophet, (peace be on him) and in terms of respect and obedience due arguably even ahead of the fathers; on another occasion he named the mother three times through service of whom paradise could be earned before naming the father.

If a mother’s stature is privileged in Islam it is because a mother carries a heavy onus as well on her shoulders. She is charged with the primary responsibility of rearing the next generation of individuals and ensuring that they become responsible members of society, giving back to their communities. She is also to ensure their high moral values and a sense of duty to civic society. A mother’s role is inimitable if discharged faithfully to forming the building blocks of peaceful, well knit and tolerant neighbourhoods, districts, societies and nations.

Thus, a woman who chooses to give up her career and become a stay-at-home mum in order to focus her entire energies in this noble task ought to be deeply respected and appreciated for her choices. However, the modern world chooses to class her service under the un-recognised work category of ‘housewife’ – the category that doesn’t stop giving but which receives no recognition. In fact, ultra liberal pundits see this as a reduction of women’s capabilities and them being relegated to the confines of their home and being made to sacrifice otherwise successful careers.

Yet it is an established fact that without the contributions of this under-recognised, under-revered work group the world would lack its leaders, it teachers, its scientists, its lawyers, its engineers. The world would be without the sense of stability and security which is borne out of walking into the house to the fresh smells of home made food. A mother’s love and devotion indeed form the foundations whereupon the buildings of lifetime success are constructed.

On one occasion the Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was asked to clarify the Islamic position on female imams. Poignantly, he responded by questioning what an imam can really do for his people? His Holiness went on to respond to his own question stating how an imam could not guarantee high moral values and righteousness out of anyone following him in prayer but a mother can. Hence, he concluded that a mother was far more powerful than an imam.

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Islam · Uncategorized

With Love From A Mother To A Mother

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For Islam Awareness Week a post featuring the perspective of a mother

Sibgha Salim, Raynes Park

Each year as Mother’s day approaches, shops begin selling cards, flowers, chocolates and a huge variety of presents. Prices are hiked and businesses make money as usual, ‘Do all these things make a Mum happy?’ I began to wonder.

To be a mother, calls for an immense responsibility and sacrifice. The essence of it was beyond my understanding as a girl. Despite the tonne of responsibilities that lie on my mother’s shoulders nothing has made her falter and she remains undeterred in her duties. Her dignified character, calm demeanour and poised personality whilst juggling all her responsibilities, amazes me until today. It also made me understand the status of a mother my religion teaches.

Being a Muslim, I follow the teachings of the Holy Quran to pray for my parents as commanded by Allah in the verse below:

“And lower to them the wing of humility out of tenderness. And say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them even as they nourished me in my childhood.’” (17:25)

Islam places both man and woman spiritually equal in the sight of Allah. But in her role as a mother, a woman is given an even higher status than a man, so much so that a mother has three times more rights than a father, as said by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). He emphasised the love and respect due to the mother by saying:

“Paradise lies at the feet of the mother”

For this much esteemed position given to her by Islam, a mother has a huge responsibility of good moral upbringing of her children and future generation.

At another place the Holy Qur’an repeatedly directs Muslims to care for their parents, especially the mother.

And We have enjoined on man concerning his parents —his mother bears him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning takes two years —‘Give thanks to Me and to thy parents. Unto Me is the final return.” (31:15)

“…and show kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, never say unto them any word expressive of disgust nor reproach them, but address them with kind words” (17:24)

This year I got the opportunity to spend some time with the residents of Carter House, a care home in Raynes Park, Surrey that provides nursing and dementia care for the elderly.

With the help of the staff of Carter House, the Ahmadiyya Muslim ladies of Raynes Park have been visiting them at least once every week, arranging coffee mornings and pampering sessions for the female residents and much more. Each one of them invites me to sit with them and listen to what they have to say.

Therefore, when I expressed my offer and wish to celebrate Mother’s Day at Carter House the staff accepted it happily.

My intention was to celebrate with a wish of love from one mother to another mother and I offered the female residents and staff of Carter House free session of ‘Henna-hand painting’. An elderly resident was so overjoyed with the love and care, after seeing the beautiful Henna on her hand she said,

‘Thank you so much for doing this for me, all my life I never thought, I would ever have Henna done. You have made my day! I surely, will send my photo to my grandchildren and they will be very delighted to see this’.

Her response, for me as a mother of 4 children, was the best present that no money could ever buy; a present of love, respect and care which every mother deserves.

Due to other commitments, I had to leave but with the promise to return again within a few days. Most of them asked me how much they owed me. My reply was, ‘your love’ – a love from one mother to another mother.