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.