Paradise At Her Feet
There is a tradition usually attributed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which is variously interpreted to mean that the mother is responsible for teaching her children their religious obligations and good behavior that will win them Paradise; or it may mean that we earn Paradise by serving our mother throughout her life.
Either way, it shows the great esteem, honor and respect that Islam has for mothers. While the fourth commandment in the Bible is Honor thy father and thy mother, the Bible does not mention the mother separately as deserving good treatment.
The Quran, in contrast, gives special recognition to the mother s suffering in bearing and nursing her child: And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents.
His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. (31:14).
Becoming a mother is one of the greatest joys of a Muslim woman.
Today in the Muslim world, even where many of the precepts of Islam are ignored, Westerners are often amazed at the gentle, loving treatment that parents receive. An Arab proverb says if you want to know how a man will treat his wife, look how he treats his mother.
Becoming a mother is one of the greatest joys of a Muslim woman. She knows that her child is both a gift and a trust from God.
She carries a great responsibility in raising a family, not only in caring for their physical needs, but also in educating them in their religion and morals.
For this and other reasons, Islam calls upon all Muslims, male and female, to be educated, for how can a woman teach her children when she herself is ignorant?
Islam also recognizes that, compared to the man, the woman is by nature more psychologically fitted to nurturing, more compassionate and patient.
For that reason, Islam decrees that husbands must maintain their wives and children, and it encourages mothers with young children to remain at home with their children rather than work outside the house. And, in case of divorce, custody of young children goes to the mother.
All this respect and honor goes to the mother, even if she is a non-Muslim, and also to maternal aunts.
Thus the woman does not cut from her own family when she marries, but her children continue to honor the kin relationships of both their mother and father.