Strengthening Mother Daughter Relationships
Your riches and your children may be but a trial, but in the Presence of Allah is the highest reward. (Quran 64:15)
What does it mean for a Muslim woman to have a daughter? What does it mean to have a Muslim mother? What duties do they have toward one another?
What does Islam say about the special relationship between mothers and daughters who are Believers?
In Islam, the female child is a gift to her mother because she has certain duties toward her. Likewise the mother has certain responsibilities to her daughter that can make treasure her mother. Let’s examine some of these points.
- Always remember what your parents, especially your mother, did for you all your life.
- Recognize the wisdom of age and experience, and even when you disagree, be respectful and humble to her.
- You must NOT obey your mother if she tells you to disobey Allah SWT or to break any of his commands.
- Use the art of negotiation – Use honey instead of vinegar. For example: “Mom, I cleaned my room and folded the clothes would you mind taking me to the mall?” Do something to please your mom and then make a polite request.
- Though we don’t like to think about it, daughters must be prepared to take care of their mothers when they become feeble and from old age just as their mothers cared for them when they were infants. Sons may offer financial support, but they are not likely to deal with the bed pans, the bathing, and the dressing. These will be the daughter’s duties.
- After she returns to Allah (SWT), if she did not have a chance to, you can make Hajj for her, pay zakat and sadaqah in her behalf, make up her fasts, and pray for her soul. Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abas : “A woman made a voyage and vowed that she would fast one month if Allah made her reach her destination with peace and security. Allah made her reach her destination with security but she died before she could fast. He daughter or sister (narrator was not sure) came to Rasulullah (SAAWS) and he commanded her to fast on her behalf .(Sunnan Abu-Dawood).”
Mothers Treatment Of Daughters
- Assume good intentions of your daughter. Try to excuse temporary thoughtlessness. Hadith advise us to make 70 excuses for the harm others do to us, and then blame ourselves for perhaps misunderstanding.
- Remember the big picture. Despite the small problems or disagreements, your daughter is basically good. Consider the fact that in the U.S. many girls who are her peers (both Muslim and non-Muslim) are sexually promiscuous, abusing drugs and alcohol, involved in criminal, gangrelated activities, getting pregnant, or being arrested. Ma Sha’Allah, if you look at the big picture, you will see that your daughter is really admirable.
- Learn how to discuss with her so that her challenges will not upset you. Learn to listen with your heart and stop interrupting her with khutbahs! She must feel free to talk to you at anytime about whatever may be troubling her. She must not feel that you will condemn her or that your love for her will be diminished if you find out that she is less than perfect and has made some mistakes. If you cannot be there for her, she will have to confide in negative peers who will mislead her.
- Search for solutions. Look for ways to make a compromise instead of insisting that she is completely wrong. Look for halal alternatives rather than simply saying that everything she wants to do is haram. For example, if she wants to go swimming at the beach, don’t just tell her “No, that’s haram!” You can instead help her arrange a swimming party for Muslim girls and women at an enclosed pool with female lifeguards, where everyone will dress modestly and share in the expense of renting the pool.
- Remember to cherish her. She is going to get married and move away before you know it. Do you really want to spend these few years you have together in your home arguing and embroiled in tension? If you expect her to someday want to bring your grandchildren to visit you, then you need to let her see how loving you really are, not how harsh. You are her ally more than her father because you are her only parent who can share with her an understanding of what it is to be a woman — from training bras to cramps, to butterflies in her stomach on her wedding day. Only you will fully understand and offer her a mothers unconditional love.
- Muslim women are expected to sacrifice for their daughters two hundred percent. When she is older, society, because of its sexism is going to give your daughter so many difficulties, and even, her husband may sometimes break her heart. She needs to be able to rely on you.It is narrated by the Prophet’s wife, ‘A’isha (RAA), that a woman entered her house with two of her daughters. She asked for charity but ‘A’isha could not find anything but a date, which she gave to her. The woman divided it between her two daughters and did not eat any herself. Then she got up and left. When the Prophet (SAAWS) came to the house, ‘A’isha told him about what had happened and he declared that when the woman will be brought to account (on the Day of Judgment) about her two daughters they will act as a screen for her from the fires of Hell.
Things You Must Never Say To Your Daughter
- “If you do that again, I’m going to kill you!” “I’m going to break your neck!” Don’t threaten physical harm. Threats only cause fear if you carry them out, and reduce your credibility if you do not.
- “Why can’t you be more like him/her?” Never compare your child to anyone else. She is Allah’s unique creation.
- “I told you so. You Should have listened to me.” Don’t rub salt in a wound. She’s already aware that she was wrong.
- “You are perfect!” “That’s the most beautiful artwork I’ve ever seen! You are the most beautiful girl in the world!” Praise breed arrogance and boastfulness. Instead, recognize her accomplishments but give credit to Allah who created her and gave her talents and abilities, by saying “Ma Sha’Allah”, and “Alhamdulillah.”
- “I heard that you did something bad, so I know you did it. You always cause trouble.” Don’t believe rumors. Always give your child a chance to explain her side. Suratul Hujurat tells us to ascertain the truth of any rumor coming to us.
- “You make me sick.” “I wish you were never born!” Suratul Hujurat says avoid sarcasm, suspicion, name-calling.
- “Oh!, you don’t mean that.” “it could always be worse.” “Hey, it’s really no big deal; why are you getting so upset?.” If something is upsetting your daughter, offer comfort, but do never try to make it seem insignificant. Her feelings are valid, and her emotional pain is real for her. Let her vent; then help her discover the lessons and solutions.