PHOTO BY Pexels

My Opinion on Motherhood As a Muslim

Op-ed

Once a year, people look forward to a special day in May called Mother’s Day, which was celebrated on the 8th of this year. During this time, people appreciate their mothers' hard work and sacrifices. Stores and the media advertise Mother’s Day products, making a profit out of it, but other than that, I find that people don’t appreciate their mothers enough aside from this one day. In the past, I’d always hear my friends cursing their moms out for the smallest things, like how they can’t go to prom or not letting them watch a Netflix show. But they would never talk about how grateful they were to their mothers or any joyful moments with them. This is something that has become more common nowadays, as disrespect towards mothers becomes the norm in America as it is also portrayed in many TV shows.

Growing up watching Disney Channel, I’d see a multitude of programs about the mother being narrated as a nuisance and being a joke. Laughing tracks cued every time the mother would say anything. I find it disappointing how they completely disregard what it means to be a mother and how big of a role a mother plays in a child's life. In fact, many mothers have expressed their displeasure with how Disney and other kids' shows portray parents, especially mothers. I believe that, instead of appreciating our mothers one day of the year, we should appreciate them all year long.

Sacrifices Mothers make

A saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him) that is common in Islam is, “Paradise lies under the feet of the mother”, meaning that mothers determine how a child grows up by how she raises them. The way mothers raise their children can make or break our society as they raise the future generation. It truly shows how significant a mother's role is in our lives and how many sacrifices they make in order to raise their children.

There are many sacrifices mothers make out of love that we do not see. But it is because we can’t see it that we need to appreciate it. Years later, I was able to realize the sacrifices my mother had made for me when I was younger. It is our mothers who make our lives easier and more comfortable. Some mothers give up their whole lives just to raise their child. Many mothers will give up career dreams and will drift away from friends because they have to focus on their child and provide for them. The costs to raise a child are immense, going up to 233K. Nonetheless, mothers never ask for anything in return or to be “paid back” because of the love they feel for their children.

One of the most important things that a mother does is to make her child feel like he or she belongs. Just recall, have you ever felt the need to act like you were in front of a teacher in front of your mother? The answer is probably no. This is because of the caring environment mothers have molded for us since the day we were born. Most people admit that they feel the most comfortable around their mothers. This is because mothers have been with us through our ups and downs and have seen all sides of us. To our mothers, we are the most vulnerable we can be. Our mothers have shown us patience so much throughout our lives from the moment we were born, protecting us from evil influences. Even if our mothers get a little irritated with us, we should try to be empathetic and understand where they are coming from, as they have done for us.

There is a story in my religion where the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him) had a man come to him who complained about his mother being ill-tempered, to which the Prophet replied "She was not ill-tempered when she used to keep awake the whole night for your sake and fed you." and when the man replied that he had compensated all the favors of his mother by helping her complete the pilgrimage to Mecca the Prophet had then replied, "Can you compensate for the painful pangs your mother bore at the time of your birth?" In addition to the grueling experience of giving birth and bearing a child mothers have to also deal with the effects afterwards like, postpartum depression, changes in their body, and other health issues. But still, mothers are expected to get back on their feet afterwards and go back to their jobs like normal, when it is actually difficult and many do not recognize the true hardships of pregnancy and childbirth. Just like I had said before, there is no way to truly "pay back" your mother for everything she has done for you so the best we can do is help and appreciate our mothers every day.

What we can do to appreciate our mothers more

Respect for mothers should be more highly regarded and gratitude should be expressed regularly to them; their efforts should not go unrecognized. In addition, our mothers should be the most respected figure in our lives. In Islam, especially mothers are regarded to be of the highest status. Small things like spending time and communicating with your mother every day or helping your mother out when she does not ask are what count and give mothers happiness. For me personally, I try to help around the house for my mother since she often gets back pains due to her old age and if there is ever something we agree on, I try to stay calm and understand how she feels. This skill of trying to understand my mother has helped me a lot throughout life by showing empathy to others as well, so I never get frustrated too easily.

The importance of a bond with your mother

Talking to your mother and forming a better relationship with her will make her delighted and you as well. The bond you create with your mother is irreplaceable and unlike any other because of the tenderness she gives you. There is only a certain amount of time we can spend with our mothers, so we should cherish every minute of it as much as we can.

Insia Ahmed

Insia is a high school sophmore in Virginia. Other than writing she enjoys making jewelry, reading, spending time with family, and baking.