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Motherhood

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Mothering is not something you learn, it is something you do. It is at once the single most necessary job as well as the one in which you are completely alone. It is not an occupation you apply for, in fact, if it were, it would attract few applicants. From the moment your child is born, he steals not only your heart, he steals your life. From the moment of conception the child literally invades your space, and you are indentured for life.The Dictionary defines a mother as "a female who has borne offspring," but surely there must be more to it than just giving birth. The dictionary also says: "to give birth to,to watch over, nourish and protect".

 

Here is the crux of mothering, through the grace of Allah (SWT) a woman gives birth to a child, and for the rest of her life she watches over him, cares for him and tries to protect him. When that child reaches the stage when he can fend for himself, make his own choices, and live independently of his mother she does not stop caring or worrying. The mother continues to find ways of helping her child, even if it is in the form of appealing to Allah (SWT) in her duah.
An Indenture is a contract executed between two or more parties, binding one party into the service of another for a stipulated term. Motherhood is an Indenture, only there is no stipulated term, from the time of conception until the death of the mother, the woman is indentured to her child or children.... for life.

 


There are no regular hours, no tea breaks and lunch hours, you do not stop working at the end of the day and go back the next to do another shift. There are no weekend breaks, public holidays or sick leave. Forget about annual leave for a good few years. There is no employer to ask for a better salary and no trade union to appeal to for better working conditions. As a matter of fact, no self respecting trade union would want to be associated with such a profession.
Nevertheless, babies are born every second of every day and women become mothers. This is the miracle of creation, wrought by the power of Allah (SWT). Precisely because of this miracle mother¬hood is the most joyous experience any woman could hope for. In spite of the discomfort of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth, motherhood remains the dream and ultimate goal of the majority of women. To be the means of bringing a new creation into the world, to behold that creation, that miracle, is ail experi¬ence beyond description.
Sleepless nights,long hours of being available for your baby, then toddler and finally young child, disappear like a mist before the sun as you watch your child grow,develop and become a person. Albeit a person with a will of his own which will drive you crazy, but that child is yours, so you fill(] it easy to forgive and even forget the temper tantrums at age four or five, which will drive you crazy at age fifteen and break your heart at twenty-five.
A mother will do anything to protect tier child, and while lie is young it will be fairly easy to stop him from endangering himself. A five year old girl runs across a street in the path of ail oncoming car ... her mother dashes after her and just manages to pull her back in time. That mother is a heroine and everyone applauds her action. Ten years later that same mother will try to stop her daughter from associating with certain young peo¬ple because she is afraid tier daughter will be led astray. Then she will be termed ail interfering mother who does not recog¬nise that her daughter is grown tip.
Why is this? Why is it perfectly proper to save your child from physical danger at age five, ail(] totally unacceptable to save her from moral danger at age fifteen. How does it come about that the mother, the person your child looked up to, would not allow out of his or tier sight under any cir-cumstances, suddenly becomes the great¬est killjoy, the one who wants to ruin that child's life. During the child's absence the mother dare not enter the child's bed¬room for fear of being told "Mom, you are invading my space". Should you perhaps remind her of how she invaded your space for nine months? And what about Ihe child who tells you lie did not ask to be born? Should you say I am so sorry honey, I had a bad day at work.
What happens to the angelic little girl that you tickled and cuddled and thanked Allah for every day while she was growing up? What happened to your son in whose eyes you could do no wrong, who cried when you were sick and tried to make breakfast for you, the daughter you were so proud of because of her excellent marks at school. Does the fault lie with the parents, with society, with the media, or perhaps with all three.
Do we blame it on the permissiveness that is currently the norm in society, do we blame the fact that young people are unable to escape the media coverage of behaviour which is unacceptable to their parents, or do we blame the parents who, in the words of the children "refuse to come into the 21st Century", who insist on forcing their values and guidelines for behaviour oil their children.
This seems to be at least part of the problem, parents imposing their values, values which in today's society seem to be outmoded, at least thev are to many of the youth. The question is, where do these values and codes of behaviour come from?
In the following cases the values of the parents are those of the Quran and the Sunnah of Nabi IN-4uhammad (SAW).
•    A woman invites friends during Ramadan to break fast with her. tier fourteen year old son refuses to eat at the table and goes upstairs to his room. From there he repeatedly calls his mother to bring him various types of delicacies, resulting in tier running up and down the stairs several times.
•    A young girl insists on leaving home with her boyfriend after midnight to fetch someone at the airport,her moth¬er objects and ail argument breaks out. The boyfriend gets out of his car and comes to intervene in ail argument between mother and daughter and tries to physically attack the mother of the girl he hopes to marry.

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Today he is mar¬ried to the girl and he and his mother
in law have not spoken to each for    mother of being forward.
more than three years.    • A mother discovers something to the
•    A son lives right opposite his    discredit of the boy her daughter is
mother,his children walk past their    planning to marry. She voices her
grandmother's house to go to the shop    reservations but the daughter is deter
but do riot go in to ask if she needs any¬    mined to marry the young man, even
thing. The son's wife goes shopping by    if she has to wait in the street while the
car for herself, a neighbour does her    Nikah is being performed. The young
mother in law's shopping. Yet the same    man in question tells the girl's parents
son lays down the law in his mother's    that lie does not need their permission
house and she is not allowed to do any¬    to marry their daughter.
thing without his permission.    • A young man is about to get married,
•    A daughter has a conversation in the    his mother wants to send the ring with
house with a visitor, her mother ventures    members of the family,the traditional
to contribute to the conversation and the    way, he wants to take his girlfriend to
girl tells tier mother "shut up, you do not    the beach and place the ring on her
know what you are talking about."    finger, in the Western way. lie tells his
•    A woman visits her son for the week¬    mother that sending people with the
end while lie himself is away working.    ring is only a tradition, it is not an
Early the morning her two grand¬    Islamic thing and then lie tells his
daughters conic out of their room,    mother"we are going to fight about
stretching and yawning, saying    this."
"Granny we are so bored". Granny    • A daughter has lived all tier life with
tells them they are far too young(they    tier mother, even after she married.
are five and seven years old) to be    She decides that this arrangement
bored so early in the day. Their moth¬    must now stop so she asks tier brother
er takes offence, the result..the son has    to take their mother with him for a
not seen or spoken to his mother for    while. Thinking it is only a temporary
four years.    arrangement the woman leaves tier
•    A young man gets married and    furniture and most of her clothes at

or husband.Orie day her mother in law    they go to their eldest son's home to
hears her asking the maid for a glass of    greet. The daughter-in-law tells them
water because she is feeling unwell.    in no uncertain terms to get out, she
The mother in law goes to her to offer    does not have time for them. help, asking her what is the problem.
The daughter in law tells tier husband's    CONCLUSION
mother"you are my problem".    Now... the question begs itself... why
•    A young girl chases tier mother out of    should these incidents have occurred?
the room where she is about to fit on    There must be more than meets the eye,
her wedding dress. She accuses tier    you say. Well maybe, and then again
decides, by choice, to live with his par¬    her daughter's place. While her moth
ents. His wife agrees and seems very    er is out of the country the daughter
happy and fond of her prospective in-    puts tier mother's clothes into bags
laws. Until after the Nikah, she then    and sends it along with tier mother's
spends her entire day in her bedroom,    furniture to her brother's place.
if she is not out with her own mother • A man and a woman are going for Haj,
maybe not. What is however indis-putable is that Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Quran :
"Reverence Allah, through whom you demand your nuitual rights, and reverence the wombs that bore you: for Allah ever watches over you." (Surat) 4:1)
Let us stop taking the easy way out;constantly blaming society, the media, the Americans for what is hap¬pening is not good enough. Do we live by the law of the Quran or do we not?
"14le have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth." (Surah 46:1 S).
Do we perhaps want to live by the dic¬tum of the non-Muslims, where parents apologise to their children for repri-manding them when they are in the wrong, where dating starts at the age of twelve, and tell their parents "you do not own me." Of course parents do riot own their children. As the poet Khalil Gibran so wisely says "your children come through you, not from you"; nobody dis- putes that. Do however bear in mind that children come from Allah (SWT), and parents serve as the conduit. Parenting is a trust bestowed by Allah (SWT) to the parents, and since we are all here by the grace and mercy of the Supreme Being, Should we not obey Him when He repeats His instruction in Surah 31:14 
"And we have enjoined on man to be good to his parents: Ill travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning, hear Pie Command, Show grati¬tude to Me and to thy parents, lb Me is thy final goal."
To those who react this and have done similar, lesser or greater injustices to their parents, but feel thev were justified for one or other reason, Allah (SWT) goes further in Surah 31:15
"But ifthq strive to make thee joint in worship with Me things of which thou last no knowledge, obey them tiot, yet bear them company in this life Wilk justice and consid¬eration, and follow the way of those who turn to Me in love. In the end the return of you all is to ine, and I will tell you the truth and meaning of all that you did."
Here Allah (SWT) is referring to people ascribing partners unto Allah, to which there is no greater sin. So if we still have to be kind to parents who do this, what can they possibly (lo to their children that is worse than the sin of Shirk?
Should parents and children find they cannot agree on an issue, perhaps thev should employ what is erroneously known as a tool of the West: dialogue, talking things through, negotiating, which is in fact a principle of Islani-the principle of Shura. This is what our Rasool (SAW) did with his Saliaabahs, and is what all Muslims are enjoined to do.
Finally, read up the Hadith of the very pious man who lived during the time of our Rasool (SAW). In spite of his piety he Was unable to get his lips to form the Tahleel as he lay dying. Find out what our Nabi Muhammad (SAW), who was called upon to help, discovered as fie investigated the man's life. *




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