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Status and Honor of Mother in Islam: Respect of Muslim Mothers

Status and Honor of Mother in IslamIn Islam, the status, honor, respect and esteem attached to motherhood is unparalleled. Noble Qur'an places the importance of kindness to parents as second only to worshipping God Almighty:

Ek Hasti Hai Jo Jaan Hai Meri
Aan Se Bhi Bhar Kar Maan Hai Meri
Khuda Hukm De Agar To Kardoon Sajda Ussay
Kuyn Ke Woh Koie Aur Nahi Maa Hai Meri

Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, And that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, Say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they cherished me in childhood. (Noble Qur'an, 17:23-24)

One of the most convincing things about the religion Islam is the treatment of women in general and particular the high position and honor of mothers.

Noble Qur'an in several other places puts special emphasis on the mother's great role in giving birth and nursing: "And We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents: In travail upon travail did his mother bear him and in two years was his weaning. Show gratitude to Me and to your parents." (Noble Qur'an, 31:14)

"We have enjoined on the human being kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth." (Noble Qur'an, 46:15)

The very special place of mothers in Islam has been eloquently described by Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw): "Jannah lies at the feet of your mother's"

"A man asked Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw): 'Whom should I honor most?' Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) replied: 'Your mother'. 'And who comes next?' asked the man. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) replied: 'Your mother'. 'And who comes next?' asked the man. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) replied: 'Your mother!'. 'And who comes next?' asked the man. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) replied: 'Your father'" (Bukhari and Muslim)

A person came to Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and said: 'O' Prophet of Allah! I have committed every known evil act. Is there a chance that I may be forgiven?' Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) asked him: 'Are any of your parents still alive?' The man replied: 'My father.' He said to him: 'Go and be good and kind to him.' When he left, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: 'If only his mother had been alive.'" (Biharul Anwar)

Among the few precepts of Islam which Muslims still faithfully observe to the present day is the considerate treatment of mothers. The honor that Muslim mothers receive from their sons and daughters is exemplary. The intensely warm relations between Muslim mothers and their children and the deep respect with which Muslim men approach their mothers usually amaze Westerners.

Famous companion of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) or Sahabi-e-Rasool and a great scholar of Islam, Abdullah ibn Abbas (ra), considered kind treatment of one's mother to be the best deed for strengthening or rectifying one's relation with God Almighty. He said: I know of no other deed that brings people closer to Allah (SWT) than kind treatment and respect towards one's mother.

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as) used to treat his mother with so much kindness and love as seen in the following narration:

Once he was asked, "You are the most kind person to your mother, yet we have never seen you eating with her from a single dish/plate." Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as) replied, "I fear that my hand would take what her eyes have already seen in the dish/plate and then I would be disobeying her."

In other words, he, Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as) was so careful not to disobey his mother that he would even avoid eating out of the same plate as her; He thought that she would see a morsel and intend to take it, but before she did he might unknowingly take that same morsel and eat it. This is how careful he was to obey his mother in the most minute details.

All that has preceded above shows how the status of mothers and consequently that of women - is elevated to the highest position in Islam. Honor of Mothers in Islam is beyond that found in any other religion, ideology or culture. This is a very clear proof of the lofty status of Muslim Women.

Hazrat Owais Qarni or Sahabi-e-Rasool Uwais al-Qarni (ra): Status and Honor of Mother in Islam

Sahabi-e-Rasool Uwais al-Qarni (ra)Love is the only melody welcomed by its sufferer, who never desires to recover from it. All the sick hope to be cured, but this sick one sobs, crying "Increase my Sickness." - Maulana Rumi

Hazrat Owais Qarni was born in the village of Qarn in Yemen. His father passed away leaving Hazrat Owais Qarni an orphan at a very young age. Hazrat Owais Qarni was a very pious and noble person. He had embraced Islam while Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam was still alive. He naturally had a very strong desire to see Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) but since his mother was too old and she needed his help and care, he could not visit Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam in Madinah. As a reward of his service to his mother, he was given the title and status of a Sahabi-e-Rasool (Companion of Prophet) even though he could not see Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) personally in his life time.

A famous story regarding Hazrat Uwais al-Qarni: After the second battle of Islam called as Battle of Uhud, when Hazrat Owais Qarni came to know that Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam had lost a few teeth during the encounter, he himself broke all his teeth one by one till none was left - as he did not know exactly how many or which ones were lost by Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. His extreme love for Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam made him question why he should have teeth when Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam had lost his own.

Many times in the company of his Companions, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) stated, "I can smell the beauty of my friend from the land of Yemen." This statement is in direct reference to the spiritual greatness of Hazrat Uwais al-Qarni.

One day, Hazrat Owais Qarni had asked his mother's permission to visit Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam and she said: "You have my permission to go, see him once, and come straight back without staying over night in Madinah. If our Beloved Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam is at home, you may meet with him; if not, come straight back here." Hazrat Owais Qarni then completed a journey of three months on foot, from Yemen to Madinah. When he reached Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam's house, he knocked on the door and Ummul Momineen Hazrat Umme Salma opened the door. She told him that Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam was not in home and he (saw) was out of station. Hazrat Owais Qarni remembered his promise to his mother and replied, "Please convey my Salaams to my Beloved Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Kindly inform him that Owais came from Yemen, did not find him at home and is now returning back to Yemen, since he does not have permission from his mother to stay over night in Madinah."

When Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam returned home from the journey, he (pbuh) found the radiance of Hazrat Uwais al-Qarni in his house. Ummul Momineen Hazrat Umme Salma told him what had happened and conveyed Hazrat Owais Qarni's salutations. His blessed eyes looked towards Yemen and our Beloved Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam said, "The fragrance of our friend is reaching us."

Noble Companions then enquired: "Ya Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, if Owais is your friend, for what reason did he not stay to meet you?" To this, Rasulallah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam replied, "He complied with a promise given to his mother and he is serving her."

As reported by the renowned historical scholar Ibn Batutah, Hazrat Owais Qarni's tomb is found in Ar-Raqqah, Syria, where he was martyred in the Battle of Siffin. He fought for Imam Ali (as) against Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan in the Battle of Siffin in 657 CE.

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Thursday, May 5, 2011