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Session 13: Mother's Day

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Mother's Day should be celebrated everyday.
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    Mother’s Day should be celebrated every day. By TahminaMiah. Many parts of the world celebrate Mother’s Day, here in the UK thisis celebrated around March and in the US around May,commemorating and focusing on their contribution to their family.But is that all the gratitude we can show to one of the toughest jobsin the world? One day and a bunch of flowers! In Islam parents,particularly mothers are held in very high esteem. There are verses in the Qur’an and hadith that stress the burdens that a mother carries and the respect that is owed to her.A quick browse of parenting websites leaves one overwhelmed with the numerousessential as well as desirable skills required, knowledge as well as the right attitude. Onewould think that you require a degree in almost every field to be fully qualified as amother. The hours of work are long and include evenings, weekends and even night shifts. You must be willing to work these variable hours. Some overnight travel mayberequired, expenses are not reimbursed, there are no paid holidays and the contract is ona permanent basis only. But the remuneration and benefits are what makes this role soattractive and rewarding, specifically the respect in this world and in the hereafter.A mother deserves great respect from her family. There are many instances that theProphet Muhammad (saw) commanded believers to respect their mothers: A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of  Allah! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet (saw) said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Thenwho?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari & Muslim). Prophet Muhammad (saw) hasenjoined goodness to the mother even before the father. A man once consulted theProphet (saw) about taking part in a military campaign. The Prophet asked the man if  his mother was still living. When told that she was alive, the Prophet said: “(Then) stay with her, for Paradise is at her fee t.” ( Tirmidhi). On another occasion, the Prophet (saw) said: “God has forbidden for you to be undutiful to your mothers.” (Bukhari). Allah (swt) has placed a heavy responsibility on the parents for the well-being of theirchildren in this life and in the hereafter: “Oh you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families against a Fire ...” [ 66:6]. It was narrated that Umar (RA) said: I heardthe Messenger of All ah (saw) say: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A manis the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of  her husband’s household an d is responsible for her flock... Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” [Bukhaari & Muslim]. A mother ought to provide herchildren with the correct foundation built upon Islamic principles. Parents shouldregularly engage in discussions with their children to teach them about Islam. Parentsshould also teach them that the commands and prohibitions are from Allah (swt) andnot us as parents. Parents should make them realise that they are not ultimatelyanswerable to us, but rather to Allah (swt) who is All-Seeing and All-Knowing. Parentsshould teach children the etiquettes of eating, sleeping, fasting, praying and interactingwith others.With this heavy responsibility placed upon us we should mentor the hearts and minds of our children to hope for the mercy of Allah (swt). In our absence, it is Him who is awareof their actions and who will report them accordingly. Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) gave thisincredible piece of advice, he said: Play with your children until the age of seven,    educate them for another seven, and befriend them for another seven.” From this advice we can determine that as parents we should recognise that our relationship with ourchildren progresses as they grow older. As they mature, we should attempt to establishwith them a relationship of companionship. We should create a friendship based oncommunal trust, respect, consideration and love. We must ensure that the atmospherein our home encourages this. When we speak to our children we should try and speak tothem using the best of speech just as the Prophet (saw) did. We should select the best words and talk to them in a respectful manner, if we are to expect the equivalent inreturn.Mothers however require a lot of patience and ought to be gentle in dealing withchildren. They need to create an environment where children feel that they can come tous for advice or to entrust us with information without fearing that they will not beunderstood or be in trouble. They need to establish an understanding with theirchildren that parents are here to help and guide them and not have power over them.This is an era when we need the trust of our children more than ever. Ultimately wemust do our utmost to be good role models for our children as it is our actions that theypay attention to rather than our words. Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an “Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).”[64:15]  It appears, though others may dispute this, is that many of us are not fully appreciativeor aware of the sheer amount of exertion and effort that goes into being a mother. And it is this workload that warrants such respect for the mother in Islam. It is not just thereligious aspects mothers need to be well versed in. She must comprehend thepsychology of a child to be able to interact with them suitably. She ought to understandhealth and nutrition to be able to provide balanced meals and promote a healthylifestyle. A good standard of education means she is able to help with school work.Further education such as A-levels, a degree qualification or equivalent is beneficial if  you’re considering home schooling, which is becoming increasingly prevalent. Beingcomputer/technically literate and   having technical knowledge and expertise is all thetime getting more and more necessary given that this is the generation of technology,with the materialisation of YouTube, Twitter, social networking and blogging youdefinitely want to be in the know and aware of the tech lingo.She needs to be an exceptional listener and communicator who can effectively conveyinformation verbally. She ought to have an incredible ability to assess a situation,manage multiple tasks, set priorities, and adapt to changing conditions. As well as theability to relate to her children and inspire them. She needs to be a leader who maintainsa creative atmosphere and confidently motivates, educates, and teaches her children tobe the best servants of Allah (swt) and members of their community. She has the abilityto design, plan, organise, and implement projects and tasks for the intellectual andspiritual development of her child. She further has the capacity to find solutions toproblems using creativity, reasoning, and past experiences. She is absolutely dedicatedand loyal to her family. She is energetic with a sunny disposition and has an upbeat,positive attitude. She is confident, enthusiastic and has a willingness to learn which shepasses onto her children. But above all she requires a big heart, a lot of patience andtrust in Allah (swt).It is the responsibility of every mother to look into improved methods and strategies of parenting. A wide variety of material both Islamic and secular is available. Reading thesefrom time to time helps increase awareness and vision. A mother has to know what sheexpects from her children, and then explain that to them. Many of us have heard of 5year business plans, a mother attempts to plan around 20 years of her child ’s life ! Each    child comes with his own distinctive potential. The Prophet (saw) has said: Humanbeings are like mines of gold and silver. Children have abilities that could lead to great achievements; a good mother tries to bring out the best in each child. She makes thechild develop his/her skills in whatever area he/she is good at, as well as remedy theweaknesses in each child. Additionally a mother’s gentle guidance can remedy many a flaw and weakness in the character of a child. This is all on top of household duties, if that is solely or largely her responsibility. Furthermore, she is responsible for ensuringthat harmony exists between all individuals living in the home. Love, care, and kindnessare all attributes that must be exhibited by her.A mother is a child ’ s biggest fan, supporter and well wisher. There is only onerelationship that exists where no jealousy is sensed when one party achieves a great deal more than the other, that is the relationship of parent and child. A father or mothertruly and proudly say ‘ that  ’ s my son or daughter ’ , while in other relationships such asthat of a brother and sister, best friends or even husband and wife, jealousy can stilloccur. With time, the challenge of motherhood is only getting further multifaceted. Theenvironment in which our parents grew up in is vastly different from the environment we grew up in and this difference in upbringing is getting more and more dissimilar.My conclusion is to love, respect and appreciate your mother. Don’t just limit this to oneday per year but endeavour to do at least one thing every day to demonstrate yourappreciation. Help her around the h ouse, tell her you’re sorry, thank her, compliment  her cooking, offer to do the shopping and continuously make du ’ a for her. Shewithstands your criticism and your temporary hatred, until you need something,because she loves you so much. Be grateful that you have been blessed with a mother.It  ’ s only befitting to end with this du ’ a: Allahumma Rabbir Hamhumaa KamaRabbayaanee Sagheeraa. Oh my Creator! Have mercy on both of them (my parents) asthey have brought me up (with love) from childhood. May Allah (swt) be pleased withthe way that we raise our children and may our children be a means of continuousrewards after our death insha-Allah. 
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