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Online Quran Academy - Islamic Mentors

The Noble Status and Role of Motherhood in Islam

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Introduction

In Islam, Motherhood is considered a precious gift from Allah (SWT). Mothers are respected for their boundless love, selflessness, and nurturing role in raising children. Mothers serve as the foundation of our communities; their guidance and stability shape individuals and families, fostering the leaders of tomorrow in the next generation.

As children grow, they are taught the importance of kindness and obedience to their parents. Islam places mothers at the center of the family unit, acknowledging their sacrifices and their impact on the upbringing of children.

As Muslims, we are not only taught to be kind, obedient, and gentle to parents, but we also bear a significant responsibility. We should always treat our parents respectfully and follow their guidance as long as it aligns with Allah’s (SWT) teachings.

The Status of Mothers in Islam

The status of motherhood in Islam is highly respected and holds greater importance than in any other religion in the world. Islam grants mothers a noble position that surpasses that of any other family member.

The Quranic verse emphasizes the duty of kindness towards parents,

(surah Al-Ahqaf verse 15)
“We have commanded people to honor their parents. Their mothers bore them in hardship and delivered them in hardship. Their (period of) bearing and weaning is thirty months. In time, when the child reaches their prime at the age of forty, they pray, “My Lord! Inspire me to be (always) thankful for Your favors, which You blessed my parents and me with, and to do good deeds that please You. And instill righteousness in my offspring. I truly repent to You, and I truly submit (to Your Will).” (surah Al-Ahqaf verse 15)

This verse underlines the hardships mothers endure from pregnancy to childbirth and beyond. It highlights our duty to treat our parents, especially our mothers, with kindness and thankfulness for their sacrifices.

In a famous Hadith narrated from Hazrat Mu’awiyah bin Jahimah As-Sulami (RA), Jahimah came to the Prophet (SAW) and said:

“O Messenger of Allah (SAW)! I want to go out and fight (in Jihad), and I have come to ask for your advice.” He (SAW) said: “Do you have a mother?” He said: “Yes.” He (SAW)said: “Then stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.”

[Sunan an-Nasa’i 3104]

In another Hadith of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW), a person came to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and asked,

“Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (SAW) said, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Who next?” “Your mother,” the Prophet (SAW) replied again. He asked, “Who next?” He (SAW) said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” Thereupon, He (SAW) said,” Then your father.”

[Riyad as-Salihin 316]

Inspiring Mothers in Islamic History

In Islam, many mothers have shown great faith, love, and commitment. These women are examples of strength and kindness, inspiring others.


Hazrat Maryam (AS), the Mother of Prophet Isa (AS)

Hazrat Maryam (AS) is considered one of the greatest women. The Quran dedicates an entire chapter to her story, highlighting her faith and trust in Allah Almighty’s plan. Despite facing the societal challenges of being an unmarried mother, she raised Prophet Isa (AS) with love and instilled in him the teachings of Islam.


The Mother of Hazrat Musa (AS)

The story of Hazrat Musa’s (Moses) mother is powerful evidence of a mother’s courage and faith. During a time when Pharaoh (Fir’aun) ordered the killing of all newborn boys, she placed her infant son in a basket and set him afloat on the Nile River, entrusting his fate to Allah Almighty’s protection. Her bravery and sacrifice ensured Hazrat Musa’s (AS) survival and his eventual role as a Prophet.


Hazrat Hajar (AS), the Mother of Prophet Ismail (AS)

Following Ibrahim’s (AS) call from Allah (SWT) to leave her and her infant son Hazrat Ismail (AS) in the barren desert. Hazrat Hajar (AS) displayed incredible strength and trust in Allah Almighty’s plan. After a period, the water ran short, and Prophet Ismail (AS) cried due to thirst. Hazrat Hajar (AS) ran between two hills, Safa and Marwa, in search of water. Through her determination and prayers, water miraculously started from the ground, giving rise to the Zamzam Well, which sustains pilgrims to Mecca even today.


The Rewards of Motherhood in Islam

Motherhood in Islam is more than a responsibility; it’s a journey filled with blessings and rewards in this life and the hereafter. Here’s how Islam honors the dedication and sacrifices mothers make:

Paradise Awaits: Fulfilling your duties towards your mother and treating her kindly paves the way for Paradise. A Hadith states: “Paradise lies at the feet of mothers(Sunan an-Nasa’i 3104). A mother’s happiness and well-being are important to a child’s success in the afterlife.

Powerful Prayers: A mother’s sincere duas (supplications) are believed to hold immense power and are more likely to be accepted by Allah (SWT). Knowing your mother’s prayers are with you can be a source of comfort and strength.

Divine Blessings: Raising righteous and responsible children brings beautiful blessings (Barakah) into the family and the community. A mother’s nurturing guidance and love are important in shaping such children. Witnessing your children grow into positive, contributing members of society.

Respect and Recognition: Islam emphasizes honoring your mother throughout her life. Treating her with kindness and respect strengthens your bond and earns you respect within the family and community. Fulfilling your role as a good son or daughter brings a sense of satisfaction and inner peace.


The Mother Rights in Islam

Islam places great importance on mothers, recognizing their sacrifices and efforts in raising children and nurturing families. These rights are deeply rooted in Islamic teachings, ensuring mothers are treated with respect, compassion, and financial security. Here is a detailed overview of the various rights of mothers in Islam:

Providing Care: Just as mothers dedicate their lives to their children’s well-being, children are responsible for caring for their mothers, especially in their golden years. This includes providing for their basic needs, offering emotional support, and ensuring comfort.

Quran states, “For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honor your parents.” (Quran 17:23). Just as mothers care for their children when they are helpless, children must care for their parents.

Respect and Honor: Islam elevates respect for mothers to a sacred level. Children are instructed to avoid any behavior that could be construed as disrespect, including harsh words, dismissive actions, or even a sigh of frustration, like saying “uff,” towards their parents (Quran 17:23).

Financial Support: Financial burdens should not weigh heavily on mothers. If a mother is unable to support herself, her children are obligated to ensure her financial needs are met. This duty extends to widows, divorced mothers, or those in situations where their husbands cannot adequately provide. Children are responsible for providing necessities like food, clothing, and shelter.

If you want to learn more about Talaq, click on the link and explore Divorce in Islam: Understanding Talaq and Its Implications

Maintaining Relationships: Maintaining relationships with those a mother values is a continuance of honoring her memory. Children should keep in touch with their mother’s relatives and friends. This practice reflects the importance of maintaining the bonds of kinship and friendship that were important to the mother.


  • Maternity Leave: Islam grants mothers a mandatory leave of absence after childbirth. This allows them time to recover physically and emotionally and to focus on bonding with their newborns.
  • Child Custody: While fathers are often seen as primary guardians, mothers have rights to child custody in specific situations, such as during divorce proceedings, ensuring their continued involvement in their children’s lives.
  • Inheritance Rights: Both sons and daughters inherit from their parents, guaranteeing mothers financial security even after separation or widowhood. This inheritance can provide peace of mind and help them maintain their independence.

Parenting in Islam: The Mother as the First Institution

In Islam, motherhood goes beyond simply giving birth. It’s considered the cornerstone of a child’s life, where mothers act as the First Teachers and Nurturers. They play an important role in shaping a child’s moral compass, spiritual foundation, and intellectual development.


  • Instilling Values and Faith: Through daily interactions, lullabies, and stories, mothers become a child’s first exposure to Islamic values. They teach essential concepts like honesty, kindness, respect, and compassion. These early lessons become the building blocks of a child’s character and guide their future choices.
  • Practicing the Faith: Mothers play a crucial role in introducing Islamic practices to their children. This can involve performing prayers together, teaching simple Quranic verses, and celebrating Islamic holidays with joy and understanding. These experiences foster a love for Islam and create lasting memories.
  • Building Confidence and Emotional Security: A mother’s love and care create a safe haven for a child. Her warm embrace and gentle words provide a secure environment where a child feels comfortable exploring the world. This emotional security builds confidence and allows the child to develop healthy relationships in the future.
  • Balance and Support: The Quran emphasizes the importance of seeking help and maintaining balance in Family life (Quran 2:186). Fathers also play a vital role in Islamic parenting, sharing childcare responsibilities and providing emotional support. Extended family members can also form a supportive network.
  • Lifelong Learning: Mothers are on a continuous learning journey. Resources like Islamic lectures, Quran study, or online courses can help them deepen their knowledge, allowing them to better guide their children on their Islamic journey.

For more information about parenting in Islam, visit the following blog posts:

Proper Behavior Towards Mothers

Motherhood in Islam is recognized as the backbone of the family. Here’s how you can demonstrate respect and fulfill your duties towards your mother:

  • Gratitude is the Foundation: The Quran emphasizes showing gratitude towards your parents [Quran 17:23]. Express your appreciation for her sacrifices, both verbally and through your actions.
  • Respectful Communication: Kindness goes beyond just actions. Speak to your mother gently and respectfully, even when you disagree.
  • Always There to Lend a Hand: Be readily available to assist your mother whenever she needs you. This could involve helping with emotional support.
  • Patience and Understanding: As with everyone, mothers can make mistakes or have moments of frustration. Practice patience and understanding. If something bothers you, communicate calmly and respectfully, avoiding outbursts of anger.
  • Obedience: Obey your mother’s wishes, as long as they don’t contradict Islamic teachings. However, if she asks you to do something wrong, explain your position respectfully and offer an alternative solution.
  • Gentle Guidance, Not Force: If your mother’s beliefs differ from yours, approach the situation with gentleness and understanding. Engage in respectful dialogue, offering Islamic teachings as a guide, but avoid pushing your views forcefully.

Pray for her welfare. The best prayer is the one taught by Allah (swt) in the Quran:

Surah Al-Isra ayat 24 about treating parents.
“Be merciful to them as they raised me when I was young.” (Surah Al-Isra 24)

Seeking Forgiveness from Mothers

Seeking forgiveness from your mother holds great significance in the motherhood of Islam. If you have wronged your mother, it is important to seek her forgiveness. This is a way to show guilt, mend the relationship, and fulfill the mother’s rights.

There is a well-known incident about the Sahabi Hazrat Alqamah (RA), who could not declare his Shahadah (testimony of faith) at the time of his death because he was disobeying his mother. When Alqamah’s (RA) condition became critical, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) sent two companions to him so that he could utter the Shahadah, but Alqamah still couldn’t say it. Then, the Prophet (SAW) called for Alqamah’s mother and asked her about the situation. She revealed that she was upset with Alqamah. When she forgave him, Alqamah (RA) finally declared his Shahadah. This incident reminds us of the greatness of a mother and the power of forgiveness.

Here are some tips on how to seek forgiveness from your mother:

  • Be sincere. Make sure you genuinely regret what you did and are committed to changing your behavior.
  • Be honest. Tell your mother exactly what you did and why you did it.
  • Be humble. Apologize and ask for her forgiveness.
  • Be patient. It may take time for your mother to forgive you.

Conclusion

Motherhood in Islam goes beyond the act of giving birth and contains spiritual, emotional, and social dimensions. In Islam, mothers are highly respected and revered for their deep impact on individuals and society.

Their dedication and sacrifice play a crucial role in nurturing the next generation and shaping the ethical community. Islam’s teachings highlight and honor the role of mothers, recognizing their contribution as a cornerstone of a virtuous society.

In today’s fast-paced world, where values may sometimes be overshadowed, Islam’s focus on motherhood serves as a timeless reminder to appreciate and uphold the rights of mothers with dignity and respect.

Let us take this opportunity to express gratitude to our mothers, recognizing their invaluable contributions today and every day. By incorporating these teachings, we honor a fundamental aspect of the Islamic faith and improve our lives with compassion, gratitude, and respect.

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