The Value of Mothers
Allah states the importance of treating women, especially mothers, well. Parents do their best to give their children a good education, a decent character, and teach them to treat all other people properly. Given that they make many sacrifices, financial or otherwise, for many years, the children are obligated to return their efforts and selfless support with respect and service. Allah reveals this responsibility:
We have instructed man to honor his parents. (Surat al-‘Ankabut: 8)
We have instructed man to be good to his parents. (Surat al-Ahqaf: 15)
Say: “Come, and I will recite to you what your Lord has made forbidden to you: that you do not associate anything with Him, that you be good to your parents, that you do not kill your children because of poverty-We will provide for you and them, that you do not approach indecency-outward or inward, and that you do not kill any person Allah has made inviolate-except with the right to do so. That is what He instructs you to do so that, hopefully, you will use your intellect.” (Surat al-An’am: 151)Every mother suffers for many months and displays great devotion in order to give birth. As Allah reveals, this is an agonizing process for her. After this period, she adopts a selfless devotion and begins to feed and nurture her child. Allah reminds people of this reality and points out that mothers are very special beings. In addition, He advises people not to forget their parents’ selfless devotion to them and to treat them equally well when they reach old age and become dependent:
Your Lord has decreed that you should worship none but Him, and that you should show kindness to your parents. Whether one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say “Ugh!” to them out of irritation, and do not be harsh with them; rather, speak to them with gentleness and generosity. Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility and say: “O Lord, show mercy to them as they did in looking after me when I was small.” (Surat al-Isra’: 23-24)
As we all know, old age means the loss of physical strength, dynamism, health, and energy. Such people become dependent on other people’s care, protection, and help. Their mental faculties decrease, and they come face to face with memory loss and other problems. Muslims, as required by Allah, treat their elderly parents with compassion, tolerance, understanding, and care.
In the verses cited above, Allah reveals how Muslims should treat their elderly parents. As we see, He forbids Muslims to show even the slightest disrespect toward their parents and commands them to say nice things and treat them gently so that they will have no reason to become upset. As a result, Muslims are very understanding, considerate, and careful with their elderly parents. They do their best to make their parents comfortable and continue to love and respect them. Considering the difficulties and complaints associated with old age, Muslims try to provide for their parents’ needs before being asked to do so. Whatever the circumstances, they are always polite and giving.
Muslims not only provide for their parents’ spiritual and psychological needs, but also do everything to meet their material and financial needs. Allah reveals that parents have rights to their children’s financial assistance:
They will ask you what they should give away. Say: “Any wealth you give away should go to your parents and relatives, orphans and the very poor, and travelers.” Whatever good you do, Allah knows it. (Surat al-Baqara: 215)