Islam blesses mothers with an exceptionally noble status and bestows them with numerous rights. It very comprehensively outlines the rights of mothers. Islam prescribes a higher level of respect and nobility for mothers than for all other members of the family. It also gives mothers the esteemed status they deserve for the hardships they endure in giving birth and raising children.
Islam obligates children to treat their mothers with respect and kindness at all stages of life. Muslims should always be obedient and dutiful to their parents, particularly to their mothers. We must always show good manners to our mothers and give them the respect that Islam tells us to.
Status in Islam
Mothers have a lofty status in Islam, which is the only faith that sufficiently honors them. Islam gives mothers a noble status that is higher than that of any other member of the family. In Surah Al-Isra, we see that Allah commands us to worship Him alone and treat our parents well. We should always speak to them in an honorable manner. We should treat them with mercy and ask Allah to have mercy on them for raising us. It is noteworthy that being good to parents is mentioned alongside worshipping Allah alone without any partners.
Hence, Muslims cannot afford to underestimate the importance of treating their parents well and obeying them, particularly their mothers. Out of the two parents, Islam gives the mother the highest status. After all, she is the one who goes through all the difficulties of giving birth and raising children.
The bond between mothers and children is stronger than that with any other family member. It is a bond that is unanimous and also exists among animals. There is no shortage of footage of mother animals risking their lives to protect their children. Undoubtedly, we should never underestimate the love a mother has for her children.
There are numerous ahadith that establish the esteemed status of mothers in Islam. Heaven is below the feet of mothers, according to a hadith in Sunan An-Nasai. Also, when someone asked the Prophet (PBUH) who is most worthy of his good treatment, he replied by mentioning the man’s mother three times before his father and then his closest relatives. According to a hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari, being undutiful to one’s parents is among the worst of sins.
Loving and respecting mothers
In Islam, our mothers are entitled to our love and respect. She is the one who deserves love and respect more than any other relative. After all, it is only the mother who endures all the hardships of giving birth to kids. Then, she loves them unconditionally and looks after them. The care a mother has for her children is unmatched. It is the duty of children to reciprocate the love their mothers have for them. We should love and respect our mothers at all times.
Even if one’s mother is strict or harsh, he should ensure that he does not disrespect her. Ultimately, whatever one does, it is impossible for one to repay his mother for all that she does for him or her. Abdullah Ibn Umar once saw a Yemeni man carrying his mother on his back and going around the Kaaba. When the man asked if he had repaid her, Ibn Umar said that he had not even compensated her for a single contraction during childbirth.
A mother’s rights in Islam: Being taken care of
Mothers devote an immense amount of time to looking after their children. They clothe them, feed them, and look after them when they are sick, in the most patient and caring manner. The least they deserve in return is that their children look after them. It is essential for children to fulfill this right of their mothers and take care of them.
When their mothers grow old and frail, children must look after them. Just like parents take care of us when we are vulnerable, we should do the same for them. We should always ensure that we take care of their needs. Children should never even think of abandoning their parents in their old age. We should never forget our parents’ favor upon us, which we are incapable of repaying.
A mother’s rights in Islam: Her children should not offend her
Children should never offend their mothers or displease them with their speech or actions. In Surah Al-Isra, we learn that we should not even say “uff” to our parents. Thus, Islam very strictly instructs us always to be respectful. If we can’t even say “uff” to our mothers, there is no doubt that we should never be disrespectful to them. We must never be rude to them and hurt their feelings. Nor should we do things that upset or displease them.
A mother’s rights in Islam: Spend on her if needed
If one’s mother is needy, such as in the case of a widow, divorcee, or if she is married to a man who is poor, one should spend on her and meet her needs. Her child should buy food for her and take care of her needs. One must never deny his mother this right. Mothers put so much time and effort into taking care of their children. In comparison, spending money on her and aiding her with her needs is the least one can do to show his or her gratitude.
A mother’s rights in Islam: Obey her in good
Children should always obey their mothers. Our mothers have our best interests at heart. They have far more life experience than us. Their wisdom means that they generally know what is good for us. When we are young, we often may not know what is best for us and still think otherwise. Islam commands us to be obedient to our parents.
Therefore, we should never defy our mothers and go against their wishes. We should always listen to them and never undermine or dismiss their commands. The only case in which a person is not supposed to obey his mother is when she tells him to do something that is wrong. For example, one should not obey his mother if she asks him to commit shirk. Allah comes first for every believer. Hence, even the mother’s command should not be followed if it requires a person to disobey Allah.
A mother’s rights in Islam: Fulfill her vows after her death
After one’s mother passes away, one should fulfill any vows that she had made. It is Sunnah to do so. It is also Sunnah to give charity on her behalf. Moreover, it is Sunnah to perform Hajj and Umrah on her behalf. In a hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari, the Prophet (PBUH) told a woman whose late mother had vowed to perform Hajj to perform the pilgrimage on her mother’s behalf, just like she would repay a debt on her behalf. The Hajj she would perform on her mother’s behalf would fulfill her mother’s debt to Allah.
A mother’s rights in Islam: Keep ties with her loved ones after her death
A Muslim should maintain ties with his mother’s loved ones after her death. This includes her relatives and friends with whom she would stay in contact. In a hadith in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (PBUH) said that the best of virtuous deeds is for one to keep in touch with his father’s friends after his passing. Similarly, one should uphold ties with his mother’s loved ones after her death.
Islamic teachings to be mindful of
Children should always show gratitude towards their mothers and never forget all that they did for them. They should always be kind to their mothers. Mothers show incredible love and care for their children and deserve all the kindness in the world in return.
Kids should always be at their mothers’ service when she needs something from them. Mothers care about their children’s needs more than any other person does, and children should show their gratitude by always being at their mothers’ service when required. Furthermore, children should never display annoyance, even if their mothers are doing something that deeply irritates them. It is the children’s duty to only ever speak to their parents in an honorable manner.
One should not repel one’s mother and must always speak to her gently. In addition, children should always pray for their mothers. The best prayer in this regard is the prayer for parents in Surah Al-Isra, which involves asking Allah to have mercy on our parents because they raised us when we were little.
Seeking forgiveness from mothers
If you have wronged your mother in any way, it is important to seek her forgiveness. This is a way to show remorse and mend the relationship. It is also a way to fulfill her rights as a mother.
Here are some tips on how to seek forgiveness from your mother:
- Be sincere. Make sure that you genuinely regret what you did and that you 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.
Abu Umamah narrated that a man said that:
“O Allah’s Messenger(ﷺ), what are the rights of parents over their child?” He said:”They are your Paradise and your Hell.” (Daif)
Being patient with mothers
As mothers grow old, they may become more frail and dependent on their children. It is important to be patient with them during this time and to provide them with the care and support they need.
Here are some tips on how to be patient with your mother:
- Remember that she is your mother. She loves you and has always been there for you.
- Be understanding. She may be going through some difficult changes as she ages.
- Be helpful. Offer to help her with tasks that she may find difficult, such as cooking, cleaning, or bathing.
- Be compassionate. Be sensitive to her needs and feelings.
And We have commanded people to ˹honour˺ their parents. Their mothers bore them through hardship upon hardship, and their weaning takes two years. So be grateful to Me and your parents. To Me is the final return. ( 31:14)
Making supplications for mothers
Supplication is a powerful way to invoke Allah’s blessings and guidance for our mothers. We can supplicate for their health, well-being, and forgiveness.
Here is a supplication that you can make for your mother:
“O Allah, forgive my mother, have mercy on her, and grant her a good place in the hereafter. Ameen.”
You can make this supplication in your daily prayers, or anytime you feel like it.
In Islam, mothers hold a uniquely revered status. Their rights and the obligation to treat them with respect and kindness are paramount. Islam teaches that mothers are deserving of unwavering love, patience, and care. Even after their passing, fulfilling their vows, maintaining ties with their loved ones, and seeking forgiveness if wronged are essential. Supplications for their well-being reflect the profound honor Islam bestows upon mothers.