And the paradise is under the feet of your mothers. - Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Islam has greatly emphasized the issue of loving and respecting the parents, the father and the mother. In our infancy and childhood, we needed the protection, love and nurturing of the parents; but when they become old, they need us to protect them and take care of them.
"Your Lord has commanded that you shall not worship (anyone) but Him and to be good to the parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) 'Ugh' nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word. And lower for them 'the wings of humility' out of mercy; and pray; 'O my Lord! Have mercy on them as they brought me up (when I was) little.'" (17:23-24)
However, out of the two, the mother has been given greater priority as far as kindness is concerned. Once Hakim bin Hizam came to the Prophet of Islam and asked: "To whom should I be kind?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother." Hakim asked, "Then to whom?" The Prophet said, "Your mother." Hakim asked, "Then to whom?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother." Only when Hakim asked the fourth time that, "Then to whom?" the Prophet replied, "Your father." This shows that the right of mother upon the children is three times more than the rights of father as far as kindness is concerned.
Imam Ali bin Hussain, the great-grandson of the Prophet, said: "Coming to the rights of relatives, it is the right of your mother that you should appreciate that she carried you [in her womb] as nobody carries anybody, and fed you the fruits of her heart which nobody feeds anybody, and protected you [during pregnancy] with her ears, hands, legs, hair, limbs, [in short] with her whole being, gladly, cheerfully and carefully; suffering patiently all the worries, pains, difficulties and sorrows [of pregnancy], till the hand of God removed you from her and brought you into this world."
"Then she was most happy feeding you, even if she herself had no clothes; giving you milk and water; not caring for her own thirst; keeping you in the shade, even if she had to suffer from the heat of the sun; giving you every comfort with her own hardship; lulling you to sleep while keeping herself awake."
"And [remember that] her womb was your abode, and her lap your refuge, and her breast your feeder, and her whole existence your protection; it was she, not you, who was braving the heat and cold of this world for your safety."
"Therefore, you must remain thankful to her accordingly, and you cannot do so except by the help and assistance from Allah." (The Charter of Right, p.18)
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