9) Mercy extended towards mothers even during the Salah
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “I stand up to lead Salat with the intention of prolonging it. Then I hear the crying of an infant and I shorten the Salat lest I should make it burdensome for his mother” [Bukhari]
The kutbah was all beautiful and peaceful that day. My 1yr old was a happy baby sitting with her 3yr old aapi (big sis) enjoying the tranquility of the mosque. The imam said takbir and the beautiful silence prevailed. We finished the first rakah and then came the second…As the fatihah started, it got muffled by the continuous crying of a distressed baby…
And I realised it was MY BABY!
The very moment I said my tasleem, I rushed to pick her up and hugged both of my kids. I could sense the stares. And then I heard the imam saying through the speaker… “I hope that the elderly ones like me and the rest of the daughters will be patient with this great mother who chose to bring such little kid with her and didn’t hold back. Let the kids develop love for the masaajid.”
I found myself with buckets of tears rolling down my cheeks drenching my kids’ hair as they cradled in my lap. I wish I could remember every word he said that made all those annoyed stares turn into pride and encouragement, but it was all an emotional haze after those few words…
Continuous experiences and interactions make things easier for both parties. If we take children away from the mosques, they will never learn how to accommodate other people and people will never learn how to accommodate the kids!
May Allah develop the love of masajid in our children’s hearts because one of the 7 who will be under Allah’s shade in aakhirah will be the people who worshipped Allah from a young age! May Allah make our kids one of those!
10) Jannah awaits us (in shaa Allah)
Jibreel came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “O Allah’s Messenger ﷺ! This is Khadija coming to you with a dish having meat soup. When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (Allah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a Qasab palace in Paradise wherein there will be neither any noise nor any fatigue (trouble).” [Sahih Bukhari 3820]
As I walked while rocking my inconsolable newborn in my arms, tears filled my eyes thinking of a palace in Jannah that was promised to Khadija رضي الله عنها – a palace without noise or fatigue.
The Arabic words used in the hadith are:
means a mixture of noise, shouts, and cries.
means distress, fatigue, to exert to the utmost, struggle hard, stand upright, being in a vertical position, illness, and sorrow.
Having young kids means you’re likely surrounded by all that. While drowned in ‘sakhab’ and ‘nasab’ myself, I realised that Khadija was also a mother of young kids back then. And a glad tiding of a palace without any noise and fatigue must have been such a timely joyous moment for her.
It’s also a reminder for us that we do this all for the sake of Allah. We don’t do it so our kids grow up to serve us. We don’t do it so we can have a certain status in society. We don’t do it so we have someone to depend on in our old age. May we all remember that we do it for Allah alone. And that intention fuels the motivation to keep going.
We often see parents striving so hard to motivate kids toward Jannah while forgetting themselves in the process. These women are amazing examples of those who strove towards Jannah themselves and inspired their children towards that beautiful goal too 💞
11) The importance of a mother over fard kifaayah (communal obligation)
It was narrated from Mu’awiyah bin Jahimah As-Sulami, that Jahimah came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said:
“O Messenger of Allah! I want to go out and fight (in Jihad) and I have come to ask your advice.”
He said: “Do you have a mother?”
He said: “Yes.”
He said: “Then stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.”
[Sunan an-Nasa’i 3104]
When it’s hard to walk and the weight of my womb swells my legs, I remind myself Jannah is beneath my feet.
When I hide in the bathroom just to shed all the tired tears I’ve been holding onto all day long in front of the kids, I have to remind myself that Jannah is right beneath my feet.
When the baby is up all night long and I wake up tired and sleepless even though I’ve been in bed for 10 hours, I close my eyes one last time to affirm that Jannah is indeed beneath my feet.
When people asked me what I did all day long and I wanted to answer “tried my best to pave my way towards Jannah”, I reminded myself that Jannah is beneath my feet but they wouldn’t understand.
When I read the hadith where Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “…Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked undesirable things.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 6487], I reminded myself that motherhood is not all sparkles and smiles, but those undesirable things put Jannah beneath my feet.
When I became a mother and realised why my own mother was so worried about me even when I was all grown up and independent, I reminded myself that she too has Jannah beneath her feet.
And when I look at all the mothers around me struggling day in and day out without any appreciation or help, I console myself that one fine day, with the Mercy of Allah, their hardships will be replaced with ease. In Jannah that was all along wrapped beneath their feet.
My Prophet told the whole world through his hadith that Jannah was beneath the feet of a mother, yet I couldn’t understand why everyone asked if I was “just a mother”?
Yes, I am! I’m just a mother! And if being one for the sake of Allah puts Jannah beneath my feet, I’m happy to be just that!
Just. a. mother.
12) A mother comes thrice before the father
Abu Huraira reported that a person said:
Allah’s Messenger! Who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment?
He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother,
then your father…[Sahih Muslim 2548b]
Every time I shifted in my sleep because of reflux during pregnancy and saw my husband sleeping fast asleep, I thanked Allah for my ranks thrice higher.
Every time I wobbled like a penguin while my husband reached the destination in half the time, I thanked Allah for my ranks thrice higher.
Every time the contractions got worse and my husband couldn’t do anything but reassure me, I thanked Allah for my ranks thrice higher.
Every time I woke up at night sacrificing my sleep to nurse the baby while my husband drifted off into his dreams, I thanked Allah for my ranks thrice higher.
Every time I cried through the initial pain of nursing while my husband felt helpless because it was only my body capable of such a miracle, I thanked Allah for my ranks thrice higher.
Every time I woke up with pain all over my body feeling like 10 years older because I’ve had no sleep for years while my husband felt 10 years younger, I thanked Allah for my ranks thrice higher.
Every time I saw those nursing little eyes glaring back at me while my husband couldn’t experience all of those beautiful moments, I thanked Allah for this honour of carrying and nurturing His amaanah and for my ranks thrice higher….
It’s easier to undermine our roles as mothers based on what we are being fed by society. Knowing my self-worth means recognising the honour Allah has granted me – that He has not granted any man on this earth. It’s HARD! No wonder Allah calls these stages “wahnan ala wahn” in the Quran (hardship upon hardship), but no high rank comes without its challenges. When Allah has put us three ranks higher, it’s a shame that we keep putting ourselves down and keep ourselves last on the list of everything.
13) Allah’s Mercy and Love is far beyond a mother’s love
Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah created 100 units of mercy on the Day He created the heavens and the earth. Each one of them can contain all that is between the heaven and the earth. Of them, he put one on earth, through which a mother has compassion for her children…” [Riyad as-Salihin 420]
How can something take so much from you yet give you so much is beyond me.
I know it’s right when we say that motherhood has taken so much from us. But it gives us so much more than what we ask Allah for.
It saps our energy but gives us double the power.
It wears us down, but also gives us the ability to stand up back again.
It makes us extra emotional, but it also grants us that extra emotional strength.
It feels like a royal maternity leave that started way before this responsibility was actually given to us. Every year, Allah gives us more than 80 days off of prayers without the expectation of making them up later on. Although we could have not chosen this duty of bearing children by the end of it all, we were given all the benefits as our bodies prepared for this massive honour. Or we could have not been given this duty of childbearing at all by Allah Himself and yet we could still be eligible to enter Jannah because ibaadah comes in so many forms…
SubhaanAllah, this is just a fraction of His Mercy…The vastness of it all baffles me…
May all of us be among those who are showered 99 parts of His Mercy in Aakhirah too!
14) To not praise or follow unrealistic ideals
It was narrated from Aishah (رضي الله عنها) that: The Prophet ﷺ came in to her and there was a woman with her. He said: “Who is this?” She said: “So-and-so, and she does not sleep.” And she told him about how she prayed a great deal. He ﷺ said: “Stop praising her. You should do what you can, for by Allah, Allah never gets tired (of giving reward) until you get tired. And the most beloved of religious actions to Him is that in which a person persists.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i 1642]
STOP PRAISING HER…Since I’ve read this hadith, I can’t get it out of my head.
The phrase “stop praising her” is EVERYTHING! Because that’s where our self-esteem and our self-care are threatened. Whenever I praise someone on something so unideal, I recall this hadith and ask myself – the people I’m praising (especially in front of my kids), are they sacrificing something that they shouldn’t in order to achieve this said greatness? Because I’m also setting unreal standards in front of the kids by praising them.
Prophet ﷺ said “Stop praising her” because she was constantly sacrificing her sleep to pray while Allah gave her that body as an amaanah. Aisha (رضي الله عنها) was impressed by her, but Prophet ﷺ asked her to stop idealising her because she was supposed to take care of her body too. Her time was for her family too.
If you want to do something consistently, it’s so important to not go overboard. Know your obligations so you are not preferring nawafil over fara’id. Your basic sleep and fard Salah come before nafl prayer. Your prayer comes before your business. Your family comes before your community.
Every time you feel out of balance, ask yourself if you are sacrificing things that you shouldn’t? Are you sacrificing your basic needs because you want to meet these unreal standards? Is that coming from hearing society’s constant appraisal of something unideal?
It starts with YOU! Stop praising her. Stop praising him. Stop praising them. If they are sacrificing the wrong things, whatever is built upon that won’t hold much value in front of Allah because of the lack of foundation beneath. So stop praising them. Stop praising him. Stop praising her!
15) Every effort counts
Prophet ﷺ said…”all that is good is Sadaqah.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1970]
When I feel like I’m not doing anything for the world at large as a mother of small kids – a mother who feels like her existence has no “bigger purpose” but to soothe a fussy baby, to put tired kids to sleep, to hug a frightened soul, to feed a hungry stomach, to be a crying shoulder, to teach fiddly legs to walk, to calm down a stressed toddler, to play and nourish the little minds, to clean their messes over and over and over, I remind myself that sadaqah comes in so many forms. Our intentions are enough to turn any everyday task into sadaqah.
So next time you smile at your kids even though you just cried in the bathroom, consider it a sadaqah.
When you hug your children even though you’re too exhausted to move your limbs, consider it a sadaqah.
When you bite your tongue even though you want to scream at the kids because they have stepped on your every last nerve, consider it a sadaqah.
When you nurse your teething child the whole night while sacrificing your rest, consider it a sadaqah.
When you do the mundane tasks day in and day out, which no one appreciates, but you keep doing them for the sake of Allah, consider it all a sadaqah.
You may have empty pockets, but you have a heart that gives and gives and gives.
So I make dua that each of these sadaqah is multiplied manifolds in reward and you see a forest where you planted just one seed.
I make dua that you’re able to feel the breeze from jannah beneath your feet when the weight of this world crushes your shoulders.
I make dua that you leave your legacy in the form of righteous human beings, a legacy which leaves an impact not only on your children but all your generations and those they impact.
Aameen thumma Aameen!