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 A True Story with an American Mother

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PostSubject: A True Story with an American Mother   Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:55 am

A True Story with an American Mother

Last March 21st, all sons and daughters celebrated the so-called
“Mother’s Day” in an attempt to simulate the westerns in that
tradition. Where I live, my daughter started campaign collecting money
from her brother and sisters to mark that day. Nevertheless, I
intentionally maneuvered with my daughter to avoid the celebration till
two days after that occasion; we shared in a big lunch (no gifts
included) that made their mother feel happy. Seizing that opportunity,
I made it clear that, unlike the western culture, we are the Moslems
celebrate mothers every single day and that we do not specify a day in
recognition of mothers. And added that this way of paying attribute to
mothers is bazaar to our Islamic traditions.

To analyze the rational behind specifying the “Mother’s Day” in the
light of the western’s life style, it won’t be surprising as their way
of life necessitate that they should not only celebrate the “Mother’s
Day” but also the “Father’s day” as well. The tempo of their lives is
so fast and cloaked in materialism that they hardly feel that their
parents exist.

It is tragedy when the morning comes and your heart just dies. It is
tragedy when the feeling is gone and you don’t know why. It’s hard to
bear, with no one to love you as you’re fading away. This is exactly
the case when parents grew old and don’t have enough money for sitters.
At this time, their sons and daughters send them, without incurring any
sins, to the orphanages or the house of the old. They pay them visits
every now and then, especially on the “Mother’s Day” when they offer
them some gifts as the tradition dictates (not as being a thankful son
or daughter).

At the time I was preparing for my master degree, I was a witness
of a case where an old lady used to live alone in her house. This came
to my knowledge through the lady who was printing my research papers
for she was her sitter for limited hours in return of few dollars. I
was stunned to know this old woman has son and daughters whom I never
saw though I was a frequent visitor for about a month. By the course of
the time, the old lady familiarized herself with me that she felt with
great relief whenever I was around pushing her on her wheel chair to
the front garden in order for her to enjoy the sunlight. She felt with
great gratitude for sacrificing my time for no money in return. She
told me how ingratitude her sons and daughters are and that they rarely
visit her. She added that the only way to tempt them pay her a visit
was through offering them money or some presents in advance.

Seeing me pray on daily basis, she realized that I’m a Moslem and
requested that I leave my rug on the floor (unfolded). Thus, the issue
of Islam was brought about. She started to ask about the way Islam
treats parents, especially the old, and how the old are dealt with in
the Arab World. I talked to her how the sons and daughters are thankful
to their parents. I also translated the meaning of some of the verses
in the Quran and the prophetic narrations that urge obedience, respect
and mercy to the old. She burst into laughter and admitted that Islam
has made the “Mother’s Day” a life long for parents.

Soon after that, the old lady showed great interest in the subject and
started to search for all the verses in the Quran that particularly pay
special attention to the importance of the parents to God. She realized
that God repeatedly gives high esteem to the parents that they are
mentioned every time God urges us we truly worship Him and after the
warning against polytheism. She asked that the prophetic narration
“Paradise is under Mothers’ feet” be framed in her saloon. She remarked
that due to Quran and the prophetic narrations, Moslems have no excuses
not to be thankful for their parents. She also considered that
according to Islam, parents are the walking paradise on earth that can
be attained provided that sons and daughters be thankful to them. When
she realized that the Moslems celebrate the “Mother’s Day”, she
commented with bitterness that in the west, they celebrate “Mother’s
Day” to compensate for the days they never saw their parents. The old
lady added that if all ill-treated American mothers knew how your
religion urges good treatment of parents, they would definitely revert
to Islam.

Soon after that she became interested in the concept of monotheism
and how it associated with the well-treatment of the old. I made it
clear to her that Moslems believe in Jesus as prophet, not as God, and
I explained that we differ in the accepting the doctrine of trinity. I
urged her to read the verses regarding Jesus and Mary the Virgin to
realize how Islam dealt with Christianity. I also explained to her that
we as Moslems believe that Jesus will return to earth and that we don’t
believe that he was crucified. After examining the verses regarding
Jesus and Mary the Virgin, the old lady admitted that Quran shed light
upon Jesus and Mary the Virgin in a way that casts any doubts about his
being human in these verses. Requesting more details about the nature
of Jesus in Islam, I presented her the evidence that Jesus was
mentioned in the Bible through listening to some tapes by Gamal Badawi,
a Moslem scholar, that were about “Mohammed in the Bible, and Jesus in
the Quran”. Afterwards she commented that she had some doubts
(unspoken) regarding thinking of Jesus as God. She found her piece of
mind realizing fro the Quran that Jesus was a human being and one of
the prophets sent by God to mankind. Commending on the verses of the
Quran, she was assured that whoever ignores these concepts (being
thankful to parents and thinking of Jesus as a prophet) is really

She refused to announce that she reverted to Islam considering her
health problems (as crippled) and to guarantee her sons’ and daughters’
visits (though rare), in addition to the ongoing Church care. She
preferred to keep her status quo for fear she might die in her

Having finished my master degrees, I returned to Jeddah to receive
her letters for three months. Before going back to the States, I was
informed that she was hospitalized, and that she wished if she were
born a Moslem so that she would find her sons and daughters around her
in all walks of her life ( just as recommended in the Quran and the
prophetic narrations).

I took haste to the hospital to find out that she passed away and
that she was hoping she could see me before it was too late. The last
thing she even uttered was “When will Mohammad “my son” arrive? To that
I burst into tears that I drew the attention of all people around. She
was such a good mother with much kindness. But she had no sons or
daughters to really bestow their kindness and mercy in a way that would
cause them to enter paradise.

I prayed that God to have her abode in His Paradise, accept her a s a
true Moslem as she died testifying that there is no other God but Allah
(monotheism) and that Mohammad (Peace and Blessing of Allah Be Upon
him) is His messenger.

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PostSubject: Re: A True Story with an American Mother   Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:56 am

The Value of Motherhood in Islam

Fatima Barkatulla - student and mother of sons, aged three and nine months

A man once came to the Prophet Muhammad and asked him "Oh Messenger of
God, who amongst the people is the most deserving of my good company?"
The Prophet replied "Your mother." The man then asked who came next and
the Prophet said again "Your mother." The man yet again asked who came
after, and the Prophet yet again replied, "Your mother." The man asked
"Then who else?" Then the Prophet said "Your father."

In this way the Prophet made clear to the Muslims that the
position of the mother and the honour and esteem in which she is held
is paramount and that she is the most deserving of our good treatment
and companionship.

In the Qur'an too we see that after devotion to God, parents are
the most deserving of our good behaviour and the role of the mother is
specifically recognised and praised. When parents reach old age, they
are included in the family and should not be neglected and lonely, just
as they looked after us when we were helpless children. In this way the
cycle of mutual care between parents and children is sustained.

I myself have felt valued and admired as an ftm in the Muslim
community, indeed it's something Muslims respect greatly in a woman,
but being born and brought up in the UK, I often felt that
full-time-motherhood was not only undervalued but barely mentioned as a
dignified and desirable option in the Girls' School I went to. I think
the reason that people look at motherhood in such different ways boils
down to how they view the roles of men and women in general.

In Islam, women and men are equal in the sight of God, but they
are different and consequently have different roles to play…both roles
are as important as each other and they complement each other. This is
the only way a harmonious society can exist: when men are men and women
are women; when we embrace our femininity and our nature and stop
fighting against it, yearning to be something we are not.

Muslim women have the right to be fully supported because the
responsibility for maintenance is fully on the shoulders of the men. In
fact when a Muslim woman gets married, she is given a marriage gift as
part of her nuptial contract and is given all the required provisions
for her welfare and protection. Any wealth she owns or earns personally
is her own and is entirely at her disposal and she doesn't have to
contribute to the family funds unless she wants to. When my own husband
was made redundant a couple of years ago, I was not expected to go out
to work and even when funds were low, we budgeted and were patient with
the situation until things got better. In fact if things had gotten
really bad, other men from our relatives would have helped out. Being
an ftm takes precedence and is seen as essential by both of us, as well
as our families.

If a mother wants to work or pursue any useful occupations, she
may, after mutual consultation between husband and wife. (I myself am
studying at home for my degree through an open-college course). But
this is if her sacred role as wife and mother is not neglected. Her
role as a mother is seen as indispensable to society because the family
is a microcosm of society and without her, the future generation would
lack the healthy moral conscience that is needed for the success and
stability of the individual and the community at large. Children have a
right over us and deserve our attention and care.

Apart from the fact that I love my children and love being with
them and guiding and teaching them, I hope that God will reward me in
this life and the next for being a devoted mother…and this is the
Muslim belief - that every good thing a mother teaches her child, every
bit of love and compassion she shows them and every sacrifice she makes
for them will be rewarded by God, and her reward will increase and
increase if her child passes on what she has taught and will keep
increasing as long as the effects of what she instilled in him last in
generations to come! What a wonderful image! The effect of what we
mothers do is like a pebble falling into a lake and causing a great
ripple that influences generations after us!

As for education, then Islam sees educating women as absolutely vital! As an Arab Poet says:

The Mother is a School

If you prepare her properly,

You will prepare an entire people of good character.

The Mother is the first Teacher,

The most important of them,

And the best of them.

Need I say more?

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PostSubject: Re: A True Story with an American Mother   Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:20 pm

Thanks admin jan for the nice story!

I would read this carefully and will write something more about soon!

Keep it up
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PostSubject: Re: A True Story with an American Mother   Wed May 12, 2010 4:42 am

Salaam brothers and sisters,
this is very interesting and true. we should love and respect our parents and other elders. when they are old we should look after them unless they are out of control even then we have to see what can we do..... i have to admit that some mother in laws are very difficult to deal with..... sometimes the mother in law and the poor new pride must be seperated even though the son have rights to look after their parents but when conflicts occur then life is hard.... i was going to post this yesterday but i had no time.... i was going to write that a friend of mine is married and she has 2 kids under 5 yrs of age and they all live in her mother in laws house but things are very difficult. the mother in law is very difficult to live with and she cannot stand to deal with the kids making noise while they are playing and since the house belong to her not her son she is very over protected what the kids should touch and etc.... so in this curcumstances what are you suppose to do? not to mention this people live in Australia where life is way different then the arab and other countries where you just put up with it and live because you must care for your elders.
take care all
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PostSubject: Re: A True Story with an American Mother   Thu May 13, 2010 2:02 pm

Wa Alaikum Al Salam WRWB,
Many thanks Sister jan for the story.
It is really difficult to live in a family even one of the family member is not happy with you, what will happen when the elder of family is against you!

Allah may guide her to the right path and be patient to the noise of the kids!
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