The mother of my child

I’m not a mother. But I’ve been blessed with a great one for almost a quarter century. That’s education enough, at least for one thing:

Choosing a partner who embodies the top four qualities I believe a mother must have to help their Muslim children, in the words of the Quran (which mean), {"He made her grow in a good manner…"} [Quran 3:37]. So here they are:

1. Maturity: This trait leads my list because the surest way to guarantee a child won’t be reared properly is for it to be raised by another child. A woman of minimum maturity cares for the souls that have come from her womb like the Heavenly blessings they are: Far and away, the most important family responsibility for both mother and father. The wise woman knows the wellbeing of her offspring comes before her career, social life, even her own needs.

2. Knowledge: Education, both Islamic and academic (not that these are different), is essential in a good mother. It is not a coincidence that children of highly educated parents often do well in school. My prototypical mother is one who can help the little ones with their academics even when they get to be big ones and go on to higher education.

Moreover, a woman who is well grounded in the religious sciences makes the very best soil for child growth. That old adage about mother being the first teacher is entirely true.

During my own childhood, for instance, my mother made an effort to treat birthdays and our many other market-driven holidays just like any other day. I intend to liberate my children accordingly, having freely lived the great benefits of this policy. A good Islamic background does, indeed, have a righteous domino effect on the character of our children and, therefore, the virtue of the family.

Now, Islamic knowledge means more than giving children a laundry list of "do’s and don’ts." I was particular when I used the phrase "religious sciences" regarding a good mother’s education, for a mother, like a father, needs to understand how it is that we come to judgments, practices, and jurisdictions from the Quran and Sunnah. In this way, children will not merely accumulate disconnected outcomes but learn the processes by which they are to deduce their own conclusions about moral and religious issues, instead of blindly following a person or group.

3. Patience and mercy: I really can’t think of more crucial human characteristics than these twin attributes. Mothers facing the frenzied pressures of our tough social environment profoundly need both. It is critical that a good mother refrain from hitting or veiling at her children out of frustration, of which there is much to go around. Children carry the emotional scars of unnecessary and unfair beatings with them into adulthood and often develop complexes and hold grudges against their parents because of this. Additionally, it is sinful for any of us to abuse our authority in the form of harmful physical or verbal abuse.

4. Role modeling: The mother I envision for my own children is, most of all, a role model, an integrated example of Islam in motion. For it is by this that she will best represent for her children how one lives as a whole human being. It is, moreover, the preeminent, most dependable way for her to gain their sovereign respect, on top of the natural feelings they have for her as their mother, which is important. Children should live thinking that their mother is close to perfect. She can’t forbid her child from listening to hip hop music, for example, while she sways to R&B or Arabic songs. Part of modeling is also literal: She dresses modestly and carries herself with the dignity a Muslim woman should.

This is not only ideal for daughters but sons, as well. The girls learn how they ought to behave and the boys— along with that—begin to understand what they should really want in a wife, someone whose merits approach the high standard they have grown up with in their mother.

I have no illusions about being able to supplant a mother’s role in the life of the children I pray that God gives me. For rearing a child correctly does, indeed, take an exclusive dedication from a "real" woman.

Yet just as mothers grow proud of’ their children, so too daughters and, perhaps, especially sons, swell with a unique sense of honor when they begin to realize the worthiness of their mother. Soon, they will be looking around to see how other mothers treat their children and comparing it to their own situations.

I ask Allah to grant me, and all my unmarried peers, children of the righteous who esteem their mothers. I know no human being is perfect. But good Muslim mothers (mom!), you come closer to this than any of us.

2017-12-30T08:42:47+00:00 May 7th, 2017|Beliefs, Islam, Society|