Mothers in Islam
What is the fifth commandment?
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
The Old Testament specifically commands us to honor parents. It is nitpicky to point out that honoring the father is listed before honoring the mother. This may be due to sentence structure or the way the language was spoken. Just keep it in mind for now.
Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) father died before he was born. When he was six years old, his mother, Amina, died. Then, he was raised by a wet nurse, Halima, under the guardianship of this grandfather. These two women were very important in his life. And, as seen in the previous post, Muhammad’s (PBUH) later life includes well-respected women.
In Islam, the Qu’ran places the importance of kindness and honor to parents as second only to worshiping Allah:
“Do not make [as equal] with Allah another deity and [thereby] become censured and forsaken. And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” (Al-Isra 22-24)
Prophet Muhammad also emphasized the important place mothers hold in Islam:
“A man asked the Prophet: ‘Whom should I honor most?’ The Prophet replied: ‘Your mother’. ‘And who comes next?’ asked the man. The Prophet replied: ‘Your mother’. ‘And who comes next?’ asked the man. The Prophet replied: ‘Your mother!’. ‘And who comes next?’ asked the man. The Prophet replied: ‘Your father'” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The mother – who is FEMALE – is afforded three times the respect of the father. This is a clear statement, often referenced, and well known in the Muslim world. So…I don’t know what a lot of the drama is about. (Yes, I’m being flippant.)