Women in Islam and the Status of Mothers

As-salámu ‘alaikum wa rahmatul láhi wa barakátuh!”
“A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem.  Bismilláhir rahmánir raheem.
Al hamdu lillahi nahmaduhu wanasta’eenahu, wanastagh-firuhu, wanatoobu ilayhi, wana’oothu Billaahi min shuroori an-fusinaa, wamin sayyi aati a’maalinaa. May- Yahdillahu fa huwal muhtad, wa may- yudlill falan tajidaa lahu waliyan murshida. Wa ash-hadu an Laa ilaaha ill-Alláh, wahdahoo laa shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhoo warasooluh”
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Islam is one of the leading religions to give a very high status to women and may be the only religion to place mothers above all levels in humanity.

The status of women in Islam is unique and all rights are fully given. Even though in some Islamic countries the status of women has been degraded by the regional cultures, women and especially mothers are the most respected human beings in Islam. A famous saying of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is, “Paradise is at the feet of mothers.”

In Islam, women can be seen in three major roles: mothers, wives and daughters. In each of these roles Islam has given them extended rights in accordance with their rightful status within the family as well as in society.

If we first consider women as wives, they have an equal position to their husbands in terms of their responsibility towards Allah (SWT), in their religious duties and worship responsibilities. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) expected his wives to adopt this level of religious responsibility. Wives should be seen as their husbands’ natural partners in family life and household management. They can also have financial independence and they do not need to spend their own financial gains as men are responsible for providing for the needs of the family. Wives have the primary responsibility for the home. Wives can even claim their right to obtain a divorce if the right conditions arise.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) made it an important duty for Muslim husbands to be good to their wives and he (SAW) said; ‘The best among you is the one who treats his wives with the best manners.’ Islam expects husbands to take responsibility for treating their wives with good manners, as well as each hoping and endeavouring to be the best man among believers.

In another hadith, in the farewell sermon, the Prophet (SAW) said, regarding the rights of women, ‘O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.’ It is also important for Muslims to recognize that the marriage contract is very sacred and that it is proclaimed under the trust and permission of Allah.

The status of daughters is very important in Islam as well. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has given glad tidings of paradise to believing men who have 2(or 3) daughters. He indicates that a believing man who has 2(or 3) daughters, brings them up and educates them, teaches them good manners then gives them away in marriage deserves to go to paradise. This is a very important teaching, declaring the true significance of daughters who could be an important pathway to paradise. In another hadith Prophet Muhammad (SAW) declares; ‘Learning and education is compulsory for both man and woman.’ This gives boys and girls an equal opportunity for of seeking knowledge and education. Daughters are also seen as mercy for their families.

The highest position is given to mothers in Islam. They are the ones who will guide children to paradise. One day a man came to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asking, “O Messenger of God, who among the people is the most worthy of my good company?” The Prophet (SAW) said, “Your mother.” The man said then, “Who else?” The Prophet (SAW) said, “Your mother.” The man asked, “Then who else?” Only then did the Prophet (SAW) say, “your father”.

Mothers enjoy high esteem as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) gives a very important priority to mothers over fathers. This is due to their sacrifice during pregnancy and the sufferings mothers go through before and after the birth of any child. The Qur’an also gives references to their sufferings, especially during pregnancy. They deserve respect from their children because of what they have done for them.

The significance of mothers comes from their very important role in the upbringing of children. They are the first teachers of faith and conduct. Mothers have been entrusted with the responsibility of teaching faith, religion and good manners to the next generation of Islam.

Dear Believers,

We have to understand the significance of women in our lives whether they are wives, daughters or mothers. They are the backbone of the family, they are the backbone of Islamic teachings and they are the ones with primary responsibility for raising up the next generation of believers. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was unlucky in not benefitting from his mother’s love and affection but he showed us and explained to us how we should treat our ladies in all their different statuses. Looking at the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) treatment of Khadija, or Aisha or of his daughter Fatima will be vital guidance in the lives of Muslims.

May Allah reward us, and give us strength and power in practising our faith correctly. May Allah also help us to live our lives according to Islamic rules, do what we are ordered to do and abstain from evils which we are asked to keep away from.

Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen. Was-salaatu was-salaamu alaa Khayril mursaleen. Muhammadin-nabeey-yil Ummiy-yee, wa-‘alaa aalihee, wa sahbihee, aj-ma’een.
Ammaa ba’ad:
Innalláha wa malaaikata yusallúna alan nabi. Yá ay yuhal latheena ámanu sallú alayhi wasalli mú tas leema. Allahumma salli alá Muhammad, wa ala áli Muhammad, kama salayta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali Ibrahim. Allahumma barik ala Muhammad, wa alaa áli Muhammad, kama barakta ala Ibrahim, wa ala ali ibrahim. Fil ála meen, innaka hameedun majeed.”

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