Grettings, yall 😀 i was going to post about Eid celebrations and gifts but I would like to quickly ask this and leave some words of remembrance for myself. I don’t know about anyone else, but my blog helps me ponder issues and problems when I write but more importantly, remember lessons in education or parenting I learned! It’s a record i can refer back to, a benefit and reminder, especially when someone posts a comment.
Forgive the simplicity of this post, perhaps I will elaborate more later. Answer the question: what is your role as a mother? I did a similar post about this, what are your goals of educating your children and this question is not really different, rather it is more comprehensive. Educating, training, and teaching our children is definitely interlinked with our role as a mother.
When I came across this question not only did it make me think, but what created more contemplation and realization was someone else’s comment. When this question was asked, a sister responded:
As the mother of a girl I saw and see my responsibility to instill high values of womanhood and humanity within her. Make sure she grows up as physically and psychologically healthy as possible. Give her the best knowledge of life and the world I can. And try to get her as educated with marketable work force skills as possible. And as well try to earn a living that leaves her with some kind of inheritance.
Al hamdulilah. I thought to myself, those are all true and lofty aspirations for raising a daughter. The last statement struck me though, because i immediately thought, well, not just about working and supporting herself, but what about marriage? Not only is it part of our religion, it is a proven biological drive as well as human nature to seek out a significant other, a partner for this life. As Allah says in His book:
< And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.> 30:21
Libas [ garments, i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with her – as in Verse 7:189) Tafsir At-Tabari], for you and you are the same for them.> 2:187
This was my response:
“Reading all the sister said, i’m in agreement, however, lastly, we must make sure she marries a man who fears Allah and can take care of her.
I feel my role as a mother is to protect her from her own whims, educate her in Islam, to know her Lord and worship him and yes, as M. said, raise her healthy and compassionate. Girls are a challenge! It’s a balancing act with their self esteem and image and correcting them. Oh! Protect them from the portrayal of women in the media AND the illusion of happily ever after (it’s not just about falling in love, marriage is hard work, but it IS a way into Jannah!)
Allah is the Provider, in this society it is important to have marketable skills but what gives us happiness is not a career or money it is personal, fulfilling relationships, fulfilling our role (as a husband, wife, mother, daughter or sister) and correct knowledge of our Creator and practice of our deen. ALSO, i realized not too far in the future she would be getting married and i didn’t want the poor brother coming to me asking what was wrong with her, lol (Because for years i waited on her and it made her lazy and not respectful). So i started not just assigning chores but teaching life skills, how to take care of herself, her hygiene, her home, and help with her siblings. Al hamdulilah she loves to cook and bake, learning all things related to it, so THAT opens up the door for fractions and science 😉 two subjects she wasn’t fond of before.
When i realized that i also realized the same with my son. I had to raise HIM to be a good husband and father in addition to knowing Allah and his responsibilities. So, he learns how to cook, clean his room and bathroom, take on more responsibility as he gets older, and not try to remove his sister’s scarf when they argue in public! lol. Loyalty and protection towards his family. In essence: teach my son how the prophet, salla lahu alahi wa salam was.
I feel good doing things for others, but it can create problems. We need to make sure we are not fulfilling cultural gender roles and ignoring the sunnah. The prophet, salla lahu alahi wa salam, did not depend on his wives constantly to bring him food or cook. He cooked, mended his own clothes and was compassionate but firm.
In retrospect, Rasulullah’s example IS the ideal example not just for my son but as well as for my daughter however where I failed was thinking doing everything for my kids was being a good mother; after all, that’s how MY mother was. However, i was an only child. I also realize I didn’t truly appreciate my mom until i had kids. I was selfish and even at the age of twenty, I still could not feel gratitude in my chest. I blamed my problems on my family upbringing, my parents and what I thought were their failures. No doubt I had a dysfunctional family but my mother was practically a saint. She wasn’t perfect and had to deal with her own hardships but she was very sacrificing and loved me unconditionally. I was a difficult, ungrateful, self-absorbed teen even till my early twenties. It wasn’t just having kids that made me appreciate her, it was becoming Muslim and learning to respect and value her. All praise is to God.
I do realize now that cleaning my daughter’s room for her and not assigning any chores or expecting anything from her except her studies made her selfish and ungrateful. Had i raised her from an early age with the Prophet’s sunnah in mind, how he didn’t depend on his wives or others, would have created in her the understanding that she is part of a household that must work together, and give her better abilities earlier and independence. My mind was always on “at the age of ten she has to pray and will be asked” when I should’ve trained her from the age of seven, as according to the hadith. Al hamdulilah though, we cannot say “if” in Islam. What’s important is that i realized the error of doing everything for her and not insisting she contribute by helping around the house and doing chores. I lacked consistency but now I’m more focused.
This was a great question and could be a good thread! It helps to clarify your intentions and goals when asked, al hamdulilah.
So what do you think your role is as a mother and after reading these two responses, what do YOU think in response to them and from your own experience?
As I returned to editing this, understood the sister’s comment of raising her daughter to ‘high values of womanhood’ includes motherhood, marriage, raising children, taking care of your home. However, that is MY interpretation of her statement, what do other women, think is the value of womanhood and more importantly, what does our Lord say about it and what was the example of the Prophet’s wives?*
May Allah reward you for your thoughts and comments and guide us to raise healthy families, who are a benefit to society and have righteous children who will pray for us when we are gone.
salla lahu alahi wa salam wa radi Allahu anhumma