As a Muslim woman and a mother of two young children, one of the things I have always appreciated about my faith is the high status and great honor that women are given in Islam, particularly mothers.
As a young girl I had always heard the saying of the Prophet Muhammad that, “Paradise lies under the feet of your mothers.” But, I feel, I never truly understood the meaning of those words until I became a mother myself.
I have realized that Islam accords such a high status to mothers not only due to the physical toll of pregnancy, birth, and childrearing, but also due to the tremendous responsibility that comes with being a mother, not to mention the constant worry about whether we are doing a good enough job as a parent.
Now, I negotiate the challenges and rewards of motherhood with a deeper appreciation of everything my mother has sacrificed for me and with a deeper understanding of why paradise may be found under a mother’s feet. The Prophet’s words resonate twofold: they encourage us to be watchful of mothers who create a paradise for our children while at the same time encouraging us to serve our parents, to take care of them and show them mercy in their old age as a means to attain bliss in another life. On this Mother’s Day, I am grateful for the occasion to reflect on this aspect.