What does Islam say about “mothers”?

This is one of the most convincing things about Islam – the treatment of women in general and, especially, mothers of high standing in Islam.

Among the clearest examples of Islam’s honor to women is the great status of the mother in Islam. Islam commands kindness, respect and obedience to parents and
specifically emphasizes and gives preference to the mother as will be shown in this article. Islam elevates parents to a higher status than that found in any other religion or ideology.

The commandment to be good for parents begins in the Qur’an. God says:

“Worship God and do not associate with Him, and be kind to your parents …” [Holy Quran 4:36]

The mention of bondage to parents follows immediately after bondage to God. This is repeated throughout the Qur’an.

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you will be kind to your parents: if one or both reach old age in your life, do not speak a word of contempt to them, nor repel them, And, out of kindness, lower your wing of humility and say: “My Lord! Grant them Your Mercy, just as they loved me as a child. ” [Holy Quran 17: 23-24]

The great scholar, Abu al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi explained:

To be kind to parents is to obey them when they tell you to do something, unless it is something that God has forbidden; Prioritize your orders on voluntary acts of worship; To abstain from what they forbid you to do; To provide them; To serve them; To approach them with gentle humility and mercy; Don’t raise your voice in front of them; Not even to fix your gaze on them; Nor to call them by their names; And be patient with them.

The Quran emphasizes the great struggles that a mother goes through for her son, to highlight the need to repay their parents’ sacrifice for them:

“And we order the man to be good to his parents: in labor, his mother carried him and his weaning lasted more than two years.” Thank Me and your parents, for Me it’s the final destination “. [Holy Quran 31:14]

The renowned critic, Shaykh Abdur-Rahman As-Sa’di, says of this verse:

“… And for your parents …” – meaning, being kind to your parents, pouring love, affection and pity on them, both in words and actions, treating them with tender humility, foreseeing for them and never harming them verbally or physically .

Why should we be kind to our parents?

So God mentions the reason why we should be kind to our parents, when He says:

“That your mother gave birth to you in labor…”

That is, the mother suffered constantly; In pain and difficulty from the first moment she felt the child moving in her womb to the worst pangs during the delivery time.

“And your weaning is for two years”

That is, during these two years the mother breastfeeds her child and takes care of him. So, after all the years of suffering, suffering, love and care, couldn’t we at least make up for our mothers for what they did for us and give them back their rights?

The Quran repeats its mention of the mother’s struggles in yet another passage:

“And we ordered the man, his parents, a good treatment: his mother carried him with difficulties and gave birth to him with difficulties, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows up] until, when he reaches Maturity and reaches [the age of] forty, he says: “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor that You have given me and my parents and to work the righteousness that You will approve and make my children fair to me. In fact, I repented of You, and in fact, I am of the Muslims. ” [Holy Quran 46:15]

Mother has more rights than father

In connection with this passage, the late Great Mufti of Pakistan, Shaykh Muhammad Shafy wrote:

Although the first part of this verse is an order to do good to both parents, the second sentence refers only to the difficulties suffered by the mother, because they are inevitable, and no child can be born without them. Each mother has to go through pregnancy problems and severe labor pains. In contrast, it is not necessary for a parent that he suffers any difficulty in educating and educating the child, if he can afford to pay someone else for these services. That is why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave the mother more rights than anyone else. According to a hadith he said:

“Do good and serve your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, close relatives and then those who come after them”. [Mazhari]

“And their transportation and weaning are in thirty months” [Holy Quran 46:15]

This sentence also describes the difficulties suffered by the mother for her baby. She points out that, even after suffering difficulties during pregnancy and labor pains, the mother does not receive rest from work, because the babies’ natural food is in her breasts, and she has to breastfeed them.

Mother, mother then father

Prophet Muhammad is continually used to remind his followers of the status of the mother and the obligation to be good to the parents. The following account is a beautiful example of the mother’s noble position:

A man came to the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of God! Who among men guarantees the best company for me? He replied, “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? Then he replied, “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? Then the Prophet replied again, “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? Then he replied, “So, your father.” (Sahih Bukhari 5971 and Sahih Muslim 7/2)

Commenting on this hadith, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi notes:

This hadith confirms that the Prophet ﷺ gave priority to the kind treatment of the mother over the kind treatment of the father.

Similarly, the late Saudi Arabian mufti, Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz comments on this hadith saying:

Thus, this requires that the mother be given three times the taste of kindness and good treatment than the father.

He also writes:

The secret of its importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility placed on it and the difficulties it has to endure – responsibilities and difficulties, some of which not even a man carries. That is why one of the most important obligations on a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good company with her. And in that matter, she must be given precedence above and above the father. […] And I have no doubt that my mother – may God mix His mercy on her – had a tremendous effect on me, in encouraging me to study; And she helped me with this. May God greatly increase your reward and reward you with the best rewards for what you have done for me. (Majmoo ‘Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwi’ah)

Paradise at the mother’s feet

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also said in a famous narration:


What could be more evidence of honoring women than that? Islam effectively placed the ultimate reward for human beings in their devotion to mothers.

Shaykh Ibrahim Ibn Salih Al-Mahmud writes:

Treat your mother with the best companionship, then your father; Because paradise is under the mother’s feet. Never disobey your parents or make them angry, otherwise you will live a miserable life in this world and in the future, and your children will treat you the same way. Ask your parents gently if you need anything. Always thank them if they give it to you, and excuse them if they don’t, and never insist on a subject if they refuse to give you something.

It is reported from Talhah ibn Mu’awiyah as-Salami who said:

I came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of God, I want to do Jihad in God’s way. He asked, “Is your mother alive? “I replied,” Yes. “The Prophet said: Your feet, because paradise is there. “(At-Tabarani).

Shaykh Nidhaam Sakkijihaa comments:

Holding on to your feet means submitting to it, being close to it, protecting it, serving it because in this is Paradise and with your satisfaction you will enjoy the good blessings of God.

Prophet Muhammad mostrou showed us the importance of serving parents in the following narration reported by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud:

I asked the Prophet: ‘O Messenger of God, what is the best action?’ He replied, “Prayer is offered in time.” I asked, ‘What next in God?’ He replied, “Be obedient and kind to your parents.” I also asked, ‘What next in God?’ He replied: ‘Jihad in the cause of God. [Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim]

Disobedience to parents is one of the biggest sins

Just as the Prophet said that kindness to parents was one of the best actions, he also said that disobedience to them was among the biggest sins:

“The biggest sins are associating partners in worship with God, being indolent or unkind to parents, killing a soul forbidden by Allah and giving false witness.” [Sahah Bukhari]

The first generation of Muslims to respect women

Even after the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, Muslim scholars continued to emphasize the importance of being obedient to the mother. In examining the conduct and teachings of early Muslim scholars, one can see how the direct recipients of the Islamic message understood the command to be obedient to parents. His behavior towards parents shows Muslims how to implement the Prophet’s teachings about honoring parents.

Abdullah Ibn Abbas , companions of the Prophet and a great scholar of Islam, considered his mother’s kind treatment as the best action to strengthen or rectify the relationship with God. He said:

I know of no other action that brings people closer to God than kind treatment and respect for the mother. [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhari 1/45]

An even more powerful example is found in the statement by another of the Prophet’s companions, Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar , who was also a great scholar of Islam. It has been reported that:

Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar saw a Yemeni man executing Tawaf (circling Ka’bah) while carrying his mother on his back. This man told Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar: “I am like a meek camel to her! I carried her more than she carried me. Do you think I paid it back, O Ibn ‘Umar? ” Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar replied: “No, not even a contraction !!” [Al-Adab al-Mufrad Bukhari 1/62]

SubhanAllah (Glory to God)! The efforts of a man who carries his mother on his back while performing tawaf cannot even repay his mother for a single contraction that she went through. Wise was, in fact, Ibn ‘Umar’s response to this man to show him how he was massively indebted to his mother. This is the tremendous value and prestigious position of mothers in Islam!

Yet another example is found in the following prophecy of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:

A man named Uways ibn ‘Amir from the Murid clan of the tribe of Qaran will arrive with reinforcements from Yemen. He had leprosy, but he was cured, except for a coin-sized dot. He has a mother and he has always treated her with kindness and respect. If he prays to God, God will fulfill his desire. If you can ask him to pray for forgiveness for you, then do so. [Sahih Muslim 16/95]

In fact, later “Umar ibn al-Khattab met Uways who was just as the Prophet described, and about Umar’s request” Uways prayed for him. Commenting on this narration, Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi writes:

What high status he attained by virtue of his kindness and respect for his mother, so the Prophet recommended his companions from Sahabah to seek him out and ask him to pray for them!

All of this indicates the high status to which Islam has elevated the position of motherhood, and given the mother precedence over the father. At the same time, Islam has given importance to both parents, and has recommended kindness and respect to both.

Kindness to your parents leads to paradise

So great was the Islamic emphasis on parents, that Muslims saw it as a great opportunity to reach heaven in service to the mother.

Iyas Ibn Mu’awiyah was a famous Islamic scholar of the second generation of Muslims. When his mother died, Iyas Ibn Mu’awiyah screamed. He was asked, “Why do you cry?” He said: “I used to have two doors open to Paradise, now one of them is closed.”

Zayn al-‘Abidin (d. 713CE) was the great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and also a renowned scholar. He used to treat his mother with such kindness and love as seen in the following account:

He was once asked, “You are the kindest person to your mother, but we have never seen you eat from a single plate with her.” He replied, ‘I’m afraid my hand will take what your eyes have already seen on the plate, and then I would be disobeying it.’ [At-Tartushi, Birr al-Walidayn]

In other words, he was so careful not to disobey his mother that he even avoided eating out of the same dish as her; He thought she would see a lot and intends to take it, but before she did he could unconsciously take the same piece and eat it. It was so careful that he obeyed his mother in the smallest detail.

Another ancient Islamic scholar, Sa’id Ibn Al-Musayyib , was asked about the meaning of the verse “but to direct them in terms of honor” [Holy Quran 17:23].

Sa’id Ibn Al-Musayyib replied:

This means that you must address them as a servant addresses his master.

Muhammad Ibn Sirin  used to speak to his mother in a very soft voice, out of respect for her. He was also often seen in the company of his mother and taking care of her. (Ibn al-Jawzi, Birr al-Walidayn)

All of the above shows how the status of mothers – and consequently of women – is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The honor given by Islam to mothers is beyond that found in any other religion, ideology or culture. This is clear proof of the high status of Muslim women.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment