When I was a little girl – and probably anyone else born in a Muslim household – I was told a special story that lives with me to this day. A man went to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and asked “Who is most deserving of my kindness?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked, “Then who?” The Prophet said “Your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet said, “Your father.”
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5626, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2548
Not only in Islam, but in my family, as well as in many others I can only assume, a mother comes first, second and third, even before you reach your father. Don’t get me wrong, that in no way means that a father’s place and presence is not significant or overlooked. But in Islam, we are taught that no one could ever compare to a mother’s love, devotion and care for her children. We are taught to appreciate the endurance she goes through, and not only through pregnancy and childbirth.
Another saying I always appreciated was “Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.”
Nasai, Jihad, 6
Without my mother, it’s undeniable that I wouldn’t be nearly half the woman I am today, and there probably is not a day that goes by that I don’t learn something valuable from her. My mother studied mechanical engineering, and was the only women in her department: that taught me to work hard and dream big. She also sacrificed so much for her family: that taught me to be appreciative. Yet most importantly, she has always been there for me, and that taught me the true depths of what it takes to be a mother.
To every mother, caretaker and provider, to the mothers in heaven and to all the future mothers out there, don’t forget that you come first, second and third, every single day, not just today.