Motherhood: Much more than a job
By: Abu Muhammad Yusuf
The foundation of the tallest tower in the world is hidden, yet it is the most important part of the building. A mother is indeed an important part of our society, yet her role and contribution is seldom acknowledged!
A man came asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) “ Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: “Then your father.” (Hadith- Bukhârî )
The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed upon her and the difficulties that she has to shoulder – responsibilities and difficulties some of which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude, kindness and good companionship with her.
Quite often and mainly to our social environment, the importance of mothers is seriously downplayed and demoted to a menial job.
There was once an officer at the driving license counter who asked the lady, “What is your occupation ?” The woman seeking renewal of her license seemed to be puzzled.
So the officer said, “Ma’am, are you employed? Have your own business? Or—”
The woman replied, “Oh, yes! I have a full time occupation. I am a mother.”
“We don’t have ‘mother’ as an option for occupation,” said the officer. “I will write it down as ‘housewife’. That takes care of all questions.”
This had happened long ago, and was forgotten.
Years later when the same lady went to get her license, the public relations officer was a somewhat pompous woman.
“Your occupation?” she asked in a rather authoritative tone.
The lady just had an inspiration and replied, “I am a researcher in the field of child development, nutrition and inter-personal relationships.”
The lady officer stared at her in amazement. She calmly repeated her statement, and the lady officer wrote it down verbatim.
Then, unable to conceal her curiosity, she politely asked, “what exactly do you do in your profession, ma’am ?”
She was feeling good about having described her occupation so calmly and confidently. She replied, “my research projects have been going on for a number of years (mothers never retire !!). My research is conducted in the laboratory as well as in the field. I have a CEO and a senior Director (CEO is Allah of course and the Director is my entire family). Have received two honours in this field (a son and a daughter). My topic is considered to be the most difficult part of sociology (all moms will agree!!). I have to work more than 14 hours every day. Sometimes even 24 hours might not be enough and the challenges are tougher than many other professions. My compensation is in terms of mental satisfaction rather than money.”
After this brief introduction she could see that the officer was thoroughly impressed. After completing the licensing formalities, she came to the door to see her off.
This new viewpoint about her occupation made her feel much better on her way back home. She was welcomed by her 5 year old research assistant at the door. Her new project (6 month old baby) was enthusiastically waiting to meet her.
She had earned a small victory over the governmental red tape and society stereotyping. She was no longer ‘merely a mother’. Instead she was now a highly placed functionary in a service vital for humanity –motherhood !!!
‘Mother’ – isn’t it a great title. Fit to be added to the nameplate on the door or even on your sporty car numberplate!!!
By this standard, grandmothers deserve to be called senior research officers, and great grandmothers qualify as ‘research directors’. Aunts and other ladies of that age group can be called ‘research facilitators’.
Mothers are indeed of noble stature in society and their position is elevated to the highest position in Islam. The Noble Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) emphatically proclaimed;
“ Jannah (paradise) lies under the feet of your Mother!” (Hadith Ahmed,Sunan Ibn Mâjah).
Allah Ta’ala, The Most Wise says;
“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.”(Noble Quran 17:23-24)
We don’t need to wait once a year and be commercially exploited on Mother’s Day to recognize this great personality, celebrate her today,tomorrow and everyday!