I had a great, work-related meeting recently, where I feel I made some new and intelligent acquaintances. As with most such great meetings, the conversation shifted to personal life experiences and the love of a mother and the comfort of being in a mother’s presence. One person asked me if I was a mother and if I could relate to what a mother probably feels like. I thought about it and said no I couldn’t. I mean other than that odd maternal urge during my monthly period that I have gotten, once in a blue moon, I really don’t know what it feels like to be a mother.
A man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked again: Then who? The Prophet replied: “Your mother.” The man asked another time: Then who? He replied: “Then your father.” (Sahîh Bukhârî 5971 and Sahîh Muslim 7/2).
At another time the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) is said to have said, ‘Paradise lies at the feet of your mother’ [Musnad Ahmad, Sunan An-Nasâ’i, Sunan Ibn Mâjah].
All of us have had experiences of melting into our mother’s bulbous frames, having her care for us when we’ve been unwell, and, of having her comforting meals. I have a happy childhood memory of my mother oiling my hair, making me sit in the sun to get some fresh air and light, clipping my toe nails and then giving me a bath, after which a nice long nap was only the most natural thing to do.
In the Islamic tradition, while your mother loves you so much more than any other human being possibly can, it is also commonly believed that Allah loves you far more than your mother. Can you imagine the power of that kind of love and the sheer magnitude of it? I can’t! Next time you despair about something not working out your way, think about this, and think how valuable you are to God.