Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Motherhood in the Qur'an

Motherhood in the Qur'an

IT is taken for granted that the Noble Qur'an is a book of legislation and guidance. However, it should also be seen as a book detailing human relationships.

The Qur'an gives due attention to human values and relationships with the aim of drawing mankind's attention to the importance of human values and relationships, as man does not live in isolation in this world. One of the most important of human values that the Qur'an stresses is motherhood.

The Qur'an talks about the importance of being kind and obedient to one's parents, but some verses specifically mention the status of the mother. Muslim scholars explain that mother's favors are so critical at stages when man is unaware of it, like when he is a fetus or an infant. In other words, one can never equate the favors of his mother with the favors of his father.

Both, of course, are important, but it is the mother who carries the burden of bringing us up.

"And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination." (Qur'an, 31:14)

One of the outstanding examples of mothers mentioned in the Holy Qur'an is the mother of Moses (peace be upon him). She did something against her nature as a mother; however, she did so trusting Allah's promise, "And We inspired the mother of Mûsa (Moses), (saying): "Suckle him [Mûsa (Moses)], but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily! We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers." (Qur'an, 28:7)

Mariam (Mary) is another outstanding example. Some scholars say that Mariam was only 15 when she gave birth to Jesus, a miracle by Allah, as she was neither married nor was unchaste. She had to face and answer the society.

"Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: "O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariya (an unheard mighty thing).

"O sister (i.e. the like) of Harûn (Aaron) [not the brother of Mûsa (Moses), but he was another pious man at the time of Maryam (Mary)]! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman." (Qur'an, 19:27-28)

However, Allah is always there to support the believers. The infant Jesus spoke and answered them.

"He ['Isa (Jesus)] said: Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;

And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer), and Zakat, as long as I live.

And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest." (Qur'an, 19:30-32)

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