The Mother's influence on the children
by Madrasah In'aamiyyah, Camperdown, South Africa
The most prevailing influence anything can have on the child is the influence of the mother. Hence the mother is required to develop virtuous morals and character. Don’t underplay any action of the child even if it seems trivial. You should be well conscious of the child’s activities within the home and beyond as well. However, the child should not be aware that he is under surveillance as this would hamper his natural development and he won’t be able to come out of himself. Similarly, when you see something in his possession that was not given by you or his father or any other relative, make sure you delve into the source of that item. Some parents wholly believe their children when they claim they found it on the road or obtained it from a friend. The parents avoid the trouble of making further enquiries and consider their duty done. Whereas it is a natural instinct that if a child, Allah Ta'ala forbid, stole the item he is bound to make such false claims to protect himself from humiliation. It is also natural that when the child realizes that his parent or guardian is not very meticulous about his inquiries then the child is bound to plummet further into a life of criminality.
Worse than this is when the child is assisted or encouraged by the parent to engage in theft. Undoubtedly the child will become more entrenched in this crime and he is bound to be entangled in a life of vice and criminality.
A Muslim court once handed down sentence to a thief. As his hand was about to be amputated, he ragingly addressed the people around him saying: “Before amputating my hand amputate my mother’s tongue. When I pilfered an egg the very first time in my life from my neighbour’s house, my mother failed to admonish me. She didn’t even ask me to return the egg to the neighbour. In fact, she started chirping in happiness and said: “I praise the Almighty that today my son has turned out to be a perfect man.” If my mother didn’t have such a twittering tongue, I wouldn’t have been a criminal of society today."
An incident pertaining to this topic is narrated in the books of Hadith. One night, Hadrat ‘Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was on his usual rounds around Madinah when he came across a house and overheard the following conversation: “Daughter! Add on a bit of water to the milk.” On hearing more closely, he realized that mother and daughter are engaged in a dispute over diluting the milk with water. Upon the mother asking the daughter to add water, the daughter replied: “This is an offense. The Caliph has vehemently forbade such an action.” The mother countered: “Where will the Caliph be able to see us here?” What a startling response the daughter offered. She said: “Then where is Allah?” In other words, Allah Ta’ala is watching us. On hearing this reply, Hadrat ‘Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) returned home, went up to his son ‘Aasim and asked him to marry this girl. He subsequently married her. From the progeny of this union a great personality like ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Azîz was born – a personality whose achievements can never be forgotten by the Islâmic world.
On the basis of the aforementioned points we merely wish to drive home the fact that a mother has dynamic influence over the child. If the mother is pious the child will also be inclined to piety and if the mother has mean habits or evil character then these will surely be conveyed to the child.
How wonderfully a poet puts it when he says: 'The grass that grows in the orchard is very different to the grass that grows in the jungle.
What hope of excellence can we entertain from children suckled by deficient women?'
The Sahâbah (Radhiallaahu Anhum) and the Tâbi‘în (RA) who were holders of exceptional virtues, inherited these virtues from their mothers. Let us mention a few of them here:
1. Hadrat Zubair bin ‘Awwâm (Radhiallaahu Anhu) is highly indebted to his mother Hadrat Safiyyah bintu ‘Abdul Muttalib (Radhiallaahu Anha). She was responsible for moulding his character and morals.
2. Hadrat ‘Abdullâh, Munzir and ‘Urwah (Radhiallaahu Anhuma) all the sons of Hadrat Zubair (Radhiallaahu Anhu) were the harvest of the seeds planted by their mother Hadrat Asmâ bintu Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu). Each one of them turned out to be a distinctive model of perfection.
3. Hadrat ‘Alî (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was trained with outstanding morals and wisdom at the hands of his mother Fâtimah bintu Asad.
4. Hadrat ‘Abdullâh bin J‘afar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) the most charitable soul of the Arabs and the most moralistic of the youth was also brought up by his mother Asmâ bintu ‘Umais (Radhiallaahu Anhu). She shaped him on the outstanding morals and character she herself possessed.
5. Hadrat Mu‘âwiyah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) inherited from his mother Hindah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) certain skills and talents which he was unable to acquire from his father. When Hindah, his mother, observed his intellectual capabilities during his childhood and someone said to her that this child will become a leader of his people, she confidently replied: “May I cry over him (in other words, may he die) if he fails to become a leader.”
As far as division of responsibility is concerned, Islâm has placed the bulk of the responsibility of rearing the children on the shoulders of the parents. They are required to rear the children in such a manner that they become proficient in conducting their own responsibilities of life.
So if you want you children to develop the attributes of personalities like Nûrud-Dîn Zangi, Shaikh ‘Abdul Qâdir Jaylâni, Maulânâ Muhammad Ilyâs Kândhalwî and Maulânâ Ashraf 'Alî Thânwî (RA) then you and your husband are required to cast your life in a profile of religiousness and good morals. Be unstinting in your endeavours. Together with your plans and strategies ensure that you make sincere Du‘âs for them as well.