A Tribute to the Mothers
By: Quraysha Ismail Sooliman
As my mother lay on her death bed, she addressed each of her children with the appropriate thoughts she carried- as only a mother can. I remember her serene face and comforting advice. My mother was never shy to use terms of endearments and in one of those last moments she gave us perhaps the most sustaining blessing of all- words of encouragement. ‘Remember, if Allah closes one door, He will open ten others for you.’
At the time of loss and grief, these words seem far and hollow, but at a time of reflection, they carry solace and glad tidings. For the lesson is clear, Allah is the Beholder of all. If I have Him, I have all. If I trust Him, I will gain all.
In one short reminder, she had summed up the notion of profit and loss. In a few parting words, she had explained how we could achieve success. The advices of a mother are never out of spite. She carries too much of each child in herself to seek their ruin. Sometimes mothers can be mis-read; sometimes they need our patience… just as we were afforded patience, just as we were tolerated in our wee-years.
As I stood in the saff tonight, waiting for the Imam to start the next cycle of the Taraweeh salaat, I reflected fleetingly on a house that is no more. The bricks may have come down, the walls broken and the roof flattened, but the love, the laughter and the shared insights have made castles of wonder and joy in my existence- and the home has lived on. How is it that a child learns to love Allah and his Rasul? Surely it is the mother’s love that transfers? I remember the beautiful Eid mornings when our home would reverberate with the Burda and the Malaysian Zikr. Little fuss was made of food and clothes, but brilliance in any matter was never overlooked.
Her teachings were simple, short and sweet. They were emboldened by the few copper frames that she kept close to her. As young children we grew up with the verses engraved on those copper frames- ‘Hasbiya-Allahu- were ni’mal wakeel’ and ‘Nasrun-minnallahi were fathun qareeb’. The start of a love and a longing- To know the Arabic language and to learn the Quraan. She always said she would not leave us money- for her it was temporary and transient. She chose education and memories. She always said that the two best places to visit and appreciate one’s bounties, were the Holy Cities where one could basque in His Mercy, and then to visit India and see the suffering. This, so that we could never forget to be grateful. These journeys were to be life-long lessons.
Ask any child about their love for their mothers. If it is real, it should be a love that honours the mother in the presence of the Divine. For that is love in Islam. It sustains, it nourishes and it protects. It should never consume nor destroy. And in the mother’s love for her Creator, the child ultimately takes the first lesson. And in seeking the mother, the child should seek the Divine…for in that search, the ten other doors open.
May Allah bless the mothers of this world and bring the Muslim mothers back to the path of Islam.