Friday, 7 December 2007

The Mother's Influence On Her Children

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. We should not underplay any action of the child even if it seems trivial. We should be well conscious of our child's activities within the home and beyond as well. However, the child should not be aware that he/she is under surveilance, as this would hamper his/her natural development and he/she will not be able to come out of himself/herself.

Similarly, when we see something in our child's possession that was not given by us (the parents) or any other relative, we ought to make sure that we dwelve 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 an item, then he/she is bound to make such false claims to protect himself/herself from humiliation. It is also natural that when the child realises that his parent or guardian is not very meticulous about his/her 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 you amputate my hand, amputate my mother's tongue. When I stole 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, Saiyidina Umar ibn Al-Khattab RA 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 realised 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?"

The daughter then offered a startling response, whereby she responded:

"Then where is Allah? (i.e. Allah is watching us.)"

On hearing this reply, Saiyidina Umar RA was extremeley pleased. The Caliph RA returned home, went up to his son 'Aasim RA and asked him to marry this girl. 'Aasim RA subsequently married her. From the progeny of this union the great personality of Umar bin Abdul Aziz RA was born – a personality whose achievements can never be forgotten by the Islamic 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, then 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 too.

How wonderfully a poet puts it:

"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 Sahabah RA and the Tabi'in RA who were holders of exceptional virtues, inherited these virtues from their mothers. Let us mention a few of them here:

1. Zubair bin Awwam RA is highly indebted to his mother - Safiyyah binti Abdul Muttalib RA. She was responsible for moulding his character and morals.

2. Abdullah RA, Munzir RA and Urwah RA - all the sons of Zubair bin Awwam RA were the harvest of the seeds planted by their mother - Asma binti Abu Bakr RA. Each one of them turned out to be a distinctive model of perfection.

3. Saiydina Ali ibn Abi Talib RA was trained with outstanding morals and wisdom at the hands of his mother - Fatimah binti Asad.

4. Abdullah bin Ja'far RA, the most charitable soul of the Arabs and the most moralistic of the youth was also brought up by his mother - Asma binti Umais RA. She shaped him on the outstanding morals and character she herself possessed.

5. Mu'awiyah RA inherited from his mother Hindah RA 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, Islam has placed the bulk of the responsibility of rearing the children on the shoulders of their 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 we want our children to develop the attributes of these personalities, then both - husband and wife - as the father and as the mother - are required to cast our lives in a profile of religiousness, piety and good morals. Let us be uncompromising and all-out motivated in our endeavours; and together with our plans and strategies, we must ensure that we make sincere Du'as to Allah for our children and ourselves as well.


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