When I was small, I was very attached to my mother. But as I grew older, I realized that I and my mother are practically from different planets, especially when I was in high school. I think she believed I was growing up in Pakistan! I begged, pleaded, cried, and threw tantrums (I guess I didn’t try food boycott…it might have worked) but, mashaAllah, Allah azzawjal has made my mother very persistent.
Time passed by and I got married, alhamdullilah, in a rather early age 🙂 Then, I had my own life, my freedom, my way of living my life! I enjoyed it and I loved it. My disagreements with my mother didn’t reconciliate rather increased, especially when I had my own children. I had ‘my way’ of raising them.
In any case, I was still living in the same city as my mother’s. Although she was about 45 minutes away but at least it was still the same city. As time passed, my mother went through many changes too. All my siblings were married except for my younger brother, who was rather driving her crazy. My older sister had moved away to another state. I was the only daughter left around her.
My mother would always be ready to have me over at her place. She always complained I didn’t spend enough time with her and she would always want me to stay over for few days at her place, but it was rather a “discomfort” for me being away form my home. Since I was married, I didn’t have to comply with everything she asked. However, I had worked out a deal with her that I would spend every Saturday with her. And so every Saturday morning my mother would keep calling me to confirm, ‘Are you coming’, until I would finally show up at her door. This was a ‘favor’ from me for my mother because I was giving her a whole day of mine, sacrificing my social life, my time with my husband, and of course the long drive I had to cover of 40 miles one way!
Little did I realize, that my mother was favoring me as she did when I was small, when I was growing up and her favors remained upon me even after I got married and became a mother myself. Now that I have moved away hundreds of miles from her, now that I have no access to seeing her whenever I want, or visit her whenever I want, and I never find a break from my children, I ask myself, ‘how ungrateful I had been all along…’
Now I recall those days when I had to attend a halaqah or a class, and my mother would always offer to take care of my children (without me even having to ask her), and I never had to even think twice before making commitments, or organizing events, or socializing with my friends because I could always drop of my children with my mother. And subhanAllah wa barkiAllahu fiha, not ONCE did my mother refuse to take care of them, nor did she ever reminded me of this ‘favor’ neither did she ever demanded appreciation for this!
I miss my Saturdays, when I used to wake up and leave even without eating breakfast because my mother would have my favorite food ready at her place. My children would look forward to every Saturday because they loved their grandmother and always preferred her over me. They would run around her house, and I would rest the whole day. And oh…my other makes the best tea!
Although, communicating with her was still not easy. I still had my disagreements with her and she still had her anger. But now that I think of it, it really was not such a major issue and it should not have discouraged me from visiting her more often. I think every mother and daughter have arguments and even if the mother sounds/acts stubborn and unreasonable, deep down she has that loving tender heart that no one else can have but a mother!
My mother did more then a mother is obliged to. Her obligations towards me ended when I grew up and specially after I left her house, yet she continued to comfort me in whatever possible way. And, perhaps, I did not even do the bare minimum required of me. Was it really that important to make her believe what I believed, or to make her view the world in the same angle as I did…she may have been wrong in many of her beliefs, but it was/is not my job to judge that. My job was to bring a smile on her face and only Allah knows if I will ever have this opportunity again.
Even though I have visited her since I moved, but visiting is very different, short and hectic and nothing compared to the luxury of living in the same city. Will I ever get to live by her again, will I ever get to spend every Saturday with her, will I ever get to enjoy her company whenever I want…only Allah knows that. But for those of you who read this and live close by your mother, don’t miss out on this chance of earning your Jannah. Visit your mother as often as you can, do something special for her, cook her favorite food and take it for her, clean her house for her or organize her closet, iron her clothes or just sit with her and speak to her gently and appreciate her for all her favors, this will not go in waste and you will never regret it ever in your life and especially in afterlife…
At-Tirmidhi reports that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alihi wasalam) said:
“The parent is the best among the doors of Paradise, so lose that door or protect it.”
Ibn al-Jawzi reported that al-Hasan said: *”It is better for you to eat dinner with your mother, so that her heart is
comforted, than to perform a voluntary Hajj(pilgrimage to Mecca).”