Mothersâ€”Give Your Boys the Tools to Respect Women
By Imam El-Amin
Al Hamdullilah, It is the time of the year that we set aside a special day to honor the mothers in our lives. Throughout the Qur`an and the Sayings of Prophet Muhammad (s), women are held in the highest esteem of all human beings. The Prophet (s) said the mother is to be cherished three times more than the father. That is a lofty position for a person to holdâ€”but well deserved. (When I say mother, Iâ€™m talking about all females, whether or not they have borne children).
The Prophet (s) said, â€œParadise sits at the feet of the mother.â€ So listening to, respecting, and allowing yourself to be nurtured and taught by your mother is a pathway to Paradise, in this world and the next.
So how can mothers help these sayings come into fruition easier? What is her responsibility? I say it is to be the best example of a virtuous feminine lady she can beâ€”especially in front of her son(s). To teach men to respect women, the woman must be always at the highest level of feminine ladyhood. She must remind, and demand, that her sons respect women. She must encourage her boys to assist women, holding doors, carrying things, looking after their needs. And she must do this by being a ladyâ€”not trying to be a man and being tough. That is a quick way to make them too submissive to women and perhaps develop feminine and homosexual tendencies, or possibly grow up to abuse women.
Women must also not allow their boys to watch and say things disrespectful to women, especially in their presence. In todayâ€™s high-tech world, there are too many opportunities for our children to see vulgar and obscene images. Mothers should never sit and watch R rated movies with nudity and cursing with their children. If you do this, you will be sanctioning the same disrespect you loathe.
It is often said that a woman canâ€™t make a man. This may be true for things such as chopping wood and other manly chores; but she can certainly teach him to be a man that most women like and respect.
The Prophet (s) said that â€œthe best of you is he who is best to his wife.â€ The best man is the one who not only provides for his woman, but also is kind, gentle, and respectful. The best place for him to learn this is at the â€œfeet of his motherâ€ in his formative years.
I am by no means the best husbandâ€”not even close. But I do have a love and respect for women that was instilled in me by my own mother, who passed away in 1990. I will always cherish my mother for the way she carried herself in front of me. She was always a lady and just her presence demanded respect. I was told to hold the door for her and my sisters, and then go back to the car and get the groceries. These sorts of things put in my mind that I was to be gentle and courteous to women, and also strong and manly. This is the role of the man that ALLAH assigned to him as the maintainer and provider, as well as to be kind and gentle to his family. And I am eternally grateful to her for instilling that in me. And I still use the memory of her counsel today to help me remember my role.
So mothers, on this Mothers Day, I wish you the best of all. May ALLAH bless you to use your feminine qualities to help make our men to be better men, inshaALLAH.
El-Hajj Abdullah Bey El-Amin