Upbringing of Children: The Mother’s role
The Ummah is deeply indebted to the efforts of the great luminaries of Islam. Everyone pays tribute to the Muhadditheen, Mufassireen, Jurists and Mubaaligheen for their exemplary efforts and services to Deen. However, most people are unaware of the fact that many of these great sons of Islam were brought up entirely by their mothers. It was the mother’s efforts in moulding their character and personality that eventually prepared them for the great task that they performed later in life. Thus, great tribute should be paid to these silent mothers for the foundational role that they played.
Imaam Maaliki (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) is a very well known Muhaddith and Imaam of jurisprudence. His Ustaadh was Rabiatur Rai (RA). Imaam Rabiatur Rai (RA) was a renowned Muhaddith of Madinatul Munawwara. He was still not even born when his father left Madinatul Munawwara for the purpose of Jihad. One thing followed another and he finally only returned home 27 years later. As he approached his house, he noticed a young stranger emerging. This disturbed him and he sternly questioned the young stranger with regard to his identity. The stranger replied in a similar manner and both began raising their voices. The woman of the house overheard this and came to the door. She immediately recognised her husband who had left 27 years before and she informed him that the stranger is none other than the child that was still to be born at the time of his departure. Likewise, the young man was introduced to his father. Later in the day he enquired from his wife as to what she did with the money that he had left behind with her. She advised him to first go to the Musjid and perform his Salaat and upon returning, she will give him the details of how she had spent the money. In the Musjid he found a huge gathering of people around a Muhaddith taking the lessons of Hadith. From far away, he did not recognise the Ustaadh but upon approaching closer he was astonished to find that this huge gathering was being addressed by none other than his own son, Imaam Rabiatur Rai (RA). His happiness knew no bounds. When he returned home, his wife informed him that the money had been spent in educating his son and making him a Muhaddith. Hence, the world of Deeni knowledge has heard of the greatness of Imaam Rabiatur Rai (RA) but few know of the sacrifices of his mother in his upbringing. It is mentioned that she never breastfed her child without Wudhu. This was the foundation of developing the great qualities that were to shine later in his life.
Many other great personalities were brought-up by their mothers alone. Among them is also Imaam Bukhari (RA). The mother’s influence on the infant child is far greater than that of the father. The first Madrasah is after all the lap of the mother. Hence, it is necessary that the mother becomes aware of the great role she has to play in nurturing the child. If proper attention is given in this regard, the Ghazzaalis and Razis will once again be born.
Ml. M. I. Patel