As we celebrated ‘International Mother’s Day’ in the second week of May this year, American poet William Ross Wallace words sound good that the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. There is no way that we could be the person that we are today without sacrifices, motivation and love from our mother. She has had a significant influence on the successes that we have been able to achieve. It is a daunting task to then describe a mother or rather encapsulate all her being in a mere column? Life starts within them and each life is raised with warmth, affection and love of a mother. A mother may have different names like mommy, mom or mama but every mother has the same role in our lives. She is the caretaker and defines gratitude and inspiration in her children with unrequited attention.
She is the pillar of hope for every member of the family. According to the philosophy of Islam as a religion, the institution of ‘motherhood’ is elevated to the highest pedestal of human existence. Unlike people in the Western world, we in Pakistan respect, ‘worship,’ celebrate and give highest recognition to our mothers in our everyday lives. It is reported that a person came to Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and said, ‘O Messenger of Almighty Allah! Who among people is the worthiest of my good companionship?’ Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
Your mother. The person said, ‘Then who?’ Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Then your mother. The person further asked, ‘Then who?’ Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Then your father.’ Pakistanis do not have to go to any corner of the world to seek sterling examples of motherhood guiding them through their lives.
A mother goes through a litany of pain all through her life, especially in our part of the world, while bringing up her children, not to mention misogynistic attitudes. She abandons her dreams to ensure her kids fulfill theirs. She bears pain of giving birth and upon asking her what her destiny is, she will say, seeing her children grow in their mind and body is what defines her destiny. Her reward is to see her young one’s progress and mature through transition from childhood to youth. Ranging from domestic work to professional engagements, our mothers are overworked, underpaid and mostly unappreciated. In Ramazan, they work tirelessly in kitchens sweating from head to toe, ensuring that the entire household is fed, all while fasting themselves. However, not once do they complain because it is sheer love these mothers carry for their families. Love makes us do things that we generally would not.
Things like waking up at 7:00am to help their kids with their breakfast despite being exhausted. Things like staying up all night to write names on their kids’ new text books because it is their first day of school. Things like surviving an ‘abusive’ marriage just to make sure her kids do not ever experience a broken family. A mother will prance around tirelessly happy and quietly proud knowing the fruits of her body and soul are fulfilling their aspirations. Her nimble presence will make a house into a home and her measured candor will light up the darkest of horizons. If anywhere there is divinity, it is here. It is her who is an eternal representation of alluring grace and it is her eyes that take one into the depths of affection and tranquility. She is real time poetry in motion. What does she ask for in return though?
Only a little appreciation and maybe a little recognition. She spends her entire life honing the skills of her children, a part of her body she sees walking outside of her every day. Though we are quick to celebrate such occasions marking a tribute to our parents but in actuality the changing socio-economic norms in our society has had a stressful impact on these relations too. The demands of motherhood on modern upward mobile mothers are far too in excess as compared to their counterparts from the days of yore. But then has anything worthwhile been achieved in this world without digging in our heels? Let us celebrate Mother’s Day all around the world, let us always be kind to women. Let the mistakes of women lie gently on their heads for they are the forgiving mothers and angelic beings. This goes out to all the women and mothers around the world, you are seen, you are believed, you are loved and you are the true superheroes.