Sunday, 23 December 2012

Spiritual | My Mother

Assalaam alaykum!

Long time again, I know! I have a few different posts coming up to make up for the lack of posting recently inshaAllah. Today I'm writing a post about the mother-daughter relationship so keep reading and leave some feedback (=

 Abu Huraira reported that a person came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Who among the people is most deserving of a fine treatment from my hand? He said: Your mother. He again said: Then who (is the next one)? He said: Again it is your mother (who deserves the best treatment from you). He said: Then who (is the next one)? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Again, it is your mother. He (again) said: Then who? Thereupon he said: Then it is your father."- 'The Book of Virtue, Good Manners and Joining of the Ties of Relationship (Kitab Al-Birr was-Salat-I-wal-Adab)' of Sahih Muslim
Growing up my relationship with my mother has had its ups and downs, like many people she was my world as a child, but as a teenager our relationship was strained as I found it more and more difficult to relate to her and for her to relate to me.

During secondary school I wasn't very practising and felt as though my mum was tring to keep me on a really tight leash. Because I didn't understand why she was telling me not to do things and because other people's parents were really lenient with them I felt it was unfair when she didn't let me do things my friends did. I only used to speak to my parents about school and work related issues and felt I couldn't talk to them about my feelings or other areas of my life such as friends or issues I was struggling with.

Coming from a Bengali background and growing up in a western culture I felt frustrated because of conflicting ways of behaving and dealing with your parents. Bengali parents don't often talk to their children about important things and find it embarrassing to talk about issues that effect every teenager, social peer pressure, the opposite gender, identity issues etc. In Bengali culture your best is never usually good enough, well that's how I felt when I was growing up. I remember coming home with straight A's in my GCSE's and one A* and the first thing my mum said was 'how comes you only got 1 A*?' When I used to do well in school it was always 'you should do better.' There were times I used to do everything to impress them like cleaning the whole house without being asked and it seemed as though they never even noticed. But when I used to do something wrong they'd come down on me like a tonne of bricks.

I remember having a heart to heart with my aunt about this once and she told me that parents think that if they praise you, you'll think you're doing well and then stop trying to do better so they don't praise you, instead, they think telling you, you should have done better will make you want to improve. Even then I still felt I couldn't speak to either of my parents. Because of this cultural and generation barrier our relationship wasn't open and I struggled.

Alhamdulillah I don't know what happened or when it happened but now our relationship has really improved. We now spend time together just talking about issues related to life, family, the future, marriage and all the rest of it. Sometimes I get home, get changed and lie in bed next to her just having a good old chat. I feel like my mum finds it easier to talk to me, maybe it's because I have grown up a lot and understand things much better.

Now that they're on the hunt for me to get married I value my mum more than anything. I think about my future and I'm just amazed at how my mum got through everything. I understand why my mum did things in my past that I didn't agree with back then, looking at those friends with lenient parents now and seeing what they've done with their lives makes me feel grateful that my mum was strict with me. They're are much more lenient now, but that's only because they know they've done everything they can to instill good morals in us and teach us right from wrong. I know my mum is happy with me and is proud of me even though she doesn't tell me, she values my Independence and I know she just wants what's best for me. No matter how many mistakes I made in my past, no matter how much I hurt her with my words and actions she still forgives me and loves me unconditionally. May Allah forgive me.

Now I can't imagine life without her, the first person I go to for advice is my mum and I appreciate every moment I have with her.

Recently I was speaking to a girl at work about her mum and she told me that she hated her mum because her mum keeps asking where she is when she goes out and wants her to stay home with her on weekends, this girl works relentlessly because it means she's out of the house and away from her mum. Now that I have learnt about Islam and am trying to be more practising I understand the importance of parents, I mean after the command to worship Allah without partners we are told to be good to our parents. Now that I see the bigger picture, when people speak badly about their parents especially their mums it breaks my heart.

If you don't have the best of relationships with your mum because you think she's too harsh with you or she doesn't show that she loves you then I would just like to say please try to think back and remember all the things she has done for you when you were a child, she held you for 9 months and brought you into this world, for that none of us can repay our mothers, no matter what we do it will never be enough to payback for that.

I know sometimes it's hard to deal with them but we will never know what it's like for our parents until we become mothers ourselves. There is always a good reason and much wisdom behind Allah's commands and for the command 'be good to your parents' to be waaay up there, then there is more than good enough reason behind it.
Surah Luqman, 13 :14

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ

Wa was-say-nal’ insaana biwaaliday: hamalat-hu ’um-muhuu wahnan ‘alaa wahninw-wa fisaaluhuu fii ‘aamayni ’anish-kur lii wa li-waalidayk: ’ilay-yal-Masiir.

14. And (God says:) “We have enjoined upon man goodness towards his parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his utter dependence on her lasted two years: (hence, O man,) be grateful towards Me and towards thy parents, (and remember that) with Me is all journey’s end.

Here is what some sisters had to say about their relationship with their mothers and advice for sisters who maybe don't have the best relationship with their mum:

Sr Saima:
"The first thing to do is improve your relationship with your creator and make lots of dua as its all in his hands to soften our hearts. Practically I would say to get rid of your pride and arrogance, try share your feeling and don't get embarrassed to give a hug or say I love you mum. If your not at that stage do things for her, cook buy presents, say thank you when she does things for you. Slowly inshallah both your hearts can soften with the kindness lol a bit cheesy but it works! Alhamdillah"

Sr Rhonda:
"I believe its difficult to truly appreciate your mother, until you become one yourself"

Sr Yasmine
"If she alive....I say 1 thing....mom I'm nothing without you....you're my whole world....still miss my mom, in every turn of life...may ALLAH GIVE HER BEST PLACE IN JANNAH..&..GIVE HER BEST REWARD AMEEN....='("

Sr Syeda:

" i have soo much that i want to say to my mum but i am one of those people who didn't get enough time. May Allah Pak bless my mom in heaven i miss her and talk to her as she is always in my thoughts and my heart... and a special request to those lucky people who still have angels called moms in their lives... value them! u will know their worth once they leave u.. ask me what i would give to have my mother back."

Sr Mahumm:
"i agree with sister yasmin...but there is a little bit change....i was not attached with mu mum before i got marry....i feel her too much when i was not with her....but now when she is not with us i feel her too much....my life is colourless with out her....i wish once she hug me.............i wish.....i miss her every moment.....i m nothing without her.....may GOD BLESS HER WITH HIS BEST....AMEEN"

Sr Sidra:

"I can relate so strongly with this post. I think the key to having a good relationship with your parents is having a tremendous amount of Sabr and making an even more tremendous amount of Dua, especially if they lack Islamic education and aren't very practising and in cases where parents become extremely difficult, Keep reminding yourself how they took care of you when you were nothing, be patient, make lots of Dua and co operate with them as long as you're not crossing the bounds of Islam. I know this is easier said than done.

Having said that, apart from some of the things I've mentioned above, what are some other practical steps one can take to deal with difficult parents?? "

Sr Maryam:
"My mother was very sickly most of her life. When I got back home a few months ago, there was an opportunity for me to be with her alone and wheat I learnt was there was SO MUCH CHANCE for improvement with her that no one ever tried. She is doing so well now and she is getting to be a little independent. I am teaching her how to use a computer. I am teaching her how to cook. I was able to take her with me on 2 flights and she was no bother at all. So most of my life, raised by aunties this is like having a NEW MOM for the first time and I feel SO BLESSED that Allah (SWT) has given me the firasaa how to deal with her illness. Keep us in your duaas. Salaam alaykum."

So what are some practical steps you can take to improve your relationship with your mother?

1- Have Sabr
Sometimes she may be in a bad mood and you might feel she's taking it out on you but say alhamdulillah that she is still here and that you have the opportunity to gain reward for being patient with her. If she is elderly or ill, be patient with her as she was with you when you were a child. Remember all those tantrums, the nights you kept her awake when you were ill, the times she cleaned you and comforted you and have sabr.

2- Bite your tongue
Not literally. Learn to keep your mouth shut when you feel yourself becoming frustrated or angry with your mum, even though she wont always show it your words and actions hurt her more than you think and when you think back on those moments where you did lose your temper with her you'll be filled with guilt and regret.

3- Try to see things from her point of view
Our mums weren't brought up in the same society or generation that we were, which is why she might not understand you, try to see why she is upset with you or why she wants you to do or not do something. One day you will understand why she was the way she was with you.

4- Speak to her
Sometimes its cringe worthy and sometimes you feel she wont understand but put your pride aside and actually tell her about your life, as we grow up our mums feel like they're losing us, they want to protect us but they know we just want to go our own way. Show her that she is still important to you by telling her about your life and asking her for advice when you're in trouble. Try to be more open with her so she feels she can trust you more.

5- Spend quality time with her
Quality time is not just being in the same house as her, but actually speaking to her while watching TV or even helping her cook, try to take her out away from the house so you get time to talk to each other and let her find out more about you, the way you think and the way you are.

6- Make du'a for her
Whether your relationship with your mum is good or not keep her in your du'as because the mother-child relationship is one of the most pure and sincere, your dua will go a long way inshaAllah.

And a little bit of advice for the mothers out there...Don't feel embarrassed to tell your children you love them and are proud of them. Although you might not have had the same relationship with your parents growing up make sure you don't make the same mistakes with your children, speak to them, be open with them and build that trust between you and your children so they find it easy to come to you when they need you rather than go elsewhere.

Duas for parents:

Surah Ibrahim, 14:41

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ

Rab-ba-nagh-fir lii wa li-waa-li-day-ya walil-Mu’mi-niina Yawma yaquu-mul-Hisaab!

41.Grant Thy forgiveness unto me, and my parents, and all the believers, on the Day on which the (last) reckoning will come to pass!”

Surah Al-israa, 17:24

رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرًا 

"My Lord! Bestow on them Your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young."

Remember my mum in your duas too, May Allah bless and protect all of our parents and may He grant them jannat-ul-firdous!
I'll leave you with something I read online:

"My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago” Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that wayremember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day... the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If I occasionaly lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.
When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared.
With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughter. "

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