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The Loss of a Beloved Mother

It was Friday, October 7th, 2016. It was a typical day. I left my office to attend Friday prayers. After just reaching the prayers’ venue, I noticed several missed calls on from my brother. Being intrigued as it was an unusual time for him to call, I called him back. I received the news of the shocking tragedy that had afflicted my family. One of the most significant paths to gain nearness of Allah, and one of the most truthful source of unconditional love had been lost.  By the means of silent cardiac arrest, my mother had embraced death to live the eternal life of Hereafter.

The loss of mother is among the losses in one’s life which leave one completely shaken and nonplussed. The loss of such a magnitude forces us to review our lives, our direction, and the goals which we have set to be achieved. As nothing can be done to reverse what the destiny has brought forth, what actually can be done is to replenish the loss with good deeds comprising of prayers for forgiveness, charity for spiritual rewards, and other good deeds which benefit the life of our mothers in the next world. The merciful Lord has opened many channels through which there is lot of scope for still achieving the pleasure of Allah via the blessed source of our mothers. Parents and particularly mothers are such a great manifestation of our Sustainer’s love and generosity that not only in their lives in this material world they sustain us with their care and love and manifest Allah’s blessings and love, but also in their lives after death they continue to be a reason for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness on us. For us, serving them during the period of their lives is one of the surest way to heaven, and serving them after their death in this temporary world is among one of the most certain way of achieving pleasure of Allah. Our relation with our parents never end, and so our responsibilities and duties towards them.

The man who is very negligent, full of ingratitude and forgetfulness is reminded of the pains and sufferings born by his mother by Allah “…his mother bears him with weakness upon weakness…” (31:14). The weakness a mother endures so that she can give life to her baby cannot be fully appreciated by her children. Because of uncountable pains and agonies endured by parents in giving birth and raising of the children, Allah mandates the gratefulness to parents and associates the gratitude towards parents to the obligation of being grateful to His favors: “…Be grateful to Me and to both your parents…” (31:14), and for those who fall short of it or who become oblivious of their obligations and gratitude towards their parents there is following warning and reminding that everybody will return to Allah eventually “…to Me is the eventual coming…“ (31:14).

Imam Ali ibn Husayn (as) in his treatise on rights (Risalat ul-Huqooq) recounts the sacrifice of a mother in raising her children and reminds us that whatever we do for her but we cannot repay her debts upon us or show a true gratitude to her:

“The right of your mother is that you know that she carried you where no one carries anyone, she gave to you of the fruit of her heart that which no one gives to anyone, and she protected you with all her organs. She did not care if she went hungry as long as you ate, if she was thirsty as long as you drank, if she was naked as long as you were clothed, if she was in the sun as long as you were in the shade. She gave up sleep for your sake, she protected you from heat and cold, all in order that you might belong to her. You will not be able to show her gratitude, unless through God’s help and giving success.” [1]

The kindness to our mothers and their being pleased with us is so important that even at the time of our death and passing of our souls from our bodies their pleasure or displeasure with us plays an important role. Imam Sadiq (as) says “He who wishes to pass easily through the agony of death, should act benevolently towards her kinsmen, and treat his mother kindly. Then the agony of death will become easy for him to bear, and in life he will not suffer from indigence.” [2]

As mentioned above that our relation with our parents never end, even after their death. There are traditions which tell us that some children are disowned after the death of their parents because they ignored them and did not make efforts for their better life in Hereafter. Imam Baqir (as) cautions us against this forgetting of our parents after their death: “An offspring may be benevolent to his parents during their life­ time, but he may not repay his debt to them after they die, nor pray for their salvation, and forget them altogether. In such a case, this offspring will be included by God in the category of those who misbehave towards their parents.” [3]

When our mother, though being a common human being , deserves so much love, respect and obedience, how much love, respect and obedience is deserved by the lady who is mother of entire humanity, theLady of Light, Sayyida Fatima al-Zahra (a)?

“O our Lord! grant me protection and my parents and the believers on the day when the reckoning shall come to pass!” (14:41)


[1] Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq), The Right of the Mother
[2] “Amali Al-Saduq” as quoted in “The Status of Mothers in Islam”, by Sayyid Muhammad Sohofi
[3] Al-Kafi as quoted in “The Status of Mothers in Islam”, by Sayyid Muhammad Sohofi

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About Asad Raza