The Holy Prophet (sallallaho ‘alaihi wasallam) said: "From the instant of conceiving up to the delivery and nursing of the baby, the woman gets the same reward as the one who has been appointed to guard the boundaries of Islam and remains steadfast for Jihad. If she dies during this period, she gets the reward of a martyr." (Kanz)
Besides the mother's exclusive opportunity to be rewarded in the hereafter, she enjoys vast authority and status in addition to her spousal rights. In her role of motherhood she has an unquestionably privileged position in relation to her husband. The following is a very brief but exact picture of these Islamic teachings.
“We have enjoined man to respect his parents; his mother bears him in weakness upon weakness, while his weaning takes two years. Thank Me as well as your parents; unto Me is the journeying.” (Qur’an, Surah Luqman, 31:14)
“Your Lord has decreed that you should worship none except Him, and (that you show) kindness to your parents. If one or both of them attain old age (while they are) with you, never say to them 'Shame!' nor scold either of them. Speak to them in a respectable fashion and lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Isra’, 17:23,24)
“Worship none save Allah (Only) and be good to parents and also near relatives, orphans and the needy.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:83)
A few sayings of the Holy Prophet (sallallaho ‘alaihi wasallam) are also cited which enjoin kindness towards the mother:
Jahmah (radhiallaho ‘anho) said to the Holy Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam), "O Messenger of Allah, I desire to go on a (military) expedition and I have come to consult you." He asked him if he had a mother, and when he replied that he had, he said: "Stay with her because Paradise lies beneath her feet." (Reported by An-Nasai)
A man asked the Holy Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) to whom he should show kindness and he replied: "Your mother" He asked who comes next and he replied, "Your mother." He asked who comes next and he replied, "Your mother." He asked who comes next and he replied, "Your father, then your relatives in order of relationship." (Reported by Tirmizi, Abu Da'ud)
According to the learned scholars of Islam the reason for giving preference to the mother is on account of her exceptional efforts such as the difficulties of pregnancy, delivery and nurturing. Therefore she alone is blessed to deserve recompense for this in the Hereafter as well as greater honour in this life.
Narrated Anas (radhiallaho ‘anho): A man came to the messenger of Allah (sallallaho ‘alaihi wasallam) and said: I longed to go on Jihad but I was not able to. He said: Is either one of your parents still alive? The man said: My mother. He said: Allah has instructed us in devotion to her, so if you do thus, you are as one who has made the Hajj, the umrah and participated in jihad." (Reported by At-Tabarani)
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas (radhiallaho ‘anho): “Do not leave your mother unless she gives permission or death takes her, because that is the greatest (deed) for your rewards." (Reported by Al-Kabir)
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-As (radhiallaho ‘anho) about the Prophet (sallallaho ‘alaihi wasallam) that he said: “The major sins are associating anything with Allah, and rudeness to parents, and killing anyone and swearing a false oath purposefully." (Reported by Bukhari)
Narrated Abu Isa Al-Mughirah (radhiallaho ‘anho) that the Prophet (sallallaho ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Verily, Allah forbade for you, rudeness to mothers." (Reported by Muslim)
It is to be noted that the Muslim women enjoy special privileges not only as mothers and wives but also as daughters.
The Holy Prophet (sallallaho ‘alaihi wasallam) said: "Whoever brings up two girls until they attain adulthood, he will be with me on the Day of Judgement, and so close to me as these two (adjacent) fingers of mine (and he pointed to his two fingers joined together).” (Reported by Muslim)
Narrated Ibn Abbas (radhiallaho ‘anho): “There is no Muslim, whose two daughters reach the age (of adulthood), and he is good to them as a companion, and they do not cause him to enter Paradise." (Reported by Bukhari)]
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