“Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind.” ― Howard W. Hunter
When I first got married, having kids was the last thing on my mind. In fact, I was not even in favor of having one. I was even contemplating of not having any. You see, I was not exactly the maternal type. I could only take children in very small doses, then. Screaming kids drove me nuts. They still do but after years of practice, I have perfected my ‘killer look’ so one glance from me, it’s enough to quiet them down.
So here I am, 15 years later and with 4 kids. I now realized that God decides what’s best for us whether we like it or not . What made me change my mind about having kids? Well… God did! I remember visiting a friend who had given birth. She and her husband were working in London and they had come back to Malaysia for holidays. I went straight from work and was quite excited to see her. (note: ‘her’ not the baby!). When I got there, she was downstairs in the living room talking to her mum. The baby was upstairs sleeping. The baby boy was about 5 months already. My friend asked me if I wanted to see the baby. I hesitated as I did not want to seem rude by saying ‘no’ so I agreed. We went up to the room and found that the baby was still sleeping. We perched at the edge of the bed and suddenly, the baby opened his eyes, stared directly at me and gave me this wonderful tooth-less smile. I felt the smile went straight into my heart and pierced my soul. I felt a ray of sunlight shining so brightly in the room. I picked him up and something happened inside of me. I was melting. I was smitten! I held on to him until it was time to me to go home and I was very reluctant to let him go. Alas! He wasn’t mine to keep.
When I went home, I knew that I was ready to have a child and I wanted one immediately! That was exactly what I told my husband. You can imagine his shock!
Anyway, I discovered the joy of being a mom from the moment of conception till the time my children were born. Alhamdulillah, God was very kind to me, in that, my pregnancy periods were not very difficult or trying for me, or, I must have developed amnesia that I can’t remember the difficult bits.
Every time after I gave birth, I told my husband that it would the last because I do not want to go through the trauma again but, after a year or two, I would have forgotten about the laborious pain and my maternal instincts started kicking in; I always ended up telling him that I want another baby.
It is wonderful how God create women to have such strong maternal instincts and bond with their children. It is also amazing how God has created us to be able to endure the pain of childbirth. As women, our pain threshold is way higher than the men. That is why God have given us a special authority over our children.
“When a man approached the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asking to take part in a military expedition, the Prophet asked him if he had a mother. When the man said his mother was still alive, the Prophet said: "Stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet."
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1275
Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1275
"We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth"
Surah Al-Ahqaf (46:15).
A couple years ago, during one of my chit-chats with the Wise Owl, I discovered the wonderful virtues in Islam about being pregnant and being a mother.
“ When a woman is pregnant with a child, all the angels will make Istighfar (repentance) on her behalf. Allah SWT will, for each day of her pregnancy, write for her 1000 good deeds and erase from her 1000 bad deeds.
“When a pregnant woman starts to feel the pain from contractions, Allah SWT will write in her records as someone who is doing jihad (spiritual or physical struggle) in His path.”
“When a woman becomes pregnant by her husband and he is pleased with her, she obtains the reward of a person engaging in fasting for Allah SWT and a person spending the night in ibaadah (worship).”
“Two raka'at salaat performed by a pregnant woman is better than 80 raka'at salaat performed by a non-pregnant woman.”
“A woman who gives birth gets the reward of 70 years of salaat (prayer) and fasting. For each vein that feels pain, Allah SWT gives her the reward of one accepted hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah).”
“Nabi(salalaallahu alayhi wassallam) is reported to have also said 'When her labour pains commence, the inhabitants of the earth and the sky are unaware of the stores of comfort that are prepared for her. When she delivers and breast feeds her child, then she will be granted a reward for every gulp of milk, if she had to remain awake during the night for the sake of the child, she will receive the reword of emancipating seventy slaves in the path of Allah Ta'ala. O Salaamat! Do you know who these women are? They are pious, upright, with a delicate nature yet obedient to their husbands and not ungrateful to them'
“A woman from the time of pregnancy until childbirth and weaning the baby, is like the Mujahid (someone fighting in the path of Allah, swa) who is stationed on the frontiers of the Islamic land. If she dies during this period, she dies the death of a shahid (martyr).”
SubhanAllah!!! We mothers are given such high status by God Al Mighty! We are truly very fortunate. We are compensated highly for our pain and sufferings. I realized that, as women, it is so easy to gain rewards for good deeds but it is also easy for us to incur the wrath of God Almighty hence we must be very careful.
There are of course, up and downs, in motherhood. Nothing is perfect or rosy. My kids still do drives me up the wall sometimes and there were times when I wish I have a remote control for human with a ‘mute’ button so that I can ‘mute’ them whenever they get too noisy. Since becoming a mother, bathing is a luxury because I must find time for it.
One of my friends will always hide in her toilet, whenever she wants to speak to me on the phone because according to her, that is the only place her kids will her leave alone. Unfortunately for me, the moment I step in to the toilet, my kids will be banging on the door asking 101 questions! They had to wait until I enter the toilet, not before that! I have not come to the stage where my girls are borrowing my clothes yet but something tells me that it would be soon. But you know, despite all that, I love being a mother and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Children are God’s gift to us and we have to take good care of them. They are given to us on Trust and we will be questioned later....