Table of Contents

Importance of Mother's Rights

The Father

My child! Please be aware that the rights of mothers are more important than that of the father. An individual once asked the Holy prophet (S) “To whom should I be kindest?” He replied: “Your mother.” Then he asked: “After her, to whom” He again said: Your Mother”. The man asked the same question for the third time. The reply was the same, Your Mother”. And he repeated his question for the fourth time, the Holy Prophet (S.) answered him “Your Mother.” 1

Again a man asks the Holy Prophet (S.) about being kind to parents. In reply for three times, he said: “Your mother”: and only then he said “Your father.” 2
Perhaps there are two reasons for this importance: (A) Motherly affection, and (B) Mother's influence on the child's character. Perhaps there are two reasons for this importance: (A) Motherly affection, and (B) Mother's influence on the child's character.

A. Motherly Affection

It is the mother who suffers more pain in taking care and in protection of the child. She nourishes and brings up the child in her love filled lap until she delivers him to the society. One would be quite astounded to realize what a mother does for her child. Only then, one would agree that none would match a mother. Not even an affectionate maid or babysitter. Suppose a maid or a babysitter is able to offer the services, they do so in return of a wage, not merely for the affection to the child. It is the mother who suffers more pain in taking care and in protection of the child. She nourishes and brings up the child in her love filled lap until she delivers him to the society. One would be quite astounded to realize what a mother does for her child. Only then, one would agree that none would match a mother. Not even an affectionate maid or babysitter. Suppose a maid or a babysitter is able to offer the services, they do so in return of a wage, not merely for the affection to the child.

B. Mother's Influence on the Child's Character

The mother lays the basic foundation of the child's behavior and character. As through her mild she provides nourishment for the body, through her teachings, she strengthens his spirit. Consequently, the child inherits his mother's mannerism, habits and other characters since early infancy and will keep them throughout his life. Finally, the child's happiness depends on the way he is reared by his mother.

The Holy Prophet (S) says:

لا تسترضعو الحمقاء العمشاء فان اللبن يعدى.

“Do not select foolish women or women with weak eyesight to nurse your children, because these characteristics pass into the child towards the milk.” 3

Imam ‘Ali (as) says:

انظروا من ترضع اولادكم فان الولد يشب عليه.

“Be careful as to who nurse your children since they will grow up with same milk.” 4

He also says:

ما من لبن رضع به الصبى اعظم بركة عليه من لبن امه.

“No milk is more blessed for a child than that of his own mother.” 5

Imam Al-Baqir 6 (as) says:

استرضع لولدك بلبن الحسان واياك والقباح فان اللبن قد يعدى.

“Choose good natured women for nursing your children and avoid the evil one because milk transfers character.”

Samuel Smiles, writer, journalist and Scottish politician of 19th century, said:

“Those who swing children's cradles are more influential than those who run the government.” 7

“Rearing of a child begins at the time of his first smile.” 8

“Infancy is like a mirror. It reflects whatever is placed in front of it.” 9

“The model constantly present in front of the child is his mother” 10
“Mother has far more influence on the child than does his father.” 11

An Ancient Greek once said:

“If you put your slave in charge of rearing your child, soon you will have two slaves.” 12

George Herbert says:

“One good natured mother is worth one hundred teachers.” 13

John Randolph, the well-known American politician says:

“Only one thing saved me from becoming atheistic. That was the thoughts of the moments when my mother in her death bed took my hands and placed me on her lap and made me repeat after her, her belief in the Lord.” 14

It has been said that:

“A good mother is nature's masterpieces.” 15

Napoleon Bonaparte used to say:

“A child's good and bad behaviour always depends upon that of his mother.” 16

Adams, the American President, says:

“During infancy, I had the greatest blessing anyone could have. That, having a mother who was capable of raising a family in an excellent instructions from her. If there are any shortcomings and deviations in my life, it is of my own fault and it has nothing to do with her” 17

Joseph Demister, after discussing the inventions and art works produced by some famous men, continues that:

“It is true that women have produced no such things, but what they have done is far more important than all these works because it is women who have raised such pious and industrious men.” 18

He throughout his works, refers to his mother with love and respect. In one instance, he says:

“Good natured mother was a heavenly angel who was bestowed a human body temporarily by God.” 19

Goethe had a great affection and love for his mother. About her he says: “My mother had excellent qualities for living.” 20

And when he was in Frankfurt, he would meet with all people who had in any way been kind to his mother and would thank them for that.

Samuel Johnson talks with extreme respect about his mother.

“She was a wise and well educated woman who enforced religious sentiments in him since early childhood. And in appreciation, he, with his small income, would provide all kinds of conveniences for her.” 21

The Child

I admit that the rights of mothers are extremely important. That is why to mother, I say “I shall never forget about your contribution as my mother, I have read that Heaven is under the footsteps of mothers like you and happiness comes through being obedient to you. I consider that a big mistake on my part if I am not a decent and worthy child, for you. And a life in which I do not fulfill my obligations to you would be a miserable life.”

I am certain that you will be happy with me even if I am not good to you. And no matter how nasty I am, you will forgive me. You’re being happy with me, and your forgiveness is enough to make me happy in life on this earth and to save me forever from Allah's wrath on the Day of Judgement.

  • 1. Usul Kafi, New Edition Tehran, Vol. II p. 159
  • 2. Usul Kafi, New Edition Tehran, Vol. II P. 162
  • 3. Wafi, part XII, p. 27
  • 4. Wafi, Part XII,PP. 27-27
  • 5. Wafi, Part XII, pp. 27-28
  • 6. The Fifth Imam, Muhammad, known as al-Al-Baqir (57/675-114/732). The son of the fourth Imam, he was present at Karbala at a young age. Because of changing political and religious conditions, among them the general revolution following the events at Karbala, many people came to Medina to learn the religious and spiritual sciences from him. He trained numerous well-known men of religion, and mainly for this reason is the first Imam after 'Ali from whom large numbers of traditions are recorded. He buried in the Baqi cemetery in Medina. [Tr]
  • 7. The Book of Ethics, Part 1, pp. 38-48
  • 8. The Book of Ethics, Part 1, pp. 38-48
  • 9. The Book of Ethics, Part 1, pp. 38-48
  • 10. The Book of Ethics, Part 1, pp. 38-48
  • 11. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 12. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 13. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 14. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 15. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 16. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 17. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 18. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 19. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 20. The Book of Ethics, Part, pp. 40-54
  • 21. The Book of Ethics, and Editions, Part 1, pp. 50-54