I know when some people read ayah or ahadith about mothers, they think to themselves, ‘I can’t honor my mother after everything we’ve been through. Having a relationship with her will never happen.’ I know people think this way because I once felt this way about my mother as well.
Sadly, I can’t remember a time in my childhood or teenage years when my mother and I got along. She raised me the way her mother raised her- with harsh words and tough love. She said what was on her mind and so did I. I became quite sassy and angry as time went on. So, needless to say, things got worse as I got older and the tension grew. There were many things I blamed her for and, I’m sure, many ways I had let her down.
After becoming muslim and learning the importance of mothers I tried to change the way I saw her and my level of respect for her, but shaytan was always right there inciting arguments and sparking our anger towards one another. When I met my now husband, he asked me about my mother and I’s relationship and I told him there wasn’t one and I didn’t care if there was. He wasn’t having that as he proceeded to tell me how I had to fix things with her and reminding me of all the sacrifices mothers make. I had heard it all before but was too hurt and unforgiving to accept the advice or really even listen, but masha Allah, when the advice came from him, it hit my heart and made me want to cry (but of course I couldn’t fall apart in front of him so soon lol).
Knowing I would be moving out when I got married, I decided to write my mom a letter, as I was always better at expressing my feelings on paper than in person. I started writing how hurt I was because of this and that and asking why didn’t she handle certain situations better. Then I stopped and realized blaming her and lashing out at her wouldn’t make anything better. It wouldn’t change the past. It wouldn’t heal any wound that hadn’t healed by now. I crumbled it up and started a new letter. I told her how much I appreciated all the sacrifices she had made for me. That I knew she tried her best and I was sorry for anything I ever did or said that hurt or disappointed her. I told her how important mothers are in islam and that I was thankful Allah blessed me to have her as a mother. I finished by saying that even though I was leaving now, I hoped this could be the start of a beautiful relationship and that I loved her more than words could say.
I got married and went on my honeymoon and when I came home to get my boxes, she gave me a letter in return. I was so nervous to read it, thinking perhaps my loving words had come too late for her. But I read words that brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart. She apologized as well and said she wanted the same relationship I wanted and how much she loved me.
Its been almost 3 years since I got married, and in that time a friendship has blossomed that I never thought possible. We talk every day or every other day, have girls’ nights out, she takes my kids for weekends, and so much more that I didn’t think would ever happen.
Allah guided me to forgive my mother and her to forgive me. I see a happiness in her now that I honestly didn’t know existed and I thank Allah for blessing me with a mother like her.
I hope this is somehow an inspiration to someone who’s going through a similar situation. And remember it is reported by Mu`awiyah bin Jahima As-Sulami that the Prophet s.a.w. said, ‘Paradise lays beneath the feet of your mother.’ (Ahmad)