My Mother’s Hands
Eid was nearing and I felt it was necessary to get my Mother a new Abaya (Cloak or Jilbab) as her other Abayas were frail and worn out. I stopped by on Saturday morning and told my mum to come along as I have a surprise for her.
I don’t normally like to go shopping and I’m not a patient person, but we set off for the mall together. We visited nearly every Islamic Clothing Store that carried ladies’ Abayas, and my mother tried on many. We were so undecided as some were too huge and others too small … some were just right but the colour was not so smart, etc.
As the day wore on, I grew weary. Finally, at our last stop, my mother tried on a lovely Brown Abaya that had lovely beige ribbon trimmings. The Abaya had some bows in front. As I stood in the dressing room with her, I watched as she tried, with much difficulty, to tie the bows. Her hands were so badly crippled from arthritis that she couldn’t do it. Immediately, my impatience gave way to an overwhelming wave of compassion for her. I turned away to try and hide the tears that welled up involuntarily. Regaining my composure, I turned back to tie the bow for her.
Our shopping trip was over, but the event was etched indelibly in my memory. For the rest of the day, my mind kept returning to that moment in the dressing room and to the vision of my mother’s hands trying to tie that bow. Those loving hands that had fed me, bathed me, dressed me, caressed and comforted me, and, most of all, prayed for me, were now touching me in the most remarkable manner.
Later in the evening, I went to my mother’s room, took her hands in mine, kissed them and, much to her surprise, told her that to me they were the most beautiful hands in the world. Tears started following profusely from her aged and weak eyes as I narrated how I appreciated all that her beautiful hands had done for me since I could remember. I could not forget how she stood at my bed side for days and fed me with those beautiful hands while I recovered from an accident. I was aged 17 at that time. Today at 33 and I can only pray that some day Allah will let my hands, and my heart achieve such a beauty of their own.
Eid morning came and before the Eid prayer I entered my aged mother’s room and requested the honour of tying the bow on her beautiful Abaya. She gently nodded her head. My eyes soaked with tears … my heart filled with gratitude. I thanked Allah for this great honour on this beautiful day of Eid.
“We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth.” (Quran- Surah al-Ahqaf; 46: 15)
The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: “Jannah lies under the feet of your mother”.
The Noble Messenger of Allah (saww) said, ‘Come near the pulpit,’ and we came near the pulpit. When he ascended the first step of the pulpit, he said, ‘Ameen.’ When he ascended the second step, he said, ‘Ameen.’ When he ascended the third step, he said, ‘Ameen.’
When he descended, we said, ‘O Prophet of Allah (saww), we have heard from you today something which we never heard before.’
He said, ‘When I ascended the first step, Jibra’eel appeared before me and said, ‘Woe to him who found the blessed Month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness.’ Upon that I said: Ameen.
When I ascended the second step, he said, ‘Woe to him before whom your name is mentioned and he does not read / send blessings on you’. I replied: Ameen.
When I ascended the third step he said, ‘Woe to him in whose presence his parents or either one of them attains old age, and (through failure to serve them) he is not allowed to enter Paradise’. I said: Ameen.”