Guest Author - Linda Heywood
There is a myth that Paradise lies under the heels of mothers. This is not true, only God decides who goes to Paradise. Mothers cannot help us to get there and neither can fathers.
Those of us who ask for forgiveness and repent of our sins and follow Godís path may be spared the retribution of Hell and sent to Paradise, but only if it is Godís will (40:7). No one can help us reach Paradise except God. The angles pray for us and ask for forgiveness for those who believe.
Chapter 40, verse 8
ďOur Lord, and admit them into the gardens of Eden that You promised for them and for the righteous among their parents, spouses and children. You are the Almighty, Most wise.Ē
Most children follow the religion of their parents without ever questioning whether or not their parents understand their chosen religion. We are told not to follow them in case they misunderstood or were never guided (2:170). As individuals we must decide for ourselves and verify everything. Why would you choose to blindly follow anyone with regard to religion without finding out for yourself?
Chapter 17, verse 36
You shall not accept any information unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you hearing, eyesight and a brain and you are responsible for using them.
God tells us in the Quran that people who believe in God and the Last Day should not befriend people who oppose God and His messenger, even if they are parents, children, siblings or from the same tribe (58:22).
We should show both of our parentsí kindness and treat them amicably for as long as they live (17:23) and do not use words of contempt towards them or cause them annoyance.
The laws concerning who a child lives with if the parents are divorced are laid out in the verse below. As Islam is a paternal religion the rules are that the men are responsible for their children. The laws these days tend to favour the mother over the father when placing the care of a child with one parent. There is no rule that says a mother makes a better parent but mothers usually care for the children while the father goes out to work.
Chapter 2, verse 233
Divorced mothers shall nurse their infants for two full years, if the father so wishes. The father shall provide the mother's food and clothing equitably. No one shall be burdened beyond his ability. No mother shall be harmed on account of her infant, nor shall the father be harmed because of his infant. His inheritor shall assume these responsibilities. If the infant's parents mutually agree to part, after due consultation, they commit no error by doing so. You commit no error by hiring nursing mothers, so long as you pay them equitably. You shall observe God and know that God is Seer of everything you do.
The status of men and women in Islam is one of equality. Mothers are not better than fathers. Mothers have their role to play and so do fathers in the raising of healthy, happy, righteous children.