The saying “Paradise is at the feet of mothers” is rooted in the following:

A man asked the Prophet Mohammed whether he should fight in a war. To this, the Prophet asked if the man’s mother was still alive. When the man answered that she was indeed still alive, the Prophet responded with “(Then) stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet.”

I have just come home from saying goodbye to my mother. She’ll be in the Gaza Strip for the next month, and I already miss her so much it’s almost unbearable.

There’s no person on this earth who could provide me the sort of calm, kindness, shelter and warmth that my mother can. I hate that I won’t be able to crawl into bed with her when I’m too tired to fall asleep alone…

She is the only one who knows my darkest secrets and thoughts, the only one I fear to disappoint, the only one I would kill to protect. She’s also the only one who has never ridiculed even the most ridiculous of my feelings…and she’s never once not forgiven me for the most unforgivable actions.

There have been fights, yelling matches, angry words, threats and all of the usual suspects that make up a relationship of 31 years. But. Everything I am is because of her and the mere thought of losing her, breaks me.

I don’t want this to be a sad blog entry, and so I will share a funny scenario which occurred as I was driving her to her destination earlier this day. She recently acquired a global mobile phone (for safety while she is crossing the Rafah border into Gaza) that she’s still learning how to use.

She sat in the car and explained how she was having trouble accessing her voicemail. I asked her to walk me through the steps she followed in order to retrieve her messages. When the “voicemail lady” asked her for her P.I.N. number, my mother started chattering into the phone. For a moment, I had no idea what she was doing, until I realised that she was under the misimpression that she had to say her P.I.N. number aloud, rather than actually key it into the mobile. I was laughing so hard I nearly crashed my car.

She’s an incredible woman. Not to mention an absolutely (& sickeningly so) stunning woman. This photo was taken when she was my age (her eyes are a very unique shade of pale green that I have yet to see on anyone else):

…they took this photo of me on the same day:
Baby meesho

Read here if you’re interested in learning more about (specifically) mothers in Islam…

Thanks to my Fiery M for the inspiration.

(Originally published: 06/01/06)