It’s 7pm. You’ve attempted to sleep all day but your body just won’t let you anymore. You’re staring down the clock and all you can think about is the sweet taste of a date on your lips. That’s right, it’s Ramadan! A time for spiritual rejuvenation…and good food!
In the month of Ramadan, Muslims are expected to be their best selves. We’re not missing any prayers, we’re reciting Qur’an, and we’re trying our best to refrain from any sinful behavior. Then at the end of the day, we’re rewarded with a delicious meal that we can share with our family— a meal we likely spent all day thinking about, a meal our moms probably spent multiple hours preparing. That’s universal right? Your mom cooking the Iftar dinner? And no one’s ever questioned it?
I get it. We’re the children, and we’re tired. What doesn’t sound better than sleeping through your fast and waking up to a feast your lovely mother made? Nothing! But that’s not exactly the idea of Ramadan. We should put even more effort into following the teachings of Islam during this month, and if you didn’t know…respecting your mother is one of them!
A man came to the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship?” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Your mother.” The man said, “Then who?” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Then your mother.” The man further asked, “Then who?” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Then your mother.” The man asked again, “Then who?” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Then your father.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
A man once consulted the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about taking part in a military campaign. The Prophet asked the man if his mother was still living. When told that she was alive, the Prophet (PBUH) said: “(Then) stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
On another occasion, the Prophet (PBUH) said: “God has forbidden for you to be undutiful to your mothers.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasizes the importance of mothers in each of these hadiths, and it is especially relevant during Ramadan when our mothers take on the burden of cooking, cleaning, and working all while fasting! They. Are. Superheroes. And we should treat them as such.
Our moms should be held in the highest regard, and that means picking up some slack during Ramadan and continuing to do so even after this month ends. I challenge every one of you to take on the responsibility of cooking for your family one night. Just one Iftar out of the twenty-nine your mom would’ve prepared alone otherwise. Give her a break for a night, ask your siblings, dad, or any other relatives to help, and have fun with it!
But my challenge doesn’t end there. I also challenge you to help your mom prepare dinner during this month at least once a week. I know that sounds troublesome and will take away from your relaxation time, but I promise you she’ll appreciate it! And if you can’t see your mom, make sure to let her know how much you appreciate her and all the hard work she does, especially during this month.
Ramadan provides an opportunity to work on our character, self-discipline, and piety. This is a time that allows us to reflect on our actions and change if we need to. I encourage every one of you to think about ways in which you can improve and consistently work at it every day to become the best Muslim you can possibly be. Who knows, maybe helping your mom with daily tasks is the first step to becoming your better self. Whatever it is, I hope you find it and I hope you all have a great Ramadan!