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The qualities of an ideal father and an ideal mother

By: Abdul Adheem al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani
Question: What are the qualities of an ideal father and an ideal mother?
The answer: An ideal father is one who:
1. undertakes his responsibility well to create a good marital and family life with humane atmospheres.
2. brings his family lawful livelihood without a bit of unlawful.
3. respects his wife as a human being who is equal to him in rights and duties, as Allah has said, (O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you)[99].
4. cares for the intellectual, moral, and material needs of his children and is generous to them as much as possible.
An ideal mother is one who:
1. understands her role as a mother who has the most important position in educating children and feeding them with love and sentiment and teaching them the meanings of goodness, benevolence, and the afterlife.
2. undertakes her responsibility well and does not lose her patience or give up her task, which is like the task of the prophets and apostles.
3. repels evil with that which is best.
4. prefers the comfort of her husband and children to her own ease and comfort when there is a conflict between comforts.
5. always feels satisfied and content.
6. distributes her smiles of sincerity, satisfaction, and hope of success and progress among all members of her family.
7. does not remind her husband of the work she does inside the house.
8. does not uncover the defects of her husband before others and does not reveal the secrets of their life.
9. looks forward to the reward of the afterlife, pleasure of Allah, and the bliss of Paradise, which Allah has put under her feet if she devotes her intentions sincerely to Allah in this life.
Here, someone may question: why have you decreased the qualities and responsibilities of a father and increased those of a mother? This is not fair, O sheikh!
I say: if the wife has these ideal qualities, her husband will be affected by her and then she will be a practical teacher for her husband too. Then, the famous saying “behind every great man, there is a woman” will become true.
When we reach this fact, we find that it is inevitable to emphasize the great role of mothers in preparing our daughters in the best way to undertake their important roles in achieving the happiness of the society, the progress of the umma, and the guidance of the men and the youth.
To see this fact, you can ponder on the reasons behind the wretchedness of society, the underdevelopment of the umma, and the deviation of men and the youth. You shall find heedless wives, bad women, and deviate girls at the head of these reasons.
Therefore, it has been mentioned in traditions that wealth and women are the most dangerous weapons of the Satan in seducing man and deviating him from truth, justice, and goodness and removing him from the moral paradise of this life and from the real Paradise in the afterlife, in which the pious live in comfort and luxury forever.
History has proved this in the past and in the present. Woman has corrupted and still corrupts whatever is around her if she is corrupted. Even the sincere believers have been felled by corruptive women if they became heedless for a moment.
Thus, responsibility is very heavy for a good mother, especially in bringing up her daughters. Therefore, Islam has made her position higher than the position of a good father. The Prophet (S) has ordered people to be kind to their mother three times more than to their father.
If this becomes clear to you, you shall know the secret behind the plans of colonialists that aim at corrupting daughters and making mothers ignorant, because after that, colonialists can seize the wealth of our countries easily, for they shall not find before them save semi-men.
I have to declare something that is very bitter for every heart that wishes for the exaltedness of Islam and the happiness of man and society. It is that some women who are considered to be religious whereas faith has never entered their hearts have played a dangerous role in disrupting the Islamic unity, drawing the believers into disagreements and setting the fire of sedition among them.
This is clear evidence showing women’s ability of destruction even if they don the dress of religion.
Yes! If a woman has such a great ability of bad influence even over religious people, it is reasonable and wise that much attention should be paid to this great ability in order to direct it towards construction rather than destruction.
Thus, we find that a faithful woman and ideal mother is a more important factor of construction and happiness in life than a faithful man and ideal father.
[99] Holy Qur’an, 4:1.

What is the role of motherhood in society and religion?
Question: What is the philosophy of motherhood? What is the relation of woman to society with both positive and negative aspects? Can motherhood be one of the factors that contribute to building a good and faithful nation that can resist corruption and tyranny?
The answer: Once, I heard Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi al-Mudarrisi say in one of his lectures, ‘If you want a good society, you have to look for a good mother, because if you find society sinking under the pressures of corruption and loss, you should know well that all these evils shall reach mothers. A mother is not only a school, but she is also the life, origin, and essence of man….
In order to treat the problem from its roots, you have to turn to the mother and try to treat the problems that the mother suffers from, and then, you will know the reasons behind the deviation of society. Looking for another place to cure the social diseases will be nothing save a temporary tranquilizer that soon disappears and then the pains of the diseases will come back again.’
About the philosophy of motherhood and the qualities of an ideal mother, he says, ‘Before all, man has to ask himself: has he come to this life to enjoy its pleasures and live for a certain period and then he dies and everything finishes, or has he come to play a role and undertake a responsibility? If the second conception is true, then what is the responsibility of this man?’
To answer this question, I say: the greatest responsibility that man undertakes in this life is the good upbringing of his children. A mother who understands this responsibility knows well that all the affairs of this life are minor before her responsibility for her children…
An ideal mother makes her children be among the people of Paradise and tries her best to carry out this goal. She makes them love Allah and fear the punishment of the afterlife…
Things like these are not realized unless a woman pays a lot of attention to other things that are considered as bases to attain these goals. A woman does not become a good mother except when she becomes a good wife. As a man has to look for a good woman to marry, a woman does not have to accept save a good man to be her husband. After marriage, she has to try her best to raise and educate her children in the best way. Also, she has to watch her husband especially concerning the source of his livelihood. A good wife does not allow her husband to bring money from anywhere, because she knows that unlawful money causes unlawful sperm, and a man who is created from an unlawful sperm is difficult to be reformed.’
We invite the Ulama’, thinkers, preachers, and pious people to take extensive care to spread the culture of motherhood in societies, especially amongst the rising generation of girls. Islam has paid a lot of attention to the position of girls in the house due to her vital role in the future when she becomes a wife and mother.
The Prophet (S) said, ‘Whoever has a daughter and he brings her up well, educates her well, and is generous to her with what Allah has granted him, she will be as a fort and cover him from Fire.[100]’
In another tradition, the Prophet (S) declares that the right of a mother on her child is two times more than the right of a father. A child has been recommended to be kind to his father, while he has been recommended to be kind to his mother three times as much.
The best speech is that of Allah when He says, (And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years, he says: My Lord! grant me that I may give thanks for Thy favor which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do good which pleases Thee and do good to me in respect of my offspring; surely I turn to Thee, and surely I am of those who submit. These are they from whom We accept the best of what they have done and pass over their evil deeds, among the dwellers of the garden; the promise of truth which they were promised)[101].
[100] Mizan al-Hikma, vol.1 p.74.
[101] Holy Qur’an, 46:15-16.

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