The Toothless One
What is motherhood now? To millions and billions who have become mothers, the word ‘motherhood’ sounds like it is something new: a new experience which they cannot avoid getting influenced by, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.
Women have been mothers for thousands of years. They grew up, got married, became pregnant, gave birth to children, reared them to adulthood, and in time themselves died.
Generation after generation, they have been going through the cycle. As individuals, and as members of groups, they kept functioning without being sad about it, or overjoyed about it, or bemused about it.
They did not sit down and think about it, discuss it, or analyze it. They were natural and knew the ways of nature which was not going to be altered – whether they liked it or not. And they were quite satisfied about it, even if they occasionally gossiped about it, expressing negative or positive thoughts.
But what is motherhood now?
To millions and billions who have become mothers, the word ‘motherhood’ sounds like it is something new: a new phenomenon, a new experience which they cannot avoid getting influenced by.
After all, it is the talk of the town. TV talks, newspapers, magazines, lectures, seminars – they are all – so to say, blaring it. But to what purpose? None, except to weaken it.
Indeed, if they could, they would destroy it.
It is no more a blessing, a joy.
It is not welcome.
It has become a burden.
Mothers feel loaded with a sense of guilt. The burden of the eight billion souls seems to have been dumped on them.
While the work goes on about them, and on them, the talk, and the propaganda, we present our own Islamic view – not what the Qur’an and Sunnah have to say about her and about the concept, but rather, the first of the mothers, the one who became a model, without ever intending it, but rather living it, the one (and the only one) who received a Salam from her Lord; to whom `A’isha(ra) referred later, after her death, almost derisively, as “…the old, toothless one?”
That was Khadijah, Umm al Mu’mineen, the Prophet’s first wife and the one dearest to him.
Our pens might dry up, but who can describe her successfully –faithfully, walking past houses, stony paths, rocky valleys, up the rugged hills, to the mount?
The cave, the solitariness, the deep silence!
There comes Jibril to say:
“Messenger of Allah! This is Khadijah, carrying a bowl with some foodstuff, stew, or maybe a beverage. When she reaches you, convey Salam to her from her Lord, and from me. And give her the news of an abode in Paradise, free of noise and of fatigue.”