Bushra Huma Bhatti, Outreach Department, Lajna Imaillah Hounslow North
To commemorate International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, Lajna Imaillah Hounslow North hosted a multi-faith discussion forum on the topic of “motherhood”, on 13 March 2021.
The online event was attended by more than 40 guests from different faith groups and women’s organisations such as WFWP, SGI and Mums Aid. The aim of the informal discussion was to address the topic of “motherhood” from different perspectives, including faith and how motherhood faces different challenges in life. During the programme, the audience were asked to pay tribute to our mothers by sharing the lessons our mothers have taught us.
Women from the Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Muslim faith and those of no specified faith, shared their experiences and views on motherhood. Some were mothers themselves, others were not, but have experienced motherhood’s care and love as daughters and united in their agreement of how important a mother’s role in society is.
Lajna Imaillah members told the participants that to celebrate the establishment of Lajna Imaillah for 100 years, in 2022, they are funding a maternity hospital in Sierra Leone, as a gesture of gratitude to God Almighty.
A representative of Mums Aid (an award-winning charity which provides post-natal depression counselling for new mothers) was present and shared information with the participants about the important work the charity undertakes.
At the end of the session, tributes were paid to all mothers and the participants shared the life lessons their mothers had taught them with the other listeners. Some of those are as following:
“My mother loves gardening and so taught me first to prepare the soil before planting anything. True in life as in nature.”
“The best advice that my mother gave me was to only ask God for help. He will always be there for you.”
“Always show patience.”
“The best advice my mother gave me is to always respect your elders.”
“My mother taught me that everything happens for a reason and when it seems like things are falling apart, they are often just falling into place.”
“The advice my mother told me was to never fear worldly things but have a fear of Allah only.”
“My mum’s advice was to be a grateful person.”
“My mother suffered a stroke where one goes back into time like a child. By changing her, bathing her and feeding her it was like being able to be grateful that she did this for me when I was born.”
“My mum is my best friend and without her I would be very empty. Always there with good advice and support and motivates me when feeling down.”
“Be the mother that you want your children to also be.”
“Always save for a rainy day.”
“God is the Master, don’t just ask for ‘Better’. Ask for the ‘Best’.”
“The best advice my mother gave me is that God is the best of planners. Anytime I have been disappointed with things not going the way I had planned e.g., not getting a job I really wanted, she always assured me that God had something better planned for me, and indeed, in hindsight, I always see the changes that Allah brings into my life are much better than I could have ever planned myself, alhamdulillah.”
“The advice my mum told me and that has always stayed with me is when I went to school, I felt nervous about fitting in, and my mother asked to me in Urdu, ‘Look at your fingers on your hands, are they the same?’ and I said no. She said, ‘Well, that is just like the people you will meet in school. Everyone is different, yet you all work together as one, as friends, don’t you?’ I replied, ‘Yes, I guess you are right.’ So just because people may be different, difference and diversity is a beautiful thing. It teaches us we can work together as one.”
“The best advice my mother gave me was to always be a role model for your siblings and others and better yourself and then others will follow you. She always told me to be kind and love your neighbours and help the poor and God will reward you back, respect your elders and remember to be the friend to your future mother-in-law as my mother was with me. My mother always spoke to us as a friend and she always told us to be open with her as we are with our friends and this made our relationship strong as she loved us unconditionally.”
“One piece of advice that I would like to share that my mother gave me is that God has blessed everyone in different ways so never look enviously at people who are better off then you but to look at people who are less fortunate than you and then you will be grateful for what God has blessed you with.”
“Think before you speak.”