A mother’s love is a genuine kind of love – unconditional, heartfelt and untouchable. Growing up, I never felt the emptiness of not having a father in my life because my mother fulfilled the role of comforting and caring for my siblings and I.
My mother was abused in her marriage for many years, and yet during that incredibly difficult stage of her life, she continued to take care of me and tried to shield me from the pain my father would inflict on her.
My father would often go away on trips, and whether it was for business or for his own leisure, the reality was that my father was never really there and when he was, he made our lives miserable.
I can still hear loud screams that would echo through the corridors of our home most nights. However, despite the chaos, my mother and I found a sense of peace and escapism. Every day after school, we would head to our local park to sit down and talk, play badminton and watch the seasons fold into the next. It was our light at the end of a dark and rather long tunnel.
There were many nights where I would find my mother on her prayer mat, crying and seeking a sense of relief – I could tell that the marriage she was in made her desperately unhappy and she would often turn to her faith in those moments of uncertainty.
Marriage is never an easy thing, it takes work, compromise, compassion, love and understanding, and although my mum gave all of those things, my father did not.
My father, who has become a distant memory of trauma and torment, left when I was 10 years old. When he left, my mother, my siblings and I took a deep breath of relief. A sense of peace and contentment finally made its way back into our home.
Growing up, my mother would always remind me of how I should value myself as a woman, be proud of who I am and strive for a love that is kind – an honest type of love built on the foundation of respect. I firmly believe respect is an essential part of marriage and it was something my father never showed. It seems harsh, I know, but I’ve seen my mother go through enough pain to come to this conclusion.
Even though my mother was torn apart in her marriage, she still prioritised her children and put us before herself. She would often turn to me and say “it’s going to be OK”, as the endless tears streamed down her face. Her words were my safety blanket and when she held me, I believed her. Everything was going to be OK. It was just a matter of time.
My mother is a symbol of resistance and resilience for me. She gave me her time and love, even in moments of great difficulty. She made sacrifices and compromises so her children could have the best possible life. I will always remember the warmth of her homemade treats and the kindness of her speech. She is a woman who left her homeland due to war, faced conflict even in her own home, and still found her way through. If that isn’t strength, then I don’t know what is.
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In lslam, women and mothers are irreplaceable blessings upon this Earth. A saying that I often keep close to my heart touches upon the importance of mothers and how we should treat them. After all, they carried us in their wombs for many months, bathed us and were patient with us. The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said: “Heaven lies under the feet of your mother.”
This reminds us to be kinder to our mothers and not utter a word of resentment or hatred towards them. It gave me the understanding that my mother is the only person who really matters, because she was always there for me, holding me in my broken moments and embracing me in times of tranquility.
Through my first steps, to my graduation and my engagement, my mother has always been the beacon of hope that I needed. She is my best friend and without her my world would truly be a lonely one.
To all the single mothers out there, I want to take this moment to say thank you. Thank you for being you, for pulling through and for always putting your children first. It’s now our turn to give back and put you first.
Single mothers are a great gift on this Earth, so let’s celebrate them today. Happy Mother’s Day!