"Heaven lies under the feet of your mother." (Prophet Muhammad)
This is taught to Muslim children around the world. When I was a child, I remember revering the ground where my mother walked and looking intently at it to see how heaven looked. As I grew up, the purport of this most beautiful teaching about mothers became clearer to me. Indeed, in the obedience, reverence, love, respect, adoration and service of one's mother lies the key to attaining paradise.
To all the mothers out there - I would like to express my deepest regard and offer my sincere thanks for taking on this most noble role! You are the real heroes who nurture the young minds and make our human civilization thrive. The travails of pregnancy that you endure, the unmatched dedication in caring for the newborn, and the selfless compassion that you show; there is no equal to that. Dictionaries will beat a retreat if one were to try to find the right word to say "thank you" to you !
As a tribute to mothers, I would like to introduce some amazing and dedicated Minnesota Muslim mothers.
Happy Mother's Day!
Krista Siddiqui with her daughter
My name is Krista Siddiqui and I'm a grad student and mother of 4 children. I'm in graduate school now because my children will all be in school next year so my home will be empty. I truly look forward to going back to work. Being a stay at home mom for the past 12 years has been challenging and rewarding. Making the decision to put my career on hold when I had children was not without trepidation; but in the end, I knew that I would never look back and regret the time I invested in my children. However, I could not say the same of my career. Being a mom means a lot of hard work, never ending days, and sleepless nights. However, when my baby looks in my eyes and says she loves me more than all of God's creations...my heart melts, and I know that I will never regret a minute of the time I have with them. Not one second.
Sarah Irshad with her family
My name is Sarah Irshad. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. I did my bachelors in civil engineering from NED University of Karachi. I am married to Adeel Ahmed and we have two beautiful daughters, Zainab and Emaan. The first thing that comes to my mind when talking about motherhood is the 'learning process' associated with this experience. For example, learning how to manage stress, how to organize time, how to bring discipline in your life so that you can serve as a role model for your children, and lastly learning how to be patient. I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous role my husband Adeel has played in the parenting of our children. I stayed home with my kids when they were young. Currently I work part time at Hennepin Technical College as a math tutor. InshaAllah (God willing) I am planning to pursue my masters in mathematics education from the University of Minnesota.
Jean Nackers with her children
I believe motherhood means love and protection. I cherish every moment I have with my children. I love to rediscover the world through their eyes. We raise caterpillars in the spring, fish in a nearby pond, and love to learn more about the world around us. I want to teach my children to care for the earth and to have love and concern for their fellow human beings. We belong to one amazing human family and we can learn so much from one another.
Janice Aziz with her children
I was born and raised in Minnetonka, MN and currently live in Minneapolis. I am an elementary school teacher and have been in education for the past 17 years. I have three sons, two daughters, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and the cutest granddaughter ever, with another grandchild expected in November. Motherhood is the toughest job I have ever had or will ever have. It’s a little like the “Forest Gump” box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. Some days are sweet and some days are not so sweet. Then there are those days that were totally unexpected. Through all of that, my children are the light of my life. They are my pride, my teachers, my comedy club, my camping partners and why I shed tears of joy as well as tears of frustration. In the end, I hope that I have given my children the strength to be whatever they aspire, the courage to carry on when times are tough and the support to become people of integrity and faith.
Arwa Osman with her son
Arwa Osman was born and raised in St. Paul and spent much of her youth volunteering for local community organizations. In 2009, while training as a human rights activist in the Occupied West Bank she met her husband, Stephen. Their son, Zakariyya, was born in January of 2011. Today Arwa is a undergraduate student at St. Olaf College studying Sociology/Anthropology and concentrating in Middle Eastern Studies and Women's Studies. Though very busy, she maintains the balance between work and school, and enjoys days at the park playing and reading with Zakariyya. "Being a parent has made my entire outlook on life shift. I'm much more relaxed, open-minded and empathetic, despite the sleep-deprivation and stress that comes with raising a child," she reflects. Arwa hopes to move on to graduate school and work in public health, in the area of child and maternal health and well-being.
Nausheena with her children
Paradise lies beneath her feet,” golden words to any mother’s ears. It’s this elevated status that God has blessed mothers with that helps us play such an important role in the lives of our children. Teaching the important things in life, to love, laugh, respect, forgive, work hard, show compassion, empathy and so much more.
My children and family have always been my top priority in life. Now, did I sacrifice school and put my career on hold for that? Some would argue yes, but I would say no. I always tried to find a balance when pursing graduate school with a newborn, focusing in on my marketing career with two kids, or following my passion into the non-profit with pre-teen drama and an overactive boy!
To me, Mother’s Day has always been the day my daughter was born. That’s the day I became a mother. Three and a half years later, my son was born. So, do I think that’s Mother’s Day too? Absolutely! Surviving the first round out of motherhood is a feat in itself!
I’m just like any other mom- making it through the morning rush, chaperoning field trips, calligraphy class, karate class, Qur’an class, tennis lessons, bike rides, and bedtime stories. My kids told me I was doing a pretty good job. Tough judges, but I'll take that word of confidence any day.