Today, the West is trying to dominate the Islamic societies by destroying the holy unit of family. Thus, the west tries to interpret the position of woman in the family by using feminist slogans and using commercial instruments. Fatima Zahra (Peace be upon her), that great woman in history, is a prominent model to the women in society. Thus, women in Islamic nations must find their true place by learning from the lady of the two worlds as an educator of humanity. Although all the aspect of her life is full of light and messages, her role as a wife and mother during her short but fruitful life has a peculiar magnificence about it. Hence, in this text, we are trying to review some aspects of her motherhood on the occasion of her birth.
The collapse of the foundation of family in the West
Today, the west is grappling with a disaster which is called “the collapse of the family unit”. The first question that comes to mind by hearing this sentence is what can be the root of the collapse of the family unit in the modern world and the culture known as modernity? It seems that the root of the problem must be sought in “humanism” or, in other words, the centrality and genuineness of humans. Humanism as a school of thought which carries the flag of giving genuineness to the tempting self instead of prioritizing the enslavement to God.
By paying careful attention to the proposition that humanism knows man as the criterion for good and evil instead of God, we come to the conclusion that “evil” is what man avoids and “good” is what he seeks.
Now, one should ask ‘whether it is possible for the unit of family to survive in the West though such a view is dominant? And in other words, can we believe in the genuineness of temptations and on the other hand expect the survival of the family units? And the family that has the dismissal of the rule of temptations as a condition for its survival because, when temptations are allowed, no community can survive as a self-same unit; either they are all dispersed or are all submissive to the power of one individual and neither can contribute to a family.
In a correct analysis, we may never recognize a family as a unit of dispersed members which are coming together; rather, a family is a single unit for life and sustenance under the light of God’s mercy and kindness. Surely, by assimilating the Western culture and “humanism” which is subconsciously present in the soul of the unbelievers there would be no family.
Feminism and a threat to the foundation of families
Given the new circumstances in this day and age, women are capable of doing other things in addition to bringing up their children and attending to their husbands. Therefore, the subject of the women’s presence in social scenes is a serious issue. Of course, here, we mean those activities which are commensurate with the personality of a woman and basically with the same view of women the great architect of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini (peace be upon him) has mentioned in his political will:
“We are proud that women, whether young or old, small or big, are present in the economic, cultural and military scenes accompanying men or even better than them in the path towards the superiority of Islam and the Holy Koran….these limitations [which are the strict rules preventing women from being present in some fields] are created by the enemies who they pursue by the hand of some clerics who are ignorant of the welfare of the Muslims.” Then, from a religious perspective, it is never possible to prevent women from being present in social activities and quite conversely, this is the duty of the masses in a society to provide the natural and appropriate context for such a presence. If this issue is followed in its natural course, not only the duties of a woman as a wife and mother are not influenced by negative factors at home, but also the society enjoys women’s potential capacities in other areas and women would no longer think that they are the second gender and have lower merits in a community compared with men or their human rights have been violated. If such a feeling is created in women, detrimental consequences will follow for them and their families and children.
One of the natural instruments of the feminist outlook is attempts made to display a negative image of giving birth and bringing up children. In this viewpoint, all the women have been through in history can be the oppression experienced by women and imposed by men as a violent and dominant over women as the weak and oppressed gender and that when women stay home to look after their children and their husbands an unnatural thing has happened due to force and need! To reply to this judgment, one must say: such a look at the women’s past by those who claim to be supporting women’s rights is an additional cruelty and oppression towards them!
The outcome of the humanistic and feministic outlook for women and families
With regard to what was mentioned, aren’t we justified in being concerned about the fact that everything being destroyed? Can we any longer expect to see the examples of great men who, based on their own confessions, had come to possess everything they had in the clean environment near a mother and by their mothers’ correct upbringing? If a mother has no active role as a factor in forming attachment with children, who is going to give a sense of direction and guidance to a child? Is it not the case that where the youth are incorrigible, the roots are to be found in their mothers’ weakness in teaching them? A female employee who thinks being a good mother means buying her children expensive and fancy toys has not given her motherly passion to the child as a gift rather she provides a sum of her income!
With the circumstances created today under which, generally. the parents are at work and teachers are not following their training roles and think it suffices to teach the textbooks then who is going to form intimacy with children? Such young people and juveniles are left by themselves; like wild herbs, lonely, friendless and violent! Yes! Our present society has fallen victim to such circumstances and the only way to be saved is revising the general view of the role of women.
A correct look at the role of a mother
Men’s better physical strength makes it seem natural that men take charge of earning money for households and on the other hand women’s natural gentleness makes it seem natural that women take on the responsibility of teaching the human generation. Therefore, attracting women (who have lower physical strength and high educational capacities) to the job market and physical activities and making them move away from the educational environment is not only harmful to women but also detrimental to the growth and elevation of the society.
The view of Islam about motherhood and its special functions
Motherhood is one of the valuable roles for women which has relative values in all civilized and uncivilized cultures. In Islam, this role has been considered very robust and genuine.
In the Holy Koran, showing respect and doing good things for parents [even if they are infidels] is in line with being obedient to God and worshipping and belief and in some verses of Koran, being thankful to parents is considered one of the bounties of God. Where it says:
“In repeated Hadiths, a mother’s value compared to that of a father is much higher and being kind to a mother and being obedient to her demands is expressed as a cause for much more bounties and in another Hadith it says heaven is under the feet of mothers.”
Woman in the position of motherhood
A woman’s major and life-making roles concerning the motherhood function can be summarized as follows:
A-Preserving and the survival of the human race
The role of women in the preservation of the human race and keeping it from extinction is so much that if we consider this role alone for women then their effect in nature will be deemed as the most important axis of the existence of humanity.
B-Custody of the children and looking after them
Looking after children ever since a child’s birth and through the following stages is one of the most important factors in a child’s survival and women throughout the history have fulfilled this perpetual and sensitive duty.
C-Providing an emotional environment at home
A woman is a harbinger of love and sacrifice and compatibility and if women were absent from the community, violence and lack of affections would fill the environment and would make life unbearable and difficult. This quality women when blended with the invasive and turbulent instincts of a man makes a favorable combination and makes the environment happier for the children, the husband and herself.
D-Transmitting a culture to the next generations
A major part of the culture in a society is transmitted naturally by a mother to her children and this is one of the crucial social roles of women. Thus, if a woman is educated by the superior culture of Islam, she comfortably refines the ignorant and incorrect customs and prevents any incorrect concept from entering the child’s mind.
E-Educating a child and nurturing emotions
Many of the human emotions require being nurtured to reach maturity. Some part of this nurture is done by the human’s hand and will be done through human spiritual evolution during a lifetime. Nevertheless, the major and elementary part must be nurtured in childhood and by a mother otherwise in adulthood the inauspicious and harmful effects will appear and the society will be filled by sick people. Mothers are the first schools to children and the first steps towards the intellectual and spiritual makeup of a child is taken during this time and later a mother’s nurturing prevails to a great degree over the education in the school environment and society or professors at university and can either strengthen them or weaken them.
The solution to the present crisis in the motherhood role
The capitalist system encourages women to step out of the family system to exploit their work force and the feministic movement has also aimed at the heart of the family unit to damage the family units for reasons such as the self-centeredness of the humanistic school of thought and also for being stimulated by the capitalistic system. The solution to this great danger is reviving the genuine merit of women that their creator and the creator of men has reminded them. In this line, enhancing the real patterns and paying attention to their role can be a significant factor. With such a view, we turn to the life of the only innocent person who has had a motherhood role as well and we behold some aspects of role as a mother:
The motherly and educational roles of Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her)
A-The use of games and artistic facets
Of the cases which have had a special place in her peculiar nurturing style were movement and games played by the children. This kind of movement and activity is so important to the appropriate growth of children that even the adults must join their games to encourage them.
The use of artistic facets such as poetry in nurturing children is another aspect of love, interest and respect for children. Her holiness, Fatima (peace be upon her) played games with children and in addition to the physical growth of children used the beauty and fluency of the art of poetry to help them grow spiritually by giving attention to these two important factors. As an example, she murmured and whispered these lines of poetry to them while they were playing:
“Hassan, dear, be like your father and speak the truth freely, worship the bounty-giver God and do not befriend covetous men.”
And she also said to another dear child:
“Hussein, dear, you resemble my father, the God’s messenger, and not your father Ali (peace be upon him)
B-Paying attention to the absence and presence of the children
Lack of attention in watching over the children, especially for the social company the keep, will lead to harmful outcomes. Given the dangers and threats that endanger the happiness of a young person at every moment, it is necessary to look carefully at their behavior when arriving at home or leaving home. Addiction, corruption, intellectual deviations and many other jeopardies stem from this lack of attention from the parents. Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her), with her peculiar love and sacrifice which she showed for her children, watched over all of their moves and behaviors. It has been cited that one day the prophet (peace be upon him) went to see his daughter who is Fatima. When he arrived, he saw that Fatima is anxious and concerned and is standing behind the door. He asked why she was standing there? And she replied in an anxious tone of voice: My children have gone out in the morning and I have no news from them yet. The prophet (peace be upon him) went to find them. When he approached the Jabal cave, he saw them playing safe and sound. He put them on his back and went to their mother. This event is itself illustrative of her care and attention to her small children.
C-Attention to the worshipping aspects in nurturing the young
The Ghadr night did not seem as an ordinary night to her holiness Fatima; rather, she knew it as an extraordinary and unique day. Therefore, not only she prepared for that night but also trained her own children and did not let them sleep at that night. For the same reason, she gave them little food to help them stay awake on that night of mercy.
Yes! The lady felt responsibility for her children and did not let them separate from her and could not let things go by in an indifferent way. This is a great lesson from that unique lady for all the Muslim women and all the Shia followers to value nurturing their children and teach them divine deeds and even teach them the unnecessary religious deeds and after all nurture their children and familiarize them with spirituality.
D-Encouraging children to learn the sciences
Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her) taught her children science ever since they were merely children apart from consolidating and fixing the worship of the God Almighty in their minds. She prepared them for gaining knowledge and learning sciences. For instance, she said to her son, Imam Hassan (peace be upon him), who was seven years old:
“Go to the mosque and learn what you hear from the Holy Prophet and come and quote it for me.”