Published in the New Haven Register on May 13th 2017:
As an ambassador of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mother’s Day for me isn’t just once a year or a sensational phrase, but a daily honor practiced in true Islam.
My mother, Talhaht Mannan, was the first love of my life. Before I even knew and fell in love with God, I knew and loved my mother. She was the earliest manifestation of God for me, as my wife is now for our children. The Holy Quran encapsulates this reality in a prayer: “O Divine Nourisher, shower your grace upon my parents, even as they nourished me when I was helpless” (17:25). Before my birth she sacrificed herself for me, she was my home. Her spiritual and material sustenance was my own, I was created and evolved in her. Today, she’s unconditionally there for so many as an expert in early childhood education and preschool director at CCSU.
She unveiled the other side of God to me, illustrating how the Lord is also a Gracious and Merciful Heavenly Mother in Islam. Perhaps this is why Prophet Muhammad exclusively teaches: “paradise lies under the feet of your mothers.”
Motherhood is a sacred empowerment in Islam that ought to be appreciated daily by all, especially the males.