Assalamualaikum Wrt. Wbt.
On 27th November, my mom, turned a year older. Whereas on 28th November, it was my parents-in-law’s anniversary. I have always wanted to blog on this topic but I guess this is a perfect time for me to write about both Mama (my biological mother) and Mak (mother-in-law).
Both my mothers have very different personalities and yet they share a common weapon in bringing up their children.
Let me first share about Mama. Truth to be told, my family was once living in luxury. I was too young to taste it tho. However, Allah’s will, and in a blink of an eye, all those luxuries just vanished into thin air. Although my family wasn’t living in poverty, but we were living just below average. We were also living in fear because my dad trusted his childhood friend too much that he agreed to be a guarantor from illegal debtors for him. When his friend ran away, our family became the target. No, I don’t blame my dad at all. He has a kind heart and he can’t see people who are in need of money.
All my siblings were quite young. I was the youngest. Because our house was the target now, my parents decided to seek shelter from our relatives for their children’s safety. I was separated from some of my siblings because there were four of us and it wouldn’t be convenient for my relatives to accommodate their own family and mine.
It went on for at least three years until Mama couldn’t take it anymore. Which mom is able to live separately with her children? She gathered all strength and courage, and tries to make things right again. She brought my eldest brother to our house that was filled with splashes of paints on the front door, with the keyholes being filled with dried super glue. I can’t imagine how Mama faced all those embarrassments, walking up the staircase with spray stains “O$P$” together with our house unit on the side walls. I can’t imagine how she had to face our neighbours while she struggled with the house door and trying to repaint it. I can’t imagine how she lived in that house for days and weeks without electricity and water just so that she can call the house filled with cobwebs home again. MasyaAllah…
Mama has been working for the longest time. Just because of a few wrong financial decisions made more than a decade ago, she is still working in a fast-food restaurant when she is 55 years old now. On last Friday (I reached home at 12 midnight), I came all the way from Kuala Lumpur so that I can spend the whole day with her but much to my disappointment, during Fajr, my mom took a last minute cupping booking after her morning shift which means she will only be free after Isya’ prayer. I was utterly sad but I came to my senses. She’s not getting younger and she doesn’t want to die with the burden of having to be accountable for the debts during Judgment Day.
Mama is a very soft-hearted person. She easily cries. My siblings will always make fun of her whenever her eyes start to well up whenever we watch sad movies. At 16, I joined an event and we had to give a speech to our own mother in front of a crowd. My mum cried at everyone’s speech except mine. She said I have no feelings. I couldn’t really comprehend the technique of crying at that period because I thought I was strong. However, after I became wiser, I had to give another speech at another event when I was 22. This time round, I couldn’t even continue with my speech because I realised how much sacrifices my mum has made for her children. One of the reasons I cried was because I was going to leave her for four years because I just get accepted into my current school in Kuala Lumpur. But little did I expect that I am going to lead a new life few months after that.
There’s so much about selfless Mama I wish I could share here.
Mak on the other hand has always been a housewife. Mak is a very friendly person and she is lovable my many. She is a mother of five and masyaAllah all her children are successful. All her children are not only knowledgeable about the worldly life, they are also extremely knowledgeable about the Deen. I would call them ‘world-changers’.
Mak and Bapak (my father-in-law) did not come from a wealthy family. They start from scratch and make their way up. They did not live an easy life initially but because of their dedication for their children’s future, they are able to reap what they painstakingly sow. Not that they expecting anything in return from their children, but because of they take into great consideration of the family institution that Allah SWT has bestowed them with ease now.
Just to note, I am not comparing my family with my in-laws family. Every family has their own challenges and it’s just so that Allah SWT wants my family to go through a particular hardship whereas my in-laws with other set of hardship. Ultimately, all those hardships are Allah’s way of calling us to Him.
Back to Mak. Honestly, I would say I am a terrible daughter-in-law. I do not cook at home, I go back home as and when (due to school), and Mak has every right to be mad at me for leaving her son alone in Jordan. But Mak has never once talk to me into quitting school because she knows the importance of education. Mak is every woman’s ideal mother-in-law. She has never interfered into any of her children’s marriage life for no legit reason.
Just like Mama, Mak is such a selfless person. Both of them taught me the art of giving. Mama, even though we have not much for ourselves, she must always give even it is just a dollar or two. Whenever we go for religious talks, she will always give me $2 to be put into the donation box. Mak on the other hand, she taught me to give more if you have more. I remembered when we were in Jordan and a Syrian lady knocked on our door. She was asking for some donation and on top of the monetary donation, Mak packed for her all the food stuff like cakes and cookies, etc, and we are left with just a bit. She said we can buy again next time. She always says this “if we help people, Allah will help us”. MasyaAllah.
Now, I mentioned earlier that both of them share a common weapon to struggle through life and that’s – TAHAJJUD.
Honestly, Mama has never really taught me about tahajjud. When I was younger, I always saw Mama on the praying mat whenever I needed to go to the toilet. It’s either she was in her sujood, or she was crying while raising her hands asking from her Lord. She was totally oblivious of her surroundings. Even up till now, when Mama ends her night shift at past 10pm and she has morning shift which requires her to clock in at 7am, she will never fail to perform tahajjud. Mama is a rather quiet person. When we were going through hard times, she never complains. She bottles up all problems to herself yet at the same time her heart is always full. Her tawakul for her Lord is amazing and I have so much to learn from her.
My sister-in-law told us before that as far as possible, Mak never leaves her tahajjud. It’s amazing at how Mak was able to bring up five children all on her own while Bapak went out to work. Imagine all the struggles she had to face every single day. Imagine the sleepless nights she had to go through. She won’t be strong on her own. She has Allah with her. As I’ve not seen Mak during her struggles, my description does not even 1% truly display the struggles she had went through.
When mothers wake up for tahajjud, the first group of people they mention in their du’a are their children. As long as they are still breathing, even how tired they are, their mouth and heart will never stop making du’a for their children. Even when you are married and have your own children, their du’a for you will never stop. SubhanAllah. Love of a mother can never be replaced.
My sister-in-law shared with me once if I remember correctly “if you (mothers) do not wake up for tahajjud and make du’a for your children, your children will lose out because there are others out there who are making making du’a in their tahajjud for their children.”. MasyaAllah. Indeed. I can’t imagine what will happen to us if my Mothers did not perform tahajjud.
I hope one day when I’ve become a mother myself, I will be able to be as strong as them and place my highest tawakul in Allah SWT. Ameen.