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By Alveena Salim 

My mum is the best.

She doesn’t put her children first. She doesn’t drop everything for her children. And she’s not always there when I call. 

Often when I’m trying to get through to her, the phone is continuously engaged. And when I do get through to her, our conversations are rushed, because she has to be somewhere or she has to see someone.

A few weeks ago, my mum agreed to babysit my two year old son. She was also keeping an eye on my four month old baby. At the same time she was helping out with her other three month old granddaughter. At the last minute, my sister called to say that she had to go into work, and could mum also look after her very boisterous two year old son. My mum agreed to babysit them all. 

That’s four children under the age of two. 

I was on my way out to see a friend and I noticed that as soon as it hit 11am my mother went to the living room and started her Friday darood/salutation to the Prophet (saw) class with her friends.

It didn’t matter that there were two babies crying in the other room. Nor did it matter that the toddlers have a tendency to want to kill each other when they’re left alone.

Mum would never cancel her darood class.

Did chaos erupt? Not really. One baby fell asleep. The other played happily in the bouncer. One toddler found his blanket and put himself to sleep whilst the other one decided to join the darood class.

This incident reminded me of a story of a Shepard, who was a wali (friend) of Allah. This wali was praying and whilst he was praying, a wolf was guarding his sheep. When people asked him how he managed to train a wolf to guard his sheep. He replied that, there was no special method. He was busy in the service of Allah, so Allah appointed one of his creatures to take care of his affairs. 

My mum’s advice to all problems is, do your bit and leave the rest to Allah. Put Him first and He’ll put you first. 

Whenever I call home and mum is not there. I know it’s because she’s attending an Islamic class, leading an Islamic class or visiting the sick or paying her respects to someone who has passed away. When we speak on the phone, it’s usually about something she’s learnt in a recent Islamic class that she’s attended or something she’s heard in an Islamic lecture that she has just listened to. 

When I visit mum (which is sometimes after months as I live abroad), I love how happy she is to see me. However, I also love it when she reminds me that, she won’t be around on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday because she is leading or attending some Islamic class.

And that’s how it should be.

This does not mean that we have had a neglected childhood or that our mother has never been there for us. If anything, I’m extremely grateful that my mother has put Him first. This is because, if there’s any goodness in my life. It’s because of my mother’s relationship with Him. 

And she’s taught us, whatever the problem, whatever the circumstance you might find yourself in, however overwhelmed or busy you may be with life or your responsibilities. 

Put Allah first. He’ll take care of all your affairs. And that’s why my mum is the best. She always puts Him first.