I have always known Jannah to be at our mother’s feet since my childhood days. I had listened to various sermon in the mosque, on the radio during Ramadan tafsirs and also from my ustaaz on several occasion. This hadith is stated below;
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said, Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother (Ahmad, Nasai).
As a teenager, each time I misbehaved and tried to disobey my parents, especially when I grumbled on being sent on an errand or rebuked for unacceptable behaviour ( typical of adolescence rebelliousness), my mum always reminded me of this hadith. Till date, each time they offend me or make me angry, I always calm myself with “Al Jannah is at mother’s feet”.
A child that is disrespectful and disobedient to parent is toying with the hereafter. It was not as if my parent ever scared me with hell but I know when one is jeopardizing one of the keys to Jannah. Surprisingly, I recently heard and also read on some platforms that the Jannah of a married woman is at husband’s feet ( not on mothers feet anymore), only that of the husband is at mother’s feet.
When a husband is irresponsible, oppressive, hot-tempered, abusive (all except physical) and cheating, the woman is mostly advised to be patient, leave him to Allah and endure because Jannah is at his feet. If he wants to marry another while they can barely feed, she is advised to endure suffering for Al Jannah. They refer to this maltreatment as a trial. Even if he forbids her from visiting her family, according to these opinions, she must obey because Al Jannah is at his feet. The below hadiths were used to justify these acts;
In al-Musnad it is narrated from Anas (RA) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: It is not acceptable for any human to prostrate to another, but if it were acceptable for any human to prostrate to another, I would have ordered women to prostrate to their husbands, because of the greatness of the rights they have over them.
AM Prophet s.a.w said: If a husband calls his wife to his bed, but the latter refused to fulfil the call (for any reason other than a lawful one), which drives the man to become upset with his wife, then angels will curse such a wife until she gets up in the morning.[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Umm salamah R. A narrated prophet s.a.w “Any woman whose husband dies while he is pleased, happy and satisfied with her (acts, attitudes and behaviour) will enter Jannah (Paradise).[Tirmidhi]
I understand being patient when dealing with him but enduring odds without correcting him( because of perception of Aljanah is at his feet) feels wrong to me. Associating human flaws (oppression and abuse from a spouse) with trials is a mismatched and mistaken identity. Why? It is because trials are something you have no control over e.g calamities, loss, pain and difficulties. Trials are not self Inflicted issues and sins (e.g Abuse, Fornication, Suicide, Oppression and Injustice) that Allah forbids us from practising in the Holy Quran. This Is proven in the word of Allah;
Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil); but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. (2:155).
These acts of enabling of sins, encouraging and embracing oppression, abuse, and disregard for a parent because of marriage to attain Al Jannah got me thinking.
Is this really Islam? Doesn’t Allah dislike oppression and adultery in all human? Aren’t men supposed to follow the example of our Prophet (saw) on how to treat a woman right? Aren’t men the leader of their homes that should lead by example? Doesn’t women have right too in their marriage? Why are women told to endure things against Islam to attain Jannah and not correcting the men in way of Allah? Is the newer generation not at stake if we make it seem like sins are excused for men? Does being married cancels the fact that you’re a child to your parent? Is marriage enough reason to disobey Allah when it comes to our duty to our parents and kinsmen?
This led to me to seek more knowledge for the answers to some of my questions and to enlighten people, especially our women, who are always at the receiving end and also the nation builders. We need to make things right for the new generation by starting the change from ourselves, by stopping enabling of sinful acts and speaking against unrighteousness.
ISLAM AND SIN
Islam is a very beautiful religion that is all about good and justice for humanity. Quran was sent to be our guide so that we don’t go astray. Whatever Islam says is a sin is meant to be avoided, because not only does one do what Allah dislikes (which we will all account for), the effect of such sin on loved ones is always bad. Sin in Islam is not excused for anybody as said in the Holy Quran e.g the punishment for fornication among many others;
(As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement.
MARRIAGE IN ISLAM
Marriage in Islam is for companionship, friendship and love. It is not for misery, sadness and oppression as stated in the Quran. It is his responsibility to treat her kind, care, feed and show love to her.
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them excel others…(4:34).; And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.”(30:21) .
If his wife is miserable and unhappy;
Is he not failing in his responsibility as the leader of his home? Is her mental health not going to be at stake? Will she be in a good state to worship Allah? Is he not going against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) on how to treat wives?
If he is fornicating, a major sin;
Is he not moving away from the path of righteousness? Is he not exposing his wife to sexually transmitted diseases? What about the effect of oppression and abuse on children?
A happy mother will raise happy children and vice versa.
AL JANNAH AT MOTHER’S FEET (unconditional)
Jannah is at mother’s feet without condition as stated in hadith at the beginning of this article. Even if the parents are non-Muslims, a child is supposed to take good care of them which marriage did not nullify as she remains a child. The below verses further elaborated on the importance of caring for parents.
….And We have enjoined on men doing of good to his parents, with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years, he says: My Lord! Grant me that I may give thanks for Your favour which You have bestowed on me and on my parents and that I may do good which pleases You and do good to me in respect of my offspring; surely I turn to You, and surely I am of those who submit.
…And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents– his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years– saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to me is the eventual coming. (Q31 Vs 14).
…And your Lord has commanded that you shall not serve (any) but Him, and goodness to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) “Ugh”nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word.
…And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little
…And dutiful to his parents, and he was not insolent, disobedient. And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life (Q19 Vs 14-15)
AL JANNAH AT HUSBAND’S FEET (conditional)
Ibn Hibban narrated that the Prophet said:
“If a woman prayed the five prayers, fasted in Ramadan, protected her honour and obeyed her husband; then she will be told (on the Day of Judgment), enter Paradise from any of its (eight) doors”.
This hadith shows worshipping of Allah and righteousness which includes obeying husband; is the key to Jannah. It is not just “Obeying husband, the key to Jannahas mostly misquoted by people.
The reward “Jannah”can’t be met, till all other conditions in the hadiths are met. It saddens me that this beautiful hadith that talks about righteousness is often wrongly used to justify all forms of atrocious acts of husbands.
HUSBAND NOT PERMITTED STOP WIFE FROM OBLIGATIONS TO PARENTS
Husband has right over his wife have as long as it doesn’t conflict with Allah’s rules. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”[Quran 2: 228].
Obedience to husband or parents in Islam is to righteous deeds. The Prophet, s.a.w, said: No creature should be obeyed when it comes to disobeying the Creator.
Forbidding wife from visiting parents and from doing due obligation to them is against Allah’s rule. The care of a parent is emphasized and associated with worship in Quran and severing ties of kinship is a sin.
Abdullah ibn Amr related that the Messenger of Allah said: The major sins are to believe that Allah has partners, to disobey one’s parents, to commit murder, and to bear false witness (Bukhari, Muslim).
A man came to the Prophet and said,O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again,Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Considering these verses and hadiths, no Muslim should cut the ties of kinship and a Muslim man must not prevent his wife from visiting her parents, which is one of her primary duties. Also, no Muslim person should act in a way to sever the ties of kinship. Women must fulfil their duties towards their parents without ignoring their duties towards their husbands or children. If the husband does not allow the wife to visit her parents at all, she should preach the words of Allah to him, convince him, report him to people he respect to guide him but if all efforts are fruitless, the wife can visit without his consent in an adequate way that won’t cause conflict in their marriage (My view).
In conclusion, the statement “Al-Jannah of a child at mother’s feet and that of wife at husband’s feet (not more on mothers feet)”is a misconception often used to satisfy selfish desires because the obligation of a child to her parents doesn’t stop with marriage. Even after her parents demise, she is obligated to pray for them as Prophet (s.a.w) said in the hadith below.
Abu Usaid Saidi said: We were once sitting with Rasulullah when a man from the tribe of Salmah camex zd and said to him: O Messenger of Allah! do my parents have rights over me even after they have died? And Rasulullah said: Yes. You must pray to Allah to bless them with His Forgiveness and Mercy, fulfil the promises they made to anyone, and respect their relations and their friends (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah).
In conclusion, Al-Jannah is at mother’s feet irrespective of gender and marital status and the Al- Janah associated with the husband is true(with conditions) as stated in the hadith. As a human, we should strive for the best in meeting up with the condition of all the keys to Al- Jannah. We should not favour one over the other. May Allah make Al-Janat Fridays our final abode. Aamiin.