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Islam and Motherhood

  • By: Gail Murphy-Geiss
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

One of the most often-quoted Muslim teachings about motherhood is quoted from the Islamic Prophet Muhammad: “Paradise lies at the feet of the mother.” This saying is only one of many that communicate the high level of esteem granted to mothers in Islam. Such sayings are found in both the Qur'an and the Hadith, along with stories about women who are considered models of Islamic motherhood. Some of these models were in fact biological mothers, but others were mothers in a more spiritual sense, such as the Prophet Muhammad's wives. Though sources differ, most scholars agree that Muhammad had between nine and 15 wives. They are often referred to as spiritual mothers, or the Mothers of the Believers, as only one bore him children who ...

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