(A painting of the Virgin Mary holding a young Jesus by the 13th-Century Muslim scientist and artist al-Qazvini)
A wonderful thought as we approach Mother’s Day. The ninth-century Sahih of al-Bukhari, the most prestigious collection of prophetic hadith or traditions in Sunni Islam — indeed, it could reasonably be argued to be almost quasi-canonical — contains the following:
“A man came to Allah’s Messenger (that is, to the Prophet Muhammad) and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?’
“The Prophet said, ‘Your mother.’
“The man said, ‘Who is next?’
“The Prophet said, ‘Your mother.’”
The man asked the same question twice more and, twice more, was given the same answer. Only when the question was posed a fifth time did the Prophet answer, “Your Father.”
Still many people believe that Muhammad was intolerant to women, but this and many many other Hadith and Qur’anic verses say otherwise.