A compassionate mother undertakes every sort of self-sacrifice so that her child should not fall into danger in this worldly life and should receive every sort of benefit and advantage; she brings him up with this in view. Thinking, “My son is going to be a Pasha,” she gives him all her property, takes him from the Qur’an school and sends him to Europe. But it does not occur to her that her child’s eternal life has fallen into danger. She tries to save him from prison in this world and does not take into consideration his being sentenced to the prison of Hell. Reversing that innate compassion, she makes her innocent child a claimant against her in the hereafter, though he should be her intercessor. He will rebuke her saying: “Why did you not strengthen my belief and so cause me to be lost?” In this world too, since he did not receive a proper Islamic upbringing, he cannot respond to his mother’s wondrous compassion in the way it deserves; in fact he does so very deficiently.
If she does not misdirect her true compassion and works to save her unhappy child from everlasting incarceration in Hell and from dying while in misguidance, which will result in eternal extinction, the equivalent of each of the child’s good works will pass to the mother’s book of good deeds. And after her death he will continuously send lights to her spirit with his good works, and in the hereafter, will be not a claimant but with all his spirit and life an intercessor for her, and a blessed child of her’s for all eternity.
Yes, man’s first master and most influential teacher is his mother. In connection with this, I shall explain the following to you, which I have always felt strongly in my own self:
I am eighty years old and have received lessons from eighty thousand people. Yet I swear that the truest and most unshakeable lessons I have received are those inculcated in me by my late mother, which have always remained fresh for me. They have been planted in my nature as though they were seeds planted in my physical being. I observe that other instruction has been constructed on those seeds. That is to say, the lessons instilled in my nature and spirit by my mother when I was one year old I now see at the age of eighty to be fundamental seeds amid great truths.
For instance, I consider it certain that I learnt from the compassionate behaviour and acts of my mother and from her teaching, to be compassionate, which is the most important of the four principles of my way, and to be kind and clement, which is the greatest truth of the Risale-i Nur. Yes, the compassion of motherhood comprises true sincerity and true self-sacrifice, but it is a misuse of it to not think of the hereafter – a treasury of diamonds for her innocent child – and to turn his face towards this world, which