Motherhood is often seen as the act of giving birth and raising a child, but in reality, it encompasses much more than that. In many communities, women who do not have biological children are often overlooked when it comes to celebrating motherhood. However, there are women who serve as mothers to their communities, and their contributions are just as important as those of biological mothers.

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If we look at the history or Sirah of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., we will recognize that his wives are honored as Mothers of the Believers or Ummul Mu’minin. 

“The Prophet has a stronger affinity to the believers than they do themselves. And his wives are their mothers…” (Surah Al Ahzab, verse 6)

Fostering

Aisha bint Abu Bakar r.a., a wife of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. did not have any biological children. This does not diminish her position as a mother, for Aisha cared for foster children, and her knowledge and guidance helped to nurture the ummah through the development of Islamic jurisprudence.

The act of fostering children is still highly valued in Islamic culture. In fact, it is considered a virtuous act to take in orphans and provide them with a loving and stable home.

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In some countries, organizations are always on the lookout for Muslim foster parents to care for Muslim children. These children are either unable to be cared for by their biological parents, next of kin, or have lost their

Mothering the Community

Mothers of the community are women who play a nurturing role in the lives of others. They provide guidance, support, and care to those around them, regardless of whether they are related by blood or not. They serve as mentors, role models, and sources of inspiration for those in need.

One example of a mother of the community is the Prophet Muhammad’s s.a.w wife, Khadijah. She was a successful businesswoman and served as a mentor and advisor to the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. She provided him with emotional support and guidance during difficult times, and her contributions to Islam are immeasurable.

Another example is Fatima al-Fihri, who is known for founding the University of al-Qarawiyyin in Morocco in the 9th century. She was not a biological mother, but her contributions to education have impacted generations of students and scholars.

In modern times, mothers of the community can be found in many different settings. They can be teachers, mentors, counselors, volunteers, and more. They serve as positive role models for children and adults alike, and their contributions to their communities are immeasurable.

The Mother-Like Aunts

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Aunts have a special ability to shower their nieces/nephews with unconditional love and support. They provide a safe space where children can confide in and find solace when they need someone to lean on. Their love is not bound by blood alone but stems from a deep connection built on trust and affection.

Motherhood should be redefined to include foster mothers, aunts and mothers of the community. These women may not have biological children, but they serve as mothers to those around them. They provide guidance, support, and care to those in need, and their contributions to their communities should be celebrated and valued. By recognizing the important role that mothers of the community play, we can honor their contributions and inspire future generations of women to serve as nurturing figures in their communities.