The great scholar, Muhammad ibn Ismaa'eel (of Egypt) describes the role of the Muslim woman in raising the leaders of the Ummah (Muslim Nation), their scholars and great men.
The Imaam of the people of ash-Shaam, their Faqeeh (jurist): Abu ‘Amr al-Awzaa’i (rahimahullah).
Imaam an-Nawawi said about al-Awzaa'i (rahimahullah),
"The scholars agree on the imaamah (religious leadership) of al-Awzaa’i, his high position and merits.The sayings of the Salaf (pious predecessors) are many and known about his fear, zuhd (asceticism), worship and how he stood for the truth, aswell as his many narrations and deep fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence).He would hold on to the Sunnah with strength…and they (the scholars) acknowledged his (high) status.”
He was the fruit of a great mother! She was the one who took care of him and raised him after the death of his father.
Imam Maalik ibn Anas (rahimahullah).
He was the Imaam of Daarul Hijrah, the author of the great book “Al Muwatta’” . For him the people would travel from around the world, seeking both his knowledge and fataawaa (religious verdicts).
This great Imaam was also the result of the hard work, patience and toil of a great mother. She provided him with the means for seeking knowledge and greatly encouraged him in pursuing its’ difficult and arduous terrains.
Imaam Maalik says, ‘I asked my mother, “Shall I go and write knowledge (i.e. study and learn it)?”
“Come here and wear the (appropriate) dress for (seeking) knowledge!”
After she had dressed him with religious clothing and the ‘imaamah (Islamic turban), she said to Imaam Maalik,
“Now go and write the knowledge”.
She also said to him her famous and wise quote,
“Go to Rabe’ah ar-Ra’ee and learn from his manners before his knowledge!”
Imaam ash-Shafi’ee, Muhammad ibn Idrees (rahimahullah)
Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee was also a blessed fruit from a great and righteous mother.
His father died while he was in his mothers womb or while she was still breastfeeding. His mother took care of him with great wisdom. For, she was a noble and clever woman from the noble woman of ‘Azd.
She (rahimahallah) was also from the worshippers and one who based her on life on fitrah (natural disposition).
‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr al-Mazini (radhiAllaahu ‘anhu).
He was the one who narrated the Wudhoo’ (ritual ablution) of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and the one who killed Musaylamah the liar with his sword . Yes! Both him and his brother, Habeeb ibn Zayd al-Mazini (may Allah be pleased with him) were the ones who cut Musaylamah into pieces!
They too were the fruits of a righteous mother, Umm 'Imaarah Nusaybah bint Ka’b al-Maziniyyah al-Ansariyyah (radiAllaahu ‘anha). Her brother was Abdullah ibn Ka’b Al-Mazini (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu), who participated in the Battle of Badr.
She attended the night of al-‘Aqabah, Uhud, al-Hudaybiyyah, Hunayn, al-Yamaamah and struggled much in the path of Allah, the Mighty and Glorious.
'Umar ibn’ Abdul Aziz (rahimahullah).
‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azeez was one of the righteous and just Caliphs of this Ummah. His mother was Umm 'Aasim bint 'Aasim ibn Umar ibnul Khattaab (radi Allaahu ‘anhum).
His mother was one of the best women in her time and was known for her generousity. Her mother was the one ‘Umar ibnul Khattab chose as a wife for his son Aasim. She came into this noble family, not because she was from a prestigious and high-ranking family, rather because of an incident of truth, fearing her Lord. This inturn changed her life forever…
Her mother told her to add water to the milk they were to sell. She replied with truth when advising her mother, not knowing that ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was listening, she said to her mother,
“If ‘Umar won’t see us, the Lord of ‘Umar will see us!”
It was from this righteous mother that the righteous caliph ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez was born into this Ummah. He was embellished with many of the noble characteristics of his grandmother.
Ameer al Mu’mineen 'Abdur-Rahmaan an-Naasir (rahimahullah).
‘Abdur-Rahmaan an-Naasir ruled al-Andalus while it was sinking in fitnah (trial and tribulation), and blood was being spilt. He couldn’t stay in it so he went forth with his soldiers and opened 70 fortresses in one battle.
He made it to the heart of France, Switzerland and Italy. He was the best of Banoo Umayyah in al-Andalus and he ruled for 50 years and 6 months. He was also a fruit of one woman’s hard work and toil, for Abdur-Rahmaan was an orphan. His uncle killed his father when he was only 21 days old, his mother therefore raised him in such a way that history can’t forget his name.
Sufyaan ath-Thawree (rahimahullah)
Sufyaan ath-Thawree was the jurist (Faqeeh) of the Muslims and their Muhaddith (scholar of hadeeth). Infact, he was considered the ameer al mu’mineen (leader of the believers) in hadeeth.
This great Imaam was also the fruit of a great mother; history has saved the mention of her great merits and status.
The mother of Sufyaan (may Allah be pleased with him) said to him,
“My son, seek knowledge and I will help you with my spinning of wheel.”
She (rahimahallah) would work and give him financial help, just so that he would have time to seek knowledge. Not only that, she would also give him great words of wisdom, morals and advice. Once she said to him,
“O Son! If you write ten pages, look and see if it increased you in fear, patience and seriousness. For if you do not see any such improvements then know that your knowledge harms you and does not benefit you.”
It is no wonder then that he became such a great Imaam (a leader of religious authority in knowledge).
For, he was raised by a merciful and dutiful mother, who gave him from her milk of taqwaa (Allah-Consciousness).
Source: 'Awdat al-Hijaab' by Muhammad ibn Ismaa'eel (2/204).