"And We have enjoined upon man to be kind to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of a child to his weaning is thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and is forty years (old), he says, 'O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Your favors, that You bestowed me and upon both my parents; that I may do righteous deeds that are acceptable to You; and be gracious to me with regards to (my own) offspring. Surely, I turn to You repentant, and I wholly give myself (to You)." (Qur'an 46:15) Mothers are accorded a special place of honor and respect in Islam. A man once came to Prophet Muhammad and asked, "O Messenger of God! Who among the people is more worthy of my companionship?" The Prophet replied, "Your mother." Then man then asked who next, the Prophet replied "Your mother" again. The man repeated the question a third time and got the same answer. The man asked once again, "Who next?" Only then did the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reply, "Your father." These, and other references in the Qur'an and incidents from the life of the Prophet, clearly indicate the elevated status Islam has given to mothers. A Muslim sees a mother as an icon of strength and courage, tempered with compassion, kindness and love.