Don’t worry, you have read it right: this article is about Mother’s Day. What could I possibly have to write about Mother’s Day? It seems to be fairly harmless; it doesn’t have the pagan symbols in it like Christmas and Easter. Can it be pagan in origin? The sad answer to that question is yes.
Like many other holidays of the Non-Muslims, Mother’s Day can be traced to the celebration honoring a pagan god; the ‘mother of the gods’, Rhea, one of the more supreme gods of the ancient Greeks. Of course since the idea of more than one god is entirely false, so much more so is the idea of a mother of a god. We know that Allah is the One true God, and was not born and does not give birth. He is far above needing to do that.
A day to honor mothers was brought into the Christian church when the Christians chose a day, the 4th Sunday in their period of Lent (the 40 days before Easter). The idea spread throughout Europe. In England, the special day was brought into place for the poor workers who had to work away from their families, in the homes of their bosses. On ‘Mothering Day’, as it was called then, the workers were given a day to visit their mothers, bringing them cakes and gifts. After Ana Jarvis was successful in spreading the idea in the United States in 1903, people began celebrating Mother’s Day on the anniversary of Ms. Jarvis’s mother’s death, the second Sunday in May.
Alhamdullilah, in Islam we know that we must obey and respect our parents, especially our mothers. There are so many ayaat of Qur’an encouraging us to treat our mothers well. We all have heard the ahadeeth in which the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has explained to us how important it is to look after our mothers: one companion staying back from jihad to look after his mother, another making hajj carrying his mother on his back; the examples are too many to list in this magazine. Honor, respect and obedience to mothers should happen every day, all the time, because we know that this pleases Allah. We see in the families of Muslims that the mother is respected and honored all the time, and the happiness of a mother is a daily goal for Muslims.