Mother’s Day or Every Day? [Archives:2008/1141/Community]

March 27 2008

By: Maged Thabet Al-kholidy
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Last Friday was so-called Mother's Day. A mother is supposed to be the dearest person to her daughters and sons. However, some people, especially children and teens, wait for the occasion of Mother's Day to express feelings of love and affection towards their mums. That makes mothers happy, though it is their right to expect such appreciation throughout the year.

On an occasion like this, I wonder if one day out of the year is enough for mothers, and what does Islam instruct us to do?

Regarding the relations of sons and daughters with their mothers, Islam is clear. The prophet Mohammed (pbuh) reaffirms the respect and obedience that everyone should pay to their mothers. He (pbuh) repeats the words, “your mother, your mother and your mother,” when an Arabian asked him about one's dearest person.

Actually, the prophet's Hadith is a lesson to all Muslims. All of us must keep in mind that mothers are the dearest and closest people to us. Such moral and religious principles, however, have been destroyed by Western ideas that have invaded our Islamic culture. These ideas not only enter into our fashions or habits but also our personal relations with close relatives like mothers.

Only one day is for the mother, while the other 364 days of the year are for something else; this is what a holiday like Mother's Day implies. Tracing back the origin of this custom reveals that we, as Arabs and Muslims, have adopted it from westerners. As usual, it has been adopted blindly, without knowing its origin or the reasons behind.

Westerners may have the right to celebrate such an occasion, since they have the right to leave mothers, fathers, and the homes at the age of 18. Outside home, far away from family restrictions, they start their own lives – their own personal lives, as they proudly say.

“Mother's Day” is an alarm that reminds them that they have mothers and it is somehow a social duty to pay a short visit or to send a gift to their mums. This actually makes me curious to ask why don't they have another day for fathers, such as “Father's Day,” or to combine them into “Parents' Day” to save time?

This occasion is for Westerners. It has nevertheless become an indication of “modernity,” as some people claim in many Islamic societies; it is somehow acceptable. But it would be a catastrophe if we start following Westerners in ignoring mothers for the whole year except on “their day”. We have to be aware of such ideas, which invade and negatively affect our societies.

It doesn't matter much if we celebrate the day with our mothers. It is great, since mothers feel happy about it. But since a mother's satisfaction is a religious duty, why not to make the whole year for mothers?

As a lesson, every one of us should remember how much time and energy our mothers spend on our health, education, happiness, etc. They have never said or even thought to say that there should be children's day. So why do we now repay them with only one day per year?

Mothers devote their lives to their children. Even when such children grow up into grown men and women, they continue thinking, worrying and facilitating the lives of their sons and daughters. I think if one devotes his life to his mother, it would not be enough. So how can only one day like Mother's Day be enough?

Following other people's behaviors and customs must be limited to the religious boundaries of Islam and to the social norms we believe in. We can celebrate the Mother's Day, not once a year but constantly. This is what Islam orders and what society needs.

Majed Thabet Al-kholidy is a writer from Taiz, currently doing his M.A. at English Dep, Taiz Uni. He is an ex-editor of English Journal of the University.