Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Special Day: May 8th 2011

Assalamualaikum wbt

"Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor."
Surah Al-Isra', (17:23)

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1. In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

2. I initially intended to post a very short and simple entry but it seems that there are certain things that need to be carefully addressed so I'll do it insya Allah. Firstly, I am going to quote verses from the miraculous Quran and Prophetic Traditions (hadiths) about parents, especially about mother, our beloved companion and care-taker since even we were not born.

3. There are many verses that explain the high status of a mother (and therefore a woman) in Islam especially with regard to their sacrifice towards all of us, and difficulties they have to go through just for us, because we were all born by a mother (even a mother is born by a mother ^_^):

"And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to your parents: to Me is (your final) Goal." Surah Luqman, (31:14)

"We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, "O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as You may approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to You and truly do I bow (to You) in Islam." Surah Al-Ahqaf, (46:15)

4. The pain the mothers have to go through has been described in the Quran itself e.g in the story of Maryam (Mary), the mother of Prophet 'Isa (Jesus) AS.

"And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree: she cried (in her anguish): "Ah! Would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" Surah Maryam, (19:23)

My argument on 'Should We Celebrate Mother's Day?'

5. As far as I am concern, there is no narration about this kind of celebration during the time of Prophet Muhammad SAW. Neither is there any narration that prohibits us from doing it per se. Hence, by right, the original status of celebrating the Mother's Day is harus (mubah), that means it is permissible.

6. All Muslims and non-Muslims alike, however should know that there are two significant festivals that we have in Islam (recorded in Saheeh Hadiths- meaning authentic hadiths) namely the Eidul Fitri and Eidul Adha which in Malaysia are more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Aidiladha respectively.

7. So, going back to the question above, I am humbly proposing my opinion that I agree with the fact that celebrating the Mother's Day is OK. This implies that one should not be skeptical (about the legitimacy) towards people who celebrate it because if you are, I beg to disagree with you. However, I have to make the following 2 clarifications.

Which one is permissible (halal) and which one is forbidden (haram)?

8. Let us take this from a bigger view by putting together other celebrations such as birthdays, carnivals, or even casual outings and meetings with friends into one group (category) with Mother's Day. By right, all these celebrations come with purposes, such as to appreciate our mother, meet up with friends and many more.

9. In all these social activities, there are things that we do whereby they are not only permissible, but also compulsory (wajib) to do! HUH? Let me explain.

10. If buying a present, or paying a visit, or bringing parents to a nice place on Mother's Day make our parents happy, then that means we are doing good to them. Doing good to parents is not only encouraged, but it is compulsory! However, of course it has to be in accordance with Islamic teachings.

11. Secondly, if we plan for an outing and part of the outing plan is to perform jumaah (congregational) prayer together in the afternoon (Zuhr Prayer), then the praying part is not only permissible (of course) but it is indeed compulsory!

12. On the other hand, if we bought liqour or a bottle of alcoholic drink for our mother during Mother's Day, or treat a friend to a wine during an outing, both of these are absolutely wrong and forbidden, so they are sinful.

13. Now, this is the most important part. Based on the above, the following is the judgement that we have to make. Mother's Day and an outing for instance, are permissible. But it is what we do during the course of the celebration or outing that can lead it to be either halal or haram. However (please read this very carefully), in the example I gave in point 10 and 11, it is doing good to parents and perform solah (prayer) that is wajib, not the celebration or the outing.

14. Similarly, in the later point number 12, it is not the festival, but the act of drinking alcohol that is haram. Having that said, we have to put things at correct perspective i.e just because it is compulsory to do good to parents and we do good to parents during Mother's Day, that doesn't make Mother's Day a compulsory celebration. The same way, just because some people do prohibited things during Mother's Day, that doesn't make it haram because what is haram is drinking alcohol (for example) instead.

15. I can't find any better way to explain the above any simpler, but I hope now, we are at least clear on which is halal and which is haram, so that we can make a just judgement (and this should apply to other social occasions as well e.g birthday party etc.).

The problem with ingratitude and misbehavior amongst children

16. There is another argument though. People say that we should not love our mothers only during Mother's Day, but to love them everyday (or always). I totally agree with this. No doubt (full stop).

17. But to celebrate Mother's Day never means that we only love her for one day. To cut this short though, let me just emphasize on this statement that I want to make i.e "In my personal opinion, Mother's Day is neither the absolute cause nor the absolute solution to the problem of ingratitude and misbehavior of children."

18. It is agreeable to accept the fact that in general, youngsters todays are less respectful to the elderly, due to many factors that will necessitate a whole new article to talk about it- which is why I won't do it now. From people who take for granted the presence of their mother until they are dead, to the ones whom misbehave badly and in certain cases, beat or even murder his own mother, nauzubillahi minzalik (we seek Allah's refuge from that).

19. So with regard to my statement above, obviously it's not a rocketscience to understand that Mother's Day could not be the absolute cause of this problem, because it is very absurdly unreachable to think that way. The later part requires more explanation though i.e Mother's Day is not the absolute solution.

20. My point is that, rather than not having any day designated as a day to remember a mother, it is always a good idea to at least mark this day as a means of reminding us that we have a mother! In case we are too busy living in a rat race sort of life.

21. In the case of multireligious Malaysia for instance, as Mother's Day is also celebrated by non-Muslims, it is a good idea I believe, to use this right time, with the right mood, and also insya Allah right efforts to spread the beauty of Islam i.e how high Islam values the status of parents especially a mother, which is incomparable in any other religions and their scriptures.

22. More importantly to me, as I have been very interested in this subject (with few previous articles about it), this is the chance to spread the message to the whole world, that women, through the status of motherhood, are highly championed as a person we should honor the most in our life.

A man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother." The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: "Then your father." (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

23. The above hadith alone is clear enough to prove to us how Islam significantly elevates women through the status of motherhood, thus negates the fact that Islam, in whatever way, oppresses women. Below is an awesome website I found about women (and also mother) in Islam. Please have a look and share it too.
Masya Allah; Please visit this terrific resource about women in Islam here
24. In short, it is my conviction that Mother's Day, though it helps, can not become the sole independent factor towards nurturing pious and respectful children towards their parents but it is through understanding the true teachings of Islam which are primarily based on the Quranul Kareem and Hadiths instead. Having said that, I would like to wish my beloved mother, Puan Noorma binti Mamat, my aunties in Ampang, Terengganu and all other places, not to forget all my sisters and all women whom are either a mother now, or a future mother or even the whole mankind (as we all again, were born by a mother), a warm wish of Happy Mother's Day, may Allah bless us all.

25. I shall end this article with a few more eye-opening hadiths related to this subject and also (after that) a doa (prayer) we can recite to our beloved parents, especially our mothers insya Allah. Happy Mother's Day and take care. Wallahua'lam.

It is related from Talhah ibn Mu'awiyah as-Salami who said: I came to the Prophet and said, "O Messenger of Allah, I want to perform Jihad in the way of Allah. He asked, "Is your mother alive?" I replied, "Yes." The Prophet then said: "Cling to her feet, because paradise is there." (At-Tabarani).

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stressed the importance of serving one's parents in the following narration reported by Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud: 

I asked the Prophet, "O Messenger of Allah, what is the best deed?" He replied "Prayer offered on time." I asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "To be dutiful and kind to one's parents." I further asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "Jihad in the Allah's cause." (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)
26. Not only Prophet Muhammad SAW said that kindness to one's parents was of the best deeds, he also said that disobedience to them was amongst the major sins:

"The greatest sins are to associate partners in worship with Allah, to be undutiful or unkind to one's parents, to kill a soul forbidden by Allah and to bear false witness." (Sahih Bukhari)

27. One of prayers for our beloved parents below (please also refer Surah Al-Isra' (17:24)):


"O our Lord! Cover (us) with Your Forgiveness- me, my parents, and (all) Believers, on the Day that the Reckoning will be established!" Surah Ibrahim, (14:41)

P/S: I authored 2 articles previously which in essence may be similar to this one you just read, because they expound on my opinion about issues regarding halal and haram in Islam. Hence, it is HIGHLY appreciated if you could understand that I am not speaking as an ulama' i.e knowledgeable Islamic Scholar here but rather I am speaking through the windows of my eyes (perspective) as an ordinary learning Muslim (whom makes humble research and reference), and whom respects the Islamic rulings and edicts that the ulama' made. The same way, I hope we too take it that way insya Allah ;-)


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