A Historical Overview and the Scholars’ Rulings on This Holiday
The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, told us that his Ummah would follow the previous nations, the Jews, Christians and Persians, but this was undoubtedly not praise
for their actions, rather it is by way of condemnation and a warning. It was narrated from Abu Sa‘eed, Radi-Allahu anhu, that the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said:
“You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit, until even if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will do so too.”
We asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said, “Who else?” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3269; Muslim, 2669).
The ignorant, innovators and heretics have followed the previous nations, the Jews, Christians and Persians, in their beliefs, ways, manners and dress.
Our concern here is to point out in these days their following and imitation of them through the innovation of “Mother’s Day”, which is a day that the Christians innovated to honour mothers.
This then became a day that was venerated, and people would get in touch with their mothers or send them gifts and loving messages.
But when the day was over, things would go back to the way they were, with people being cut off from their mothers and disobeying them.
What is strange is that the Muslims would feel a need to imitate them in such ways, when Allaah has commanded them to honour their mothers and has forbidden them to disobey them, and has made
the reward for that (for obeying them) the highest status.
How many 'Eids are there in Islam?
As Mother’s Day is known in Arabic as “Eid al-Umm” or “Mothers’ Festival”; the word Eid is derive from the root ‘aada/ya’ood meaning to come back or return.
The Muslim may note the large number of festivals that are observed among the Muslims nowadays, such as the Festival of Trees, Workers’ Day (May Day), anniversaries of the king’s accession to the throne, birthdays, etc…
There is a long list of such days, but each of these is the innovation of the Jews, Christians and polytheists; they have no basis in Islam. There are no festivals in Islam apart from ‘Eid al-Adhaa´ and ‘Eid al-Fitr.
It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said:
“During the Jaahiliyyah, the people had two days each year when they would play. When the Prophet , Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, came to Madeenah he said, ‘You had two days on which you would play, but Allaah has given you something better than them:
the day of al-Fitr and the day of al-Adha.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1134; al-Nasaa’i, 1556; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani).
Honouring one’s mother
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Worship Allaah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masaakeen (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allaah does not like such as are proud and boastful.” [al-Nisaa´ 4:36]
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah, Radi-Allahu anhu, said:
“A man came to the Messenger of Allaah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, who among the people is most deserving of my good company?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Then your father.’ ” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5626; Muslim, 2548)
Al-Haafidh ibn Hajar said:
“Ibn Battaal said: what this means is that the mother should be honoured three times more than the father.
He said, that is because of the difficulties of pregnancy, then giving birth, then breastfeeding.
These are hardships that are experienced only by the mother, then the father shares with her in raising the child.
So the recommendation to be dutiful and good refers to both parents, but the mother’s share is greater because of the three things mentioned above.
Indeed, even if one's mother is a mushrikah (polytheist), the wise and pure sharee’ah of Islam encourages one to uphold ties of kinship with her:
It was narrated that Asmaa´ bint Abi Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu, said:
“My mother came to visit me at the time of the Messenger of Allaah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and she was a mushrikah. I consulted the Messenger of Allaah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, saying, ‘My mother has come to visit me for some purpose, should I uphold ties of kinship with my mother?’ He said, ‘Yes, uphold ties of kinship with your mother.’ ” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2477)
Mother’s Day – A Historical Overview
Some researchers have said:
“Some historians have suggested that Mother’s Day started with the ancient Greeks’ celebrations of spring festivals. These festivals were devoted to the mother goddess Rhea, the wife of Cronos, the father god.
In ancient Rome there was a similar celebration devoted to the worship or veneration of Sybil, another mother of the gods. This began approximately 250 years before the birth of the Messiah, aalayhi-assalam. These religious celebrations of the Romans were called “Hilaria” and lasted for three days from March 15 to March 18.”
Sunday in England
This was a day similar to the modern Mother’s Day celebration, but it was called “Mothering Sunday” or (the Sunday half-way through Lent), because it occurred during their major fasting period (Lent). Some say that the celebrations that were held to worship and honour the Roman goddess Sybil were changed by the church to celebrations meant to honour and venerate Mary (peace be upon her). This custom began with some people encouraging people to visit the central church in their locality, bringing offerings. In 1600 young men and women of simple professions and servants started to visit their mothers on “Mothering Sunday”, bringing gifts and food.
The United States
Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948):
She had the idea of making Mother’s Day an official holiday in the US. She never married and she had a very strong relationship with her mother. She was the daughter of a minister and taught in the Sunday School of Andrew Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Two years after her mother died, she launched a campaign addressed to bosses, ministers and congressmen, to declare Mother’s Day an official holiday in the country. She hoped that this day would strengthen the feelings of children for their mothers and fathers, and strengthen family ties.
Mother’s Day in the Arab World
The idea of celebrating Mother’s Day in the Arab world began in Egypt, and was started by the two brothers Mustafa and ‘Ali Ameen, the founders of the Akhbaar al-Yawm newspaper.
‘Ali Ameen himself had received a letter from a mother complaining of her children’s meanness and bad treatment towards her. It so happened that another mother visited Mustafa Ameen in his office and told him her sad story with her children;
Mustafa and ‘Ali wrote in their famous column Fikrah (“Idea”) suggesting that a day should be set aside for mothers, to remember their virtues.
Egypt celebrated Mother’s Day for the first time on March 21, 1956. From Egypt this idea spread to other Arab countries.
After knowing that, it comes as no surprise that most of those who celebrate Mother’s Day are the Jews and Christians and those who imitate them, and that they say that this is because of their concern for women and mothers, and that Mother’s Day is celebrated by some of the Masonic clubs in the Arab world such as the Rotary Club and Lions Club.
We may also note that Mother’s Day, which is March 21st (in the Arab world) is also the New Year of the Coptic Christians, and the Nawroz festival of the Kurds.
The Shar’i Viewpoint and Fatwas of the Scholars concerning Mother’s Day:
Islam has no need of things that are innovated by others, be it Mother’s Day of anything else. Its teachings on the honouring of mothers mean that it has no need for an innovated Mother’s Day.
The scholars of the Standing Committee said:
Whatever is done on that day as a ritual, act of worship or act of veneration that is done in order to seek reward, or that involves imitating the people of the Jaahiliyyah or similar kaafir groups is a forbidden act of innovation (bid’ah) and is included in the general meaning of the hadeeth in which the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said:
“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).
And also said:
He ,Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, did not celebrate Mother’s Day and neither did any of his companions, Radiy-allahou anhoum or the salaf (earliest generations) of this ummah. Rather it is an innovation (bid’ah) and imitation of the kuffaar.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/86
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said:
It is proven in saheeh haadeeths that the Messenger of Allaah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, warned against innovations in religion and against imitating the enemies of Allaah, the Jews, Christians and other mushrikeen.
He, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to say in his Jumu’ah (Friday) khutbah:
“The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. The worst of matters are those which are newly-innovated and every innovation is a going astray.”
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