Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Mubarak?

People all over America and other places in the world are celebrating Mother's Day.

It seems that this non-Islamic holiday is also creeping into the Muslim world. Not only here in America where Mother's Day originated, but also abroad.

The other day, I received an email from Sound Vision about Mother's Day. It reads, in part, as follows:

"As Mother's Day approaches this weekend, do more than just send flowers or buy gifts for mom. Rekindle your relationship with her, regardless of how she has treated you. If your relationship has been non-existent or distant, commit to doing one thing for the next year than can help you become closer. This can be one extra phone call on a regular basis or inviting her over to your place at least once a month. If you're blessed with a close relationship, find ways to strengthen it. And if your mother has passed, find a way to honor her memory, whether it's donating to her favorite charity every month or simply raising your hands in Dua every Friday asking for God to forgive her and grant her Paradise."

The email goes on to provide various Sound Vision links about mothers, including a link for shopping for Mother's Day gifts.

In Jordan, Mother's Day is observed on the first day of spring. Queen Noor, a Muslim, is the honorary chair of Rediscover Mother's Day. She has written a piece on entitled, Let's Reclaim Mother's Day for Peace

It is interesting to note how Queen Noor opens her piece:

"In 1982, during a period of dangerous stalemate in the Middle East peace process, I gave a speech at Georgetown University about the critical need for a more engaged and balanced role for the United States in the region.

The newspapers the next day covered my handbag, my rings, and my dress. When asked about the substance of my message, one U. S. Senator said, 'It's a great public relations weapon to have an attractive queen.'"

Well, my sister, what do you expect? Mixed messages?

More mixed messages when a predominant Muslim woman is the honorary chair of such a thing as Rediscover Mother's Day?

Is the condition of our ummah in such dire straights that we need a non-Islamic holiday like Mother's Day to help us with our relationships with our Muslim mothers?

May Allah (swt) help us all if we need such an occasion as Mother's Day to raise our hands in dua to Him to ask for forgiveness and Jennah for our deceased Muslim mothers.

The danger for Muslims in America is that cultural and secular practices have a way of intertwining themselves with Islam. Then people end up not knowing the difference. We have seen this in our own masjids and Muslim communities.

When I first considered becoming a Muslim, I read a LOT about Islam. Once I became a Muslim and interacted with the Muslim community, I was blown away. I soon discovered that many Muslims didn't know the difference between cultural and Islam. It was not uncommon for me to hear, "But Safiyyah, this is how we do it in my country."

Will our children be saying this decades from now? Defending the practice of observing secular holidays by Muslims as "how we do it" in America?

Buying your mother a gift for Mother's Day is practicing this secular holiday. Buying her gifts throughout the year is truly honoring mom!

We have the Quran and Hadith for guidance in how to honor and celebrate our Muslim moms, Alhamdulillah! Muslim need not look toward secular sources for help in this area!