Mother's Day, an Argument Against Celebrating

11 Mar 2018

 

I love seeing women being celebrated and celebrating each other. Reading all the nice posts and seeing the memories shared through pictures is comforting. I’ve never been one to celebrate anything too hard and mothers day was never really more than a card (maybe) and visit (which was almost an every day thing anyway) situation. Spending time with mum and doing things together was just the norm, before she died.

 

My mum returned to Allah last year after becoming critically ill very suddenly. I dealt with it well, or so I’m told. Today I feel overwhelmed with sadness, and honestly - I’m not sad about her death all the time.

 

I’ll always miss my mum, of course, and it hurts that she wont be with me throughout the rest of my life, but I don’t cry everyday, anymore, and I can talk about her and smile and not feel completely heartbroken when my daughter reminds me of her, knowing that she too will not have her nan with her throughout the rest of her life.

 

 

But today, I’m sad. I’m sad that on a day where we celebrate our mums and being mums, I knew that once I got out of bed I’d be in tears. I’m sad that I don’t have the will to do something with my daughter to celebrate today.

 

And like I said, this isn’t a day that I’d normally make very significant, but knowing and seeing it’s significance to others makes it very hard to ignore and stirs up emotions that I’d rather not be stirred.

 

I don’t want to be that person who moans about seemingly harmless things - let people live, let people enjoy life - is normally what I say to anyone who doesn’t want to acknowledge something that other people are acknowledging.

 

Knowing it’s mothers day is unavoidable, though, and it’s just really hard to enjoy today as a regular day when knowing that brings a lot of sadness.

 

As the typical argument goes, we celebrate our mums everyday and don’t need to mark a particular day for this, right? Though what’s the harm in paying extra attention to mothers on Mother's Day? There is none, I guess, except for the negative emotions it brings for people who’ve lost their mothers and also those who are not yet mothers and want to be. Allahu Alam.

 

I’m not calling for a ban on Mother's Day. Whether you celebrate or not is your business and I wont be blocking everyone who sends me forwarded mothers day messages on WhatsApp (thought about it). I just needed to put some thoughts in words and maybe start a conversation for others who feel like me. Alhamdulilah.

Since first publishing this post, a lot of the responses were to the tune of "celebrating kafir holidays is haram", "we don't celebrate unislamic holidays" "anything new is an innovation" etc.

 

All of this is true in a simplistic sense according to some scholarly positions. 

 

But I want to share with you a much more balanced approach.

 

This approach is explained well in this article, Holidays Free of Religious Overtones. I'll share some excerpts with you here:

 

The holidays which are forbidden [for Muslims] to observe are those with religious overtones, such as Christmas and Easter, not the festive gatherings people observe due to certain events. Therefore, people are allowed to celebrate wedding anniversaries, birthdays or any occasion such celebrations are not related to religious holidays. It is imperative that we work to remove the confusion surrounding this misunderstanding and the doubts that have affected many people [regarding this issue].

 

[Because of this misunderstanding], people find hardship and difficulty in their religion. Especially when a religious-minded person holds [such non religious celebrations] to be from the major sins or rejected acts when, in fact, they are not.

 

I hope you take the time to read the full text of the article, and try to be more considerate and respectful of the ijtihad of scholars and the delicate nature of sharing Islamic knowledge. This is especially relevant when talking to people who may be new to Islam, in order to not give incorrect information and create a difficulty where there shouldn't be.

 

Whatever you decide to practice in regards to celebrations, may it be in full mindfulness of Allah. And may any information you share be with the intention of pleasing Allah an not your own ego, and let it fall short of giving a fatwa you are not qualified to give.

 

Updated 22 Sept 2018

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