By Sameea Jonnud, Aldershot
“It’s Mother’s Day! Time to buy flowers and chocolates and make a card to show Mum how much I love her!”
A quick Google of ‘Mother’s Day’ results in a page of articles such as “What can I buy my mum?” and “Best deals available on flowers”. Going to a supermarket on the Saturday night before Mother’s Day (or Mothering Sunday) itself you will often find the flower and chocolate aisles depleted to signal the arrival of the one day in the year when we must show our mother how much we love her.
The first Mother’s Day dates back to ancient Egypt where they celebrated a festival for the goddess Isis who was known as the mother of the Pharaohs. In ancient Greece it was in honour of Rhea, the mother of the Greek gods and in ancient Rome around the time of March the festival honoured Cybele, the mother of all gods. Early Christians celebrated the spring Mothers festival to honour Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Mother’s Day is still celebrated in many countries around the world, although the date and traditions may be different in each country
In the UK, Mothering Sunday started around the 17th century when servants and apprentices were given time off, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, to attend their mother church with their families and take presents for their mothers, traditionally a cake made of eggs, butter, simnel and finest flour, ingredients not otherwise used in Lent.
Shops always like to have some day or other to promote with displays of goods and in the UK soon after Christmas, along with promotions for Valentines and Pancake Day, the shops start filling with gifts for Mother’s Day. To help with ideas, articles appear in the newspapers suggesting how to make the day special for mum.
Some people may go to Church to pray for their Mothers but mostly mothers are given presents, cards and flowers. Breakfast in bed is greatly popular and children make a point of carrying out household chores and being on their best behaviour because they don’t want mummy to be upset on Mother’s Day; this makes it seem as if it is okay to be lazy and upset her for the rest of the year!
Incidentally although modern Mother’s Day is widely associated with Christianity, its celebration is not mentioned in the Bible and neither did Prophet Jesus (on whom be peace) observe it or teach his disciples to follow it.
According to Islam, men and women are spiritually equal in the sight of Allah; in their role as mothers, Islam places women at an even higher status than men. The Holy Qur’an repeatedly directs Muslims to care for their parents, especially the mother.
“And We have enjoined on man concerning his parents —his mother bears him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning takes two years —‘Give thanks to Me and to thy parents. Unto Me is the final return.” (31:15)
Islam recognizes the great role that women play in bringing up their children and in this way the future of a peaceful and harmonious society depends on mothers. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) emphasized the love and respect due to mothers in Ahadith including: “Paradise lies at the feet of mothers.” The Paradise mentioned by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) refers to both earthly as well as heavenly paradise.
As children our mothers did everything for us. They kept us safe and during illness would spend nights awake with worry and prayers until we recovered. They continue to love, protect and pray for our every success and happiness throughout our lives and when we go out into the world our mothers always remain in our hearts.
A beautiful verse from The Holy Quran referring to parents reminds us of our true obligations to our mothers:
“And lower to them the wing of humility out of tenderness. And say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them even as they nourished me in my childhood.’” (17:25)
Once a year on Mother’s Day children make an effort to show their mothers how much they love them. But why should we only make an effort once a year? We should show our love every day and remember our duty to our mothers by looking after them whenever they need us.
Mother’s Day should be every day!