Mother's Day: To Celebrate or Not?

Whilst commenting on Umm Salihah's blog, I realized it was too long and that it would be more appropriate to just continue my thoughts here- so welcome, and thanks for reading.

Regarding Mothering Day/Mother's Day:
It is a personal and emotional controversy with me. With Islamic evidence presented, part of me still doesn't see a problem with this celebration, since my intention is not to honor a Greek or oman goddess or take part in a religious ceremony, however being Muslim and visually (hijabi) Muslim, I feel i have a certain responsibility to set an example and to be consistent.

I appreciate my Mom on a daily basis. In the past I have adored celebrating her life on Mother's Day, and I relished in the joy she exuded when she was treated like an absolute queen by our family on this day! Waiting an entire year to pull out the stops made it special and exciting.

Regardless of why I was brought up to celebrate Mother's Day, and it's origins; despite fatwas, and scholarly opinions on whether it's viewed as a shirk innovation- my feelings haven't changed. A month before Mother's Day, my siblings and I would secretly start growing our Marigold and African Violet flower seeds in empty coffee cans. Painted macaroni necklaces were in progress, our hand prints in plaster were a right of passage, and of course, one of us made a pig sty out of the kitchen trying to bake a cake. Let's not forget the original poem chock full of misspellings and atrocious grammar. My father would give her rose garden extra special attention and even add new buds. He did his best to please her within their means. All this, for the love of Mommy. I still want to burst into confetti on Mother's day for all the memories and love she gave us. For all the pain and sacrifice she endured for us. For all the penniless moments, multiple-jobs-with-no-day-off moments, and scary moments. For holding her head up high during the darkest hour moments, and all of her successful and and accomplished moments.

Not partaking in this day does not mean I love her less than I did yesterday. It does not mean that she is not a phenomenal woman. Not celebrating would mean my faith is stronger than I previously thought. Not observing would mean that I truly believe any sacrifice or hardship in this life will be rewarded in Jannah. I imagine that my mother would agree that faith in God is more important than anything else in this life.

So- you ask, what does iMuslimah want from us? I'll tell you and then some. I want your deepest internal wisdom on the subject (pretty please), especially if you are a recovering (Muslim) Mother's Day or Birthday junkie. I want to know, stated as simply as possible, what motivated you to give up non-religious holidays and how you changed your feelings. If you are somewhere int he middle like me, I would like to hear about that too.

Jazzakullah Khair,


2 Birds Chirpin':

Umm Salihah said...

Sis iMuslimah, you have touched a nerve. I didn't want my mum to think I was ignoring her so I agve her something on the day before.

I think it's easier in America as the day was begun independently of all the Ancient Goddess business, simply as a day of peace and celebrating your mother.

Even so, my attention is always to amke my mum feel special and let her know this is a day, as you say, to feel like a queen.

The argument that Muslim's should treat their mothers as special every day doesn't really hold for me because between us siblings we give her cash, gifts and treats all the time and try to help her with chores, shopping and meals as a regular thing. So this is a day for that little bit extra.

Still undecided, although the cards from my kids made my heart sing. Wait till iBaby gives you the first card that says "i luv yu momm" in wonky writing.

Umm Salihah said...

I meant "intention"