In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Today, millions of Americans will be celebrating Mother’s Day. It is a day when families get together and honor the mothers in their lives. Now, of course, I believe every day should be Mother’s Day, because they truly deserve to be honored each and every day. But, still, as Americans we celebrate a holiday called Mother’s Day on this day, and – as an American – I will be gathering together with my own mother and spending the day together.
What’s more, I shall also be spending the day with my wife – the mother of my children – and my maternal grandmother, who has come from Egypt to the United States for a visit. All praise is due to my Beloved for this enormous blessing. Truly, this Mother’s Day will be a very special one indeed.
Yet, like I said, I believe every day should be Mother’s Day. The Qur’an places kindness to the parents on par with the worship of God:
Worship and serve God, do not associate any partners with Him, and do good to your parents…(4:36).
The juxtaposition of serving God with honoring the parents is not coincidental. Mistreatment of the parents is one of Islam’s cardinal sins. The Qur’an is particularly eloquent in speaking of how someone should deal with his parents:
Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: “My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood” (17:23-24).
That being said, there can be no doubt that the mother is especially precious. Again, the Qur’an is quite eloquent in speaking about the mother:
And [God says:] We have enjoined upon man goodness towards his parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his utter dependence on her lasted two years: [hence, O man,] be grateful towards Me and towards thy parents, [and remember that] with Me is all journeys end. (31:14)
NOW [among the best of the deeds which] We have enjoined upon man is goodness towards his parents. In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth; and her bearing him and his utter dependence on her took thirty months. And so, when he attains to full maturity and reaches forty years, he [that is righteous] prays: O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be grateful for those blessings of Thine with which Thou hast graced me and my parents, and that I may do what is right [in a manner] that will meet with Thy goodly acceptance; and grant me righteousness in my offspring [as well]. Verily, unto Thee have I turned in repentance: for, verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves unto Thee! (46:15)
There is really nothing I could do to fully repay my mother for everything she has done for me. When I was younger, I remember getting into bitter fights and arguments with my mom. I frequently thought she was absolutely crazy. Yet, as I grew older, as I passed through stage after stage in my life, I realized how correct my mother’s observations were; I realized how valuable my mother truly was to me. After God, I am who I am because of my mother.
The recent death of my uncle – may God have Mercy upon his soul – has reminded me not to take it for granted that my mom will always be there for me. Thus, I promise to try to call her more often, to check in on her more often, to say “hello, Mama, how are you?” more often. It is the least I can do.
This Mother’s Day has also caused me to reflect on the greatness of my wife, who is also a mother. She is so strong, and she has endured so much, that I am in total and utter awe of her. She deserves the world from me, and I can only ask God for forgiveness for my not being able to give her the world that she deserves. May the Lord God shower His Mercy, Love, and Blessings upon my beautiful wife as well.
Yet, there is one thing I must say about this whole Mother’s Day thing: it is not fair. Yes, it is true we fathers get our own day in June, but we have to compete with weddings and graduations in June. It is definitely not the same as Mother’s Day. In addition, almost every hotel and restaurant has a Mother’s Day brunch. Yet, have you ever heard of a Father’s Day brunch? Why not? What’s the difference?
In a famous tradition, a man asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to which of his two parents he owes the most allegiance. The Prophet replied, “Your mother” three times before mentioning “Your father.” What if the man had walked away after the Prophet said “your mother” for the third time? I do not think the Prophet would have ran after him and said, “Oh, and your father, too!”
In another tradition, the Prophet told someone to take care of his ill mother because “You will find Paradise underneath her feet.” No mention of Paradise being anywhere near the feet of the father. Whenever a person looks into a TV camera, they almost always say, “Hi Mom!” What about Dad? Don’t I get at least a “Hey” or a “Yo”? Nope. All that hard work I do, getting up every single day of my life – whether I like it or not – to support my family, and what do I get? Nothing. Mothers get Paradise and their own day. Humph!
I hope you realize that I am saying this with tongue deeply in cheek. Iwimphimp compared to my wife. She has gone through so many things that are millions of times more difficult than what I have gone through. Same goes for my mother. Our mothers truly deserve to have Paradise underneath their feet.
On this Mother’s Day, let us reach out to all of the mothers in our lives and let them know how much we truly love, care, and honor them. Let us tell them how special they truly are to us. Let us show them tremendous gratitude and appreciation for everything they have done for us. On this Mother’s Day, let us show our love and respect by kissing our mothers’ hands.
My mother raised me to do this to, not only her, but my grandparents as well. I have never been shy to do so, and I proudly bow my head in public and kiss my mother’s hand. It is the least thing I can do to show my love and respect for my mama.
Lord God, our Precious Beloved, send down Your Limitless Grace, Mercy, and Love upon our mothers on this day and every day hence until the Day we all return to Your Glorious Presence. Lord God, our Precious Beloved, let us be the best children we can be to our mothers. Let us never show any sort of contempt to our mothers, Lord God. O Lord, in Your Most Holy Name I ask these things, Amen.