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The History and Ruling on Mother's Day

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

category: Islamic Identity

source: Islam-QA.com

reads: 9517

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1. The scholars of the Standing Committee said:

Praise be to Allaah Alone and blessings and peace be upon His Messenger and his family and companions.

Firstly: Eid is a name given to a recurring occasion on which people come together, whether it is annual or monthly or weekly and so on. Eid combines a number of things: a day which recurs, such as Eid al-Fitr and Friday (Jumu'ah); gathering on that day; acts or worship and customs which are done on that day.

Secondly: whatever is done on that day as a ritual, act of worship or act of veneration that is done in order to seek reward, or that involves imitating the people of the Jaahiliyyah or similar kaafir groups is a forbidden act of innovation (bid'ah) and is included in the general meaning of the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim). Examples of that include celebrating the Mawlid (Prophet's birthday), Mother's Day, and national days, because in the first case (Prophet's birthday) that means worshipping in a manner that Allaah has not prescribed, and because it involves imitating the Christians and other kaafirs, and in the second and third cases (Mother's Day and national holidays) it means imitating the kaafirs. As for occasions which are intended to organize work, for example, in the best interests of the ummah, such as traffic week or training sessions for employees and so on, which are not intended as acts of worship or veneration at all, these are customary innovations which are not included in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected," so there is nothing wrong with such things, rather they are prescribed in Islam.

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas, Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah, 3/59, 61

2. They also said:

It is not permissible to celebrate the so-called Mother's Day and similar innovated festivals because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected." He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not celebrate Mother's Day and neither did any of his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) or the salaf (earliest generations) of this ummah. Rather it is an innovation (bid'ah) and imitation of the kuffaar.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah, 3/86

3. Shaykh 'Abd al-'Azeez ibn Baaz said:

I read the article published in the al-Nadwah newspaper on 30/11/1384 AH, entitled Takreem al-Umm… wa Takreem al-Usrah (Honouring mothers… and honouring families), and I found that the writer approved of some of the what the west has done by singling out one day in the year to celebrate mothers. He pointed out something that is ignored by those who want to introduce this holiday, which is the pain and grief which those children who have lost their mothers suffer when they see their peers celebrating and honouring their mothers. He suggested that this celebration should honour the entire family and explained that Islam did not prescribe this festival, because the Islamic sharee'ah enjoins honouring one's mother.

The writer did well by explaining why it is not prescribed in Islam and in pointing out the downside of this festival, of which many were unaware, but he did not point out the innovations involved which go against the clear texts that were narrated from the Messenger of Islam (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or the harm that this causes, or the fact that it involves imitating the mushrikeen and kuffaar. So in these few words I wanted to point out to the writer and others the innovation in religion that is involved in this bid'ah and others that have been introduced by the enemies of Islam and those who are ignorant of it in order to damage its reputation and put people off Islam, and the confusion and division that have resulted from that, the extent of whose damage and corruption no one knows except Allaah.

It is proven in the saheeh ahaadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against innovations in religion and against imitating the enemies of Allaah, the Jews, Christians and other mushrikeen. For example, he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected." According to a version narrated by Muslim "Whoever does something that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected."

What this means is that it will be rejected and thrown back on the one who innovated it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his Jumu'ah (Friday) khutbah: "The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The worst of matters are those which are newly-innovated and every innovation is a going astray." This was narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh. Undoubtedly singling out one day in the year to celebrate and honour mothers or families is one of the newly-innovated matters that were not done by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or by his blessed companions, so we must not do that and we must warn the people against it, and be content with that which Allaah and His Messenger have prescribed.

We have noted above that the writer stated that the Islamic sharee'ah enjoins respecting one's mother and commands Muslims to honour their mothers all the time. He is correct on this point. The Muslims have to be content with that which Allaah has enjoined upon them of honouring and venerating their mothers, and treating them kindly, and obeying them when they tell them to do good all the time, and of avoiding innovated matters of which Allaah has warned them and which lead to imitation of the enemies of Allaah and following their paths and approving of the innovations of which they approve. That does not apply only to mothers, rather Allaah has commanded the Muslims to honour and respect both parents and to treat them kindly, to uphold ties of kinship with all relatives. And Allaah has warned them against disobeying parents and severing the ties of kinship, but He has singled out the mother for more care and honour, because she takes more care of the child and because the hardships she faces in bearing, nursing and raising the child are greater. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents"

[al-Isra' 17:23]

"And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination"

[Luqmaan 31:14]

"Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship?

Such are they whom Allaah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight"

[Muhammad 47:22-23]

It was narrated in a saheeh hadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Shall I not tell you of the greatest of major sins?" They said, "Yes, O Messenger of Allaah." He said, "Associating others in worship with Allaah, and disobeying one's parents." He was reclining, but he sat up and said, "And false speech and false witness." A man asked him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying, "O Messenger of Allaah, who among the people is most deserving of my good company?" He said, "Your mother." He asked, "Then who?" He said, "Then your mother." He asked, "Then who?" He said, "Then your mother." He asked, "Then who?" He said, "Then your father, then the next closest and the next closest."

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