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The History and Ruling on Mother's Day

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

category: Islamic Identity


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The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "No one who severs the ties of kinship will enter Paradise." And it was reported in a saheeh hadeeth that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever would like his provision to be increased and his life to be made long, let him uphold the ties of kinship." There are many well-known aayahs and ahaadeeth which speak of honouring one's parents and upholding the ties of kinship, and which affirm the rights of mothers. Those which we have quoted above are sufficient. They will prove to the one who ponders their meanings that it is obligatory to honour and respect both parents, and to treat them and all other relatives kindly at all times. They teach us that disobeying parents and severing the ties of kinship are among the worst characteristics and major sins which deserve the punishment of Hell and the wrath of Allaah. We ask Allaah to keep us safe from that.

This is better and more eloquent than the western innovation of singling out just one day in the year for honouring one's mother, then neglecting her for the rest of the year, whilst also ignoring the rights of fathers and other relatives. The great mischief that results from this will be obvious to anyone who has insight, along with the fact that it is contrary to the laws of the Wisest of rulers and is bound to cause that which His trustworthy Messenger warned us against.

Similar to this are the innovations which many people follow, such as celebrating the Prophet's birthday, or the anniversary of the country's independence, or the accession of the king, and so on. All of these are innovations in which the Muslims are imitating others, namely the enemies of Allaah. They ignore the warning which Islam brought against that and the prohibition of such things. This confirms the saheeh hadeeth in which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, step by step, until even if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will do so too." We asked, "O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?" He said, "Who else?" According to another version, "My ummah will follow in the footsteps of those who came before it, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit." It was asked, "O Messenger of Allaah, the Persians and Romans?" He said, "Who else?"

What the most truthful one (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said has indeed come to pass, as this ummah – except for those whom Allaah wills – have followed those who came before them, the Jews, Christians, Magians and other kaafirs, in many of their characteristics and actions, until Islam has become like a stranger and the teachings, morals and actions of the kuffaar have become better in the minds of many people than the ways of Islam, and good has become evil and evil has become good, Sunnah has become an innovation and bid'ah has become the way of many people, because of ignorance and turning away from the noble morals and righteous deeds taught by Islam. "Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return" [al-Baqarah 2:156 – interpretation of the meaning; words uttered at times of calamity]

We ask Allaah to enable the Muslims to understand their religion, and to improve their situation, and to guide their leaders, and to help our scholars and writers to spread word of the beauties of our faith and to warn against the bid'ahs and innovations which tarnish its reputation and put people off, for He is able to do all things. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon His slave and Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and companions, and those who follow his path and adhere to his Sunnah until the Day of Judgement.

(Majmoo' Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 5/189)

4. Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:

Matters which involve imitation of the kuffaar include imitating them in matters of worship, such as matters of shirk like erecting structures and shrines over graves and exaggerating concerning them. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "May the curse of Allaah be upon the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship." And he said that if a righteous man among them died, they would build a place of worship over his grave and put images in it, and they are the most evil of mankind. There occur many actions which are tantamount to major shirk because of exaggeration concerning graves, because of that imitation of the Jews and Christians.

That also includes imitating them in mushrik and innovated festivals, such as the Mawlid celebrations on the birthday of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or the birthdays of presidents and kings. Some of these innovated or mushrik festivals may be known as "days" or "weeks", such as the National Day or Mother's Day or Cleanliness Week and so on. All of these occasions have been imported to the Muslims from the kuffaar, because in Islam there are only two festivals: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Everything else is an innovation (bid'ah) and imitation of the kuffaar. The Muslims must beware of that and not be influenced by the large numbers of so-called Muslims who do that and are ignorant of the true teachings of Islam, and who do such things because of ignorance, or who are not ignorant of the true teachings of Islam but do these things deliberately, in which case the matter is more serious.

"Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day, and remembers Allaah much"

[al-Ahzaab 33:21 – interpretation of the meaning]

From a khutbah entitled al-Hathth 'ala Mukhaalifat al-Kuffaar (Urging the Muslims to be different to the kaafirs)

5. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen was asked about the ruling on celebrating so-called Mother's Day. He replied:

All festivals that go against the festivals that are prescribed in Islam are bid'ahs and innovations that were not known at the time of the righteous salaf, and they may have come from the non-Muslims, in which case as well as being innovations they also entail imitating the enemies of Allaah. The Islamic festivals are well known to the Muslims, namely Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, and the weekly festival (Jumu'ah or Friday). There are no other festivals in Islam apart from these three. All festivals which have been introduced apart from these are to be rejected and are false according to the law of Allaah, 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," i.e., it will be thrown back at him and will not be accepted by Allaah. According to another version, "Whoever does something that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected." Once this is clear, it is not permissible to celebrate the holiday mentioned in the question, which is known as Mother's Day, and it is not permissible to introduce any of the symbols of that holiday such as expressing joy and happiness, giving gifts and so on. The Muslim must be proud of his religion and adhere to the limits set by Allaah for His slaves, without adding anything or taking anything away. Moreover, the Muslim should not be weak and spineless, following anyone who makes noise, rather he should mould his character according to the sharee'ah of Allaah so that he will be followed, not following, and so that he will be an example, not one who follows the example of others, because the sharee'ah of Allaah – praise be to Allaah – is perfect in all ways, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

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