Can I Celebrate Mother’s Day?


Answered by Dar al-Ifta al-Masriyyah

The Question

Can I Celebrate Mother’s Day?

The Answer

Man is the creation of Allah. Allah Most High has honored man for his humanity: He molded him with His own hands, breathed into them from His Spirit, ordered the angels prostrate to him, and expelled Satan from His mercy because the latter arrogantly refused to obey his Lord’s command to prostrate to man. Respecting humanity is one of the angelic characteristics that forms foundation of Muslim civilization. Dishonoring, humiliating, and disdaining humans are provocations of Satan that shake the very foundations of civilization.

Allah says “Whoever chooses Satan for a patron instead of Allah is verily a loser and his loss is manifest.” (Qur’an 4:119)

“Will ye choose him [Satan] and his seed for your protecting friends instead of Me [Allah] when they are an enemy unto you? Calamitous is the exchange for evil doers!” (Qur’an, 18:50)

Just as Islam honors individuals from the perspective of their humanity without looking at their sex, race, or color, it has also added another form of respect associated with the various type of roles Allah gave them appropriate to their God-given characteristics. This additional form of respect includes respecting one’s parents whom Allah has made a cause for one’s existence, joining thanking them with thanking Him.

Allah says: “And We enjoined upon man concerning his parents. His mother begot him in weakness upon weakness and his weaning is in two years. Give thanks unto Me and unto thy parents. Unto Me is the journeying.” (Qur’an, 31:14)

In the Qur’an, Allah coupled His worship with kindness and respect to one’s parents saying:

“Your Lord decreed that you worship none save Him and (that you show) kindness to parents.” (Qur’an, 17:23)

This is because Allah made them the apparent cause for existence. Thus, one’s parents are the greatest worldly manifestation of the characteristic of creation.

The Prophet designated mothers as the ones most worthy of excellent companionship. Indeed, in this he gave them precedent over fathers.

Abu Hurayrah relates that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, “Which person is the most worthy of my excellent companionship?”

He replied, “Your mother.”

The man asked, “Then who?”

The Prophet said, “Your mother.”

Then the man said, “Then who?”

The Prophet replied, “Your mother.”

Then the man said, “Then who?”

The Prophet said, “Your father.”

(Bukhari and Muslim)

The Mother Child Relationship

Islamic Law affirms that the relationship between a child and its mother is a natural, organic relationship. So his relationship to her is not dependent upon whether she bore him within marriage or out of wedlock—indeed, she is his mother in all circumstances. This is contrary to paternity, which can only be established through legal means.

Respecting one’s Mother Implies and the Ruling?

Respecting one’s mother includes: taking care of her physical well-being, honoring her and treating her well.. Nothing in the Shari’a prohibits an occasion in which children express honoring their mothers. This is merely a matter of organization. There is nothing wrong with it and it bears no connection to the issue of innovation about which so many people murmur. Rejected innovations are new things which are contrary to the Shari’a, since the Prophet said, “Whoever creates something new in this affair of ours which is foreign to it, it is rejected.” (Bukhari and Muslim). The divergent meaning is that whoever innovates something which is not foreign to it, it will be accepted and not rejected.

The Prophet approved when the Arabs celebrated national commemorations and tribal victories in which they would sing of their tribal feats and their victories days. Imam Bukhari and Muslim narrate in a hadith that ‘A’ishah said: “Abu Bakr came to see me. I had two young girls with me who were singing what was sung at the Battle of Bu’ath.” In addition, prophetic narrations note that the Prophet visited the grave of his mother Aminah and that he was never seen to cry more than on that day. (al-Hakim)

The Meaning of Motherhood

In the Arabic language, the word ‘mother’ refers to the source, to a habitat, to the chief, and to the servant of a people who takes care of their food and serves them. This last meaning was related from Imam al-Shafi’I, who was among the experts of Arabic language. Ibn Durayd said, “That to which all other things around it are ascribed to it is called a ‘mother’.” Because of this, Mecca is dubbed ‘Mother of cities’ since it is in the center of the world and the direction to which people face [in prayer], and because it is the most significant city of all.

Since language is the vessel for thought, for Muslims the immediate sense of word is associated with that person whom Allah made the source for an individual human’s formation, who then sheltered him, took care of his nurturing and upbringing; was endowed with love to care for him and to look after his needs. In all of this, it is the mother who is instilled with the affection and mercy to which her children seek comfort.

Just as this meaning is clear in the original linguistic meaning of the word and words derived from its linguistic root, our literature clarifies and evidences this further with the compound-word silat al-rahim [lit. womb-ties] in that this physiological attribute found in mothers has been made a symbol for maintaining family relationships which form the foundational elements for building human society. The most rightful and most deserving for this ascription is none other than the mother, who is the reason life continues and families are formed and is the outward manifestation of mercy.

This matter reaches its fullness and perfection with that magnificent religious sense portrayed by the chosen, beloved Prophet in his saying, “Family ties cling to the Throne, saying ‘Allah unites whoever united me, and severs whoever severed me.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

There is a hadith qudsi wherein Allah Mighty and Majestic says, “I am Allah and I am the Compassionate. I created family ties and I derived My name from the womb. I unite whoever unites them, and I will sever whoever severed them.”

The Prophet said, “In Abdullah bin Jud’an’s house, I witnessed a treaty [so great] not even the most prized camel would be dearer to me, and if I had been called to participate in it in Islam I would had answered.” (Al-Bayhaqi)

So according to this, celebrating Mothers’ Day is religiously permissible; there is nothing that prevents it and there is no harm in it. Rejected innovations are innovations which are in contradiction to the Shari’a. Things whose basis the Shari’a sanctions cannot be rejected and there is no sin upon the person who does them.

And Allah Majestic and Most High knows best.

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86 Comments

  1. N. says:

    Maybe I missed something, but I really don’t see that there was a negative argument on this issue. And if it is a trivial issue for some, it is a very relevant issue for others.

    I appreciated the article alhamdulillah and benefited from all the various pro/con points of view shared. Jazakum Allahu khairan.

  2. Fez says:

    @Megan Wyatt

    Yes absolutely, as you allude to there is a difference between observing the INSTITUTION that is Mother’s Day and observing good actions with occur concurrently during Mother’s Day.

    There is a subtle yet important distinction between the two which is often lost in an age of slogan and soundbite :p

  3. Seth says:

    Here we are searching for the right path.
    May Allah be pleased with us.

  4. kem says:

    If only we (Muslim) can use what we call as “Common Sense” and able to open our mind wide with some sound understanding of Basic Islamic Knowledge, I believe this issue won’t be that hard to understand. This kind of issue is ‘khilaf’ and has led to various and different notions among Muslim Scholars. Of course some Ulama’ agreed that it is permissible and some reject it with their own reason. For me, If we choose not to celebrate it, then it is fine. But there is still no harm if we choose to celebrate it. Please don’t get me wrong. What i mean is moderate celebration. I think no need to go for holiday or having a Big Party only to celebrate Mother’s Day. Like what i mention earlier, if only we can use our ‘Common Sense’ With some Basic Islamic Knowledge, We can think all of these. Of course Islam prohibits Such Extravagant Action, let alone Unislamic Ritual (Syirik). Just keep in mind, Islam teach us to show love to our Mother every time regardless of their religion.

    There are two reservations worth mentioning; first, considering the Mother’s Day a feast; second, confining the task of showing dutifulness to mothers to that specific day, giving implication that throughout the whole year, just only one day is for showing love to parents. If such two anomalous points are addressed, then there is nothing wrong in considering the Mother’s Day a chance to give more care to mothers.

    For me there is no issue of ‘a Muslims dressing in Halloween costumes’ because it is out of this topic. Valentine Day also not so relevant in Islam.

  5. kem says:

    Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states:

    Dutifulness to parents, especially the mother, and treating them kindly is an act of worship enjoined in both the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Being dutiful to parents is not confined to a specific time. It is an obligation that should be observed every time, as all people commonly know.

    Yet, the Mother’s Day, as it’s known nowadays is a Western habit. The Westerners specified a day and called it the Mother’s Day. On that day sons and daughters show gratefulness to their mothers and offer them presents. It has become part of important feasts in the West, whereas we Muslims have no other festivals except the Lesser and the Greater Bairams. Any other celebrations are deemed mere occasions or anniversaries; and this is applied to the Mother’s Day.

    The Mother’s Day implies paying more attention and exerting more effort in expressing gratitude to mothers. So there is nothing wrong in that.

    However, there are two reservations worth mentioning; first, considering the Mother’s Day a feast; second, confining the task of showing dutifulness to mothers to that specific day, giving implication that throughout the whole year, just only one day is for showing love to parents. If such two anomalous points are addressed, then there is nothing wrong in considering the Mother’s Day a chance to give more care to mothers.

    Thus, we may take the Mother’s Day as a chance to lay more emphasis on our duty towards our mothers, as Islam enjoins us, because dutifulness to parents is a genuine Islamic teaching. But Muslims, in doing that, should never deviate from the Islamic teachings, they should do things in Islamic manners, not in Western manners. Hence, they would not be imitating the non-Islamic habits of the West.

    Hence, viewed in juristic perspective, we can say that celebrating the Mother’s day is controversial among the contemporary scholars. While a group of them consider it haram (unlawful) as a kind of blind imitation of the Western non-Islamic habits, which have no benefit for Muslims, another group see it halal (lawful) on condition that showing gratitude and dutifulness to parents should not be confined to that day only.

  6. kem says:

    Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi states:

    The Arab tend to blindly follow the Western in their celebration of the Mother’s Day, without trying to understand the wisdom behind inventing such an occasion.

    When the European found that children do not deal properly towards their parents nor give them their due right, they resorted to specifying an annual occasion for children to remedy the situation. But in Islam, mothers are to be given due respect and love every time, not only one day a year. For example, when one goes out, he kisses one’s mother’s hand seeking her pleasure and blessing.

    A Muslim must not allow any gap between him and his mother, he must offer her presents every time. This indicates that Muslims can dispense with such an occasion, the Mother’s Day. Unlike the case in the West, where it’s a vogue for some children to show indifference to their mothers’ feelings, and, what’s more, it is so common to see some parents being dragged to infirmaries (as their kids have no time for them), dutifulness to parents in Islam, alongside with worshipping Allah, is a sacred duty.

    In this concern, Almighty Allah says: (And We have commended unto man kindness toward parents. His mother beareth him with reluctance, and bringeth him forth with reluctance, and the bearing of him and the weaning of him is thirty months, till, when he attaineth full strength and reacheth forty years, he saith: My Lord! Arouse me that I may give thanks for the favor wherewith Thou hast favored me and my parents, and that I may do right acceptable unto Thee. And be gracious unto me In the matter of my seed. Lo! I have turned unto Thee repentant, and lo! I am of those who surrender (unto Thee).) (Al-Ahqaf 46: 15)

    Reflecting on the aforementioned Qur’anic verse, we find it stressing both parents’ right, but reviewing the following verses we find them paying special care to the mother and tackling the hardships she suffers in pregnancy, fosterage and rearing children.

    In this verse, Almighty Allah informs man of the debt he owes his mother since he was a fetus, passing by the process of childbirth, infancy, childhood until he comes of age. A child normally forgets the hardship which his mother underwent during pregnancy. Hence Almighty Allah draws his attention to such hardships, laying emphasis on her great status in Islam.

  7. kem says:

    Finally, Dr. `Abdul Fattah `Ashoor, professor of Qur’an Exegisis at Al-Azhar University, concludes:

    Holding celebrations in honoring others and commemorating anniversaries are neither feasts nor Islamic. But one may seize any chance to express gratitude to those who deserve it. This is how we should consider the Mother’s Day. The mother has a special place in the Islamic culture, and all other civilized cultures. So it is something good to do anything to please her and show gratefulness to her.

    So dedicating a day to showing good feelings towards parents, especially the mother, is by no means blameworthy as it does not contradict the Islamic teachings, nor can it be merely considered a form of joining the Western vogue of making celebrations. Conversely, it is a kind of devotion to Allah’s orders that we should be dutiful to our parents.

  8. Umer Siddique says:

    Assalamu alaikum,

    My teacher taught us that any Eid, I.e. celebrations occurring on a cyclical repetitive basis, whether weekly or.annually, whether religious or otherwise, automatically come under the category of what Islam sanctions, thus anything other than Eid al Adha, al Fitr and Jumuah are considered bid’ah. The classical scholars have included Eids in their definition of various bida’. I am curious as to whether any of these contemporary scholars who allow these celebrations have any evidence in terms of variant opinions to this.

    • kai says:

      Bid’ah is prohibited in Islam.

      The Messenger of Allah stated: “On the Day of Judgement, some people will come to me when I will be standing by Haudh-e-Kauser (Well). They will be grabbed and taken towards the Hellfire. I shall say: “These are my people” but in reply I will be told: “These are the people who introduced innovations after you, so they are unbelievers.”
      [Bukhari & Muslim, Kitaab-ul-Haudh]

      However, Some Scholar Categorizes Bid’Ah into certain types. Two of them are Bid’ah Sayyiah and Bid’ah Hasanah. Bid’ah sayyiah is a Bid’ah that opposes the Qur’an and sunnah and Bidah Hasanah is a Bid’ah that is not against the Qur’an or Sunnah.

      Eg.: If we celebrate Valentines Day and Halloween Day, It is a BAD BID’AH because it has no basis in Quran and Sunnah.

      Mother’s Day Will turn to be BAD BID’AH if the way we celebrate it against the Quran and Sunnah.

      But there are many evidence in the Quran and Sunnah that we MUST show love to our Mother, Physically and Spiritually.

  9. 123 says:

    If mother day is Halal for Ahl Sunnah, then why birthday celebration or other ceremonies like prophets birthday are not halal and they are very strict about it?

  10. :D says:

    EVERYDAY IS MOTHER’S DAY! :)

    • @sadq70 says:

      Yes.We are not the ones to wait for 1 single day in the whole year to treat your mother in a special way. We are supposed to do it EVERY SINGLE DAY.
      Q: What is the status of the mums on the other days?

  11. ER says:

    If I am a prospecting mother and have unsuccessfully tried so hard to get pregnant but could not get a child. I feel so depressed not having someone to call me mom…and then comes one national day, “Mother’s Day”…this would be a devastation/depression day for me…It is for this reason that ALLAH ASKED THE PROPHET MOHAMAD SALLA ALLAHOU ALIEH in Qouran in the only Sourat titels WOMEN “NISSAA” that Our DEEN WAS COMPLETE ….

    • Abdul Hameed Hakimi says:

      in my point of view is the mother day according Islam forbid we all Muslim not celebrate this day . because before Muslim people it celebrate by kuffar not by Muslim . thanks

      • FAIQ says:

        I totally agree, as Mothers Day was first celebrated by Kuffar, and the date was also first chosen by them due to their religious or traditional reasons, and thus which I see that we have no right to follow them and their traditions… It is not wrong to show our love and appreciation to our mothers, but this can be done everyday and not just once a year. Thank you…

  12. Nuraz Eray says:

    Everyone here is saying that western culture is kuffar. A. Christians are Ahl Kittab and so are Jews which makes them not kuffar. B. y’all are talking about tradition bug many Muslims around the world have different traditions. Yall are talking about your culture and tradition which is different for us who were born and raised in America. Many people heave traditions that aren’t mentioned in the Sunnah. Practicing something that isn’t d
    Said to be haram and isn’t detrimental to our deen isn’t bid’ah. Stop saying it is if you do not know.

    • Zachary says:

      There is scholarly consensus (ijma) that ahl al-kitab are kufar. The assertion that they are believers is a modern concept that acknowledges certain ayahs of the Qur’an and ignores a great many asserting otherwise.

      This is not a matter of difference of opinion but rather a tenet of faith that no one has challenged until recently. Those that are now doing so in the West usually did not go through the a traditional Islamic education and/or have been influenced by the Salafi “fatwa do-it-yourself” methodology.

      May Allah enable us to humbly seek the Truth.

  13. Sister Margo King says:

    Asalamu alaikum brothers and sisters, in Islam everyday is mother’s day. Mother’s day in the west is a may be a huge thing because of other implications that tell people to buy a gift, a card or hug your mother on that day. For a Muslim everyday is mothers’ day hug your mother, treat her well, call her, buy her a gift, cook for her,take her to dinner. Even consider making repairs around her house when she needs them. When the designated day(mothers’ day) comes do it even more, give her more kisses,hug and many thanks. Pass it to another member of your family who was a mother figure and if that is not possible pass lt to your father who cared for you, inshallah. Our caregivers in our years of youthful training should be reflected upon and say alhamdillilah! There is no debate here about the celebration of Mothers’ Day, everyday is mothers’ day. Yes, you can celebrate it that is optional, Walaikum salam.

  14. sam says:

    I never taught my children to celebrate Mother’s Day. It wasn’t one of our holidays as Muslims.I had always believed that every day is a Mother’s Day.Love should be given and received every day throughout the year.

    Realistically life doesn’t really work that way and human nature does not allow for that.
    We become so engrossed our day to day activities like home chores,washing,cleaning,errands,cooking,etc.Working parents are even busier trying to make ends meet.

    Children are busy with school work,studies,sport and social and religious activiies. It is so easy to forget to show special appreciation like a to say a simple “I love you.”Our rat race denies us time to spent with each other,to sit as a family,to hug and get to appreciate one another…

    My kids unexpectedly came home from school on Mother’s Day with little gifts in their hands. One had a rose. Another a less expense perfume. A third had a candle. And a fourth had a little teddy bear.
    Happy Mother’s Day! the sung and rushed in to hug and kiss me.

    It was one of the happiest days of my life and it brought tears to my eyes. It still does. Every year since then, they save up their allowance to get me gifts for Mothers Day.

    And those gifts from my kids are priceless and are the ones I cherish the most. One day every year my children conspire to do something special for me. And I love them for it.By the way they love me evey day and so do I.BUT THEY WONT BE ABLE TO GIVE ME PRESENTS EVERY DAY…

    To all those ranters and ravers out there, I say chill.
    Don’t turn everything into a religious battle because, many times, it simply isn’t.

    Yes, Eid is our special day. Yes, love should be expressed every day. And yes, it is also very easy to forget to do that with our busy contemporary lifestyles.

    We need to hold onto our own cultures and traditions. But there are things in other cultures that are good as well.

    Strike the balance.

    Take the positive. Leave the negative or the irrelevant. And celebrate love a little more often.

    It is a positive thing to have an annual reminder that your spouse, your parent, or your child deserves that extra bit of extra special attention.

    What is even more wonderful is to be able to do it your own way. A way that brings joy rather than stress. A way that builds a family and brings it together.

    A little extra special attention can go a long way.Dont deprive Islam and Muslims from being human and to show love.I rather celebrate Mother’s day within the parameters of Islam than kidnap 249 school girls in the name of Islam.

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