Do good to your parents, show your gratitude to them
My daughter’s friend told my daughter: “It’s nice that you have a mother. She loves you, cooks for the family and brings up you and your brother so adoringly.”
It is sad to hear that my daughter’s friend had lost her mother when she was a child. But she did face all odds of living and grew up to be a school-teacher. She is not alone in being deprived of a mother at an early age. Many others had the same fate, too. For instance, our own prophet, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), was doubly orphaned when he was a little child. His mother passed away when he was only six years old, and his father passed away even before he was born. But life must go on even without parents. But those with parents are fortunate, so do good and show your gratitude to them. This is the advice of Islam.
On Sunday, 12 May, many people, even Muslims, would take their mothers out to celebrate Mother’s Day to show their love for them.
Yes, it is a good gesture to shower love on mothers by various means such as by taking them out to restaurants or presenting them with gifts on this special day dedicated to mothers.
After all, our Prophet did say that “Paradise lies at the feet of mothers.” This is to acknowledge the fact that mothers do their best for their children’s welfare. It is a dedication to show how a mother makes sacrifices in caring for her baby from the time the baby was in her womb for nine months and right to at least two years after its birth, the period when the baby most needed the mother’s care and attention for survival.
To remind people of the great sacrifice a mother always does to her children, Allah points out: “We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. His mother bore him by bearing hardship, and his utter dependence on her lasted two years. (Hear the command O man!): Show gratitude to Me and to your parents.” (31:14)
Loving one’s mother and taking care of her is an Islamic obligation. Hence, many children take Mother’s Day as an opportune occasion to dedicate their love for their mothers.
In present-day social context, many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, hence, Mothers’ Day in Singapore falls on 12 May this year.
Mother’s Day celebration was introduced in the US, and has been celebrated since 1914.
The idea of celebrating Mother’s Day the world over is to pay tribute to mothers for all their love and care, and make them feel special.
Fathers are not forgotten either as they too play an important role in nurturing children and guiding them into adulthood. For this reason there is a Father’s Day celebration too. It too was introduced in the US, and the occasion is celebrated since 1910.
Father’s Day is celebrated in many countries, the date varying from country to country. In Singapore, the occasion is celebrated on the third Sunday of June; this year it falls on Sunday 16 June.
Islam teaches Muslims to do good to parents and show their gratitude to them every day, not once a year only. Instructions in the Quran mention children have to love both mother and father together. Allah says: “We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents….(Hear the command O man!): Show gratitude to Me and to your parents.” (31:14)
The Quran has numerous instructions in which both parents are mentioned together. Some of the instructions are:
- “Do good to your parents…” (4:36 & 6:151)
- “Treat your parents with kindness…” (2:83)
- “Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both attain old-age in your lifetime, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.” (17:23)
- “Bear them (your parents) company in this life with justice and consideration and follow the way of those who turn to Me in love.” (31:15)
The sincere display of kindness and love on parents would not go unrewarded. Children who take care of their parents in their old age would themselves be taken care of by their children later on. The Prophet said: “Be of good service to your parents for surely your children will be of good service to you.”
Apart from the celebration and recognition accorded to parents, Allah advises a Muslim to say a do’a for them regardless of whether they are still alive or have passed away. The do’a goes: “O My Lord! Bestow Your grace upon them as they had cherished and reared me when I was a child.” (17:24)
8 May 2013