PETALING JAYA: Now recirculating on social media is a video recorded in 2012 of Terengganu-based Ustaz Azhar Idrus calling on Muslims to disregard Mother’s Day and denouncing it as a Christian festival.
In the 3.47 minute video, Azhar speaks to a crowd, warning them of the celebration’s supposedly Christian roots, saying it was linked to the Mother of the Church, the Virgin Mary.
“The movement began in the early 19th Century, applying to the church and the government to declare this day a public holiday,” says Azhar, who then explains that the movement had asked churches in 1862 to note it in church calendars as a Christian celebration.
“Mother’s Day has been declared a public holiday in all Christian nations; this is why it is forbidden to celebrate Mother’s Day,” says Azhar.
“On that day, people will give a ‘mother cake’ to their mother, and they do this once a year. But Islam teaches us to be generous with mothers throughout the year.”
He pointed out that the Chinese did not celebrate Deepavali, and the Japanese, Awal Muharram.
“They (the Japanese) will not celebrate Awal Muharram because they know it is a Muslim festival. The Mexicans celebrate Christmas and not Maulidur Rasul,” says Azhar.
“The Canadians do not celebrate Thaipusam,” The Star quoted him as preaching in the video.
Mother’s Day was founded in America in the 20th century by Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Civil War peace activist Ann Jarvis, who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created the Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.
Following her mother’s death, Anna campaigned to make Mother’s Day an officially recognised holiday in the States. Following her efforts, Mother’s Day was officially recognised as a national holiday in 1914, set on the second Sunday of May.
Rampant commercialisation and marketing soon brought it to the rest of the world.