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May 7, 2016
Assalamu Alaikum,

A well-known maxim of parenting is “Children need your presence, not your presents.” Parents are often surprised to discover that for all of their love for toys, it’s time with mom and dad that kids really crave.

The same can be said for mothers. Yet, it is trinkets over time that we often dole out for the person who birthed us:
• In 2009, there were 17,124 florists in the United States. Their 75,855 employees were especially busy selling the Top Ten Mother’s Day flower bouquets.
• Perfume is one of the most popular gifts given on Mother’s Day.
While gifts can build love, the fact is too many of us give them to our mothers out of a sense of obligation or as a formality. Whether the occasion is Mother’s Day or Eid, the reality is that most moms would simply be happy with a visit, a phone call, or an afternoon spent doing something you both enjoy.

But along with this time, we must also offer the respect and dignity due to our mothers. Allah and Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, emphasized our indebtedness to our mothers (Quran 46:15), the importance of being kind to them, and that Paradise lies at their feet. Simple behaviors like not talking back and not saying “Uff” or other derogatory words (Quran 17:23) are examples of this respect.

This can no doubt be a challenge for many. Whether we are sixteen or sixty, if our mothers are alive, it can be difficult to maintain respect. If we live with our mothers and care for them, then the challenge is even greater. Caregiver burnout is a huge issue that is bound to affect more of us as lifespans increase, and with them, the health and emotional toll on the aging and those caring for them.

Then there are those of us who have maintained a distant or no relationship with our mothers. Whether it was because of abuse or neglect, if possible, we should try to extend our forgiveness and rekindle this relationship. In the vast majority of cases, mothers do the best they can for their children. Growing up, we don’t often see that. We don’t see how financial hardships or emotional struggles may have had an effect on how she interacted with us. And it is often many years later that mothers themselves look back in guilt and regret for the way they may have snapped at their children too often or been too harsh in a moment of stress or anger.

This Mother’s Day, along with the presents, give the two more important gifts: Your presence and your forgiveness.

Peace
Sound Vision Team

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