Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day: A Brief Reflection.

Being a Muslim I don't know if churches in Malaysia hold a special service to honor Father's Day. But since it is widely celebrated all over the world on the third Sunday of June each year, there certainly would be a Sunday service when the role and responsibility of fatherhood could be mentioned either specifically or in general.

. In any case I see that Malaysians do celebrate Father's Day in one way or another.Regardless of whether I honor it myself or not, when my kids arranged a special dinner for me on that occasion with some presents thrown in for good measure. who am I to refuse? I would love any day on which such things happened, call it whatever your want.

I've been spared the difficulty of deciding whether to honor it or not - and also Mother's Day - because both my parents had passed away many years ago, long before Malaysians began to celebrate Father's Day. My wife buys a present for her mother every Mother's Day and so I had to reciprocate and complement the gesture by getting a present for my father-in-law when Father's Day comes around as he has become my substitute father. When I see how he treasured the thought as he held the present in his hand, I decided not to miss the honor of getting him that little gift every year. It doesn't cost much and the dinner that we usually have at his house on such occasion, is normally something to look up to by the entire family members. Oh yes, sometimes we have it at some fancy restaurants too, like we do for Mother's Day.

But how seriously and sincerely do Malaysians honor Father's Days now? The question of making it a public holiday does not arise at all since Sunday is already a public holiday. The more important question is: Do Malaysians accept the idea of reserving a day to show love and respect for their father over and above the usual show of love and respect extended to them. More importantly, do the young men and women of today who have worked and achieved a great measure of success in life but DO NOT consider their father as a crucial factor in achieving the success, ever cared to give their father at least a "Hello, how are you.Dad?" greeting on that auspicious day? Why should they do so since their father had not done much for them? they might ask. All I can say is: Ask yourself. Did you inherit your intelligence from your mother or some one else beside your father? If your mother it was that had been the genius in the family, fine. Otherwise, even if your dad had not given you much of anything at all, you carry his genes and the spark of his brains in your head. Unless, of course. you believe that your intelligence comes from someone else besides God's bestowal on you, you still owe him something. Perhaps just the chance to live in this world.

If anything at all, it is this thought which makes me honor, respect and love my father, even though he is dead and gone. The Father's Day concept makes me focus my attention on his role in bringing me to this world and for that alone I would celebrate Father's Day as a beautiful thought, even if it has a non-Muslim origin.


Al-Manar said...

My parents were gone long before celebrating mothers and fathers was a fashion. Buy I remember them in my prayers, deep in my heart. But I cannot stop my children from showing their loves the way it is expressed today, but I wish they would not forget to do the way I have been doing for their grand-parents.

norzah said...

I totally share your feelings and concern, Akhi. The new generation show their love in different ways and we can't complain.

kaykuala said...

Dear Akhi,
I was surprised when my 2 cucus wished me Happy Father's Day' in the morning of the day. So far no grandfather's day they said. Ah,well,
does it matter ( is there one?)

norzah said...

You're still a father to uour cucu's father, Akhi. So who needs a granfather's day. The worry is if the son who has become a father doesn't bother to remember the occasion, even though it's a foreign introduction into our culture. If he doesn't chances are he might not even remember and pray to Allah regularly.