Father's Day is a tradition celebrating the crucial part fathers (and father figures) play in our lives.
Here in the states, we acknowledge the importance of their roles as fathers by buying gifts, making thank you cards, or even breakfast in bed. This western tradition can be traced back to 1909.
A woman by the name of Sonora Smartt Dodd thought about the holiday after sitting in church and listening to a Mothers day Sermon. She was inspired to make her celebration of fathers day as in her life her father was a civil war veteran who raised six kids by himself. She wanted to honor her father so she encouraged people to join her and celebrate fathers day. We now celebrate fathers day on the third Sunday of June - Dodd's father's birthday month.
Whether it's "dad", "abba", "papa", "baba", every language a word for father. Fathers love us, care for and protect us. Many of us would not be here if it weren't for our amazing fathers.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), said:
“The father is the middle of the gates of Paradise, so keep this gate or lose it.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
The kind and loving nature of a father is exemplified perfectly in the Prophet lifetime He demonstrated deep love and utmost respect for his daughter Fatima, a delicate kindness she began emulating as she grew older. When he saw her approaching, he would welcome her, stand up and kiss her, take her by the hand and sit her down in the place where he was sitting.”
The entire Muslim Ummah has benefited directly from this unique father-daughter relationship. How can fathers encourage their daughters to be the Fatima Zahras of today?
The importance of fathers is often overlooked when examining non-humans. Their role is typically to protect, but also to provide assistance to the mother at all times. For example, in penguin families, the dad will often stay with the herd and take care of any eggs as the mother fetches food.
Fathers can also take on more typically maternal roles in species like seahorses, where males are the ones who give birth.
Fathers have had and will continue to have an important role in the upbringing of their children.
Fathers teach their children to give and receive love and provide joyful experiences. The fathers that brought us up will help the next generation of fathers to learn the ways of what it means to be a father: Compassionate, patient, and loving.
Don't forget to celebrate your Baba, Dad, Appa or Papa this Father's Day!