Written by Marium Sadia Sosan Malik
As I typed in “Father’s Day” in the Google search engine, I expected a Wikipedia page about the history to show up as the first link. However, I was fascinated to see how many Groupon ad messages appeared with activities to keep busy during the nationwide celebration. It saddens me that every time a holiday arrives and passes through the years, some people tend to stray away from the meaning and true purpose of the holiday.
These holidays are used as an excuse by marketers to encourage people to go out and pay for a “Father’s Day Three-Course Meal” package deal and families feel the need to spend money due to deeply rooted societal pressures that make it necessary to go out and spend. Sure, these pressures may have a positive side in that they brings everyone together for a day, something that can be difficult for some families. But to appreciate fathers on just one day should not satisfy the soul of any child.
Personally, I find it difficult to stay upset with my father at any time because I always remind myself of everything he must have to deal with on a daily basis and how he keeps his calm while not mentioning any of it or bothering others with his stresses. It makes any pressure I may be dealing with seem so irrelevant and small.
“And remember the time when We took a covenant from the children of Israel: ‘You shall worship nothing but Allah and show kindness to parents and to kindred and to the orphans and the poor, and speak to men kindly and observe Prayer, and pay the Zakat:’ then you turned away in aversion, except a few of you” (2:84).
The verse from the Holy Qur’an gives me an even greater appreciation for my father who, in Urdu, I refer to as Abu. I read this verse and think about how people have misconstrued view of the relationship between Muslim fathers and their daughters as one without love.
I look at my dad and sometimes ponder at the fact that once upon a time he was my age and I wonder with amazement at how he has formed such a flawless character throughout his life. When I, as a Muslim daughter, hear the word “father” I automatically think of someone who can hold down a fort, someone who has leadership qualities, is calm, collected and can recover from any and every situation with ease.
My father is someone who only expresses his good, strong characteristics in front of others and seems like he never sheds a tear. EVER. My father loves watching gladiator or old western films because he admires and wishes to achieve or relate with those warrior-like traits. My father doesn’t say much, but when he does it means a lot.
A good father can be depicted in a wide variety of ways, characteristics and actions. While every father may not have the qualities I laid out above , these are certainly the ones possessed by my dear father.
He is my role model whom I look up to every day. Adulthood can be scary at times but when I see my dad I am reminded that at his age and with everything he has gone through, if he can keep his relaxed stature then I sure can too!
It takes time for some of us to learn and appreciate the simple acts our fathers do for us, but it’s important to remember that they are the guardians of the household or the captain of the fort. Let’s not forget that they get up to keep that fort from falling down every day.