I sent a copy of my blog to my Muslim friend, and she offered a better description of why mothers and fathers go by “Mother of” and “Father of”. In the interest of fairness and accuracy, I asked for her permission to reprint her comments here.
I just read your blog. It was interesting 🙂 There were a couple things that I wasn’t really clear about on babycenter, though. Like, my name and DH’s name don’t actually change on our driver’s licenses, passports or anything else. I guess you can think of it as more of a nickname type of thing. But, it’s not something informal, it’s actually considered to be very respectful to refer to someone as ‘mother of …’ or ‘father of …’. And it’s not this way in Islamic culture, it’s actually Arab culture that does this. Sorry if I mislead you before. In Islam there are sooooo many different cultures (Arab, Indian, Pakistani, American, African, Malaysian, Indonesian, Bosnian, etc. etc.) so as Muslims we all share certain things because of religion, but we also all have our own cultural things based on ethnicity etc. So you’re right in your blog, I’m a convert to Islam and as far as my identity goes I’m Muslim first, then American and mommy, wife daughter etc. But since my husband is Syrian, and since I lived in Syria myself for a year and studied Arabic to understand the Qur’an better (before marriage) I feel a certain closeness to Syrian culture as well. I follow a lot of things in Syrian culture. And to be honest, most Americans take one look at me and assume I’m not ‘from here’ because I wear a headscarf, they assume I’m arab or whatever. And it’s happened a number of times where people were like “woooow your english is really good” and I’m thinking “yeeeeah, I was born here just like you” LOL.
Thanks for the info! It’s great to learn about other cultures.