How to raise a muslim child

How to raise a muslim child

I remember reading a quote before I had children. I don’t remember who the quote was by and can’t seem to find the original one online. But nevertheless it spoke about how the righteous predecessors raised their children. It was divided into 3 life stages from infancy to adulthood:

Stage 1: 0-7 years old, model good behaviors, and play with your children
Stage 2: 7-14 years is the time for discipline, teaching the child right and wrong.
Stage 3: 14- 21 years be their friend/ companion.

When I read it years ago, it made sense, and recently I was researching how to raise my children with an Islamic upbringing. I wanted them to be motivated kids who pray, fast and do good deeds because they want to please Allah and not because they are afraid of me or my husband. I was researching on how kids where raised by the Sahabah, and those who came after them. And for some reason I remembered this quote and if I ever do find it, I will be sure to make a poster to hang it up.

I think this is a great starting point, especially because as parents we worry about our children’s future. We worry about things we have no control over. We wonder how our kids will be when they are 16 years old. Will they have good manners? Will they treat others with respect? Wallaahu alam (Allah knows best). But I do understand that all we can do is focus on the present, and we need to nurture the 0-7 year old and give them our attention. We need to give them their rights and treat them with respect. The kind of respect that understands their abilities, encourages their independence and respects their “choices”. And most importantly allow them to be children.

“A child is like soft clay which we can shape according to our treatment of it.” (Dr Mohammad ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-‘Arifi)

As an adult, there are times when I wish I was a child again, without a care in the world. I wish I could go back to that time when I had no responsibilities and was carefree. (Don’t we all wish that for ourselves at times?) Yet, as parents we tend take that away that special part of childhood away from our children. We want them to make us proud and introduce too much too soon. Maybe, it is the competition with other parents that leads to this, as we are trying to make sure they are better than other muslim kids, and that they have memorized more Quran and hadith than them. Not that there is anything wrong with that but if it’s pushed on a child at a very young age it can have detrimental consequences. That is why many are trying to reform current school systems which they believe robs kids of the ability to play and puts too much emphasis on formal learning.

Parenting is one of those things you learn as you go along. (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.) I am sure my parenting style will continue to change and be influenced by many factors around me, but for now at least I have found a foundation to build upon.

How would you describe your parenting style ?

How to raise a muslim child

Our children are an amanah from Allah swt. The best gift we can give our Muslim children is a proper upbringing. But as parents we can all agree that parenting can be confusing and daunting as babies do not come with an instruction manual. On top, each child is different making our job as parents even more harder. Parenting really is the hardest job ever. So what effective approach can parents follow to upbring children who can be successful in this world and next?

I took a few parenting class at our local masjid taught by Shaykh Yaser Birjas. I’ve heard him mention this below Hadith a few times in the last 2-3 years. As I thought more and more about this Hadith, I realized Islam has provided some wonderful guidelines for parents in order to raise our children.

“Play with them for the first seven years (of their life); then teach them for the next seven years; then advise them for the next seven years (and after that).”
– Prophet Mohammed (pbuh)

The above Hadith of the Prophet gives us the guidance to divide the upbringing of a child into three stages.

First Seven Years(0-7)

This is the time to let the child play but roll up the parenting sleeves to build a strong connection to our child. These are the formation years when a child is constantly influenced by the surroundings and learns by observing.

Children imitate their parents more than anyone. If you find any undesired behavior in your child, check if you, your spouse or a caregiver has acted similarly in front of your child.

These are the foundation years, the base from which the relationship with them grows. If this is rock solid, the remaining years will be much easier. If this foundation forms poorly, the next years will be more challenging.

How to raise a muslim child

Next Seven Years(7-14)

Once children reach seven, they are ready for logical reasoning and Islamic ethics. This is the time when children are sponges, ready to soak up anything and everything you show, teach, and tell them.

The second stage of upbringing is the time to teach them secular and religious knowledge, halal vs haram, and all the things they need to know. Teach them sports, too;

Prophet (pbuh) said: “Teach your children swimming, archery and horseback riding.” So teach them sports too. Sports have many benefits including teamwork, leadership, sportsmanship and physical fitness.

At this stage, children are young and they are still in the process of learning what is right and what is wrong. It is the parents’ responsibility to teach the child how to behave, how to choose his environment and decide which type of people to fill that environment with, so that they can continue to do what is best for them.

Without boundaries, society would be in chaos. Similarly, children need a set of boundaries to guide their behavior, which gives the children the freedom to act and behave. If they do not know what the boundaries are then they do not know what is acceptable and what is not.

If children are taught beforehand what is correct and good behavior, then they will have the guidelines to act within the boundaries and will not be left wondering and confused.

As parent, set rules and boundaries for everyone in the family (including yourself!) and take care to explain to your children why they must obey them. Children love logical reasoning, so let them ask questions while you calmly explain.

The Final Seven Years(14-21)

Once your child hits 14(or puberty), children achieve independence and they develop their own personality.

During these critical years, befriend them, advise them, and do what you can; understand that they are now full adults according to Islam, and the choices are theirs to make, right or wrong. As parents, our responsibility is to advice them.

I sincerely pray that Allah swt guides each of us to establish a trusting relationship with our children and we be their trusted confidant, that advisor, that go-to person when they need help or advice; maybe even that “cool” mom or dad who they adore.

I pray for a close, loving, happy and fulfilling relationship with our children for all the days of our lives and to be reunited with them in Jannat ul Firdaus. Ameen.

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Raise your kid to be a good Muslim in line with the Islamic principles.

Wednesday March 28, 2018

Children are one of the greatest gifts of Allah (SWT) that He can bestow upon His slaves. However, bearing and raising children is no easy task because as we know it, great blessings come with greater responsibilities. Every parent has an unsaid obligation to raise his/her children in line with the teachings of the Holy book of Allah (SWT), the Quran, and the Prophetic traditions, Hadith and Sunnah.

As narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock…a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock; a woman is a shepherdess in charge of her husband’s house and children and she is responsible for them…So each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.” (Abu Dawood, 2928)

The task becomes even more daunting for parents raising kids in non-Muslim countries. More than just a gift, children are an ‘amaanah’ of Allah (SWT) and every single parent will be questioned regarding the matter on the Last Day. It is the duty of the parents to ensure that their children grow up to be good human beings and above all, good practicing Muslims. In today’s world, more emphasis is placed on academic excellence and being financially successful in life but in that, we forget the main purpose of this life – to be an obedient and loving servant of Allah (SWT) i.e. to be a good Muslim. More than schools and even Islamic academies, the main institution of learning for a child is his/her household: their family institution. It is the everyday value system that is integrated in the child, which moulds their spiritual personalities. Hence, teaching them to be good servants of Allah (SWT) is indeed no easy feat.

Here are some practical tips for how you can inculcate Islamic values in your child in everyday life:

1. Practice what you preach

The very first step is to practice the Islamic teachings yourself and then preach it to your child. The parent must be a good role model himself/herself because children tend to internalize the beliefs and actions of their parents from a very young age. They pick up habits unconsciously. Hence, it is important that the parent practices Islam in his/her daily life as well so children have a practical example in front of them, which is basically easier for them to follow. You can take your kids to the mosque with you for Jumma (Friday) prayers or make it a habit to offer Salah with them so that they learn to pray from an early age. You have to become involved in the process yourself because if you teach your child certain Islamic traditions and values and fail to practice them yourself, your own words will lose credibility.

2. Teach them the importance and significance of Worship:

Instead of only focusing on the theoretical basics of Islam, teach them WHY Islam teaches us what it teaches us; rationalize it for their better understanding. Teach them the significance of worship of Allah (SWT) so they may understand the gravity of it. Children will not be able to internalize something that they do not fully comprehend. Teach them what worship really means – to deeply connect with Allah (SWT) and to commit to him fully. Teach them the Greatness and Supremeness of Allah (SWT) and all that He is. It is the parent’s duty to make the child understand that it is a fundamental part of being a Muslim to worship Allah (SWT) and Him alone. Make it a habit to remind them about the real purpose of this world and this life: to worship Allah (SWT) and to turn to Him in all walks of life.

3. Make their Islamic education a top-priority

Instead of just focusing on the child’s academic excellence, put in an effort to work on their spiritual education as well. Get your child in the habit of reading and provide them with good reading material; books on the basics of Islam, attributes of Allah (SWT), the Prophets of Islam, the Prophet’s companions etc. so they can look up to Islamic role models in their life as opposed to famous pop-stars and celebrities. Moreover, even if you have a super busy schedule, take out some time to recite the Quran with them (even if it is just a page or two) and tell them stories of the beloved Prophets of Allah (SWT) in imaginative narratives because children tend to respond more to stories and will most likely develop a greater interest in their own religion and its history.

4. Make the basics a routine

Children are essentially like a blank canvas; it is up to the parents how they choose to paint or mould that canvas. Children, being very malleable at a young age, are shaped easily by the routines and habits set by their parents. For example, get your child in the habit of offering their Salah on a daily basis from a young age i.e. 7-8 years so they get into the habit of praying and explain to them how praying is a mode of communication with Allah (SWT). Just like Salah, you can also get your children to start fasting off and on from a young age so they are prepared for the obligatory fasting in Ramadan which is a source of cleansing and purification for the soul. Moreover, you can recite Surahs and Kalimas with them daily before bedtime. This will help them memorize the Surahs/Kalimas more quickly.

Raising your children to be good Muslims is a blessed task bestowed upon all parents. Parenting is not only an honorable feat, but it is a difficult one. Hence, parents must implement different techniques to inculcate Islamic values in their children, which can serve them well in the long run. Be kind and gentle with your children and teach them the ways of Islam, not by force, but through example.

Raising children in Islam requires proper guidance and religious knowledge. Besides, children are the blessings of Allah and every parent must raise a child according to the principles of Islam. By raising our child according to the guidance of the Holy Quran and hadith we can make the upbringing of our child more valuable for the Muslim community.

How To Raisa A Children In Islam?

Islam is a complete code of Life. Allah has defined each and everything in the Holy Quran and Hadith of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U. H) about our every role of Life. Every child carries a lot of value and importance in Islam. He will be the future of the Islamic state and one child can bring a lot of values in the development of Islam.

“Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas with Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).”

[Surah At-Taghabun – #64 Verse 15]

Above all, Muslims believes in afterlife success, and that’s why children need to follow all the teaching of the Holy Quran. Undoubtedly, as parents, you just need to make efforts to bring your child according to the teachings of Islam.

How To Raise A Children In Islam?

Islam is a practical religion that comprises multiple beliefs, rituals, and regular obligations. You children need to learn all the Islamic concepts, believes, and religious rituals to be pious Muslims. Most importantly, as a parent, raise your children according to Islam and you will get unlimited rewards. Besides, it’s easy however required the following guidance.

“Observe justice in dealing with your children in the same manner in which you expect them to observe justice in being kind and good to you.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – Sahih Bukhari

Best Parenting Guide To Raise A Children In Islam

The following are some of the best guidance according to the teachings of Islam about parenting children. It helps you make your children more productive and strong believer of Islam. Eventually, help your children to understand and lead a life according to the teaching of Islam.

Accepting Your Children As Blessing

Before Islam, people used to kill their daughters and consider them disgrace for themselves. Islam provides respect and importance to the daughters. In fact, people have the wrong beliefs regarding their children. They used to kill them to save their food and expenses.

Islam provides awareness to the people and as parents, you must consider your children the blessings of Allah. By acceptance, you are obliged to provide the following facilities to your children in the best way.

    Food Clothes Shelter Identity Education Love & Care Time And Guidance Safety And Security All Resources & Inheritance

Religious Knowledge

As Muslim parents, we must guide our children with religious knowledge. Islam also guides about children’s education. Parents are ordered by Islam to teach their children after 7 years of child age.

Before 7 years the parents must take part in playing with the children like a kid. They should love and kiss their children. Above all, be gentle with your children and guide them with affection.

It is also narrated that a man once came to the Prophet (S) and said:

The Prophet (S) said:

“Surely a man like this will be a resident of the fire of hell.”

It’s obligatory as Muslim parents to guide children about following Islamic Knowledge.

    Islamic Beliefs Quran Knowledge Knowledge About Hadees Guidance About All Muslims Rituals And Obligations Rights And Duties As Muslims Followers Haqooq Ullah Haqooq Ul Ibad Knowledge About Companions And All Important Personalities Of Islam Detail Knowledge About the Prophet, Angels, Day Of Judgement, Other Religious Books, etc Knowledge About The Struggle Of Islam And Every Islamic Historical Events

“If a person dies, his/her deeds are cut off, except from three:

    A pious child who makes dua for the parents. Continuous charitable deeds. Knowledge left behind with which people benefit

Parents- Child Relationship

In Muslim society parents and children are very much close to each other. Above all, Islam encourages to love your children. There are also special instructions about parent’s behaviors with the children.

It is narrated from the Prophet (S): “The person who has a child, should behave like a child with him.”

First, parents are a perfect example for every child. Second, they also need to be pious and religious to bring religious values and culture among children. As parents, you must respect and love your children. Perform regular religious rituals with your children. Last, teach them all the etiquette according to the Muslim culture.

Make sure they respect others, always speak the truth, and perform all other religious obligations. They must always fear God and believes in equality and justice. In fact, also make sure they take the responsibility of being an important member of the Muslim society. Unquestionably, also make sure they have an inspiring character full of religious and cultural values for the Muslims.

The Prophet s.a.w said, “Indeed among the believers with the most complete faith is the one who is the best in conduct and the most kind to his family.”

Make sure you have a friendly relationship with your children. In this way, you can also guide your children’s more perfectly.

Finalization

Children are the blessings of Allah however as parents it’s your responsibility to up bring your children under the religious and cultural values of Islam. Above all, as a parent be friendly with your children and give them their every right with justice.

In fact, also teach them about our religious and social responsibilities as Muslims so they can lead a successful life according to Islamic teachings too.

Make sure, they perform all the religious obligations. Importantly, they also follow the teachings of the Holy Quran and lead a perfect life according to the Hadits and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. You and your children will both be blessed and rewarded by leading a life as a pious Muslim.

How to raise a muslim child

I remember reading a quote before I had children. I don’t remember who the quote was by and can’t seem to find the original one online. But nevertheless it spoke about how the righteous predecessors raised their children. It was divided into 3 life stages from infancy to adulthood:

Stage 1: 0-7 years old, model good behaviors, and play with your children
Stage 2: 7-14 years is the time for discipline, teaching the child right and wrong.
Stage 3: 14- 21 years be their friend/ companion.

When I read it years ago, it made sense, and recently I was researching how to raise my children with an Islamic upbringing. I wanted them to be motivated kids who pray, fast and do good deeds because they want to please Allah and not because they are afraid of me or my husband. I was researching on how kids where raised by the Sahabah, and those who came after them. And for some reason I remembered this quote and if I ever do find it, I will be sure to make a poster to hang it up.

I think this is a great starting point, especially because as parents we worry about our children’s future. We worry about things we have no control over. We wonder how our kids will be when they are 16 years old. Will they have good manners? Will they treat others with respect? Wallaahu alam (Allah knows best). But I do understand that all we can do is focus on the present, and we need to nurture the 0-7 year old and give them our attention. We need to give them their rights and treat them with respect. The kind of respect that understands their abilities, encourages their independence and respects their “choices”. And most importantly allow them to be children.

“A child is like soft clay which we can shape according to our treatment of it.” (Dr Mohammad ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-‘Arifi)

As an adult, there are times when I wish I was a child again, without a care in the world. I wish I could go back to that time when I had no responsibilities and was carefree. (Don’t we all wish that for ourselves at times?) Yet, as parents we tend take that away that special part of childhood away from our children. We want them to make us proud and introduce too much too soon. Maybe, it is the competition with other parents that leads to this, as we are trying to make sure they are better than other muslim kids, and that they have memorized more Quran and hadith than them. Not that there is anything wrong with that but if it’s pushed on a child at a very young age it can have detrimental consequences. That is why many are trying to reform current school systems which they believe robs kids of the ability to play and puts too much emphasis on formal learning.

Parenting is one of those things you learn as you go along. (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.) I am sure my parenting style will continue to change and be influenced by many factors around me, but for now at least I have found a foundation to build upon.

How would you describe your parenting style ?

How to raise a muslim child

How to raise a muslim child

It can be different to raise your children in a non-Muslim country, particularly if you want them to be good practicing Muslims. At the same time, it’s hardly impossible. Plenty of parents have done so and plenty of children feel none the worse for it.

Of course, to make sure it goes well there are some important tips you’ll need to consider. These will both make it easier for your children and for you. And that’s important, as life is often difficult enough already that we don’t want to add to it. Am I right?

Be a part of your children’s lives

The very first thing you’re going to have to do is make sure you’re actually there for your children. This means not falling into the materialism trap. It’s better to work a little less and not have that expensive car, if that means you can support your kids and give them the guidance they need.

After all, when they’re living in a non-muslim country there are far more temptations out there. And though they can certainly be guarded against those, this does take a more active parenting role than it might do elsewhere.

Read the Quran together

Also, bas they will not get any religious teaching at school, you will have to do so with them. The best way to start is to read the Quran with them often – preferably every day. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should be done. Perhaps after dinner or before bed.

Allow them to ask questions – children will always be filled with curiosity. These questions could both be about what you’re reading as how what you’re reading will apply to what they’re going through.

Attend a Halaqa

You don’t have to do it alone. In fact, it is much better not to. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. For that reason, make sure that you engage with the correct village. If there is no Halaqa in your community, then communicate with your Imam about setting one up.

In this way, you’ll have a chance for your kids and you to engage with fellow Muslims. Even better, this will allow your children to have friends in these communities. These will be there to help him and support him with the questions and problems they don’t feel they can discuss with adults (there are always some) while still keeping to the teachings of Allah.

Understand how the children of the culture you’re in are raised

There will be cultural differences between countries. These differences will also be between how you were raised or how children back home were raised and how the children in the new culture are raised. This will happen whether you move to a non-Muslim country or another Muslim one. These differences create certain expectations and ideas, which your children will be exposed to – whether from other parents or from other children.

If you do not know what these expectations and ideas are, then there is a good chance they will blindside you. For that reason, be aware of them. Try to understand them. Discuss them with your Imam in necessary to find out what is okay and what is unacceptable.

Then, when the issue hits you’ll be in a much better position to make a fair judgement and defend it correctly. This will go down much better than a decision made in haste or in anger.

Collect religious teachings

There are many books, tapes and DVDs about Islam. So why not create a library?

By making your kids responsible for tending the library and even possibly suggesting new volumes and DVDs that you should collect, they’re going to have a much better idea what’s out there. Even better, they’ll be able to satisfy their intellectual curiosity by looking for materials which answer the questions they have.

Another advantage is that you can get an idea of what they’re going through and experiencing by paying attention to what they’re suggesting that you get. Of course this will only work if you do not automatically dismiss what they want to order or buy. Listen to them and consider what they’re saying. Because if you don’t and instead get angry, there is a good chance they won’t approach you with such a strange idea again – which will close this window into your child’s religious soul.

Be careful of ‘men’s Islam’

One particular area to be aware of is that in many non-Muslim countries there is a lot of stress about women and men being treated the same and getting the same rights and responsibilities. This needs to be accommodated into how you teach and pray in your home.

For example, make sure that if you read the prayer, it is loud enough so that everybody can hear, as well as allowing everybody to pray together.

Last word

There are going to be a lot of conflicting voices for your child in a non-Muslim country. That’s okay, as long as you make sure that your voice is the foremost among them. The only way to achieve that is to make sure you know what your child is going through and what they’re experiencing and to share that with them. As long as they trust you, they will bring their problems to you. And as long as they do that, you can make sure that Allah stays in their lives.

By Sumaira Zaheer

Subhan’Allah, as Muslims, we recite the Adhan into their ears of our children as soon as they are born so that the first words they hear are those of Islam. As our children grow up, it is our duty to educate our children about Islam; but we must do so with so with love and kindness. Our goal should be to teach our children about our religion, in a loving matter, and in a way that will create righteous children. Furthermore, our objective should be to show our children that Islam has all the answers, and within Islam you will find peace. The following are five key tips to keep in mind when bringing up our children as righteous Muslims.

The 5 Pillars of Islam

Our children need to have the knowledge and understanding of the five pillars of Islam, for it is this very knowledge that will provide a foundation for our children’s lives.

Declaration of Faith (Shahadah) – The belief that there is only one God (Allah) , and Muhammad (may peace be upon him) is his messenger.

Prayer (Salaah) – As Muslims we are obligated to pray five times a day: Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha.

Charity (Zakah) – We must give a percentage of our wealth to the needy and less fortunate.

Fasting (Sawm) – Fasting in the month of Ramadan is obligatory for all healthy Muslims.

Pilgrimage (Hajj) – Hajj is the pilgrimage to Makkah made by Muslims that are financially and physically able to do so.

Islam is a way of life

It is our duty as parents to teach our children that Islam plays a huge role in our daily lives; we must speak, eat, dress, and act in an Islamic matter. For instance, as Muslims we should try to say Alhumdulillah, Masha’Allah, and Insha’Allah whenever it is appropriate; and we must eat with our right hand, and drink sitting down in addition to eating halal foods and abstaining from haram foods. We must also take care to dress modestly, and talk to others in a respectful manner.

Reading the Holy Quran

It is important to teach our children how to read the Holy Quran at an early age, for the younger the children are, the easier it will be for them to learn the Arabic alphabet. In addition, we should strive to teach our children to read with Tajweed; if you feel as if you are not able to give your child proper instructions on how to do this, you can contact your local mosque to enquire about Quran classes. Equally important, is teaching our children the meaning of what is written in the Holy Quran, for when we read the Quran while knowing the meaning it brings peace to our hearts and soul.

Salaat

Once children learn how to read the Quran, they will be able to memorize how to pray Salaat. Before that, we should make it a habit to have our children pray with us, or at least observe us in prayer. We need to teach our children that praying is an act of worship; they should also know that when we make dua at the end of our daily prayers, we are asking for forgiveness and seeking guidance from Allah SWT.

Be a role model

All these things are rendered ineffective if we do not practice them ourselves. We will be our children’s first role models; therefore our children will learn most, if not all, of their habits from us. We must be aware of our actions, and take note of how we are behaving in front of our children. We must practice ahsan Islamic behaviour if want our children to become righteous children. If we practise Islam from our hearts, insha’Allah our children will too.

How to raise a muslim child

Many Muslim families debate whether to send their children to public schools or Islamic schools. Whatever the parents choose for their children, parents must always remember that whatever environment they choose for their children, they must do their best to guide them.

Some parents feel that simply having their children attend Islamic schools relieves them of their duties as parents. Of course, this is not true.

Yet, there are far too many parents who subscribe to this way of thinking.

Muslims in public schools: An insider’s view

As a teacher in the public school system, I also see the problems of having a Muslim child attend a school where the values of the school don’t necessarily match that of the child’s Islamic upbringing. So what are we to do?

The answer, I feel, lies in our ability to parent as well as in helping build our children’s own Islamic identity.

Parents often wonder what it takes to raise their children in this Western society, which doesn’t have the sense of Halal and Haram that we Muslims do.

But what are we teaching our children at home that helps them to deal with such issues?

Starting the real teaching of our kids at home

Are we fostering in our children a sense of pride in our Deen? We are so busy trying to make ends meet in our day-to-day struggle to survive that our children’s Islamic upbringing is being neglected.

As parents we want our children to be successful doctors, lawyers and engineers. How many of us want our children to be good Muslims as well as successful professionals today? I see too many Muslim children who try to hide their Islam in the public school setting.

In America, the great melting pot, it is easier to try to fit in than stand out in the crowd. But that is human nature, is it not? How many of us parents do the same at work?

Building Islamic identity in your kids: Some tips

The answer then lies in our ability to keep our Islamic identity in a non-Muslim society, as well as help our children to develop a Muslim identity of their own.

From personal experience, I have found out that we need to be with good practicing Muslims if we are to develop a Muslim identity.

The same is true for our children.

  • Be active in your local Muslim community.
  • Be a part of the solution to your community’s problems.
  • Organize and support youth groups that foster your children’s strong sense of Islamic identity.
  • Get together with other Muslim families and organize group activities for the children like group outings, camps, picnics, etc.
  • Also, have a knowledgeable family member give them Quranic as well as Islamic lessons to help them further develop their knowledge of their Deen.

Be more than a parent to your child

Most of all, be a friend to your child.

Listen to his or her problems and help him to solve them Islamically.

Make your child active in finding the solution to their problem. Don’t try to shelter your child from the harshness of reality.

If you are not open-minded and helpful in resolving their problems, they will find someone else who is, and that person may not have the proper Islamic perspective.

As far as the specific problems your child encounters in the public school system, they are the problems of the Western society in which we live.

Drugs, violence, sexual promiscuity, lack of respect for the authority and an attitude that everyone should be respected regardless of his/her morality are but just a few.

The good news is that these are the problems to which only Islam offers the correct solution.

Finding common ground with non-Muslims

I was surprised to note that there are a lot of conservative Christians and Jews who are raising their children in the same way.

I have a Methodist coworker who is a very firm believer in Allah’s control over all of our fate. When she asks me about my future as a teacher, I answer that I leave the future to Allah. I can only do my best to attain my goals, but ultimately it is Allah who knows what will be and what is best for us. So we should always pray to Him for guidance.

She agreed with me wholeheartedly and commented that unlike other Christians, she was a firm believer in Allah’s control over fate. This was the first time I had encountered a non-Muslim with this sense of Tawakul.

I guess that the bottom line is that no matter what environment we choose for our children, we must remember that the role we play as parents to teach our children their religion and help them to develop pride in it is crucial.

Let’s all work together as an Islamic community to help ourselves and to help our children be good Muslims.

Sister Sahar El-Shafie teaches Social Studies to sixth and seventh graders at Martin Middle, a public school in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has coordinated several youth programs and understands their problems very closely.

This article was originally published in the Fall 1998 issue of Noor magazine.