December 25th is the biggest holiday in the West for non-Muslims. It is a consumerism frenzy and shirk at its greatest and unfortunately many Muslim parents don't know how to use Christmas to their advantage! What? Did I just say to their advantage?
Let me explain, during this time of the year, non-Muslim parents go out of their way to violate numerous moral principles and they usually do it against the ones that are defenseless, helpless, and trusting... yes, their own children.
Most non-Muslim parents that are Christian have forgotten how hurt, shocked, and betrayed they felt when they found out that Santa Claus wasn't real! As a former Christian, I was deeply hurt and couldn't believe how my father and mother lied to me for all those years with no apology. I felt betrayed and that was emotional pain that just multiplied when it came to the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, and other 'childhood tales'.
Those who celebrate Christmas and push the consumerism, materialism and debauchery...
When I began my search for the truth, I was a 16 year old who attended Christian school my entire life but I had my doubts. As I began to study the Bible more, I noticed how pagan holidays were simply replaced or absorbed by the Church in order to increase its following. I knew that whatever my search led me to, it had to be free of these things and stand on its own.
Studying the life of Malcolm X, I ended up sifting through elements like the Nation of Islam (Min. Farrakhan and/or Elijah Muhammad) until I finally came upon information about the Life of Prophet Muhammad (sws). I began to study more and more and after reading Surah Ikhlas, I accepted Islam. Upon my acceptance, I decided to start fresh so I threw every holiday I ever participated in, religious, secular or otherwise in the trash. I decided to do my best to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (sws).
I began to explore the principles of Islam and saw many of...
Establishing family traditions starting with an easy one
There is something special about a family that works and acts as a team. Each individual is part of a unit and contributes and benefits from the whole. It warms my heart to see people that work together as a cohesive unit who were basically chosen by Allah to be family.
When I was growing up as the eldest of six children, both my mother and father were present up until I was about 12 years old. Of course the dynamic was different as I was raised as a Christian albeit my family wasn’t that religious, however they did enroll me in a Christian parochial school where I studied and really learned the Bible well, which eventually led me to Islam after studying what Jesus (‘Isa [as]) allegedly preached. However that’s not the reason for today’s post, I want to talk about building culture within your family.
Cultures aren’t only specific to places like countries, cities, states, religions or universities....
I just wanted to share a short video with you that some Muslim youth made about saying “I Love You” to their parents and I think you should see the reactions and the emotions from both the parents and the children.
Just take a few minutes to watch it because it will drive home the importance of those three words and the effect is has on our children’s hearts (and ours too).
After you watch the video, let your child(ren) know how much you love them and make a special dua for them. Our courses and trainings are about building love and influence based on Islam and nothing will work until you as a parent touch the heart of your child in sha Allah.
Talk soon and I pray Allah makes your children a coolness for your eyes and means for you to enter the highest ranks of jannah, ameen.
Your brother and fellow parent,
Author of Muslims Parenting on Purpose Vol. 1
If you want more info on our high level Parenting courses or join our email list for our FREE video...
bismillah arRahmaan arRaheem
as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,
(If you have not read Part One, click here)
In Stage Three (Teenagers) is when we begin to reap the harvest of our action or inaction. During the early teen years as our children’s bodies develop and they go through puberty is when there tends to be a lot of emotional uncertainty due to hormonal changes as they transition through the process. We must be that much more strategic in our praise by reminding them of successes they’ve had and lessons they’ve learned from things they may have failed at. In the Coach role, we build them up and continue to support them on their road to independence.
One thing we must do as Muslims is to infuse the lessons we have learned from the Seerah of the Prophet (sws) and from the Quran. If we only focused on our children’s psychology without infusing our Islamic beliefs then we are doing our children a disservice. Reminding our children of the jealousy of siblings...
Bismilah Ar Rahmaan Ar Raheem
As salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,
How would you answer the question, who are you? Some people say I’m a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher while some say I’m an Arab, Desi, American, a housewife, I’m only a mother, or any number of things. How people describe themselves many times is a reflection of how they feel about themselves and in the case of our children, we want them to radiate high self esteem and feel incredible about who they are!
The challenge is how to help craft an identity and strong personality in our children which isn’t as difficult as it sounds if you start early. I think you should become a farmer. No not the kind that toils in a field which is essential to healthy eating but one that toils something more precious because the soil is more valuable. I want you to till your children’s brains and how they view themselves.
As parents we see how verbal abuse can damage a person’s perception of themselves and...
By Tunde Brazlik
Being a parent is truly a blessing, but it comes with a great deal of responsibility as well.
When Allah blesses you with that little bundle of joy, you as a parent have so much hope for them. You plan their whole life before they are even born. You pick their schools, their careers, and you are even able to imagine how your grandkids will be running around you while visiting with you. It is beautiful to imagine as they grow older, get wiser and become more responsible.
This dream can be shattered when one has a special needs child. Regardless of the disability, or I would rather say “different ability”, the task is challenging. Not just because the parent needs to pay more attention to the child, help them more physically and emotionally, but now they also have to protect them from society. They have to think about the future of their child when they are no longer there to be able to help and support them.
Being a special need child’s caretaker...
(If you missed Part II click here or Part I click here)
Staring out of the window and hearing the continual pleas of his mother to tell her what’s wrong, Zayd finally cracked. Though he was only silent for a few minutes in the car, it seemed like a lifetime. His voice cracked as he told his mother that something bad just happened. He said that he was hanging with his friend Jason, the one she didn’t like, and Jason told him about a situation that was going on with another guy who runs a street gang. Long story short, the leader of the gang was recently robbed and they think they know who did it.
Since Zayd was fascinated by the street life and was not experienced in the game, his friend Jason and the leader of the gang knew he’d be easy to influence because he would want to “prove” himself. Zayd informed his mother that somebody got hurt but he wasn’t the one that did it but he was there and that’s what all of the police were in the area...
(If you haven't read Part I, click here)
Part II: I remember reading some troubling statistics in the “Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict, Vol. 2” which reads “in the 1500 hours of television U.S. children watch each year, they see primarily a violent face. The average child will see 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school. By the time that same person reaches high school graduation, he or she will have seen 18,000 murders and more than 250,000 acts of violence. The violence is “sanitized” – clean, neat, and tidy with no pain and suffering.”
Unfortunately I can see how those numbers add up. At 7 years old I had already seen the notorious movie Scarface with Al Pacino playing Tony Montana (1983) and who knows how many people he killed in his final scene. Movie classics like The Godfather (1972), Rambo (1982), Terminator (1984), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), and others always showed strength...
bismillah arRahmaan arRaheem
I remember being at an iftaar and seeing this little baby crawling on the floor and biting his toys until he would be sent to his mother to nurse and take a nap. His name was Zayd (changed) and he was the son of an Arab brother I know and his wife who is a white American convert.
As time passed, we enjoyed many more eid gatherings, iftaars that were more crowded because of more babies being born, and lots of family outings in the park where we played sports, talked politics, ate good Arab food, and had fun.
I was asked parenting questions because my daughters were a tad older than Zayd. Question like what my plan was regarding my daughters education. I informed my brothers that I planned to do things starkly different than how I was raised because I wasn’t raised Muslim and plus I hold a philosophy that schooling is much different than education.
I didn’t have a plan mapped out, but I knew that I wanted my children to be raised...