Teenage years

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Teenage Years: Most Difficult for the Parentssophie-sollmann-632775-unsplash

“I never asked to be born!”
“Stop trying to control my life!”

“I hate you!”
You thought you were over the hard part—changing diapers and being awakened throughout the night by your crying baby, dealing with an uncontrollable two-year old “monster,” and trying to handle a mischievous child, who was always getting into trouble at school. But now comes the really hard part—coping with a rebellious, often rude and obnoxious, teenager. 
Muslim Parents: Not Immune from Teenage Problems
The teenage years have historically been a difficult period for parents in America, with very few exceptions. Struggling to find their own place in the world, teenagers often rebel against the ways of their parents. They want to experiment to find out what is best for them. And, unfortunately, Muslim parents may also face many of the same problems with their teenagers that non-Muslim families face.

 

Muslim children can also be tempted to drink alcohol or take drugs, be physically attracted to someone of the opposite sex in their class, skip school, or get involved in the wrong crowd.

 

No doubt, it will be a traumatic experience for a Muslim family to find out that their son or daughter is taking drugs, secretly going out on dates with the opposite sex, or getting in trouble with the police, but it could happen. And what if they become addicts, contract AIDS by having unmarried sex, or become a mother or father before marriage. Our great dreams for our children could suddenly turn into nightmares. It has happened to other Muslim families.

 

This is, of course, a very frightening thought for most parents. Some will merely say that it won’t happen to their Muslim child. But others will take action and look for ways to prevent these problems or to better handle them if they arise. 

 

Although no two families have exactly the same situation, there are some general guidelines for dealing with Muslim teenagers that might be useful.

 

We should teach them from an early age about Allah Ta’aala , the Prophets AS, the Sahabah RA, and the great heroes of Islam.

 

If we develop in them a love for Islam and provide them with righteous examples for their heroes, they will be much less likely to go astray. A person wants to be like his heroes. If he admires Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, Abu Bakr Radhiyallahu Anhu, and AliRadhiyallahu Anhu, he will try to follow their example. If he admires a rock star or a gang leader, he will want to be like them. If we inspire our children with good examples, when they are tempted to do wrong, they will, InshaAllah, remember these examples and remain steadfast. 

 

Although I was raised as a Christian and didn’t embrace Islam until I was in my 20s, I was greatly influenced by the Biblical stories of Prophets like Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, and Isa (Peace be upon them all). Although the Biblical stories were not in their pure form, they still inculcated in me a love and respect for the way of the Prophets. Although I fell into many of the temptations of youth, Alhamdulillah, I always felt something within me holding me back from going too far. While many of my friends went headlong into a highly destructive way of life, I believe that my knowledge of, and affection for, the Prophets helped me to return to a better path.

 

We must be very careful about our children’s friends

 

During the teenage years, children often care more about what their friends say than what their parents or elders say. According to a hadith, “Man is upon the path of his intimate friend; so let each look to whom he takes as a friend.” If our children have good, sincere, and righteous friends, the chances are good that our children will be like them. If, on the other hand, our children hang around with children who take drugs and get into trouble, our children will likely take drugs and get into trouble. 

 

Therefore, it is essential from an early age that we try to get our children involved with good children. One way to encourage this is by regularly taking them to the mosque (be careful of not creating disturbance) or by sending them to an Islamic school where they will have the opportunity to meet and interact with Muslim children. We should be worried though if our children start hanging around with bad-mannered and disrespectful children.

 

We should encourage our children to participate in wholesome religious, social, and sports activities

 

Bored teenagers are more likely to look for fun and excitement in the wrong place. “Idle hands are the devil’s (shaytan’s) workshop,” someone once said. If teenagers’ lives are full of good and exciting things to do, they will not have the time or the desire to get involved in bad things. 

 

We should try to channel their teenage zeal into constructive avenues

 

Sometimes, teenagers begin to criticize the way of life of their parents and society, and parents are often angered by this. However, we must keep in mind that sometimes they may be right. Our lives and our society are not perfect, and teenagers may have fresh insight into how to improve them. In Living With Teenagers: A Guide for Muslim Parents, Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood writes:

 

“Teenagers are idealists—they want to change the world, and make it a better place. These are not bad ideals, and it is a great pity that adults have forgotten their own ideals in the rat-race of daily life. You, the parent, may have ended up as just a hard-working nonentity in some quiet niche in life; a teenager who is a real idealist may end up as a famous person, a reformer, a politician, an aid-worker—who knows. The future lies there before them.

 

It is therefore a foolish parent who tries to ridicule and trample on that young idealism. If it is consistent with Islam, it should be fervently encouraged, and not set at nought.”

 

If a teenager is idealistic and wants to improve the world, we should encourage him and help him. If he if full of zeal but lacks the proper direction, we should help him to use that zeal constructively. If we get teenagers involved in helping those in need and in working for important causes, their zeal could make a tremendous impact.

 

We should sometimes admit that we are wrong

 

Parents make mistakes. If we admit to our children that we are wrong at times, they will not always feel that they have to rebel against us and prove that we are wrong.

 

We should listen to our children

 

Sometimes, children act out in order to get our attention. If we give them our attention freely, they will not have to seek it in destructive ways. Also, by listening to our children, there is a greater chance that they will confide in us and ask us questions, rather than seeking answers from negative sources.

 

We should do what we say

 

Teenagers hate hypocrisy, and many of them seem to have a built-in radar for detecting it. If we want them to listen to us and take our advice, they must trust us. If we tell them not to drink, but drink ourselves, they will not respect us.
The teenage years are usually difficult, and parents need to prepare for them before they arrive. If parents have built a strong, trusting, and loving relationship with their children before the teenage years, their children will be less likely to go astray. It is very difficult to see one’s child going in the wrong direction and not know how to stop him from destroying himself. But if we work hard to instil in them the right values early and try to help them develop a wholesome lifestyle without being overbearing, perhaps we can prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring.
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Du’a for exams: GCSEs & A-Levels

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahmeem

do-dua

As exams kick off this week around the UK, we often get asked for Du’as to help and ease exam pressure. Here is one I have personally read and  found beneficial:

اللّهُـمَّ لا سَهْلَ إِلاّ ما جَعَلـتَهُ سَهْلاً وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزَنَ إِذا شِئْتَ سَهْلاً

O Allah, there is no ease except in that which you have made easy and you make the difficult, if You wish, easy. [1]

P.S. One should read with conviction and certainty. Also, offer two Rak’ah Salatul Hajah before the exam. It can be the night before or day before, not necessarily the morning of the exam.

dua

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

12 Shaban 1437

______________________________________________________________

 [1] Sahih Ibn Ḥibbān (974);

‘Amal al-Yawm Wal-Laylah (351).

Advice for school leavers

What is the definition of the evil eye?

http://islamqa.info/en/20954#

What is the definition of the evil eye? Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” [113:5]

Is the hadeeth (narration) of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saheeh (authentic) in which it says that “One third of those who are in the grave are there because of the evil eye”? If a person thinks that someone is envying him, what should the Muslim do and say? If the person who put the evil eye on someone washes himself, will the water he used bring healing to his victim? And should he drink the water or wash himself with it?

They replied:

The Arabic word al-‘ayn (translated as the evil eye) refers to when a person harms another with his eye. It starts when the person likes a thing, then his evil feelings affect it, by means of his repeated looking at the object of his jealousy. Allah commanded His prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), to seek refuge with Him from the envier, as He said (interpretation of the meaning):

“And from the evil of the envier when he envies.” [113:5]

Everyone who puts the evil eye on another is envious, but not every envier puts the evil eye on another. The word hasid (envier) is more general in meaning than the word ‘ain (one who puts the evil eye on another), so seeking refuge with Allah from the one who envies includes seeking refuge with Him from the one who puts the evil eye on another. The evil eye is like an arrow which comes from the soul of the one who envies and the one who puts the evil eye on another towards the one who is envied and on whom the evil eye is put; sometimes it hits him and sometimes it misses. If the target is exposed and unprotected, it will affect him, but if the target is cautious and armed, the arrow will have no effect and may even come back on the one who launched it. Adapted from Zaad al-Ma’aad.

There are ahadeeth (reports) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) which speak of the effects of the evil eye. For example it is narrated in al-Saheehayn that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to tell me to recite ruqyah (incantation) for protection against the evil eye.

Muslim, Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye. When you are asked to take a bath (to provide a cure) from the influence of the evil eye, you should take a bath.”

Imam Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi  narrated that Asma bint ‘Umays said: “O Messenger of Allah, the children of J’afar have been afflicted by the evil eye, shall we recite ruqyah for them?” He said, “Yes, for if anything were to overtake the divine decree it would be the evil eye.”

Abu Dawud narrated that ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The person who had put the evil eye on another would be ordered to do wudu, then the person who had been afflicted would wash himself (with that water).

Imam Ahmad, Malik, al-Nasai and Ibn Hibban narrated from Sahl ibn Haneef that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came out and traveled with him towards Makkah, until they were in the mountain pass of al-Kharar in al-Jahfah. There Sahl ibn Haneef did ghusl (bathed), and he was a handsome white-skinned man with beautiful skin. ‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah, one of Banu ‘Adiyy ibn K’ab looked at him whilst he was doing ghusl and said: “I have never seen such beautiful skin as this, not even the skin of a virgin,” and Sahl fell to the ground. They went to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, can you do anything for Sahl, because by Allah he cannot raise his head.” He said, “Do you accuse anyone with regard to him?” They said, “‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah looked at him.” So the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) called ‘Amir and rebuked him strongly. He said, “Why would one of you kill his brother? If you see something that you like, then pray for blessing for him.” Then he said to him, “Wash yourself for him.” So he washed his face, hands, forearms, knees and the sides of his feet, and inside his izaar (lower garment) in the vessel. Then that water was poured over him, and a man poured it over his head and back from behind. He did that to him, then Sahl got up and joined the people and there was nothing wrong with him.  Classed as saheeh (authentic) by al-Albani in al-Mishkat.

The majority of scholars are of the view that people can indeed be afflicted by the evil eye, because of the ahadeeth (reports) quoted above and others, and because of the corroborating reports and other evidence.

With regard to the hadeeth that you mention, “One third of those who are in the grave are there because of the evil eye,” we do not know how sound it is, but the author of Nayl al-Awtar said that al-Bazzar narrated with a hasan isnad (sound chain of narrators) from Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Most of those who die among my ummah (followers) die because of the will and decree of Allah, and then because of the evil eye.”

The Muslim has to protect himself against the devils among the evil jinn and mankind, by having strong faith in Allah and by putting his trust in Him and seeking refuge with Him and beseeching Him, reciting the prayers for protection narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), reciting al-Mu’awwadhatayn [the last two surahs of the Quran], Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Fatihah, and ayat al-Kursi.

Du’as for protection include the following:

A’oodhu bi kalimat-illah il-tammati min sharri ma khalaqa (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created).

A’oodhu bi kalimat-illah il-tammati min ghadabihi wa ‘iqabihi, wa min sharri ‘ibadihi wa min hamazat al-shayateeni wa an yahduroon (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from His wrath and punishment, from the evil of His slaves and from the evil promptings of the devils and from their presence).

And one may recite the words of Allah:

“Hasbi Allahu la ilaha illa huwa, ‘alayhi tawakkaltu wa huwa Rabb ul-‘arsh il-‘azeem

(Allaah is sufficient for me. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He) in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne).”
[9:129 – interpretation of the meaning]

And there are other similar du’as that are prescribed in sharee’ah (Islamic law). This is what was meant by Ibn al-Qayyim in the words quoted at the beginning of this answer.

If it is known or suspected that a person has been afflicted by the evil eye, then the one who put the evil eye on him should be ordered to wash himself for his brother. So a vessel of water should be brought, and he should put his hand in it and rinse out his mouth into the vessel. Then he should wash his face in the vessel, then put his left hand into the vessel and wash his right knee, then put his right hand in the vessel and wash his left knee. Then he should wash inside his garment. Then the water should be poured over the head of the one on whom he put the evil eye, pouring it from behind in one go. Then he will be healed, by Allah’s leave.

Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daimah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked:

Can the evil eye afflict a person? How is it treated? Does being on one’s guard against it contradict putting one’s trust in Allah?

He replied:

Our opinion concerning the evil eye is that it is real and is proven both by Islamic teachings and by real life experiences. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes (through hatred).” [68:51]

Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) and others said, commenting on this verse: this means, they put the evil eye on you with their glances. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The evil eye is real and if anything were to overtake the divine decree, it would be the evil eye. When you are asked to take a bath (to provide a cure) from the influence of the evil eye, you should take a bath.” (Muslim). Al-Nasai and Ibn Majah narrated that ‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah passed by Sahl ibn Haneef when he was bathing … and he quoted the hadeeth.

Reality confirms this and it cannot be denied.

In the event that you are afflicted by the evil eye, you should use the treatments recommended in sharee’ah, which are:

1 – Reciting ruqyah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “There is no ruqyah except in the case of the evil eye or fever.” al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood. Jibril (peace be upon him) used to do ruqyah for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and say, “Bismillahi arqeeka min kulli shayin yudheeka, min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘aynin hasid Allaahu yashfeek, bismillahi arqeek (In the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you, from everything that is harming you, from the evil of every soul or envious eye may Allah heal you, in the name of Allah I perform ruqyah for you).”

2 – Asking the person who has put the evil eye on another to wash, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded ‘Amir ibn Rabee’ah to do in the hadeeth quoted above. Then the water should be poured over the one who has been afflicted.

With regard to taking his waste, such as his urine and stool, there is no basis for doing so; the same applies to taking any of his belongings. Rather what is narrated is that which is mentioned above, washing his limbs and washing inside his garment, or likewise washing inside his headgear and garments. And Allah knows best.

There is nothing wrong with taking precautions against the evil eye before it happens, and this does not contradict the idea of tawakkul (putting one’s trust in Allah). In fact this is tawakkul, because tawakkul means putting one’s trust in Allah whilst also implementing the means that have been permitted or enjoined. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to seek refuge for al-Hasan and al-Husayn and say: U’eedhukuma bi kalimat Allah al-tammati min kulli shaytanin wa hammah wa min kulli ‘aynin lammah (I seek refuge for you both in the perfect words of Allah, from every devil and every poisonous reptile, and from every evil eye).’”  Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood. And he would say, “Thus Ibrahim used to seek refuge with Allah for Ishaq and Ismail, peace be upon them both.” [al-Bukhari].

Fatawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen.

See also the answers to questions no. 7190 and 11359.

And Allah knows best.