Successful Parenting in the West – Dr Yasir Qadhi

Successful Parenting in the West Shaykh Yasir Qadhi
4th April 2019 – Manchester, Read Foundation Dinner (Paraphrased)
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Family, family, family. The family is one of the greatest blessings given to humanity, if Allah didn’t want to give this gift He wouldn’t have. When Allah told the angels that humans will be created, he used the word Khalifa which is often mistaken for meaning vice-regent, but its technical definition means a generation that will keep on replicating, the regeneration of families, because the angels don’t have to have these, the angels don’t have families they don’t marry other angels and have children. The same angel that was created millions of years ago is the same angel that will exist till the end of times. But humans recreate a generation that regrows and looks after each other we are created differently from the angels. We are a nation of families, we are species that Allah has created in a different manner to angels, that why Allah mentions the word Khalifah. The talk today is short and significant about raising children in the west, I’m going to share some benefits that I have myself learnt and acquired from the experience I have.  I have 4 kids and three are teenagers so I want to share with you 7 rules from my own reading and research. Anything good I share is from Allah(SWT) and anything else is from Shaytaan and me.
First Rule – There are no rules.
Anybody that tells you they have the magic solution on how to be a better parent is lying, simple as that. Anybody that promises you that if you follow this piece of advice and I can guarantee that your children will come out like this, that advice is lying, miskeen. One famous child psychologist wrote a famous book about this, and that he had a PhD from Harvard etc. that before I had any children I had 6 theories about how to raise kids, now I have 6 kids and 0 theories. There are no rules to, nobody can guarantee or promise you that this technique will make your kids better, or more Islamic there is more educated. This also explains why the Quran and Sunnah don’t come with detailed manuals on parenting; there is more in our books about fiqh of wudu and Salah than about how to be a parent. That is not because astaghfirullah Allah intentionally left it out, it is because parenting is something you learn as you go along. It is child-sensitive and parent sensitive. It’s unique. How you raise one child will not necessarily be the same as how you raise the second child. It is something you learn on the job, and the training is your own life. So even the shariah does not have specific guidelines.
There is no massive book that can be written but because advice has not been recorded in prophetic traditions, also they are culture sensitive what works in one culture might not work in another culture, and what works in one neighbourhood might not even work in the house. So there cant be no manual, It’s just general generic advice, that can be universal, that you have to think about contemplate and adapt too, that’s the first rule.
2.        The second rule is responsibility begets actions and knowledge begets responsibility.
The goal is to be a better parent that’s conscious that you are responsible in eyes of Allah, every parent should want to study and learn. Knowledge of the deen and Dunya. Benefit from Islamic advice when your education will raise awareness that will raise responsibility that will create better parenting. Some parents spend time in one thing but neglect other duties fathers concerned about one aspect like making sure they work all hours and have money for their children which is important, and mothers are always worried about whether you are fed or warm and have a jumper on. Both are concerned about something else, who is concerned with the spirituality of their children most parents only realise when it’s too late then go to the mosque to the Imam asking what went wrong, the answer is what did you do for the last 15 years both parents mothers and fathers are responsible for the spiritual welfare of your child.
You need to have fear of God in your hearts that Allah will ask me and you about our children
If we don’t have love and fear in our hearts of Allah, If you truly love your children you would provide for their spiritual wellbeing
What did you do to uplift their spirituality? Our ancestors came from another country even if parents weren’t religious the society and culture forced you to practice Islam and go to jummah and there were safety mechanisms place, to ensure your child was looked after.
In this country, there are no safety mechanisms. We are so concerned about their physical upbringing but are we not concerned about their akhirah.
Rule 3 – Actions speak louder than words
Lead by example not by words. By helping your children you need to help yourself first. Exemplifying the values of our faith you need to embody them in yourself. Your actions have to be consistent in your whole life.  If there were to be a secret to who I am today, it’s my parents people want the kids to be like. Me I’m a nobody.
When I think of my parents I always see my mums face in the Quran, I remember her always reading the Quran as we were growing up. My dad always in the community, he built the first mosque in Houston in the 60s. I subconsciously grew up with this and took it in with me. They didn’t have to tell me to do this and that, I saw them doing it, I have the love of the Quran in my heart because I saw my parents with the Quran. It came with the home ambience that Allah blessed me with a child
When I was growing up sometimes, we lived where there was no mosque nearby. Typically one salah Maghrib my dad would lead in salah as a family.  10 years Mecca and Madinah I read maghrib and isha In the harams. But when I came back there were no mosques nearby.  Subconsciously, I started replicating with my kids with toddlers behind me what I saw my dad doing as I grew up, I started leading the Salah at home with my toddlers behind me. I realised then, this act came from what upbringing my dad gave me.
You need to show your kids what you want them to be in yourself. You need to change your life if you expect your kids to change. For the sake of your children lead a better life. Contemplate if you are truly a role model.  We are all sinners but we have to strive.
4.        Rule 4 – Your family generally needs your time. More than your money
I say this especially to those that work so hard and we leave the house for so long that we think in our promotions and paycheck that’s what my kids need, which is in important too but there has to be a balance, they need that but taking time out for their children is what they need the most.
Taking time out for your family, don’t trivialise spending time with your children. A book by Gary Chapman 5 languages of love for children. Strongly encourage you to get this book.
The child to be healthy and loved, that the physical touch of human nature is important. There is a hadith of the Bedouin seeing the prophet with his grandsons kissing and picking one and playing with them, and the Bedouin is shocked  because in culture you seem more macho and manly if you don’t show affection to your children,  and he asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) about this, and the prophet said:  ‘what can I do if Allah has taken mercy and tenderness from your heart.’
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) played with the kids several times. Even in Salah with the prophet, the Prophet made the sajood longer because a baby was on his back. The prophet Led in salah with a baby in hand and delivered the khutbah imagine your local imam or sheikh doing that.
Secondly, he says in the book to use words of affirmations we love putting our kids down, especially in some cultures. Words of encouragement are good, we should criticise our kids at home in private.
Don’t belittle. Also, they will be the actions of acts of service you show them and rewards them with gifts.
Rule 5 – Be careful who your friends are.
Your friends will influence your children. They will influence your children and their children will influence your children. Birds of a feather flock together. Islam isn’t just road, you don’t just memorise Islam, and it is a lived experience. What do you do in your spare time, connect with a community and mosque community.  Once a week twice a week they should know the mosque, they should know the mosque community. It should be the ambience of the home.
Rule 6 – Pray WITH and FOR your family.
Pray with your family as jamaah at least once a day, make a salah, you lead it doesn’t matter how bad your tajweed, or how you say waladhaleen. Allah will still reward you and give barakah to your family.
And pray for your family ask yourself when the last time you prayed for your children was that Allah guides them
The Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) made so many duas from their tongues for the children, if they as Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them) had to make dua for their children, then who are you and me.
It should be the regular and number one dua on your list. If you don’t make dua for your children, who else will. All these prophetic duas from Ibrahim etc are for you, that is Allah giving you the duas to make for your children.
Rule 7-  Do the best you can and leave the rest to Allah.
It’s Allah’s qadr look at Prophet Nuh (peace and blessings be upon him) was he a bad father no but look at his son, and look at Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) and his father was Azhar but he had a son like Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him).
There are cases where kids are so away from Islam, for example, a family friend of ours, his son left Islam, which broke his dad’s heart, then after his father death then he repented and took the shahdah again because of the upbringing he remembered. That fathers dua was answered after he died.
The result is Allahs not yours.
Here we are talking about tarbiyyah of children and some parents don’t have the luxury to provide tarbiyyah of children in developiung countries, then someone has to or something has to take its place.CLoud
Question and Answers
1.      What do you do if your local mosque does not have a facility for women?
Not only having a section in the mosque a part of Sunnah, in this day and age, in this society not having it is problematic.
How do you expect women to prepare the next generation, if you take away the umbilical cords of community and Islam from them. Our women should be welcomed in the mosque, they are the future mothers of our next generation
Our women are going everywhere, shopping centres, university etc but the one place they need to be they aren’t allowed.  People quote hadith etc about them not being allowed in the mosque which is of opinion too but times have changed.  People should put positive pressure on mosques. Positive pressure is not negative. A number of the masjid in America have 4 halls, one major for brothers, one for sisters, one connected to the sisters’ soundproof room for women and children,  and one with brothers with children.
2.      My child suffers with anxiety and depression, what can I do?
Listen carefully, everyone has their speciality and people who study Islam, are not equipped to deal with anxiety, give everyone their right and haq of knowledge and only ask Imam and Sheikhs questions to do with their expertise
Go to a trained therapist, Imams will make matters worse, linking it to a child’s Iman, and this can lead to depression and suicide, which we know is increasing.  I speak as someone who trained for ten years at one of the best institutes in the world on Shariah and did not do one course on psychiatry.
3.    What is your advice on LGBT provision expected?
This is a deep and sensitive question that requires a lot of time that I don’t have.  As Muslims we are dealing with a crisis the like of which we have not dealt with before especially this issue.  As Muslims we lash with our internal and moral and external compasses
Outsiders of our faith accuse us of double standards when we want to we invoke the principle of mutual respect and tolerance but when it goes against we don’t like it.
There was a Christain mother in Alabama who didn’t want her child to study one chapter about Islam about the 5 pillars, we as muslims react with outrage what’s wrong with knowing about Islam and not reacting.  We always say live and let live.
Likewise, when our children are studying something we are critical of it.  Your child will live in a society where in order to live, it should have general knowledge of what’s going on. We are only reactionary we are not visionary, we only react. When emotions are so high intellect ceases to exist.  Our logic is integrally flawed. Our mosques and madrasah need to step up.  It’s not as though our children don’t need to learn about Sex Education. What provision are we providing them in this society and if we don’t agree with it, we need to think about where we are living and our surroundings.
We should engage and challenge things in an intellectual professional way and if not learn from those not of our religion but with similar backgrounds and beliefs on how to tackle these issues.
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‘A DRONE OVER THE SKIES OF MADINAH …’

(The Final Crusade)IMG_9150

Ask yourself: if the Prophet SAW was with us today,
If he spoke the same words and lived the same way,

If he returned with the same message to relay,
How long would the forces of the world let him stay?
Back then, he taught humankind to: ‘Bow down to none,
No idol, no tyrant, no oppressive nation,

Keep your heart and mind free from their domination,
True power is with God, so don’t fear anyone!’
Quraysh let him be so long as he was benign,
And to his message, they thought that few would incline,

But when he preached openly, would not bend his spine,
The state turned against him, for he had crossed the line;
At first, they rushed to him seeking some compromise,
They’d give him the mic if he just ceased to chastise,

The ills around him they feared he would neutralize,
But he would not clothe his words in any disguise;
And he persisted in making more minds aware,
Of society’s false gods of which to beware,

Of the tyrants of Earth, so the state could not bear,
And his “freedom of speech” vanished into thin air;
Choking him as he prayed, they tried suffocation,
Then imposed three years of economic sanction,

Signed off authorizing his assassination,
He was hunted in his land, forced to migration;
To track down this “radical”, the vast land they’d comb,
Abu Jahl led the pack, his mouth frothing with foam,

Put him on a ‘Wanted’ list in his own home,
Like Jesus Christ before him at the hands of Rome;
And the Romes of today at whose hands we’re abused,
Who preach to us values from which they’re self-excused,

How similar the tools of repression they used,
The tyrants of past and present are ever fused;
Today, he’d see us consumed by the same fires,
With the gods in our hearts these worldly desires,

And the gods of the Earth nations and empires,
Headed by killers and professional liars;
He laid siege to Qaynuqa’ for one woman’s fear,
So what would he say to those who gang-raped ‘Abeer?

Muffled ‘Aafia’s screams as she shed tear after tear?
And occupy Muslim countries year after year?
He’d come back to remind us to: ‘Bow down to none,
No idol, no tyrant, no oppressive nation,

Keep your heart and mind free from their domination,
True power is with God, so don’t fear anyone!’
In a repeat of that reality uncouth,
Imagine he stood and struggled for the same truth,

And had the same impact on society’s youth,
Would they not once again fight this man nail & tooth?
Of course, they’d first test him to see what he’s about,
Would he stay true like before, or would he sell out?

Would fear of the state instil in his mind some doubt?
No doubt, he’d be a mountain shaking off their clout;
In an era where his inheritors deprave,
The trust of their knowledge so their skins they would save,

He’d be an inspiration for every field slave,
Craving an example of the fearless and brave;
Their think-tanks would scramble to counter his appeal,

Find scholars for dollars with whom to make a deal,
To persuade us: ‘The Prophet is just full of zeal,

Grieving injustices – quote – “perceived” and not real!’
They’d wiretap him as he said: ‘Bow down to none,

No idol, no tyrant, no oppressive nation,
Keep your heart and mind free from their domination,
True power is with God, so don’t fear anyone!’
Then they’d name him on a federal indictment,
American court would charge him with incitement,

Through Surat at-Tawbah – marked ‘Criminal Statement’
Khalid bin al-Walid as his co-defendant;
They’d say he conspired from the North to the South Pole,
And seek a life sentence with no chance of parole,

In a bright orange suit on lockdown in the Hole,
Such do they treat those spirits they cannot control;
Like the rest of us who have committed no crime,
But to be a proud Muslim at this point in time,

As the war on his message has reached its full prime,
Giving those who live by it more mountains to climb;
When they saw that in this message he would persist,
They would designate him a global terrorist,

And just like Quraysh, they would pound an angry fist,
Before placing his name on their own target list;
Over the skies of Madinah, they’d send a drone,
Distribute ‘Wanted’ posters with his bearded face shown,

Talk to local tribes, make the reward money known,
For those who capture or kill him and retrieve each bone;
They’d study Badr and Uhud, learn his strategy,
And profile those who pledged to him under the Tree,

Try to identify his ‘Number Two’ and ‘Three,’
Is it Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, or ‘Ali?
To the Prophet’s Mosque, they’d send an entire brigade,
To round up the Ansar who had given him aid,

To kick down his family’s door in a night raid,
To make him the target of their final crusade;
Because his message would still be: ‘Bow down to none,
No idol, no tyrant, no oppressive nation,

Keep your heart and mind free from their domination,
True power is with God, so don’t fear anyone!’
Imagine if the Prophet SAW was with us today,
If he spoke the same words and lived the same way,

If he returned with the same message to relay,
They’d reserve him a cell at Guantanamo Bay …
صلي الله عليه و سلم
طارق مهنا

Tarek Mehanna
Monday     9th of Dhu al-Hijjah 1431
15th of November 2010
Plymouth Correctional Facility, America
Isolation Unit – Cell #108
FOOTNOTES:

1.) Abeer Qasim al-Janabi, a 14-yr old Iraqi girl who was gang-raped,
beaten, shot, and burned along with her parents and siblings by American soldiers in March of 2006, south of Baghdad. (May Allah have Mercy on them)
2.) Referring to the hadith: “The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.”
3.) Referring to the Pledge of Ridwan given under a tree on the day of Hudaybiyah, as mentioned in Surat al-Fath, v.18.

3…2…1…!

3…2…1…!
race
Someone made my day by posting this today.
New York is 3 hours ahead of California, 
but it does not make California slow. 
Someone graduated at the age of 22, 
but waited 5 years before securing a good job! 
Someone became a CEO at 25, 
and died at 50. 
While another became a CEO at 50, 
and lived to 90 years. 
Someone is still single, 
while someone else got married. 
Some get married and have five children in five years,
Another couple is trying for their first child after five years.
Obama retires at 55, 
but Trump starts at 70. 
Absolutely everyone in this world works based on their Time Zone.
People around you might seem to go ahead of you, 
some might seem to be behind you. 
But everyone is running their own RACE, in their own TIME. 
Don’t envy them or mock them. 
They are in their TIME ZONE, and you are in yours! 
Life is about waiting for the right moment to act. 
So, RELAX. 
You’re not LATE. 
You’re not EARLY. 
You are very much ON TIME, and in your TIME ZONE Destiny set up for you.  
In conclusion don’t rush to get and don’t be sad when refused.
“Be grateful when granted and patient when denied…”
Make everyday your day !!
Anonymous
fii

7 Lessons in Leadership From the Life of Muhammad Ali

7 Lessons in Leadership From the Life of Muhammad Ali

Whenever a great person passes away, the tremors felt by the world are in proportion to the legacy that that person left behind. In this week’s blog post I reflect on seven lessons in leadership that we can learn from the life of the boxer Muhammad Ali.

  1. Leadership is most valuable during times of crisis

Ali grew up in the ‘Deep South’ of America at a time when black people were still considered inferior human beings to white people. As recently as the 1960s, African Americans were still forced to sit on buses in sections separate to white Americans.

When Ali rose to prominence, the black community in America was suffering from despair, disheartenment and a lack of confidence.

It was in this atmosphere that Ali demonstrated leadership. He realised that wallowing in victimhood restrains a community from growing and moving forward. And so he exhorted his people to do something to change the world around them, rather than sit and cry about it:

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

2. Every great leader in history suffered for their beliefs and were reviled before they were revered.

Change is hated by man because people prefer the status quo. No-one likes change, especially those in power.

Once Ali began to encourage his people to believe in themselves, that they did not have to accept the world for what it was, that they could do something to change their lives, he was considered a threat and punished for his beliefs. He was stripped of his title, fined and sentenced to 5 years in prison.

In the eyes of the law, Ali was a convicted criminal. But this did not prevent billions of people around the world venerating him until and after his death.

“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.”

3. Just like cowardice is contagious, so is bravery

In the Quran, fleeing the battlefield is considered a major sin because of the infectious nature of cowardice. When one person flees the battlefield, he injects seeds of cowardice and fear into the hearts of those around him and causes them to flee too.

But likewise, when one man stands up and takes a brave, principled stance, he encourages others to be brave too.

“To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend that you are.”

4. Leadership is not just about talking the talk, it is about walking the walk

During my years in prison I saw many people who talked tough out in the world, but crumbled to pieces once inside a prison cell. Some of them even turned into rats. Talk is cheap, but action is costly.

Muhammad Ali did not just openly declare his opposition to going to Vietnam to fight. He declared that he was prepared to go to prison, give up boxing and sacrifice everything that was dear to him, for the sake of holding true to his principles.

And true to his word, he was stripped of his title and could not box for several years.

“I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars… I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

5. The importance of being on the right side of history

Many of the people lining up to venerate Muhammad Ali today were the same people who demonised him when he was disgraced for refusing to go and fight in Vietnam.

As for the few who supported Ali when he was disgraced, they turned out to be on the right side of history. The rest of the American public soon turned against the Vietnam war and the United States brought its troops home.

Nelson Mandela suffered the same fate. The same people who castigated Mandela as a convicted terrorist later lined up to pay tribute to him once the whole world realised that he changed the world for the better.

“The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”

6. Publicly accepting your errors of judgement is a sign of strength, not weakness

The strong leader does not run away from his mistakes; he acknowledges them and learns from them. Muhammad Ali first joined the black supremacist sect ‘Nation of Islam’ but once he realised what they were about he publicly disassociated himself from their racist message:

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”

7. People respect you more when you stick by your principles, than when you live your life to please people

Many people did not like some of the things that Muhammad Ali said, or the way that he said them. But he never once cared what people thought of him. He was proud of his beliefs, his lineage and his heritage. He realised early on in his life that if he was to spend his life trying to please people, he would waste his life.

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

Under the witty, fast-talking, charming man was a humble individual who really loved the world and cared about its people. He realised that he was not going to live forever so he spent his days on earth trying to carve a positive legacy that would remain long after he departed.

“Live every day as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right,”he used to say.

And on Friday 3 June 2016 Muhammad Ali was right. May Allah have mercy on him.

“Innocent, until proven guilty…”

“The believers are nothing else than brothers. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.” [Al-Hujurat, 49:10]

The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, “Release the prisoners.”

The scholars of the past would says, “If a Muslim becomes incarcerated in the west, it is an obligation of the Muslims in the east to free them. And if a Muslim becomes incarcerated in the east, it is an obligation of the Muslims in the west to free them.”

Innocent

He’s been indicted, the general decided, the paper incited, he must be guilty,

The agent presumed, the prosecutors consumed and the judge assumed we’re sure he is guilty.

The bigots are infused, TV is amused, the public is confused, but trust us he is guilty,

Doesn’t matter what we saw, we will simply change the law, call it the final straw we think he’s guilty.

We have him on a call, it may be to congressional hall, our goal is to make him fall, because we believe him to be guilty,

The trial would be perfect, when guilty is the verdict, even if the evidence is suspect, never mind we find him guilty,

But he only spoke his mind, to people of every kind, justice may be blind, but it’s been hard to find, because he’s innocent.

Strip search.

His body was built, his head was bald,

His heart was dead, his face was cold.

His eyes were fierce, moustache was thick,

He lifted up his finger, I was his pick.

Take off your jumper and shirt and boxers,

But I’ve only been to the library, have not seen or met anybody,

Strip! You’re going to strip! And don’t you dare move your lip.

Take off your shirt and jumper and boxers. Open your mouth show me your tongue,

Give me a cough, deep from your lung.

Hold your buttocks and bend over, turn around, lift it up and stay sober.

The routine is to humiliate, to scar and to intimidate,

His search took an eternity, in the name of security, they strip you of your dignity.

Shakedown

They came Monday morning, in front of my door,

Five COs and one Lt at 6 foot and 4.

Come out, shut up, cough up, they said.

Turn around, back up, hold up your head.

They joked and laughed, it’s time for a shakedown!

Control, destroy and don’t you dare frown!

Contraband! Contraband! He yelled from the side. My heart has sank, he’s found my height.

Extra blanket, extra sheet, boxers he’s thrown.

Plastic spoon, peanut butter and a picture I’d drawn.

My heart was beating faster than before,

If he finds it my life ain’t the same any more.

Seconds and minutes were passing like years,

Frustrated, worried and crying without tears.

Undaunted they left, cell upside down,

Startled it looked, like a tornado hit town.

But I calmed and laughed and thanked the Lord,

My pencil is safe and mightier than the sword.

(Anonymous)

12 Rabeeul Thani 1436

“The Believers, in their mutual love, mercy and compassion, are like one body: if one organ complained, the rest of the body develops a fever.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

O Allah! Please free the innocent, that are shackled in chains and locked up behind bars.

O Allah! Be a guardian for their families.

Ameen Ya Rabb!