Ground Their Beliefs NOW
ICNA-MAS Convention 2018
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spillover from the Los Altos at Mr. Level suite level, he was at V edge marine.
Want to welcome everybody to this session, the session itself is probably one of the most pertinent and important sessions that the entire conference offers. And just for a quick reflection,
I want everyone to look around the hall. And to see Mashallah that the conference obviously is amazing, it's very wonderful, I want to see the amount of interest in this particular session, maybe not because of the speakers, but because of the title, you look in the halls a little bit empty, it's a little bit thinner. And the reality is that this actually highlights for us this hall, the attendance of these sessions, not just this one, but any session that has to do with family building, or family training, or construction or refinement. It unfortunately always falls as one of the lower interest sessions. In our community. I remember when Jacob the Nasir, and myself, had
launched a seminar called happiness in the home, anyone here want happiness in your home, anybody? Raise your hand if you want some happiness in your home. So the session or the workshop was titled happiness in the home, we thought, you know what, everybody wants happiness in their homes, whether they are children, whether they are spouses, whether they are parents, nobody wants unhappy homes. So we do this workshop, and we're very excited to do it. And we go to a location and we set up everything. And on Friday night, it was completely empty. I mean, it relative to the usual crowds, it was maybe 4050 people we were expecting probably, you know, a couple 100. And so that night, we
went home, and we looked through our inboxes on Facebook, we looked through our email inboxes. We looked through our WhatsApp messages. And we noticed that for some reason, we were always being bombarded with questions and ideas, and problems and conflicts about how to raise a family
where people would email and ask us, hey, my kid and I are having this dispute. My son won't listen to me, my daughter doesn't seem to get on the same page as me or young people emailing us, hey, my parents, they just don't get it. Right, I'm trying to marry somebody and they're saying no based off of their occupation, or ethnicity, or the color of their skin, how can I get some help, or spouses who are battling each other every day when they come home. And we realize that there is a distinct dissonance. There is a strong distance between what we are willing to admit as a community we need help with and evidenced by this is this hall, that if we did this talk on how to out meet and
mortgages and music, we would have standing room only if we if this talk was called gin stories. We'd have 3000 people here, willing to listen and also to contribute their own story, their own gin story, right. But when it comes to family refinement,
then that's the time that we circle to go shopping.
That's the time that we circle to go take a nap in our hotel room. And this actually is indicative of the problem itself is that we only make time for family when it's in crisis mode. I'm not saying that people who are here are in crisis mode.
And I'm also not yelling at you. You know, it's always interesting when the SE yells at the message we're not coming to the masjid when everyone who's there is clearly in the masjid. Right. So I'm not trying to make everyone feel bad. How dare you not come to Family Programs. You're like chill out big angry white guy. I'm here right now. Right? But the point being is that as a community individually, Mashallah. But as a community, we have to realize that the building blocks of every community are the family I mean, we hear it time and time again. The first people to accept Islam from the prophet SAW sent him when he received revelation, his family, the first people that the
prophets will send them would go to his family, when Khadija was testifying to the prophet SAW Selim, after revelation, that you are a messenger of God, what was the first description she described him with? In Nikola Tesla rahem you keep the family ties. When the prophet SAW Selim, you know, in the Quran, Allah says qu and fossa como alikum, nada, save yourselves and your family from the fire. There's no shortage of evidences that talk about how important it is to make sure that our families are strong, but the shortage rather is our willingness to admit that
Every human being on earth needs to focus on their family, that this is just something that is non negotiable. That you could focus on your career, you could focus on your social life, you could focus on your religious life. But if you are deficient in your family, you will eventually crumble just like the foundation of a home. If it is not strong, it doesn't matter how expensive the furniture is, it doesn't matter how many chandeliers you got, or what kind of appliances you bought, or the cars in your garage. If the foundation is weak, everything suffers. And we're seeing this problem today. So the first thing we have to understand about shoring up families with regards to
the topic that I was given, which is talking particularly about raising young people.
And there is by the way, this incredible transformation that occurs when you have children of your own. Some of you may know that I have a son now hamdulillah last year around this time, he was only a couple months old. Now he's 13
That was a joke. No one laughed. Okay. The point being is that, you know, he was a baby like an infant last year, and now he's one but when kids are one years old, especially boys that kind of act like I call him one teen years old, he's like a teenager already. Got a lot of sass, Mashallah from his dad, unfortunately.
But the point being is that there are two kinds of knowledge when it comes to understanding something there's heftily Athene and are you know you have been, there is knowledge, which you know, to be true. Happily, again, you know, it, it's truthful. But then there's a new thing, which means that you can see it with your own eyes, you're experiencing it in the flesh in the moment. And having a kid turns all those lectures that I heard and that all those talks that we gave about parenting, it turns it from theory into reality. And all the narrations about the prophet SAW Selim in his incredible role as a father, and as a husband, it turned it all from theory and narrations
and stories into something that I could see before my very own eyes. You know, Moosa, my son. I'll give you some lessons from my time with him and then I'll conclude to people who are much more qualified, like my teacher Shelby Nasir, Jr, and Charlotte talk about the family institution. Moosa is very interesting, and I think I've learned a lot about parenting just from this one year. The first thing I've learned about parenting is that as a parent, sometimes we put a lot of emphasis on telling. Sometimes we put a lot of emphasis on the verbal communication. We feel as though if I can communicate and I can articulate my message in a way that sounds to me as being good my kids should
listen to me so Moosa this morning in the hotel, he thought it would be a good idea to take Bob's toothbrush and dip it in the toilet.
So I look at Moosa and I and by the way, my son is like you know, when kids have this look on their face where you know that they're about to do something wrong. Like Like we call him dish to which in Bangla means naughty. We call him dish to actually he's so dish to them. When we say What's your name? He goes.
He knows he's naughty boy, right? He understands, right? So Moosa took my toothbrush, and was headed to the toilet. Right? Why? Because the toilet has teeth to Baba, right? We got to clean the toilet, too. So I'd look at mousse and I say Moosa, and he looks at me with that dish, you look on his face, like
and I say, No, Mussa. Don't do it. He looks at me, and I thought to myself briefly for two seconds, man Hamdulillah, I finally got through to this kid. He finally understands me how many parents have ever had that moment where you thought to yourself, I got through now my kids one but your kid might be 21 and you still might be having these moments. I finally got through, and then he looks at me. And he goes, bah bah, and I said, Yes, and he turns toward the toilet and runs with a toothbrush. It didn't matter what I said to him. What I had to do was get up from my chair. I had to take my toothbrush, and I had to take his toothbrush. He has a little toothbrush, toothbrush in quotation
marks. And I had to show him this Moosa is for this and I brush my teeth. And I said Moosa, this is musas toothbrush. What do you do with it and what did he do everybody? he brushed his teeth. We become obsessed as parents with Do as I say, not as I do. And we think that if we tell our kids what to do, surely that's sufficient. But the Messenger of God solaria Salim did not just come to Mecca did not just settle in Medina sit on his throne and say do this. Don't do that. What did the prophet SAW sent him do as a person he modeled as a person. He showed everybody he exemplified he was the
First person to do what he was telling other people to do hydro calmly hydro hydro company, what Ana hydro company actually, the best of you are the best of you towards your families. And guess what I try, I am the best to my family's meaning you can follow me with confidence. I'm not telling you to be good to your families. While I'm not being good to my family, I am modeling this behavior. So if you want your children to do what you want them to do, ask yourself first, am I doing what I'm asking them to do? And when it comes to religion, hamdulillah these are things that we find to be pretty, pretty standard. I asked my kids to pray because I pray. I asked my kids not to say bad
words, because I don't say bad words. But the one thing that I think we sometimes overlook is the impact of character. The impact of our kids are watching us. They're seeing how I'm talking to my wife. They're seeing how my wife is talking back to me. And they're modeling exactly what they're seeing. If I'm asking my wife for something, and she says she can't do it, and I get frustrated, and I raise my voice, what do you think is gonna happen? when Moosa gets frustrated? What do you think in his head, he's going to think is the appropriate response to when he can't get his way? It's going to be the screaming yell. We have an immense responsibility as parents to make sure that our
young people have evidence for what we're asking them to do. That is not just simply theory, but there are example after example, Moosa, I want you to be generous. That's why I'm giving money to charity Moosa, I want you to be kind. That's why I'm treating people with compassion, Mussa, I want you to be just, that's why I'm holding myself accountable. These are the moments where you remember and I told this story before, and I'll tell it again, the moment that my relationship with my own mother became so strong when I was young, was when she came and apologized to me. My mother, I know some of you right now are like, no, parents should never apologize to their children. When my mother
came and apologized to me, why? Because she accused me of eating my father's food. And if you see her accusation was based off of, you know, evidence.
Right? They used to say that no leftover would last more than a night when a man was home, right? So my mother, she thought, man, why did you eat your father's leftovers? Go to your room, you know that he wanted to eat that later. I said, Mom, it wasn't me. She said, Yeah, right, Toby, go to your room, right? I go to my room, and I'm sitting there the whole time. I never ate it. Finally, my dad comes home and he says, where's I'm gonna man. My mom says I'm so sorry, Jim. He ate your food. He said, No, he didn't. I ate my food. My mom came to my room with tears in her eyes. And she says, Man, I am sorry.
I was so shocked. I almost had to look over my shoulder. Is there someone else in the room she's apologizing to?
Or is it me? When she apologized to me, I realized something that I also have to learn how to apologize when I'm wrong. Just like my mother is apologizing when she was wrong. This is the kind of modeling I'm talking about.
So many of us are so arrogant as parents. We refuse to admit even when we're wrong. Guess where the hardheadedness of your children comes from? Because they see it in front of their eyes. This is so important as parents that we have to honestly put it first and foremost, be the person you want your children to grow up to be. Stop talking about what you want your kids to be, and do what you want them to be. We asked a lot to accept. The second thing is that we have to understand that yes, we are teachers of our children. But we also at the same time that we teach, we love them. And we make sure that every lesson that we give our kids is wrapped in love. I know a lot of people, you know,
sometimes we talk about my I wasn't raised this way. And look at me. I turned out okay. Right. That's usually like the common defense. it's arguable whether or not we turned out okay, right. We think we turned out okay, but then we have some moments where we think maybe I didn't turn out. Okay, right. The point being is that just because you were raised a certain way, and whether or not you turned out okay is a discussion for later. That does not mean that the era that you live in now and the time that you live in now and the culture that you live in now, does not demand adaptations to how you raise your children. I once asked a group of young people at a mustard haka, I once asked
them, I said, How many of you your parents criticize you on a daily basis? Anyone here right now, how many of you growing up your parents gave you critical feedback on a daily basis? Raise your hand that there was something wrong every day.
Okay, thank you for the 10 people who are being honest, all the rest of you say stuff for a lot cuz you're lying, right?
It's part of being a parent look, even this morning when Musa was doing and I was like Moosa. No, stop. That's critical. I'm being critical of him. Stop it. You're wrong. Don't do that. Either.
Then ask a follow up question to that same audience. And I'm going to ask it to you now, how many of your parents the amount that they would criticize you, they would also tell you how much they loved you every day.
Now you can't see it. But I can see it, the few hands that were raised, there are significantly less hands for the second question. May Allah forgive us that we cannot tell our kids how much we appreciate and love them as much as we criticize them. If you had a job and you worked for your employer, and you felt like you were being criticized more than you were being appreciated, what would you want to do?
You'd want to leave your job. So when we have teenage children, who feel like every time they walk home, every time they walk through those doors, there's going to be just criticism after criticism. Your room is not clean. You didn't do what I told you to do. You didn't say you didn't empty the dishwasher, the lawn it's like an Amazon Rainforest out there. Right? Your car is filthy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, so and so was getting better grades than you.
You don't even know what your your kid may have just come home for being bullied at school and the first thing you do is you attack them more than the islamophobes.
Of course, they don't want to come home. You know the Arabs. The term for a home that they used was mess. Kenna, a place of Sakina of tranquility. If we don't make our homes, places of tranquility, where do we think our children are going to want to spend their time anywhere else but home. And a lot of parents messaged me, and a lot of parents will come up to me after this session. And they will say, my child and I have a bad relationship. My kid never wants to come home. I'm giving you the answer right here. Make a home a place where your child wants to be. Does that mean that you can't criticize them? Of course you can. You can give them criticism, that's your job. As parents,
we have to train and mold our children. But to do it in a way that is beautiful and sweet, like covering medicine and sugar. You know, one of the reasons why I like Advil more than Tylenol
because it's covered in sugar. It does the same thing but when I take it as I'm eating the Advil, I don't eat the Advil. Everyone's like, well, all the doctors near like this guy needs help. You don't chew Advil weirdo? Right? As I take the Advil for my headache, they covered it in sugar, so it's a little bit more pleasant as it goes down. But Tylenol tastes like I don't God knows what tastes like chemicals, right? There's a reason why they add flavor to medicine to make it more palatable for the person who's taking it. So it's your job to train your child. It's your job to grow them to do Tobia right to grow them to be a beautiful young person. But man, if it's bitter and sour all the time,
can we really complain as to why our kids don't want to come home. They don't want to spend time at home. They don't want to spend time talking to us. Because maybe we haven't given them enough love. The Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam his default modality was mercy and love. He treated his young people in his life with mercy and love. There are countless stories where a young person would have disobeyed the prophet SAW Selim and the prophet SAW sent and responded with compassion and mercy. There's one time where the prophet SAW sudden them was have given ns a job to do and on the way to do that job and s became distracted by some other boys in the street who were playing games.
A long time later, the prophet SAW seven walked up and ns is narrating the Hadith. He says that I felt someone's hand on my shoulder. So I want you to imagine this. He's given a job on the way to do the job. He sees his friends, he starts playing fast forward 30 minutes he feels a hand on his shoulder. What's the first thing you would do?
Oh, no, he looks up. And he saw he said I saw the smiling face of the Messenger of God. The smile on his face is the first thing he described. And the prophet SAW sent him said to him, that I asked you to do something or did I not? And he wasn't doing it in the way that some of us do it. We're like, Did I ask you to do something?
The prophet SAW sent him set it with sweetness. Did I forget I'm wondering did I forget to ask you to do something or did you and NSF Seattle School of Law you asked me he said okay, go and do it. Please. Look at this sweetness to the point where Ennis is narrating this Heidi and it's making your heart melt. How many of us are able to act like this with our family, with our kids, with our young people that even the criticism we give them makes their heart melt with love for us. I will tell you this everybody I only have 49 seconds. My timer is blinking. But I will say this. This could be a day long workshop. It could be a weekend long seminar. Never ever discount the love and character
that you have with your children. Religion can always be
obtained at any point in life, as long as they believe in God and His Messenger is his final messenger, and they're doing their best. They don't need to memorize the entire quote on by the age of nine. They don't need to spend every waking hour reading Sahiba hottie they don't they don't need to be using all of their internet time watching videos of Imam Omar Suleiman and shake up the Nasr agenda. That's okay. What they need to be doing is loving a lot in his messenger and unless we show them what love feels and looks like then we are actually going to be pushing them away. instead of pulling them in reinvest in your families reinvest in your children, and the long term will pay off.
We ask a lot to give us success in this life in the next coming. It'll be alameen Subhana Allah will be hosting a show in La La Land, nesta 312. v Lake wa salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah Africa.