Ahmad Saleem – Islamic Parenting For Teens

Ahmad Saleem
AI: Summary © The parenting approach used in most parenting conversations is to deny parents' values and create negative parenting and mental health. This is a result of parents denying their own values and creating negative mental health. The importance of parents' responsibility to ensure the safety of children is emphasized, and devices should be provided to avoid distractions and issues with behavior. The use of apps and shay gotten and shay be careful is also discussed.
AI: Transcript ©
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Bismillah Nura

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One of the best sounds, to the ears of a human being in his life

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is that after the period of nine months, when their wives they give birth, the cries of that sound, the cry of that child, and the sound that enters the ears of that person is moments of joy for that family.

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And from that moment begins a journey, a lifelong journey for most, that we see the success of growth of this new life that comes.

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And from the falls and ups and downs, the cries and laughters, we enjoy those cries, and then they grow into

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a stage wise progression.

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So they become babies, and then they become children running around crawling, and then from there, they turn into these little cute things running around in the messages, right. And then from there, they turn into, oh, wow, the guy is using his uncle now whose intellect is kicking in. And now we see some progression and personality and development, right. And throughout the different stages of our life, when we are with them, we have

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a very simple approach to how to deal with them, which is we tell them and they accept.

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But the minute the intellect kicks in there, Apple starts thinking,

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then that approach starts breaking down. And we start having problems the first time the can you do that, and the child is like, Nope, not gonna do it.

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And the father or the mother, for the first time will know who you are. And we, we raise our voice, or we use any form of dominance of behavior, because we have a lot more experienced than them at that moment. And then they submit.

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And then that happens, and we feel like it's fixed Hamdulillah, there was a little bit, you know, the tire was a little bit wobbly, we got to you know, you know, we'll balance done, the car is now smooth, it's running fine. But then

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what starts happening, the wheel alignment gets off the car is deviating now. Now, no matter how many times your car is balanced, it's no longer going on the same path. No, no, no, you gotta be in the right lane. No, I need to be in the left lane. That's the fast lane, Dad or Mom, you don't get it?

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Who drives in the right lane?

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That's for all people. You don't know. But that's the safer lane? No, we don't get it.

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So our parenting approach for most of the adolescents age and teenage and beyond, seems to be very similar to what they were when they were seven and eight. And it doesn't change.

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Today's hold by is going to be a culminating experience that I've gained in the last two months of running three camps with various teenagers.

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And some of the highlights and the problems that were very visible. And some of the problems that were there, and having interactions with parents and parents interacting with me and some of the problems that are there and parents are not willing to accept.

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And the idea is that we walk away

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with some benefit for all of us over here. First and foremost.

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It's it seems that teenagers are living on a planet. And their parents are on a different planet, in most cases, in most cases. So I have a parent come to me as I My son has no clue about this. And the size like seven Instagram accounts. He doesn't know social media. He's got so many Instagram accounts that even though I'm in complete denial, that's one type of parenting, we deny, because of the fear that what may be unrehearsed would be way too much for me as a parent to accomplish or to try to process. I'm going to just close my eyes and accept the fact that as long as the child doesn't bring this, the teenager does not bring this issue up in front of me. It doesn't exist.

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So total denial, and that's where you're going to get 60 70% of the parents.

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Now, their denial quickly turns into a reality

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when their 16 year old or 15 year old does something that they will constantly denying their reality. But then some authorities externally get involved whether it's in school or social services or police or something gets involved in that is exposed.

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And in that state, the parent has no other means that

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coping with this reality because they've been denying it.

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And they panic.

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And there's this panic mode, they make decisions that are not you conducive to the relationship between that teenager and the parents.

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Because they are reactionary at that moment.

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And the narrative that they have fed themselves, this does not exist, this cannot exist, this will not happen to my child, my girl, my daughter can't do this, My son can't do this, that narrative needs to be protected.

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So out of this need to protect their own narrative and being parents, and not to be proven wrong, we do more damage to the relationship that takes place.

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And in reaction, what I've seen,

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like just yesterday, somebody messaged me on Instagram, right? All everyone, like the doctors are saying you have a legitimate mental health issue.

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And the father and the parents are like, listen, the reason you have this issue is because you don't pray or sickness.

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And they're refusing this child from having access to any form of mental health support that the system provides.

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Why is that? Because there's a narrative that needs to be protected. And that narrative then leads and again, yesterday, I was speaking to a high school counselor. And she said the same thing, the biggest challenge that she sees in high school and in Islamic High School is parents not understanding the reality of the child.

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So first and foremost, we cannot fix the problem if we're in denial. So as parents, whatever narrative we have, or whatever narrative our friends have, let us be cognizant of that fact that the the narrative that we're feeding ourselves, the reality might be a little bit different.

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Let's let's start beginning to accept that because it could be different. Okay? That's number one. So don't blindside it's not going to help because it's going to hit you. And you would be blindsided at that time, and you'll know where it you won't even know where it came from. Okay, number two, if we are in a situation and something like this happens, let us not react. We are the parents.

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I still remember I was in UK in London, and I met Dr. Ackerman. netherwing. And I was having dinner with him. And I told him at that time, I said, you know, so you don't want Shala you have so much experience and all of that. If you were to give an advice to somebody who has a children that you know, who has children to raise, what would you tell them today in today's age, and he said something very beautiful. He said, he said, you know, you need to understand that Allah subhanaw taala has not made you responsible for your children. You're not responsible for them. I was like, What were you talking about? Like, that's all been learned that you are responsible for them.

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They're educated. He's like, no.

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There are five basic things that Allah has made you obligated their obligations on you, you need to provide them. And in all of them. None of them include their religiosity. It's their food, their shelter, the basic things housing, you know, in order roti copra makan, right like those things are provided, and then safety. And lastly, he said, Love. So I told him like, What do you mean love? Like?

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He said, you are obligated to love every single child of yours equally. So what if the child is deviant? And he's not listening to you? He said, even if he's deviant

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even if he's not on your path, but what do you mean that I'm going to feed into his you after he crosses the age of puberty? Allah subhanaw taala has lifted you as a father or mother from the responsibility of their actions.

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Up until 12, you teach them what you know from Islam, but the minute they hit

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1314 They become the age of puberty they become responsible. He says all of a sudden now you become responsible to words your children.

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So your responsibility towards your child is that you are the best version of yourself.

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So they look up to you as role models you become your responsibility towards them is that you provide them the safe environment in which they can grow their confidence. And they know that they can make a mistake and my dad will have my back.

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They know the response to your responsibility towards your child is to give them just that little bit of freedom. And they know that at the end of the day, if they screw up outside, they can come back to you.

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Not run away from you

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tell you this What happened,

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I really didn't mean it, but it happened. And you give them that opportunity to grow. The responsibility towards your children entails that you give them the playing ground when the stakes are low, so they can make those mistakes. So when the stakes are high in their lives, they have reformed themselves, they know how to have make decisions, there are individuals that can take decisions on their own.

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And that's the paradigm shift that we need.

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The second issue,

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this is one, the second issue in the in this entire conversation is a little bit more of a bigger issue, which is that there is absolutely no monitoring of what is being taught in public schools, parents believe that class I have sent my child to a public school Insha Allah, everything is going to be okay.

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Right, and there is no monitoring of what is taking place, what their child are doing, what time, you know, kids are skipping school, doing whatever, and all of that, because it's such a safe country, and we're blessed with that safety. Sometimes the safety leads us to this level that we become sort of ignorant of that, let us no problem, you know, you'll come back through a bust and everything's gonna be okay. And hardly, as parents do, we have now time left to have conversations about what happened in the school.

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And the biggest culprit of that, as parents as myself first and everybody else is our own devices.

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Even when we have those moments, when we could have a conversation with a child, then WhatsApp message comes in, a notification from your work comes in, something happens. So you're never always tethered to this device.

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In a recent survey, they found out that three in every five women she said that she is actually struggling at this moment to figure out how she can be more interesting to the spouse to the husband, then the cell phone.

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I either a interest a man has right now generally men have their connection with their phone. Women are shocked and how can I be more interesting the smartphone.

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And the best test of that is if you open your screen times on your iPhones or whatever they have, in Androids, you're going to find very quickly where we are in our screen times.

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And when we are tethered to the phones and devices, that is leading to the second third problem in this whole equation, which is children, or, you know teens with screens, and that is another massive issue.

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Now there's a book called screens with teens by Dr. Cathy and she mentioned in that something very interesting she says that

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whenever she has patients or somebody that comes or even in my case, like whenever I I am one of the chaplains at the Oakville hospital for the campus to psychiatric ward at the Oakville hospital. And they'll call me as a Muslim chaplain. The first thing they do whenever there is something happening to the mental health of a teenager, in campus or other hospitals is they take away what every single thing that stimulates the brain. So they take away the device, they take away the phone to take away the headphones, they take every single thing including they take away excessive clothing.

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So if you are there, you're only allowed to pair for your sleeping, whatever you're going to wear your pajamas that you want to sleep in. And one other dress for the day. If you want another dress, call your guardians let them bring a new pair they take the old one back.

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So when they strip them off of dunya

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for two weeks, almost 80 to 90% of teenagers, they end up coming back normal.

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So the stimulation Dr. Cathy says that is happening through screen devices right now is the biggest problem for the development of heart. And she talks about the spiritual heart because she's Christian. She talks about the spiritual heart that she's like the spiritual heart and the mind both are not developing because of the constant connection.

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And the number one excuse that is parents give is it's too late. I've already given the device.

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It's too late. I've already given the device. I had in my 79 children, teenagers that I had throughout the entire summer different different different groups 79 of them. Watch

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Everyone that had iPhone 13 Pro's 512 gig, that's a $1,700 phone, etc. Why is a 12 year old having that phone?

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Because it is a status symbol for that parent

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that my daughter or my son has an iPhone 13 Pro.

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With unlimited data,

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the guy was like, I need access to Wi Fi in this one because like I have unlimited data I can tether you. I was like Subhanallah Why do you have unlimited data?

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Then she talks about it further. And she says that, how do we rectify this issue.

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So you have two extremes. When it comes to parenting with devices, you have one extreme, which says no device at all, which is also another problem. And maybe we can talk about it. Other hotbar and the other extreme is unlimited access to the device. And both extremes are absolutely wrong. Now, when do you know when you have to take a device from your child, when you have behavioral issues, when they're not doing their homework when they're skipping school? When they are responding back to you rudely. behavior issues is number one indicator, according to Dr. Cathy, for you to take away devices that are stimulating the child's brain.

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Recently, World Health Organization actually

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directly related screen time to depression in teens and preteens.

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And another org in another another

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disease listing and I forgot the list list. It's called for mental health WSN or something like that the mental health directory, they mentioned directly that screentime is now one of the causes not the leading cause yet, but one of the causes of suicide in teenagers.

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And the reason for that Dr. Cathy mentions is because the child's prefrontal cortex, the decision making ability for the child has not developed until past 18. That's why you don't get to vote in this country until you're 18. You don't get to choose who's going to run the country until you're 18. And you won't get to run the country until you're 35 or 36.

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Because that development is still taking place. So from that perspective, if you see behavioral issues, that's a sign that you have to take away that device. Now I'll leave the I'll end the hotbar with three things that we need to do. Number one, if you have given devices for your children, and they have unlimited internet, unlimited access all of that.

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If there are behavior issues, you need to take that away right away. Now I have parents that come to me is like yeah, she was misbehaving or he was missing. I took it away for two weeks and I give it back. No, no, no, you have to take it away.

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And the simple answer is it's your device, it's your data plan.

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You It's not hers, it's not theirs, it's not his, it's yours, you have the right to take it away. Now there are going to be tantrums, there's going to be things that are going to happen. But you have to bear that for the benefit of your child for the benefit of your child until it becomes to that extreme cases where the child has to be taken to these psychiatric wards. And then the first thing they're going to do is take away that phone anyways. So you'll be that first step now. Number two, there are many apps that you can use to monitor what is taking place on that child's phone, or devices, computers to the app that I liked the most. Again, I'm not there's no paid promotion here.

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The app that I like the most is called cue like the word cue studio. It's from custody, Q studio. Now if you look up Q studio, you're able to actually monitor some key parameters of your child. Number one, what are the the most often searches they do on YouTube?

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If you want to dig deeper, you can also look at what are the videos that are watching? Number two, what are they searching on the internet? That's the window for you as a parent to what the child is thinking.

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So what are they searching and how many times in the last one day they search last seven days the search lasted 15 days. So an example of that is where they're searching something that is concerning. And now you're seeing a trend that last 14 days. My son has been searching this time for you to have a conversation before it becomes a problem for you.

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The next part, what this device does is it allows you to control the windows at which this device can be operated

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and setting limits on every single app that you can. So if you want to give access to them to Instagram to how

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How much of that At what time do you want them to access it. And once they are done, then they don't have access to it.

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So it's important that you monitor that because their self regulation ability does not exist. It's not there.

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And if you see them behaving, then extra time on devices becomes a form of a reward.

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That you've been nice, you've done something you've taken initiative, you've done something beyond what was asked for.

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And now you can do something.

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Now, that's number two. Number three, what she mentioned, and I think this is something that I'm going to implement too, which is that during your entire week, you must have two days that should be technology free, except one main device that is needed for the family. If you're you're going out at restaurants and stuff like that technology free minimum two days a week, one during the week, and one during the weekend, where you as a family, you decide that no TV, nothing. Back to the old days games, this dad board games, books, whatever it is, they need a break from that.

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Because the brains are getting stimulated at a level that have never been seen in the past.

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We don't even know the effects of the damages that are happening to the children that are ages 10 and below right now that are sitting on their iPads every single time you go to a restaurant, it's a pacifier. Here you go. And you see that child when you take that away from food, tantrums, behavior issues.

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And how do we fix that we give the iPad back,

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can I get the food to go because the child is too busy. I am too worried at this point and too comfortable to put myself in discomfort as a parent and take that device away, can I get the fruit to go.

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And lastly, as we go back into schools,

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the schools are going to provide devices. Most Islamic schools have some form of web filtering. But one of the best things that que Studio does is it protects your child from those websites that they should not be visiting.

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Six out of 10 men admitted in North America that the access those websites once weekly.

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And out of those, they said that 50% Of the six out of 10, ie three out of 10 were addicted to a level that they had nine to 12 hours of consumption of such content. This is men and adults who have the ability to make decisions.

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Almost 87% of preteens have been exposed to these websites, unsolicited ie they were not searching for it.

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They were searching for something else else. But these guys that have psychologists working to see how they can penetrate this young child's mind somehow showed up in the search result, and they were exposed to it for the first time.

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So you can delay that first time exposure anywhere. And the beauty of cue studio is that device, if it's connected to Wi Fi here or anywhere else, as long as you've got that installed, no matter where that device goes, you will have a filter of all X rated websites being filtered, that should be almost like and again, I was talking to my chef, he's like this should be a wajib. Like in our time today, this is almost like a category of a Rajib that if a parent does not do that, and the child get exposes at age 11 and 12, then the parent is sinful.

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Little bit of discomfort. And again, I'm not saying use this use any other thing do you know protection mechanism you can but you cannot give the device to a child even there if they're 17 1819.

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You don't know we don't know that we should have that protection mechanism even in our own intranet at home. So even accidentally you as a parent don't access these things. Because nobody knows Chapin is with us. And I end with this. I haven't even humble Rahimullah. He was dying. And in the last time like he became unconscious and his son Abdullah ibn Muhammad was sitting next to him and he would see his father and he would wake up and he would frankly say La la la la la Not yet. Not yet. Not yet.

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Abdullah ibn Muhammad he asks about what my father what happened.

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He said when I went into the Iboga when I went into unconsciousness shaytan came to me

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and said to me, you

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You have now reached the levels of Zambia

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and he wanted me to have Ria and pride for my bada that I had done. And I fought him and came back into consciousness. So this is the attack of shaytaan on somebody like I'm a Debian humble none of us are ama Debian humble.

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May Allah protect us at that time. None of us are strong enough like him are all of our emails combined won't even equal to 1% of what he had.

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And if he were scared of shape on in these last moments, we should be scared of shaytaan in our every single moment. May Allah subhanaw taala protect our children and when they go back to school, may Allah protect them from the fitna that is going to be in the schools of Girl look at her that was tough for a lady what a commonly said you must mean first off, you will find no love for wine

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