Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam, ala Rasulillah Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. Today's a milestone podcast, because we have our first female scholar on the program on the lifehack podcast. And so a really special one that we promise a lot of great gems inshallah Allah. We have with us today Sheikh Fatima barkatullah. She is an Islamic scholar. She is a teacher, she is a published author. And she is very active in the Dallas scene, especially in the UK. And so I would like to warmly welcome chef automa barkatullah to the lifehack podcast salaam alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu. Welcome, sister.
When it comes Salah Mara had to learn him about a cancer, thank you for your invitation. And I'm honored to be on your podcast.
So before we get into different topics, I want to actually have you share your background with us because just researching before this podcast, I discovered that you have a very rich background. And I was able to connect with some of that background because we come from the same era. And so a lot of what I saw what you had to go through, I can really actually relate to that. So if you don't mind taking a few moments to actually just share your background with us. Okay, hamdulillah salatu salam ala Rasulillah.
My background? Well, I'm British, my parents came from India, to Britain in the late 1970s. And I was born in Britain. I grew up in London,
moved houses a lot during our childhood. So, but generally brought up brought up in London, from the law. My father is a scholar. He studied in the band, he's a Mufti from the band. And so I guess from a young age, we were we grew up in a house where knowledge was very much valued very much.
You know, scholarship was very seen as a very honored and honorable thing.
And my father was involved with setting up masajid and bringing more Imams and people to the UK. He was involved in in some of the big kind of institutes and things that existed then, at that time.
And so I grew up in that kind of household, I guess. And then, when I was 16, I went abroad to Egypt. To begin my more kind of formal Islamic studies, I would say,
and I've been studying ever since, really. But in between that I also got married candlelight have four children.
Yeah, what else would you like to know?
Oh, my God. Like, there's a lot of parallel, you know, going on here, because,
you know, My father immigrated here as 70s.
You know, we also moved around a fair amount.
and I think the first time I went overseas, I went to the azahara and Lebanon to study at the Jamia there. So
it there's a lot of similarities with with that, so I can completely understand the era that you came from, and the challenges that you went through as well. You know, if we look at the challenges today, I always do this comparative analysis, the challenges that you went through,
growing up, trying to hang on to your Islam and also grow in scholarship. Do you see what what do you see as the major differences between the challenges we faced during our era? And what people are facing like the youth, especially sisters are facing in this current era?
Wow, that's a good question. Um, well, I think, in some ways, things have gotten easier. And in some ways, things have gotten harder, right? Every Age, I guess, has its challenges, unique challenges. So when I was growing up, if my mom was, like, the only person wearing hijab, you know, like, going down the streets in London, and even though there were Muslims, people didn't really want to present as Muslims or maybe they just didn't have the knowledge or you know,
And they'd lost that connection with the dean. So, but my, my mom did used to wear the hijab and walking down the street with her as a child, people would swear at her, you know, they would say race, make racist comments. And that's something that we grew up with that was normal, just kind of normal.
So that was a unique challenge. I was the first person in my school to be wearing the hijab.
If you look at the school photo, you know, like, you know, when you do one of those, like, Holy Year photos,
in my secondary school girl school in London, in North London, Barnet,
all of the girls have got like, really short skirts, and you can see me straightaway because, you know, obviously, I'm, like, fully covered, and I've got a hijab, white hijab on. And I'm the only one. And it was like that. Right? So
Subhan Allah, we were like, the first people to sort of say, can we have a prayer room? You know, it was like a completely new experience in that sense. And yeah, people treated hijab. At first there was racism, and then maybe it was seen as a little bit of a, an interesting thing, depending on where you grew up, right? I remember one of my teachers at school asked me like, you know,
you know, like, he asked me one day, I came to school wearing a black hijab. And he said, because I usually white one, nice theosophy. Fatima, have you come of age? And I was like, No, I just felt like,
that sort of era, where everyone was a bit intrigued, and
but now, I guess,
in some ways, it's amazing, because London, hijab is normal in London, you know, there are parts of London, like East London, where niqab is normal, right?
When I went, when I was looking for secondary schools, for my son's, I went to some of the secondary schools that I would have probably considered for myself. And when I walked in, I remember one of the top secondary schools that, you know, in our area,
there was a huge picture of a girl in her job, doing science, right, like in a lab.
And I felt really emotional actually seeing that because
it was normal, you know, it was it being embraced.
Whereas growing up, I was the only one, there was a whole conversation about whether I should wear a scarf in science or not, you know, whether it was safe to use a Bunsen burner in, you know, while while wearing a hijab, and and then, you know, I was allowed to wear it as long as I tucked it into my lab coat, right? I mean, there were these kinds of discussions going on at that time. And now it's just become embraced, and normal. So, in that sense, I think things have gotten a lot easier. Right? The the previous generation has established masajid has established an infrastructure, right for for the next generation, Muslim schools, right, my children went to use of its Lance school that
he set up, right back in the day.
in that sense, we're benefiting from all of that infrastructure and all of that.
But in another sense, there are challenges because
when we were growing up, I think
we felt very strongly, we were searching for our identity. Right? Like,
we wanted to know what is Islam? What actually is Islam? Not just what,
what have we heard, or we went back to the books and you know, wanted to almost like discover our deen from scratch. That's how it felt.
But this generation,
from what I'm experiencing, doesn't really feel the need for that. Right? They're kind of in some ways very comfortable in their skin. Well, it could be that I'm speaking from about my own children, and they they did go to a Muslim school. So that might have had a certain impact on them. Right. But I'm seeing that they don't, because they haven't had the same.
They haven't been the really the odd ones out, you know, having to sort of assert identity search for the identity constantly being questioned. They have a certain level of confidence, which is good.
But then I guess, on the other side of things, you know, the internet, the social media, and all of that has appeared which we
didn't grow up with.
And that has that presents its own challenges, right? There's messaging going on, but it's not always aware of this. Family times are something that you have to create. Right? They're not going to just happen. Even I remember back in the day we used to, people used to think it was really bad to watch television together, right? As a family, and instead of sitting together, eating your everyone's watching TV together now, watching TV together would actually be family time, right? Like, people don't even do that everyone on the individual device? At least you're united on a singular screen, right?
Yeah, and you can talk about something that you're experiencing together, right.
But what I mean, is that we have to create those things, we have to create those human connections, much more consciously, I think.
But yeah, I mean, personally, I'm actually quite excited and positive about
what things are like for my kids.
That could be because I'm in London, and London is really a multicultural place, and
it is very full of opportunity. You know, I actually see, the future is very bright. It seems like the community is really strong in London, especially.
Yeah, and also, I guess, I'm also seeing how, how much easier certain things are. So for example, when I wanted to go to Egypt to study,
I couldn't just look it up on the internet, you know, like, me, and my dad, my dad had to take me there physically, to have a look, to see what it was like. And then,
you know, when I was left there, I was quite
lonely, I was I had to do a lot of,
I had to work very hard to survive in that environment, you know, whereas now I see my sons. And because I've got that experience and knowledge I can,
I can sort of create the circumstances for them, that will be a lot easier, probably. And I know where the pitfalls are, and, you know, of traveling abroad, and which places might be better to study in and things like that. So if my son's wanted to go down that route, which some of them do, I feel more confident, you know, I can take them to Egypt, I can take them to, I can help them get into a university or an Arabic program. So in that sense, I feel quite positive. I know it's not like that for everyone. And I know, there are lots of challenges out there, because as a chaplain, and just as you know, a scholar involved in the community, I do help parents and with their
children, and I do get those phone calls, you know, about some of the more challenging and difficult things going on. So I know, people are being tested, especially
with the kind of ideologies and things that are prevalent in our society at the moment. So I think one of like, one of the things very,
that I think was very good, when we were growing up, was that there was this emphasis, and due to certain movements being around, there was an emphasis on Aqeedah. Right. I know people don't like talking about a feud anymore, you know, it's like, oh, some sectarianism. And yeah, it can, it can, and it did have that negative effect as well right of sectarianism. But at the same time, when when I studied up either, for example, I studied a solid Eman. Some of my teachers, one of my teachers was chef Salah Solly from America. And I remember the way he taught it. He taught us about secularism, he taught us about liberalism, you know, like about ideologies as well, it wasn't just
about a smart and safe art, you know, it was about
almost like protecting yourself. Your your beliefs and your your Eman, right, from potential modern day ideological attacks. I don't really think that that has been sufficiently done for the for this generation.
And I think that's why probably
younger people find it very easy to fall into and adopt
ideologies that just sound good. You know, they sound good because they haven't almost like haven't been given the haven't been vaccinated against it. You know, by being given that knowledge
given that strong foundation, maybe of a
strong foundation and almost a certain type of skepticism and weariness, you know, that we were that was instilled in us of foreign ideas. Could you also equate to the fact and the era that you grew up in? The difference between
gopher in Eman was really stark, you know, like you being
the only Mahadevi in your school like the difference between what Islam is and what isn't Islam was pretty clear. And in a sense, that can make you much more stronger in your, in your belief in your after the but one of the challenges I see because I also work with a lot of youth and, you know, people from a young age onwards to young adult. And one of the challenges I would say that's prevalent in this era, is that you have people who say, Well, I'm Muslim, but they have fundamental defects and their Eman or their RP or their practice. But they don't feel the need to make Toba against that they don't feel it's wrong, because they feel that's that's a normal part of being
Muslim. And so like, it was pretty clear in our era, what is wrong, this is wrong. Even if you did the sin, you're like, hey, this is wrong, right? But nowadays, we're almost like living in an era where people don't, there's nothing wrong with believing that, you know, like, they'll come up with these canned statements that really have no meaning to say, hey, like, yeah, this, this is all fine. And, you know, I'm Muslim, as a Muslim and without being able to define things, and it's really emotive and how they express
most of their dean, you know what I mean? So do you think that that plays a role in it as well?
it's difficult, because I think because I've seen the other side as well, you know, like when things got really sectarian, and people
Muslim started judging one another to such an extent that they would divisions and arguments and, you know, even in ISOC societies, or I think, in America, they call them Muslim student associations, right.
Yes, there was division, right. There were divisions. And that was that was not nice. There was a there was a nastiness to that. Right.
But it could be that we've overcorrected, you know, which is I mean, because I feel like in the post 911 environment, people felt well, listen, we need to start unifying, you know, like, we need to drop some of the
some of the sectarianism and especially the things that are not really priorities right now, in our context, and are not really for the masses for for ordinary Muslims to be discussing. We need to drop that, and we need to start unifying.
The problem is when unifying, it shouldn't mean
the boundaries, right, and the discussions, the important discussions.
And I think maybe that ended up happening, you know, we started thinking, well, let's just gloss over everything.
When actually, some things need to be clearly defined to our children, for example, some things need to be clearly taught.
And one of those things I believe, is, you know, our theology, basically, our basic theology, and it's very important for that to be instilled. And not just for us not to just take it for granted that our children know it, you know, they've just picked it up.
I don't know if I answered your question.
Yeah, no, no, I understand what you're saying. But what, what I was trying to focus on on more is not necessarily
the emphasis on,
like, differentiating the differences in like,
data from an academic necessarily perspective. But in terms of like, the understanding and practice of Muslims, like, you know, for example,
in in our era, even though I know during that time in London, there was a lot of the Secretary, you know, a lot of debates and divisions, but the average Muslim say whether they had differences in appeal or not the average Muslim, especially youth, it would be really clear like, this is a challenge, maybe more so we're facing here in North America, but it'd be really clear what's like, acceptable and not accept
suitable. So you knew the path to become a good Muslim is that you have to give up certain things right to become that good Muslim. Whereas nowadays, people feel like almost a sense of privilege, oh, I'm Muslim. You know, take me as I come doesn't matter if I'm setting or not like there's no, like, you don't feel you're doing anything wrong to make Toba against. You don't I mean, whereas like, because the difference between Cofer and a man was so stark, like, you know, for example, we take it almost, it's almost the flip side of the coin, we have more resources, we have more Muslims around us. But then you'll have like Hyderabad, going to the clubs or going to certain parades and
stuff like that, thinking, hey, we're doing good. We're doing activism. And so they don't feel the need to make Toba against something like that, because it comes down to al Qaeda, right? Because it comes down to your MySpace, you know, misperception of what, Islam and what though he really is, you kind of understand what I'm trying to say. Yeah. And what the Yeah, yeah. So they don't feel like they're doing anything wrong. I don't know. Because I noticed that amongst the Americans that I met in Egypt, you know, even at that time, so they will go into the parties as well, like, at the American University.
And we thought that was quite strange. You know, so I don't know if things have changed, or if it's a certain, a certain environment and attitude that's prevalent in that culture? I don't know, like,
but yeah, you're right. Like,
I think it's like that, even here. Now. Like, I mean, people know, the boundaries, I think,
certain areas in certain areas, things are a bit more blurred. And that's because I think young people want something to belong to. And at universities, especially in the university, especially, you know, because of the kind of certain groups and especially on the left are very active, right, and they're very accepting of Muslims, etc.
A lot of young Muslims probably have found a sense of belonging there, you know, amongst
political groups and people on the left.
But generally speaking, I think,
especially in the circles that I've moved in anyway, I think people know what the boundaries are, what they're struggling with, like, a few. Sometime back, I had,
I've had, you know, mothers contacting me, the types of issues they contact me about are things like, their daughters self esteem, you know, just general things like self esteem and feeling unattractive and feeling like hijab is a burden and things like that, that's still going on, you know, I think that was there, even when I was younger, as well, you know, like, a lot of girls in my school, they were Muslims, they found it really hard to think of adopting the hijab or, you know, because I think
women are so kind of under scrutiny and their beauty and your appearance is so much a part of what's supposed to define you as a woman in modern times. And I don't think that's changed, if anything that's gotten worse. And probably a job has now been
appropriated, misappropriated in a, in a way that wasn't done when we were younger. So, for example, the other day, I saw an advert from a makeup company. Okay, like, I think it was Estee Lauder. And
it was a hijabi vlogger. Right.
Wearing makeup, and they were saying, you know, join this vlog or live for this session, you know, she can show you how to wear makeup for the school run, you know, like,
yeah, do you know, do you use that time the school run meaning the unit to pick up your kids from school? Yeah. Like, trying to have
what's running encourage Muslim women? Yeah, they've obviously identified as moms, you know, right. To look their best, you know, like, on the way to the school run. Yeah, I mean, and they using a jabi flogger, to do that to sell that and that's like this is like one of the premium you know, makeup companies right in the West. So why are we so easily fooled by these types of marketing campaigns?
actually, it's not even just that it's everywhere. Like we've even got like television personalities Now who are you know, he jobbies but ever since they kind of became famous, you can see that that he
Job has kind of suffered if you like, and, you know, they've been used very much almost like to push this agenda of, let's get, let's get Muslim women to be just as
good consumers, if you like of, you know, makeup of this entire industry, this beauty industry, which basically thrives on making women feel insecure, right?
Let's get Muslim women this the Muslim market on board. Right.
And I don't think it's because people are gullible, I think, I think women are human beings, but women in particular do have a desire to be admired. You know, like, obviously, it's Islamically, there's a time and a place for that, right? I mean, to be physically, to look good to want to be beautiful to
do to be admired, basically.
And that's kind of inbuilt. And I guess it, this whole industry kind of plays on that desire, but then makes you feel almost weird or insecure, if you don't
play along, you know, if you don't play along,
and I think because of Instagram, because images have become so the currency, right? For communication now, like, you're constantly following people and seeing people,
it just naturally makes people feel insecure, it makes them feel like, maybe I should be doing that as well. If it's, if everyone else is doing it, you know, maybe I shouldn't be doing it. So we still we've got that going on. And unfortunately, it feels like the hijab.
You know, there's like this drive from the beauty industry. And you can even say, from the online, kind of hijab industry, right? Parts of it, and the hijab into a sort of accessory,
you know, so it's just like, a headband or a turban, or something that you're just
using as an accessory that shouldn't stop you from now beautifying yourself and making yourself basically sexually attractive, you know, in public, which is completely
um, Islamic, the opposite of what Islam Yes, once
I think what happens is human beings are
shaitan is very clever. And,
you know, these things are a slippery slope. And so what happens is you, you lower your standards a little bit, then you lower them a little bit more, and then things just start becoming normal in society to the point where everyone is doing it. And so I think it's really important for, for people to speak about it, and to say, No, that isn't, that isn't congruent with hijab, that's not congruent with the way Islam wants women to be in public, you know, of course, make up these things are wonderful, they're, they've got a, they've got a place for them and a time for them.
With your spouse, with women, with your Muharram, right, like when you're in a party or women's party, that kind of environment, fine, you know, go all out, do whatever you want to do. But in the public space, in front of non Metro rooms,
we have a uniform, we have a certain way that we have to conduct ourselves, right.
And that's for our own good, that's, that's what makes a healthy and productive and,
and positive society. And if we break those boundaries, and if we start blurring the lines and start turning hijab into just another accessory, then it loses its meaning.
And I think
Muslim women are being targeted for that. Because
throughout history, if you read like Franz Fanon, and you know, what he was talking about, was happening in Algeria, right? Throughout history, whenever,
of course, in those days, it was physical colonization, right? When Muslims were being physically kind of colonized.
The fastest route that was seen to
changing Muslim society
was to change the women. You know, like the French in Algeria, they literally had ad advertising campaigns telling Muslim women that if they uncovered they were beautiful, aren't you beautiful? You know, those kinds of ad campaigns right. So playing on a woman's natural desire to be attract
they kind of put pressure even on the men to, you know, those of them who would be as liberal as possible and as French as possible
they would get higher ranks and they would be able to move into the, in the society etc, right? And so Muslim women have always been, and it's not just in Algeria, just think about Afghanistan as well. You know, there's this constant obsession with women, let's use the women as the reason for to bomb the country, basically, right? Like, we love these women so much, we care about them so much, we have to burn their men and destroy their country, right? Like, it's like this crazy
misuse of Muslim women in order to
basically penetrate Muslim society. And
and we know that that is the fastest.
They keep promoting this grift that they're there to help represent Muslim women even like, as you see in these different campaigns. They try to show it's actually a noble reason, oh, we have this fashion democracy where we're going to now showcase people wearing hijab and overweight people, and, you know, all sorts of different Yeah, so they're trying to give it like, the it's almost like the outer appearance and trying to be as diverse as possible. But then, yeah, it seems like you can look how you want as long as we own your mind.
Yeah, you can look how you want as long as you use our products as well, like, yeah, yeah, exactly. That's something that people forget the main motivation, the, the more representation they show, the more customers they're going to have coming through their door.
Yeah, and, but but I think it means more than that, if you can get Muslim women to change, they hijabs if you can get Muslim women to stop having that affinity with basically obeying Allah, right? You know, that connection with Allah, if you can stop them from having that connection with Allah. And see hijab is only like, you know, like I said, an accessory.
Then, basically, you've detached them from the deen, right?
You've been successful in detaching them from from, from Allah from their religion from the thing that should be motivating them to observe hijab, right?
You know, people, people sometimes don't say this enough. I think that the reason why we wear hijab the reason why we dress as we dress in public, is because it's a command from Allah. Right? You know, it's not Yes, thing, anything else? Really, I mean, all the other explanations for modesty and this and that. Those are maybe some of the wisdoms, right. But the real reason why we do it is because Allah subhana, Allah in the Quran commanded us to do that, told the believing women, right.
And so it's an act of faith, it's an act of obedience to Allah. Now, if you can get women to stop seeing it as that, right, and to start, just, you know, relaxing their standards, and, and then again, taking part in this culture in the culture of basically trying to attract men and men trying to attract women, etc, then you've sort of broken down something quite fundamental, right? You've, you've broken down that connection. So I do see it as way more than just selling products, selling products is part of it. But I think it's, it's basically, you know, shaitan said, he's going to try everything he can, right to turn us away from Allah subhanaw taala, he wants to see the downfall of
the children of Adam. And he's going to use all sorts of means, and I think one of the means he will use his is women, you know, is trying to get to the women. Because if you can get to the women, you can get to the children. And if you can get to the children, you get the entire society and the next whole, the whole generation right to come. So this is why I actually see women as very important in any dollar effort. You know, and that's why I set up Muslim womanhood because
I really feel that
just as you know, the corruption of society can happen
through women, you know, of course, it can happen through through anyone but what I mean is just as the enemies of this
Have always targeted women as a means to corrupting Muslim societies.
We can target and elevate women and our Sisters in Islam in order to revive
the entire community, you know, because if we can have our sisters, if our sisters are thinking in the right way, conveying the right messages to their children, it's going to be the fastest route again, to the entire community and the next generation also being on the right path can solve.
So what are some specific programs and strategies you feel we need to implement with
the women in our community to help protect them preserve their Deen in the face of the barrage of all this different type of messaging and allow them to prosper?
I think it's on so many fronts, right? It's a bit overwhelming, actually. But we have to start somewhere. I think. I think university students are very important.
You know, because university is a place, a lot of a lot of girls are going to university now. Right? It's kind of expected it whether you're Muslim or not. And I think university is a place where for the first time you're sort of away from your parents, you're thinking and you're you're being encouraged to think critically, you're you're being encouraged to question everything.
And you're in an environment where you're meeting people who you might not have really met before. And so I think that's really a pivotal time to make sure that you shore up your
you know, your your Eman, really, and your ability almost like you're
you even immunize yourself against
foreign ideologies. So I think there needs to be a concerted effort to roll out programs in universities, that we because at the moment, what's happening, it seems, at least here is university students, they proactively contacted the ad, right? And they'll say, you know, can you come and talk about X, Y, or Zed?
That's okay, you know, but actually, something more proactive, something more productive on the art part needs to be in place, right? Like, we should be setting a program that we're offering, for example, students, and saying that we'll come to university will will take you through this entire curriculum, for example, we'll take you through this.
This set of courses or whatever it is,
one of the things that I've found really had a really good effect in Charlotte, I think it did, from the feedback that I got was going to universities, and, you know, when they asked me to give a talk on a particular topic, I actually said to them, Look, why don't we just have a an open q&a? You know, like, completely open, no question is off limits, like,
allow people to submit questions either written or in person. And, and say, there is no question off limits. And sometimes we restricted the topic to, to do with relationships, or sometimes we did it, we left it unrestricted.
And I think those sessions have been the most beneficial. And I've done sessions like that for teenagers, as well as
And the kinds of questions you get you realize what's going on in people's minds, you know, in the, in young people's minds, women's minds and girls minds.
And a lot of them express this kind of relief, actually, at being able to just talk about it, you know, and ask the question, and then be given a satisfying answer. So with the teenagers, I got questions, like, for example,
why can't we have boyfriends? Now that might sound really basic to some of us, you know, but if you think about it, when you're young, I remember what it was like, you know, you're surrounded by girls, if you're if you're going to a regular school, you're surrounded by girls who've got boyfriends or, you know, they're in that zone. And it's natural for you as a girl to start feeling well. You know, why am I the odd one out? You know, you feel odd you feel you have a desire to be desired. Every human being has a desire to be desired. And if your parents or if you can't see how that is ever going to be satisfied, or if that's ever you know, you can't see the path forward
You can start feeling lonely, you can start a few
laying down, you know about about that. And I think that's something that's actually affecting a lot of young, young girls that feeling of,
you know, what is the path to satisfying that desire, I have to be connected to a man or connected to, you know, to get married? Really, that's, that's what the answer is, but
But you know, they can't see a path forward and they're seeing their peers
easily interact with the opposite sex and have relationships. But obviously they're not seeing the negative side of those relationships. And so yeah, I think
I think we have to become really attuned, I almost wish in those sessions, you could have a follow up session where it's mandatory for parents to be there. Because oftentimes, you know, you can give that advice to that teenager or that young adult, but you want to be able to have the parent there and say, Listen, you have to help facilitate that. You have to help facilitate the fair for your children, because look at what they're dealing with, I almost wish you could let them make amends. And you both have to be here.
Sometimes I share with them my own experience. And I've done this for parents as well, separately. And that is that when, when I was a teenager, I, I told you, I went to Egypt, I went there to study, but I actually ended up
meeting somebody who I wanted to marry instead. And my parents
freaked out, you know, probably back at home here in the UK, but they didn't show me that they had freaked out. They, my mom just sort of got the first plane to Egypt. And the way they handled that entire situation was so amazing. But I, at first, I used to hesitate to share it with people, because obviously, it's like a very personal thing that happened. And
I guess, now I don't really feel worried about sharing it so much. Because I can actually see the benefit. Because people assume that if you're brought up in a religious family, right? That you're never going to have the desire to marry somebody, you know, proactively, like, Oh, you're never going to meet somebody and
basically fallen in love or want to be with that person, you know, but these are like really strong, instinctual, hormonal things, you know, that are inside us. It doesn't matter if you've been brought up in a religious family or not.
When you have that,
those strong feelings.
The good thing is that if you're brought up in a religious family, you're probably inshallah not going to act on them in in a haram way, right? You're just going to want to marry that person. Right?
Which was, which was the case for me, right? Like, and I think that's what people should appreciate is that religion, DEEN isn't there to eradicate those feelings, but channeled in the best outcome possible, right, so that you have the most noble out outcome from those feelings.
So yeah, so So like a mom, she she told me that her daughter was abroad. And
by the way, I don't recommend sending your daughters abroad by themselves, you know, but anyway, she said her daughter was abroad, and he she'd met somebody, and she told her parents, she really wants to marry this person. And they're really worried because she's very young. And same with me, I was 16. Basically, and, you know, the person who I wanted to marry was older than me.
but the way my mom handled it, I share that with with, I shared it with that mother. And I told her, maybe you can learn from something from this, you know, you might benefit from this. And that is that she, she showed me a lot of love. That's what she did. She came to Egypt
and hugged me. She said, Oh, my God, this place is terrible. You know, it's you must have been so lonely here.
She had to go to my dad, and said, How could you leave? How could you leave our daughter in this place like this type of accommodation and whatever, right? That is like, into dropping people into the deep end, so that they learn to swim.
And she basically moved me out of the very lonely kind of situation that I was in
and moved me in with
some really excellent sisters from from the UK and from America.
Um, as flatmates
and that completely changed everything, you know, I think you can't really
overstate the importance of who you're hanging out with, you know, I think that's very important.
And then my mom did a wonderful thing. She said,
she was very intimate with me, you know, in the sense that she, she, she was very close to me and showed me a lot of love, and allowed me to open up to her about what I was experiencing and what I was feeling. And she said, look,
she tried to find out, you know, like, how I had met this person and things like that. And she realized that I just wanted to marry this person. And so she said, Look,
why don't you take me to his house?
Like, why don't you take me to meet his family, and
Allah knows what is good for you. And, you know, if this is the right person, then we'll help you get married.
Which was really cool. To say, Yeah, I would never
with my daughter, right. But that's what my mom did. And literally, I was like, Okay, then, you know, and I take my mom to his house.
and I think just seeing her in the same room as him.
And something just happened, you know, like, I just realized who I was, and what family I was from, and why I was in Egypt. And all of those things, you know, and
suddenly, this cubbies rose tinted glasses that had been
opened, my eyes just fell away.
So one moment, I'm a 16 year old, he's thinking, This is it, you know, this is the person isn't, you know, and that's what happens, isn't it? Like, when you age you think this is the one sort of thing, right? And then the next minute, I'm like, Oh, my God, he doesn't pray.
He, you know, I started realizing that the things I was judging him on as being the ideal person, were not my usual standards, were not the things that really matter, you know, and for some reason, having a mom in the same room, as him allowed that to happen, that realization.
And so then, without even saying anything, my mom said, yeah, so you know, we've started the process. Let's see. Let's see how it goes. You know, my mom took the fight away from the situation. Do you see there was no fight in there anymore? There was no, yes.
Do you see there's no, there's no forbidden fruit? At all? Yes. You didn't feel the need to rebel against parents?
You know, because we've, whether we like it or not, we've grown up on Disney. Right? Like, we've grown up on Princess Jasmine, you know, wanting to marry this guy who her dad won't let her marry. And, you know, and he's showing her the world and, you know, taking her away from the law that's so oppressive, right. We've grown up with that. That's, that's in there somewhere. I think. And sometimes we don't realize how it's affected us, you know, but I'm sure it has, I'm sure it has. And I think the way my mom handled it meant, like you said, there's no, there's no fight there. There's no, there's no need to rebel, because, oh, I could marry this person, you know, my parents are not
And so then I just slowly stopped wanting to marry that person. It just happened. It was strange. But my parents were clever enough to know
that that was a sign that I should probably get married. You know. And so I did very soon after that, you know, they helped me to find somebody and to get married. So the reason why I shared it, because you said, I think you said something about, you know, or we were discussing like showing young people that there is a way you know, and when you start seeing your daughter or your son has got that inclination, right? They're having those feelings. Doesn't matter how religious the family is, or what I mean, sometimes, Muslim parents can be quite prudish about these things, you know, this. I think the recipe that you articulated, which is important is that they're giving you the
almost the choice or a little bit of freedom and your own
volition for decision making. But they didn't do that without giving you a foundation. You know, and that's something I actually reflect with you in mind.
Don't bother with any decision I would make in life, you said, just remember who you are and where you come from. This is all you even for a job like I was, I remember when I was 15 and 16, I was going to look for a job,
you know, just a part time job. And he said, Listen, you can do anything, right. But it's like, I'm gonna give you the same advice my older brother came gave me when I, you know, immigrated to Canada, he said, Remember who you are, and where you come from, like, you can go work in a bar, you can work as like, you know, whatever different type of environment, you know that you can get a job and, but you should select a job where you can maintain your dignity or honor where you can develop a certain type of skills, more than just a paycheck, right? And so this was the type of pattern that my, you know, even my own father would instill in me, is that, yeah, okay. You're, you're out there, you're
looking for stuff, but just remember who you are. And you can say that unless you've taught them like, this is the principles that you should stand for, or these are, I think that's the important recipe, because sometimes what I see nowadays, with many parents, oh, we just let them the children will show us the way No, the children need to be taught the way first. And then the kids show you the way that they end up, you know, choosing and, and things like that.
And also, I think, just that there was never one moment that I didn't
feel Allah was with me, you know, like, even there were times in Egypt when I was really lonely, because I couldn't speak Arabic, when I turned up there, and
I just kept getting lost, basically, you know, and I would sometimes not have the money. And there was some difficult situations that I, that I experienced.
But I always felt like Allah was there. And even whatever I was experiencing, and feeling I was talking to Allah throughout, you know, I think that was something my mom gave me. And that's a gift that we should give our children, you know, instead of getting them to turn to us or turn to this means or that means encourage them to get used to talking to Allah, because then you're instilling in them that Allah is with them, and wildlife is watching them always. Right.
So yeah, I think the way my mom handled it, I encourage parents that, you know, first of all, disowning your children, right, or kind of throwing them out or making them feel like you've lost your ostracizing them.
That's not going to work in a society that is ready to embrace them. You know,
society out there is ready to embrace them. There's a world out there that's ready to take them on if you're going to throw them out. Right. That's, that's never the wait. But I think some parents they do
overreact, you know, in situations. The second thing is we don't own our children. And I think yes, that's an attitude that my dad always had, he didn't, he didn't act like he owned us, but rather, that he was facilitating our us in this world, you know. So
unfortunately, a lot of parents, they actually act like they think they own their kids, to the extent that they will not allow their daughters to even think of marriage, for example, right? At a certain age.
If their daughter brings it up, they act like you know, it's a taboo, they overreact, or they put all sorts of restrictions, and, you know, conditions and the almost impossible to meet, you know,
in the candidate that
they want their daughter to marry, or they allow their daughter to marry. If you have that issue that actually we don't own our kids, you know, they are an Amana, from Allah.
We're here to facilitate them and help them to live the best life that they can in service to Allah, then it takes away in your mind that need to feel like you have to control every element of their life, you know.
So I think the fact that my parents almost gave me that respect, you know, but actually, you have, you have the right to like somebody, you know, for marriage, you have the right to,
to choose, and to have your own
preferences. You know,
I think that's hugely important for this. If it was important for to me, it's important to every young person, especially growing up in the West, because the outside world does give you that respect that sense anyway, you have freedom, you have autonomy. If your parents don't allow you to feel that, then of course it's going to have, you're going to start feeling like you're being oppressed.
Right. Yeah, so I think, what's the what about that? What about the flip side to that, like if you have a parent who's reasonable, but as we know, our parents have more experienced than us.
They may have more knowledge than us. And they see some, this is a really bad decision you're gonna make.
What would your advice be for both parties for like, you know, the parents like, this is going to be a tragic decision, you should not do this, right? Like, do the parents have the right to voice? Their opposition? And, you know, should children also listen to that? Like, where do you strike that balance? Right? Because you can go from one extreme to the end, like you don't know, anything, you know, you don't know, like, this person is the best person in the world, you know?
Yeah. So I think there's two things that one is that when you give somebody respect, so, I mean, I think that was kind of the situation I was in, right, this person was not good for me. Yeah, it gives way older than me.
not old enough for me to think he was too old. But anyway, he was older than me, probably bigger age gap than was wise. And also, he wasn't a practicing Muslim. Like, you know, he expressed the desire to be practicing. But he really wasn't, you know, so he wasn't father material, Muslim father material, right.
So probably my mom did. And also he was from quite a simple background, not that that matters. But if you're used to a certain standard of living, right, you know, parents have all of that in mind, right? They're thinking of all of that kind of long term stuff. When you're attached to somebody, you don't care about all of that stuff. You know it? And probably because we've grown up with romantic notions from Hollywood, have none of this stuff mattering? You know, when actually, it does matter? When you actually start living with somebody, all of that stuff matters. So yeah, you're right, like our parents have that foresight, by what I'm trying to say is that I'm by showing you
that they're actually willing to consider,
you know, your choice.
You allow your child to then be open
to everything else you want to say about it. Right? So oh, we went to see this thing, okay, this person, we won't see them. So now, when we go home, mom can have a conversation with me, and I'm not going to feel defensive.
You I liked this about him, you know, I like that about him. But what about this, what about that, you know, and you're getting that person to think.
And also, the fact that you've put marriage on the table means that now, the person is really having to think seriously, you know, it's not just like this hazy, romantic notion anymore, it's real, you know, it's gonna, it could potentially be real so. So I think a sensible child who you've brought up,
would then revert to now, instead of being in, like, some kind of magical land of romance here, they will actually snap out of there, start thinking, practically. But the second thing is that you've got to be having these conversations with those kids as they're growing up. You know, yes, even now, even now, my before my sons are even ready to even think about marriage. I'm talking about to them things like, you know, what makes a good wife? And it seems like a weird conversation to have, right? But if you don't start
getting them to think in that way, how are they ever going to, you know, when they start having the hormones and the feelings and, and those feelings are kind of clouding their judgment?
It's kind of too late.
So, I think because I'd been brought up constantly with my mum anyway, being told what, what a good Muslim man is, you know, what a good father is. And the things she used to praise in my father. Were the things I wanted, you know, in the spouse. And so, I think we shouldn't make those conversations taboo. We shouldn't be having those conversations. As if my mom says to me, even now, she says, you know, let let the young people feel that
love and romance and in the future, it's going to happen, you know, and what we do is we say, okay, let's not talk about it at all, just make it a taboo subject. So when they're actually feeling it,
they feel they can't talk to us about it. Or they feel like there's something oppressive there. So
Like there was a, there was a brother who contacted me recently said that his he found out that his young daughter is
very enamored by by kissing basically. Right? And she seems to be like looking up the internet.
The word kissing, right? She's become like, She's little, she's a little girl. Okay? Yeah, he's like, he is freaking out really freaking out. Okay.
And you know, he's sitting, I've put the blocked certain words, and I've done this. And I've done that. And I don't know what to do. You know, I've told her that, oh, this is yucky stuff. This is, you know, I said, Why? Why have you told her that? Just tell her look, when he grew up? This sounds funny, right? But it's true. It's true. You know, you can say,
oh, yeah, you know,
when you grow up, you can do that with your husband. And he thought that was quite crazy to say that, okay. I said, if you say, you know, make a joke out of it, make a joke out of it. Just say, you know, when you're going out you can.
I said a certain phrase, okay with your husband, and, and he said, The Loft, and I said, you'll probably get her to laugh. Now, she'll probably love all she might cringe financial credit, you'll be like, ah, and then that'll be the end of it, you've taken the
stop test, stop turning everything into a fight doesn't have to be like that. And also show your children.
First of all, in and of itself, that thing is not disgusting. It's disgusting. Because
it's been done in public, or it's being done, you know, in the wrong way, or it's the wrong people. Right. So why are we trying to make our children think something that is actually Halal in the right context? is disgusting.
We shouldn't be doing that we should instead be showing them. Oh, yeah, that thing? There's a halal outlet for that. You know? And you'll find out one Yeah.
Yeah, I need to have the right conversation.
That gives them a healthier connection with Islam as well, you know, they, it's not just this thing that keeps shutting down their natural feelings and shutting down the. But at the same time, obviously, you want to have a conversation, if you've got a child who is starting to get curious about these things, you want to have a conversation, say, look, there's going to be a time and place for that sort of stuff, you know,
when you get married, you're going to have a wonderful romantic relationship, you know, give them that. Let them feed into that, the dream of marriage.
But then also say to them, Look, if you start looking at things now, right? Certain types of shameless things that people are doing
certain types of,
you know, nakedness, or haram and these kinds of things. It could affect you negatively in your future, you know, it will affect you, because some images that can't be taken out of your mind, or they affect the enjoyment that you will have in your life in the future. I think if you have a conversation like that in a more balanced way, right, rather than shutting it down and calling it disgusting, and,
you know, show them that there's this Hello, Outlook for it.
But for now, this this is not the right way. And this is going to harm you in the long term. I think that's
most young people are intelligent enough to take that on board.
How important do you think it is? For the do? Do you think it's a significant influence the parents relationship that they have with each other for their children's future relationships that they will have with their spouse?
Hmm, scary, isn't it?
of course. I think that that goes without saying.
But I think sometimes when you look at your own parents relationship, you think, Wow, that was like, the ideal, right? Like, that's how we usually Yeah. And then
those of us who had parents who were very wise very together.
Yeah, I think as parents, we always have to be conscious that the patterns of behavior that we're exhibiting
are being picked up. They're being picked up because
we are the norm for our children, you know, we become the norm
which is really scary.
But it should motivate us to to fix up and to solve problems out, you know, if you're having problems, don't allow them to fester. Don't allow them to kind of spill out into the in front of
deal with them, deal with them properly, you know, get help get counseling, get whatever, whatever it is you need,
learn how to communicate better.
I really believe in self development for couples, you know, even if you're not doing it together.
As human beings, you just need to keep
doing things that are going to be,
you know, part of your self development. And as you do that, you become more self aware.
I think every couple needs to sit down and write a vision for their family.
And I think some think that's quite kind of over the top.
I think my husband bought that initially as well. But
you know, she's getting her diary out again, to sort of some, she's treating our family like a corporate entity. No, it's not that it's just that
I think we already had a vision, but kind of
being explicit about it
helps. It's like your North Star, right? Like, it allows you to say, Okay, this is what we're always going to revert to.
And to remind ourselves that, you know, so for me, for example, any decision that's being made, which school is our child's gonna go to, we're usually on the same page, but if we're not, if there's like, a particular choice, that
I'll put my case forward, you know, and passionately, but I know that my husband's the head of the house, you know, he's going to make the final decision. And I kind of am glad about that, as well, you know, like it takes the pressure off.
that's because we've gone into marriage with the understanding, you know, yes, there is in the house. That is the head of the house. It's not, we're not, we don't believe in this kind of weird kind of,
I mean, it's a partnership in the sense that, you know, we are helpers of each other, right, we're helping each other.
But just like, I'm going to use the analogy of a company, you know, there's a CEO, there's somebody who the buck stops with, has to make the final decision.
And any good CEO, who has a team will consult his team, right? Like he will consult, you will take on board, their views, their desires, their their issues, everything right, and then make a decision. So in the same way, Muslim family, has a CEO has somebody in charge.
And I think it's really important for couples to come together. And even if you've got older kids, to bring them in as well, and say, let's, what is our family all about? What's,
what's the most important thing to us?
So that's, I think that's a very important practice. And in that there's something that my family do.
I think it's beneficial in Sharla is annually, we sit together more like I drag everyone together, and we assess the year,
you know, look at the past year, and I kind of go round to my children and say, Okay, three things you achieve this year, you know, and so we can't get celebrate that, well, you memorize this, or you've learned to swim this year,
you went on this trip, or you completed your studies, or whatever it is, whatever, whatever three things that you get to kind of integrate that into their personality. Right. So I think that's what it's about as well, like, actually, standing back and thinking, Yeah, I did that. Hamdulillah I managed to do that. Yeah, that sense of gratitude. But then we also say, Okay, what things did not go well, this year. You know, that's, that's a hard one, you know, because then the children, they'll tell you, you know, where they think you're going wrong as a parent, right? You kept picking me up late every day. From school. Please don't do that. Okay. Okay. That's a neat, so then we make
a new intention for the year ahead, right? Or whatever it is, whatever issues there are. And so each person has to think of goals that they're going to have for the year ahead
and literally writes them well.
And it's great because then the next year, when you open that up, you're like, Oh, these are the three things you said you you wanted to achieve this year.
And obviously like if you're doing it for yourself, it's probably going to be more than three things but for a kid, it's getting them into the habit of thinking like that.
I just chose the number three and I think
Okay, I think it's helpful. Because it really gets them to start thinking.
Time is important. We do something similar. We have a weekly family Holika. And they bring their notebook and they bring their planner. And so what we do is, like, we have the Halacha. And then we plan the week, we discussed the challenges that we had this week, how are we going to meet those challenges in the upcoming week. And then my son, he's too young, right to, you know, to write in a journal, but my daughter has to write in a journal every night. And then they come they show me their journal in their planner. And so this in their journal, they just summarize their day, any challenges they faced, and then they have to come up with solutions to overcome those challenges.
And those challenges can just be even self development goals. Like I got angry, I got angry with my sister, because she did this. But then instead of like, leaving it at that, she has to come up with a solution, how can you make that situation better? Right. And so it's really good, because then now they are doing that type of problem getting more and focused from a towards problem solving, rather than just the just looking at the problem.
Yeah, without any, you know, beneficial outcome, you know, so, yeah, we have a little bit of a similar, yeah, thing that we have in our house.
But you see, that's amazing, because what you're doing, what you're doing there. I mean, there's so many things going on there. Right? There's, your dad really cares about you. He's involved in your life. I think for girls, that's amazing and really important.
And then you know, your parents, as parents, you know, what's going on, you're not
see, one of the things that I'm the reason why I started doing this, is because I noticed what can happen. And what sometimes did happen in the previous generation was things were not really talked about.
So if one of your siblings or somebody who's having a problem
that would sometimes go unnoticed. And it will just carry on for years and years and years. And then later on, you've all grown up and that person has got a real problem. And you're having a discussion and you're like, Oh, I didn't realize you're you had that experience throughout your childhood and nobody dealt with it, or nobody sorted that out. You know?
And I think part of it is because sometimes our parents generation, kind of just let us get on with it. Right? Obviously, they didn't have that. Having family meetings mindset. Usually they didn't, I don't think.
But I think for me, I don't want to let anything.
I don't want to let anything grow any problem grow to such an extent that it becomes a really damaging,
you know, because problems are inevitable in every family. In every situation, your children are going to face problems. Sometimes it's just their personality, something that they're facing something they have to overcome.
If they can't air it, if they can't speak to somebody and deal with it, those problems can end up becoming
pathological problems. You know, I think
now 100% What do you think are some of the worst advices that are being propagated especially for sisters, like, sometimes you see online, some of the most
stupid, destructive, you know, ignorant advices by people really, who don't have knowledge or experience, but what are some of the worst advices you feel are being propagated right now?
Some of the worst advice to sisters and what do you mean like for Muslims from from the art and yeah, like, Yeah, from like, whether it's to do it, whether it's just the average, you know, Muslim, like I, like for example, you have some very good advice in terms of like, you know, how to select a spouse or to kind of go through that process. You see some of the advices that are being thrown out there online, on how to select what their expectations are as human like, as you mentioned, like this whole Disney Hollywood fantasy that doesn't exist.
So So what do you what do you think are some of the, you know, worst, most destructive advices that are being promoted amongst sisters?
I think one of the one of the most destructive is
a lack of clarity on
what what men and women really are even, you know, and what to expect.
You know, the term toxic masculinity is very prevalent now. Right? And you do sometimes listening or see kind of conversations that are going on, you see, okay, people are labeling masculinity not as toxic, you know, like, just being Yeah, male just having a male personality and masculine personality for a man. And things that Islam would
encourage or celebrate, like a man showing leadership being the head of the house, taking control of the finances being
being protective over his family. Yeah. Yeah, it's there's, yeah, shaming that. Yeah, that is all being cast as some kind of toxic masculinity.
And I remember, I had this conversation with one of my friends, and she said, I don't know how this next generation of girls is going to survive, because every time their spouse is going to show manliness, you know, in his personality, they're going to freak out and and label it as something negative, you know?
Which I am a little bit perplexed about, because, you know, like, there were certain myths, there was certain messaging that was given to us, isn't it growing up? But we would always think of our parents, you know, in the back of your mind, you always had your parents who think Oh, dad is that is the breadwinner that is, you know, maintaining he's, he's the one that goes out. And he's the one who does this. And he's the one that does that. And mom is the one who does this.
It was kind of clear, you know?
So I don't know, if those young people don't have parents, those role models, or if
they're looking down on those traditional setups, you know.
But for me, I remember, I always thought my parents were the ideal. Because around me were single moms, you know, the area that we lived in a lot of single moms, a lot of women whose spouses were abusive, and are not even spouses, boyfriends, right.
And I just saw the Muslim families, or at least my family as, Wow, we're just like, the ideal. This is how it's supposed to be, you know.
But the messaging is so deep, like, there's obviously been submitted messaging throughout their childhoods. And I remember, even in Muslim school, you know,
even though it's a Muslim school, I remember attending an assembly and the head teacher getting the girls to chant girl power, right?
Yeah. And some of some of us parents were standing there, like, why is he doing that? Like, is boys and there's boys here and go? Like, why are you singling out the girls and getting them to chant? Girl power or something to do with that?
That is the sort of stuff that our girls are obviously being brought up with. Yeah, and so.
So I think at home, you've got to be, well, first of all, go and talk to your school, if they're doing stuff like that, you know, but if at home, you've got to show them and talk about these things, you know,
if you show your children, like, for example, if there's a decision that needs making, and you have a discussion with your spouse, even if you're very passionate about it, but then he makes the final decision, you've modeled their, you know, the kind of way and as a Muslim family is supposed to function, right?
Then if you make the norm and you talk about it as well, don't just assume that they're just picking it up.
So if your child asks, you know, why didn't you do that? Why? Or because, you know, up, I made the decision, and I respect his decision. He took everything into account, and he made the decision. He's the head of that. I don't think there's anything wrong in US actually explicitly saying that.
And we've got to be more explicit, I think, now, you know, because we can't take it for granted. The children aren't internalizing that.
Yeah. We want manly men, don't we? Do you feel gender ideology is confused like you. You've posted
some criticism about some of the issues arising from gender ideology. Do you think that's also playing a role in this?
Yeah, definitely. I mean,
sadly, I had a mum contact me some time back and she said that her daughter
had started wearing boys clothes. And like, going to the shops and buying clothes from the men's section.
And she didn't mind because, you know, she was just looking for loose clothes, you know, to wear, like in the men's clothes, usually Lisa,
that's not really a big deal, I guess, in that sense because she was on Mahadeva.
But then over time, she said, her daughter got fixated on this idea.
I have no idea how even even the mother didn't have any idea how, right? But she put it down to her friends at school and just the school environment.
That she felt that she was a man or she felt that she was attracted to the, you know, to the same sex.
And this was something that was being encouraged in this daughter of hers, by her friends. And her peers. And they were saying to her, you know, you need to come out and you need to,
you know, they would like
and she was being encouraged to label herself.
And it was heartbreaking because this mom, she said, you know, we were a religious family, like, we brought our children up with Islam, they.
But but there were some things that I identified in the kind of the trajectory and the story
that I think we as parents need to be aware of.
One of those things, I think that's very important is actually talking about these things explicitly with our kids. You know, like, don't wait until they've discovered it from through their friends, and then you know, it's become a thing, right?
For you to have even poked at that discussion. That's, you know, on some level, because when they're younger, there's obviously things they're going to see. And they're going to notice you That's your chance when they're very young, that's your chance to start instilling the norms into your children, they need to know the norms. Yes, men and women are different as especially what's being shown on a children's year now today. The new children's programming cartoons, programs. Yeah, they're already bringing a lot of this messaging in front of them. So if you wait to wait till they're older. Yeah.
Exactly, exactly. And sometimes Muslim parents feel like they have to be politically correct. For some reason, right? He said, We have to be politically correct. We, we should have a healthy disdain. Right. And we should instill in our children a healthy disdain for haram things, for weird things, right, for unnatural things for things that we know are against the natural order. And sometimes Muslim parents are so flat falling over themselves trying to be politically correct. They say, Oh, we don't want you know, we don't want to say anything about the assault. Now, if you're not going to say it, then who's going to say it? You know, one of the ways that human beings stay sane,
is by social pushback, right?
People pushing back at you, when you act a bit weird or you, you do something a bit extreme, or you're being a bit too narcissistic, whatever it is, if you're pushed back on, that's how you kind of know what your boundaries are. And you know what the norms are.
If nobody pushes back on you, you become a fully blown narcissist, right? Well, yeah, you end up having a personality disorder, probably right.
In the same way, in society, if we don't push back on things that are quite insane, really, that are going on, right.
We will become part of that insanity. We will be
we will be complicit. And I don't see it is any different to you. You know, when when the Germans ended up becoming Nazis, or,
and you look back and you think, well, how, why didn't they see that it was so bad, you know what they were doing? Why did they all just accept it and just so many people, it's because nobody said anything, when small things were going on. And then when worse, things started going on. Nobody said anything, and then they just become acclimatized to it right to the madness.
I sound very politically correct. I'm trying to be careful. You know how I express this but no, but you're absolutely correct. Like so many things are being normalized, where if you just take even a step a step back
out of the bubble, you realize how insane it is like for example, the normalization of death,
especially here in Western culture, where they're trying to destigmatize suicide, they, you know, think about how many people are bombed and killed overseas, and there's less and less too little to no outrage. You know, whether you look at the abortion issue, you know, all you know, the list goes on and on. The, you know, the, the lack of sanctity for human life has become more and more normalized, you know?
Yeah. And look, if we could go back to what I was saying about shape on, this is what shaytan promised, he was going to do this, he wants the downfall of human beings of the children of Adam, regardless of whether they're Muslim or not, right? He wants the downfall of bunny Adam. And so he's going to make us do weird things and start accepting weird things. And it's, and Allah subhanaw taala made us the Muslims.
I don't want mutton okra gently, Nurse why? Because we enjoy the good and we forbid the evil and we believe in Allah, that's the condition for us being the best, or MA right. Not that we stand by and watch society degenerate, you know, we have to be the ones who we are the leaders. We are literally the leaders. And, you know, one of the amazing things that's happened in the West, is we have clearly become the leaders.
Because Christians are not
supposed to be the Christian West. You know, Britain, Queen is the head of state. She's the head of the Church of England. But Christianity has become such a toothless,
meaningless thing now, you know, it has no clout. It has no power, it has no teeth. There is no, it doesn't demand anything of anyone anymore. Right. To such an extent that we have naturally I think we stand out as leaders quite naturally. And I think even the right kind of noticing that than if you noticed in the conversation with
when when when Jordan Peterson has conversations with DoD or with the few Muslims that he's had conversations with. That's one of the things that really stands out. I think that Muslims are the leaders, they're leading the way in terms of morality. They are leading the way in terms of having a, an anchor, a moral anchor that they're asserting, unapologetically.
If you look at what you know, the recent
documentary, what is a woman right?
On the daily wire, Matt Walsh, he's a Christian, but not once. Could he ever bring a Christian argument? You know what I mean? Like, he could never talk about God, he can talk about anchoring it in anything, but
he's kind of playing into the same.
Same thing, right, like talking about science and common sense. Yeah. Okay, common sense. But people what happens when people have lost the common sense, you know, something else needs to be the anchors, people, and the Christians have become so scared to even mention God. They won't even mention God, they won't even mentioned guidance from God, or the laws of God. You know, because obviously, they have problematic relationship with the law themselves. Right. So we have emerged, I think that's one of the amazing things, actually. And I like to think positively about what's happened, you know, everything that happened after 911 There's a lot of negative stuff, people, you
know, Islamophobia, and people talk about that Islamophobia. But I think out of that Islamophobia, has came, first of all, a massive amount of interest in Islam.
conversion to Islam definitely increased. Maybe people turning away from Islam also increased because of the pressure because of Islamophobia. I'm not sure about that. But I definitely know from the research that I've done. During my master's, I was doing some research on conversion to Islam and after 911 many mosques centers have have talked about, you know, the, just the number of people who just contacted them to want to embrace Islam.
So that's happened, but also we've emerged as Muslims, we've emerged as
being able to provide moral leadership. And I'll give you one example in Britain, the people who are really leading when it comes to preventing all of this gender ideology from being in schools are the Muslims
Christians are really thankful towards Muslims for being so firm on that, you know, Muslim parents are literally protesting outside schools.
You know, don't mess with Muslim children, you know, don't mess with our children. That's the message. And it's kind of awakening a whole generation of parents who are thinking, Yeah, you know, why are our children being indoctrinated with this stuff? They're not even allowed to talk about religion properly at school? Why are they talking about this stuff? You know?
So yeah, I think, I think we've,
we've got the opportunity to provide moral leadership, if we sink, and if we start buying into the degeneracy, right, then we won't be able to provide that moral leadership. And before anyone tries to label us as phobic of this or that,
ultimately, we're talking about the health of society we're talking about, we're doing this out of compassion, you know, we're doing this because we want healthy, thriving societies, and we don't want the destruction of the family.
And that's what's happening in the West, and that's causing misery to the very people who think that, you know, we are against them or something like this. It's causing them misery, and it's causing the West to spiral into this terrible place, right. And we as Muslims, out of compassion, and I think that's what that is really, ultimately, right? The ultimate show of compassion and love for your fellow human being is,
is not that you allow them to fall. And, you know, as one of my friends said, if I have, if I have dirt on my back, how will I know if you don't tell me if my sister doesn't tell me? My fellow human being doesn't tell me. So I think we should come from that place. You know, it's not about hatred, it's not about disgust, it's actually about
I mean, of course, we shouldn't be disgusted. Actually, we should be disgusted by the things that Allah subhanaw taala, condemned, right? Because there's harm and there's evil in those things. But what I mean is that ultimately, it's out of compassion. And it's out of not wanting to see our societies in the West sink. And people suffer and be even more suicidal. And I mean, these things are
happening in the West more than anywhere else, you know, the suicide rates, the aging population
is crazy. Like, there's an aging population. And like in Europe,
this is why for example, in Germany, they were allowing so many immigrants in, right, because they've done the maths, and they know that, basically, you know, very soon they're gonna have an aged population, and not enough young people to kind of financially
support them, right, support that kind of burden, if you like.
And so they were allowing all these young, basically Muslim immigrants in, right.
But the West doesn't really just have an aging population problem, it has a problem of promoting lifestyles that don't, don't help families to thrive, you know, all of these lifestyles, they're not helping families to thrive. Feminism, and it's kind of putting down and devaluing of motherhood is not allowing families to thrive.
This idea, I mean, the number of abortions that are taking place in Western countries,
this, like, whole populations are being wiped out, you know,
hundreds of 1000s if not millions, of abortions, and some of them are
babies who have a soul, you know, who if if a person lost that baby,
they would, and it was unwanted baby. You know, they would expect people to, to sympathize, they would have a funeral, maybe even, you know.
So I think all of these things
they should have set us as human beings, you know, that human life is being devalued, so much.
Subhanallah like, it takes faith to have children. That's the thing. It takes faith to want to have a big family. It takes faith to raise that family. And if you don't have faith, what happens is you become overly materialistic. You start worrying about money and that's why Allah says in the Quran, don't kill your children out of fear of poverty.
Because even today,
if you pick up one of these magazines about, you know, when people are expecting a baby, I remember reading one. And it said, you know, go and talk to your bank manager, I was thinking,
you know, like, there's, there's, there's this narrative isn't there that if you don't have the money, you shouldn't be having kids. There's too many people in the world, right, which is a load of rubbish.
It takes faith to have children, it takes a big heart. And when human beings become more and more individualistic, they become more and more anti family, and they start promoting lifestyles that are basically anti family.
Of course, their populations are going to decrease.
That's what's happening.
So I think we as Muslims, we,
you know, I think isn't, you know, Douglas Murray, he wrote that book, the, the strange death of Europe. Right. And he's talking about how, basically, the West is on its decline, and Muslims are
taking over, right. That's the kind of narrative, you know, when one could make the argument, right? If Islam was a politically and militarily dominant, that people are just becoming Muslim, because you're the most dominant,
you know, material, physical power.
But I feel this is almost like an evidence for the authenticity of Islam, that having, you know, without even having the fifth alpha, without even having this dominant political or military structure in place that they have, we have become the moral leaders. In the absence of those, you know, physical powers, like people are coming to it by just recognition, sheer recognition of the truth. So it's almost like an evidence for Islam. I think it's in their fitrah, isn't it like, obviously, deep down, but also, there's, there's a whole load of people who've just kind of had enough, you know,
if you just, you can find different groups of people online as well, like, you know, the red pill, guys, and all that lot. You can see, they've just kind of like, had enough, they just done they just,
you know, and so
some of them, I think, will have the guts eventually to become Muslim. But others, maybe they just like their, you know, lifestyles too much.
But yeah, I think I actually did some research in my master's research was into female converts to Islam. And one of the things that kept coming up was, they were saying, they loved the gender roles in Islam. That was actually like, one of the main reasons, you know, they just loved the clarity.
We take it for granted. But as a human being, how are you supposed to live in this world?
Imagine growing up with not even being able to answer some of the most fundamental questions, right? We have the answers to fundamental questions that helped us orient ourselves in the world
and help us to thrive. And I think one of the things that the women were saying was
just knowing Subhanallah, even when I was talking to Lauren, my friend, Lauren booth,
she said, all her life, she's had to fend for herself as a woman, you know.
And when I said to her got Subhanallah, like, I was looked after by my dad, financially, and then I got married. And then, you know,
my husband was responsible for me financially.
And she just listening to that. She said, Oh, that just sounds.
She said, I never had that. From a young age. I was just always worrying about how I'm going to fend for myself. And that's how I've traveled throughout this world. Until I got became a Muslim. She said, and,
you know, now she said, just having a husband and just just feeling that he's responsible financially for her. It seems like something so little, but it's a big thing. We only think it's little because we take it for granted.
But there's amazing gifts that Islam has given us as women, that sometimes women who don't have that, recognize and they see it, no more than we do.
But I think one of the things you were talking about I really wanted to add to was, you know, we were talking about
the girl who was telling you about the mom whose daughter was confused and
yes, and I think some
of the things that I noticed that were wrong, you know that in her upbringing in a way I don't, I don't want to say that it's always because there's something wrong, you know, it can happen to anyone, it could happen to anyone, the only Allah subhanaw taala is the one who guides, right? As parents, we can't guarantee anything, we just do our best, we must seek the means as best as possible. So that this is why I'm highlighting this.
I think one of the things is that
being very aware of who your friends, your children's friends are, is absolutely essential. In fact, there comes a point when your children's friends have way more influence on them than you do.
And that can be for the good or for the bad. So I remember one of my sons, you know, I've been trying to get him to go back to doing his hip, you know, and he was showing, he had stopped after a while because he was, you know,
and, you know, if he was close to being expelled from school, you know, he was having some behavior issues and things like that. As soon as he got in with the right, people, you know,
he wanted his hip again, like, I didn't even have to say anything, like, suddenly he's got this desire this passion for him again, suddenly, he's got this passion for the you know, and it's, and the same thing happened to me in Egypt, right, like when my mom moved me into a house with a very good sisters from the UK, and America, who were on the show, that completely changed everything for me. So it really shows you that peers are sort of like, as parents, we've got to know who you should know who your kids friends are. And you should be inviting them round, that you can definitely check them out. And if need be, you can nudge them in the right direction, you know, or you can help them
create friendships, if the right sorts of people aren't out there. School, for example, you know, you should be proactively putting them into clubs into groups or creating environments where you can encourage the right sort of friendships because Subhanallah you know, a model Allah Dini Hariri is absolutely true. Yes, your own wisdom or religion or your companion, companions. And, and so with this girl, for example,
her parents didn't even know who her friends were, you know, for years, she's basically had friends who were feeding into this doubt that she had, and encouraging it and, and Allah knows best, you know, what kinds of things they were watching and looking at. And,
you know, you can just imagine, right, so we can't be strangers to our children. And, and too many parents are doing that they're allowing their children to come home and be in their own world, on the internet somewhere tucked away. And they're thinking, Oh, well, least they're not bothering me, right? Well,
they're not bothering you right now. But the bother, you're gonna get future is gonna, you know, is gonna completely Eclipse anything you're experiencing now, if you don't
intervene if you don't get involved, you know, so, let's not be let's not be so lazy as parents, you know, sorry to say it, but there's a lot of lazy parenting that goes on, right? Let's actually know what's going on. Let's drag them off the internet, let them have certain amounts of time they be you know, internet in their room where everyone can everyone is there, right, like computer or even if they will devices, do it in a controlled way, in a in a limited way. Right. And then have that family time have the family discussions, know who your children's
you know, peers are. And the last thing I think, that was very apparent was that the mum had noticed that the daughter had had started slipping in her Salah
And started letting go of certain practices of Islam, important practices.
And she hadn't intervened. You know,
and that this is a common thing that you see in situations where parents hit rock bottom.
Usually, it didn't happen overnight. You know, it was a slow burn, right? It's something that was happening and they were letting it go letting certain things go rolling. Another uncle once contacted my husband and said his son has gone and moved in with an with a woman right?
And he's like, really distraught and the Father is distraught. And we're after a bit of digging. If
find out that the father never really established the salah in the house, you know.
And I think my husband said to him, you know,
your son not praying was a bigger sin than
what he's doing right now. You know,
we don't see it like that. You you start getting upset when your son has moved in with somebody, right? You weren't upset when the son stopped praying.
And the salah is the thing that would have inshallah protected him from going down that route, right? Because Allah says in the Quran that the software protects you from fascia, right? It protects you from fascia and will go all things,
shameless things, it protects you from that. There's a type of psychological protection.
And so even like, in the case of this mom, I was saying to her, like,
you see, when she stopped praying, and you stopped making it a rule of the house, because that's how I usually present it, that Salah is, of course, we want our children to love the Salah, if you bring them up, feeling connected to Allah and saying to them, you know, when you think we should thank Allah, for everything he's given us. And all he's asked us to do is pray five times, right? If you bring them up with that love, then obviously they're going to establish it. But there might be times when one of your children
that doesn't get through to them. And so you've got to make it a rule of the house.
some parents might not like that kind of language, but
it's quite funny. Because Would you ever allow your child to stop wearing the seatbelt in the car?
No. Would you ever allow your child to stop brushing their teeth? Even?
No, you'd be absolutely disgusted. And you would say to your child, excuse me, if you're living in my house, you're going to brush your teeth, right? That's a rule of your house. Right? If you're living, if you're in my car, you're gonna wear the seatbelt.
And we don't feel at all, any
feeling of like, Oh, I'm being I'm being hard on my child, for making them do them. Right? Why are making them get up in the morning for school? You know, I don't want to get up today, you know, to go to school, you know, we will drag them out of bed if we have to. Right? Like, why? Why is because we, we believe in those things, we know that they're good for that for that child. And we know that if they don't do those things, you know, he's gonna have black teeth, basically, you know, or he's gonna, he's gonna, if there's a car crash, he's gonna have a major, major injury that could damage his brain or whatever, you know, or if he doesn't go to school, he's going to be a loser, right? Or
whatever, whatever it is that we think, you know, but we've basically internalized that to such an extent that we don't even think twice about it, right?
If you're living under my roof, you're going to brush your teeth, you're going to do this, you're going to do that.
So why is it when it comes to Salah
and a child is starting to slack on their salah? And it's obvious to you that they're doing that? That it's like, oh, I don't want to be too hard on them.
You know, don't don't want to wake them up for Fudger because it's hard
well, it shows you that you you're not putting Allah's commands in the right place in the position that they should have in your heart and in your family life. Right? Yes, they can miss school for Salah they can miss any other things for Salah if necessary is not an extra curricular activities, Salah is the core of your life.
So that's why I'm saying that if if need be, you know, if the loving approach, which I believe is the right way, you know, like from from a young age, it shouldn't be that the child then feels motivated, but everyone goes through laziness as well. Right? Like, we know what it was, I know what it's like, there was certain periods of my childhood when I was feeling or teenage years when, you know, bit of fear of God was needed in order to get me to do something, right. So we shouldn't we should let make Salah a red line, like, you know, because why? Why? Because again, you don't want your child to suffer in the future. And your child will suffer. You know, anytime you know that
something's gonna cause your child to suffer you you try your best to prevent that right?
So know that if you don't help them to establish the salah. In other words, that connection with Allah, then that connection with Allah will then weaken. And this is what the sister was saying to me that she stopped praying. And we just kind of thought, okay, she's just going through a phase. I said, That was a good point at which to you know,
Oh, I say, Well, no, no, what's going on? You know, this is that was when the alarm bells should have started ringing not years later when things have gotten so bad, you know?
And so, yeah, I think it's really important that we, we say to our children, you know, first of all of through love through getting them to understand that should be the norm. But if need be, it's got to be a rule of the house. It's a rule of the house. Why? Because it's going to protect them in the future. And, and I think a lot of the young people, not everyone, but some, the young people that I've seen anyway, who've, sadly gone down a negative trajectory. It didn't happen overnight.
You know, just like success doesn't happen overnight. There's a build up this quiet hard work going on, right? In the same way, these kinds of kind of big shocks that families have,
from these from their children coming out with a particular
announcement or, you know, some deed that upsets their parents. It doesn't happen overnight, there's a slow trajectory that they're going down and the parents do not
intervene early enough.
So yeah, the importance of Salah keeping that connection with Allah because
actually, you know, when I just reflect on the story that I told you about what happened to me in Egypt,
it could have been a lot worse, you know, if I hadn't
felt that low, felt that connection with Allah
doing the right thing, Cetera, you know, if that wasn't there, then the person's desires take over, right? A person's
instincts take over.
Because then they don't have that inhibition from thinking about Allah thinking about what the right thing is that they shouldn't be doing. And again, talking to Allah, basically a child who stopped praying or stopped talking to Allah.
That's how we should view it. Very seriously.
Zama Clara, sir, before we conclude, when can we look forward to your new book? I think you have another book in the pipeline. Correct on the Aisha Radi Allahu Allah. Yeah. So. So this was my first book, Khadija can see that
history, this nation.
And the illustrated version of this has just come out with him the last so and now we've got and where can where can people order that book? And the new version? Where can we order that?
Okay, well, it's on Amazon. So I'm not really sure Canada, but you can have a look is there's a Kindle version as well. But even in
as a hardback, it's available on Amazon. So or you can go to the Learning routes website, which is learning routes.com I believe, learning routes.com
And it's called Khadija.
So this book is similar book in the sense that it's written as literature. You know, so we, the way I've written it is more like a factual textbook. Even though everything in it is based on narrations, you know, actual research and narrations and books of Sierra etc.
To be honest with Aisha Delana, it's not very difficult because she's told us everything, you know, she, she really narrated so much self about every incident that happened.
It's very well documented. So
with Aisha Delana, it's a case of what should we keep, you know, what should we include? And what should what do we have to leave out just because of,
you know, space, etc. So this book is going to be about actually then on her her journey, her life, a lot of people don't realize that, of course, most of her life was after the death of the Prophet Sal solo, right.
And the way we've told this story is basically, her personal journey from being in the care of her father and her husband, who were her biggest mentors, right? Were great mentors, great guides for her in her life. And then of course, the Prophet saw someone passed away. And
even Abu Bakr two years later passed away so her two great the greatest mentors in our life are gone. Right. And, and then I think the part of the story that people are going to find very new is then what happened, you know,
When she's lost the two greatest mentors in her life, she's trying to find
the best role and purpose, you know, for herself. And she gets, of course involved in different things with good intentions. And then eventually, of course that culminates in the incident of the camel.
And then eventually she realizes that that's not the space that she wants to be in. That's not what Allah Subhana Allah wants of her. And that the best way that she can serve Allah subhanaw taala, with her talents is through preserving the Sunnah. Right?
Because she had this unique window into the life of the Prophet salallahu Alaihe Salam that wasn't open to other people, right? She had this amazing memory. She had this amazing
intelligence and feistiness and fearlessness in many ways, right? She was very courageous in the sense that she never she was never afraid to ask a question or to question anything, which is a great blessing for us. And so she spent the rest of her life really
raising and teaching a generation of students a lot of people don't know, but many of Ayesha Dylan has taught students where her nephews and nieces some of whom were might who were sorry, were orphans, you know, so, of course in bin Mohammed, he was one of the seven foot out of Medina, seven jurists of Medina, he later became, he was one of her top students. And he was the son of Mohammed bin Abu Bakr, right, a brother
who was who was killed in Egypt. And she basically raised
or she kind of mentored and raised her his son. Another one of her students is our Aisha Ben stole her who was the daughter of Paul had been Obaidullah who of course, was in the incident of the camera who was killed there.
And he also happened to be Dale Howe, who happened to be her brother in law. She had a sister called Uncle for it, she had a sister called Uncle phone and tell her was her husband. So basically, her sister became widowed that day.
And of course,
Zubair as well was killed on that day. So during that incident, and so he is children of the labia Zubair AutoWeb in Zubair
they, at least although he became an orphan, right, he was still very young. And so I started there and actually raised
the daughter, where she mentored and taught the daughter of they'll have been away they loved his name is Zach Shelby, Bella. And she raised and mentored us in bin Mohammed, Mohammed bin Abi Buckers. Son, and she mentored and was very close to Ottawa, Bina Zubayr, who is of course, her sister asthma as
son, right? Under the sun. So anyway, I mean, it's just really amazing. When you when you really go into it, you realize all the ins and all the So on that day when she's coming back from the incident of the camel, and she's so upset, and she's so self reflective, and she's thinking about the verses of Quran that said, you know, and stay in your homes. And she's feeling really regretful because that was the thing that was said to the wives of the Prophet SAW Selim, right.
People don't realize that she was going home to her widowed and orphaned family, you know,
her own sister's husband had been killed. And many of her nephews and nieces.
Fathers had been killed. So there was that double kind of pain there. But what I really found inspiring was that
I showed that on how even though after the incident of the cabinet and of course, she went there with good intentions wanting to seek justice for the killing of Ottoman Lebanon, who,
when she came back, and she really felt that that had been going out and, you know, marching or protesting had been a mistake. As far as she was concerned, it didn't
make her feel like that failure, you know, we could call it since failure
should cause her to disappear, you know, should cause her to just roll and curl up and hide. Right well
She did instead. And I think that's this is something that I find very inspiring is she,
she channeled her energy and her efforts into, I mean, she did a lot of self reflecting, it's very obvious that she did that. And she channeled all her energy and effort into the direction that she felt she should have been on or she should go on, you know, which is teaching the sunnah to the next generation, from her unique position as Mother of the Believers.
And I think in that there's inspiration for us, you know, when you face a setback, we make a mistake, or you do something, you had good intentions, but
later, it becomes clear to you that it wasn't the right thing. For whatever reason, that's not a sign that you should give up and stop doing everything. You know, it just means you need to adjust. You're doing the wrong thing there. But it doesn't mean that there's nothing for you to do.
Change your direction, find. Ask yourself, What is Allah asking of me? What how can I serve? Then? How can I serve Allah Subhana Allah best with the, with the talents, and the privilege that I have?
All of us have some privilege,
and then go in that direction. more confidently, because now you've learned from your mistakes, right?
Yeah, just as a sign of wisdom actually lose not to make them not necessarily don't make the mistake in the first place. But that you go through that self reflective process and, or have the ability to correct
Yeah, so I think in this book, we,
we try to maintain, I've tried to maintain the love of the Sahaba, right,
the position of this habit, but we don't hide from the fact that they were humans, you know,
they made mistakes, but we help them the this book is aimed at children aged 12. And over
with the Khadeeja book, many adults read it, you know, wasn't it's not really just designed for children, but it can be. But um, we do have children in mind. So we're going to help them to build their love, and their understanding of Islam through this story, but also feel that connection with the Sahaba understand some of what happened afterwards.
That was very difficult, and help them to empathize with the Sahaba and understand how to view the Sahaba in in relation to that, you know, so that the,
the kind of respect for the Sahaba is maintained, but that we learned from their humaneness.
look forward to actually when that comes out and reading it and sharing it with my family especially.
So I have to appreciate the time, wisdom and knowledge that you shared with us your experience, we definitely need
more people like you in our community standing up and we need to promote this type of voice that actually stands up for the hug because there's too many voices out there that are actually leading us down a dark path. So I was really pleased and with this conversation and what we were able to exchange, I think this is gonna be really memorable podcast so we really thank you so much for that and for your time and your contribution.
And brother for the opportunity to share some of that.
So to our audience, Inshallah, as always, remember we live by the hawk, we die by the Hawk, and just when you think life is stuck to an end to life hop as Salaam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh