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Raising Believers #04 – Your Relationship With Allah

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Fatima Barkatulla

Channel: Fatima Barkatulla

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Assalamu alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. We are here for another episode of raising believers. I am your host systemness Eva. And once again, I'm joined by SHA Fatima barkatullah. And on palha Inshallah, in this episode, we're going to be discussing a few other means in which we can hope to raise strong Muslim believers. So let's start with

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giving our children an Islamic education. Now, it's all good. And well, you know, us as parents giving our children the right to Ruby and Africa and you know, teaching them, but what about outsourcing some of that, how important is outsourcing and how important is us giving? So give me a percentage kind of idea of how important it is.

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Hmm, I think when it comes to Islamic education,

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every parent needs to have an idea in their mind as to what they consider the baseline, foundational Islamic education that every child should have. Not all of us are going to raise scholars, you know, not all of us are going to even raise her father, right. But each of us can be clear, right, that each child, there's this minimum that I definitely want my child to have attained in terms of Islamic knowledge, by this age, and the reason why that's important is because it doesn't just happen, you know, automatically, you're gonna have to put the effort in to arrange that. So if you're asking, nusseibeh like as many people ask, what's better, you know, Muslim school, state

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school, private school, you know, what's the word people homeschool? Well homeschool, sorry, I forgot

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what the homeschool is.

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I think when people ask me that, I always say, you know, it's very simplistic to just say, one or the other. Because every family is different is you've already highlighted in the series, every single situation is different. For some people, homeschooling might be great, because of their own background, because of maybe the the environment they live in the way their home is the way they are. For other people, that might not even be an option. Right? So I think every single family has to, again, sit down, talk about their vision, talk about the pros and cons of the options they actually have in front of them. And one of the things I did was I actually consider all of the

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options. And so I would apply to different schools, for example, and to have a plan for homeschooling. And then when the time came, I would make, I would price the quarter. And I would make the decision. Because again, each child is different as well, and what might suit one child might not suit another child. But in terms of Islamic education, you can never fully outsource it. Even if your children go to a Muslim school, as my children did.

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There's things that nobody is going to teach them, as well as you, or in the way that you might want it to be taught. At the same time, we shouldn't feel like be so protective over our kids, that only I'm going to teach them everything, you know, because there's other people like Al Hamdulillah, sometimes I look at the teachers who've taught my children, I think, I'm so glad they had that teacher in their life. Because that teachers were like, really into health and fitness, for example, or that teacher taught them this very special idea, and and that child wouldn't have taken it in the same way as they did from them. So I think when it comes to Arabic language, for example, as well,

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you know, this generation I feel should not be a generation that's ignorant of the Arabic language. Because Don't you feel on top of that, like our generation, when we most of us learn Arabic when we got older, right? Because our parents didn't know Arabic themselves. It wasn't that easy to learn Arabic. But once we did, we could connect with our Salah in a different way, right? We could connect with the Muslim world in a different way. So imagine if we could instill that in our kids and it's become easier now. You can get a tutor online. Not very expensive.

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But as long as you have that vision in mind, I want my child to know, Arabic. I want them to know this. For example, just Amma or 10 sorrows or whatever it is for your family. You've got to have some kind of plan. Yeah, I think you know, to be very pragmatic. Every child who is raised in the Muslim home should know the basics and that goes back to five pillars of Islam knows what they're about. So

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When they are growing up, they are able to fulfill these rights, you know, that they have upon them. And you can outsource them, you know, in terms of like, you know, the lessons can be taught by the teachers, but in terms of practical implementation has to come from you. Because that Islam is not something theoretical, you know, it's, it's practical, they have to be able to see how you deal with Zakah how you deal with, you know, fasting Ramadan is around the corner, you know, and it's something that they have to see lived Islam is not abstract is something that they have to see you implementing in the day to day life. So they can learn the theory might maybe by another teacher,

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but they have to see it live through your example in your household. Very good point, I think it gets, I guess it comes back down to like, what you want for your child as well, and what your vision is, no doubt the basics have to come from within the home. And I think a lot of people, you know, like you said, think that they can send their child to maybe a Muslim school or an institute and that they will do all the work for them. But it doesn't work like that. And even with Salah for example, you have like I thought that then going to a Muslim school would mean that the know every aspect of the Salah, but no, I still have to go through the Salah with them bit by bit and through

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through the woods to keep checking aside from that they might learn step by step how to pray in school, but who says that they're going to carry on doing that and establish that as a part of their daily routine. So I feel like both play a part, they need the theoretics of you. Because if you want them to have fun, they're gonna need a teacher, if you're not able to do that, if you want them to be islands, they're gonna need, you know, fit classes. So they need it depends on what you want. They need a bit of both. But the baseline baseline is from good, they haven't seen Yeah, they have to cover, you know, the five pillars. Also, you know, even if you don't want your child or you feel

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that your child may not be able to be become a habit, every child who is raised as a Muslim needs to must know how to recite Quran accurately. If we teach with and that's a priority. It's not, it's not good enough that we just, you know, get them to read No, we have to fulfill that condition of that they know how to recite Surah Al Fatiha, you know, that's the least we can do. And and because that's the book by which we connect with Allah. So it has to be a priority. And I think, you know, generally speaking what I see Muslim community, they do a very good job in of sending the child to the madrasa. And that's a good practice, because in madrasa, they have one thing and that is the

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positive peer pressure to learn and to be competitive. And that's a good

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structure we have in our community. I think the other great thing about having sending your kids to Madras. So Muslim Institute's is that they gain a sense of community. And that village belonging the village Yeah, and I think moving on to the next point, which is, you know, keeping connected to the Muslim world. That's right. I feel like my dresser and these kinds of things really helped to kind of instill that belonging in children.

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Do you have Yeah, I think the point about keeping connected to the Muslim world is that I think our children can never forget, they're part of the Ummah, you know, the bigger, wider Oma. When the Ummah feels pain, they should feel pain, you know, when the old man has a success, they should feel that it's successful them. And I think one of the most powerful ways that you can instill that is to literally take them to Muslim countries. Like I still remember, as an 11 year old, my father taking me on camera for the first time, right? We climbed up and went to the cave of Hera, we, you know, we're making the tawaf, we're going to all the different places, and just absorbing this atmosphere

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of, you know, an Islamic kind of community, right.

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And that's, that just had such a powerful imprint, I felt that was more powerful than just hearing the stories. It's like, you're actually there, you know, you literally feel that spine like this is where the prophet walked. This is where this all happened. You feel the sense of connection, token of which, you know, on a weekly basis, don't underestimate the power of going to Joomla where you gather together, it's like the, you know, assembly for the believers, you know, and having that time where you can listen to the, you know, khateeb and hear about, you know, the international community, what's happening in different parts of the world that kind of creates a sense of

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compassion, and a sense of

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connection with your wider Muslim brothers. You know, and I think when children are introduced to spaces like that, they do realize they're part of a bigger family, and that's, you know, the, the notion of OMA and for the girls, you know, you know, taking them to a local halacha where, you know, you can meet other people so going back to their sense of cute

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immunity, and is the thing that you do on a continuous basis that creates the difference. And going back to that point of consistency, children, they form certain habits because of your consistent practice of doing good things, and don't belittle it, because over time, you will see that these kind of acts will form their good habits. And that's what we want to instill. You just reminded me that, you know, an important aspect is also friends, you know, who are, I feel like, we underestimate the impact of peers, you know, on our children, sometimes people say, you know, my children don't have access to certain types of friends, you know, the sorts of friends that I would

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like them to have. But I think it's really important that we always stay connected with who our children's friends are. And those of them that we'd like to encourage their friendship, we invite them over we all we we have parties, we have gatherings where we invite the sorts of people we want our children to connect with, to those gatherings, right, so that they can see that oh, you know, I'm not the only one, for example, who takes a break for Salah or I'm not the only one who does x or right. So I think it shows you that we as human beings are social beings.

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We can never be completely disconnected from either the Muslim world or our fellow believers. Yeah. And like you said, sometimes a child might hear something from their parents 100 times, but how it wants from another person and it really just, you know, it hits home Insha Allah, we'll stop there for a break. And then we will resume and carry on with one of the other means in which we can, you know, raise Muslim believers. Assalamu alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. Assalamu alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. And welcome back, carrying on from what we were talking about before, shall have that, you know, you wanted to mention a point about education. Yeah, I think it's really

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important what I mentioned about the five pillars of Islam. I would add to that the Six Pillars of Eman and we're not just talking about a list, you know, we're talking about our children actually appreciating and understanding what are the angels What are you know, the prophets believe in the angels, for example, is so powerful, it can completely change the way a child fields. I remember when I learned about the angels as a child, I suddenly felt a lot safer. You know, I just had a motorcycle because it's like, oh, Allah has got these angels who, around me who could protect me who can, you know, who are

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writing down my deeds, all of that kind of thing. It helps build human. But one point that I would like to emphasize to our brothers and sisters is, I think one aspect of having a baseline Islamic education is also to ensure that every single Muslim child learns that weed, but they learned that weed through actually reading the Quran from beginning to end at least once in their childhoods. Now, that might sound to a lot of parents, and it does to some parents sound like a huge toss, right? But believe me, you know, is they learned so much in that process. And there's so much barakah in that process, even if they're not going to memorize the whole Quran, the fact that their

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lips, their tongue has uttered every single word of the Quran. First of all, by the end of it, they're going to be amazing at reading and, you know, very fluent, and that read is going to be excellent, but also that sense of achievement, they get, you know, have a party, make it really special for them, so that they realize, and they keep connected to the book of Allah for the whole life of Trump. I think, you know, you mentioned beliefs, I think it's really important for children to have things to believe in. And it just hit me when you said, you know, how you felt protected and safe. And, you know, just believing in angels are something special for you. Children nowadays have

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Santa have this have that. So I think it's only when we teach our children that these things don't exist. So it's nice for our children to have things that they can believe in as well. The true things, of course, of course, exactly. And something that gives them purpose as well in their lives. The next means I wanted to kind of touch upon was having open discussions with our children and actually listening to them and their needs. And it kind of ties into what you were saying about, you know, assessing all of our children different needs and adapting our parenting and, you know, skills to their skills.

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So yeah, how important is listening to them, you know, is very important. And I think one of the things that really facilitates that, you know, discussion or that listening time is during meal time, because it's such an informal setting, and you can test and try all types of topics, because if it doesn't go down, well, you just pass the ball of carrier possible advice, and the awkwardness disappears because you can always switch it to the food that you're eating. And in that way, everyone's relaxed. No one's feeling awkward and you can have

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conversation or for discussion, those conversation that you are avoiding or those in the conversation Do you feel a bit awkward about? And it kind of creates a really, really like, you know, intimate open atmosphere. And that's key. Why? Because if the children are unable to express themselves at home, the mirror said they're gonna express themselves. They know they have that time. Exactly. And the safety net to do it, they know they've got dinner time. Yes, I don't think there should be any topic that's off,

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you know, that you're not allowed to talk about that's a taboo. Of course, there might be inappropriate times to talk about certain things, you know, and you might say to your child, let's discuss that together later, you know, I just remember, the first time when my daughter was born, one of my sons said to me,

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how do we know that she's a girl? Okay, now, because a question like that is, like, really awkward. And, but But it shouldn't be. You know, at the end of the day, our children are human beings who are trying to figure out what's happening in the world, what is this world? What is the nature of this world? Who's right? And who's wrong? And how should I be thinking about this world, if we don't provide a safe space for them to come and talk to us? And us explain things doesn't mean they have to go biological? You know, we can, we can explain things in simple ways. You know,

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boys and girls bodies are different can just say something simple like that. But what I mean is appropriateness is important, isn't it? Of course, age appropriate, give them an age appropriate answer.

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But what you're not doing is shutting them down. Or sometimes, as busy moms, they will ask you question when you're about to put them to sleep, and you think and not now. So you can say, Look, that's a very good question. We can talk about it tomorrow. And in the meantime, you can prepare yourself because something is thinking, I don't even know what to say, from an Islamic perspective, you bought yourself some time. But don't shut them down, like Fatima saying, because that is a area where you can really you know, inspire them or clarify matters and really feed them well. So that they they are able to understand what is going on or feed into the curiosity because curiosity is a

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good thing, because that is showing, they're interested, they want to learn, they want to understand and this is very good thing. So use it to your advantage again, and sometimes it could be that you don't know about the topic that they're asking you

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say to them, I don't know. But I can find out for you because they need to see that parents also are learning. And that's a positive way to show that there's no end to learning just like they're learning, we're learning as well. And I think also, it's also important for us as parents to prompt certain conversations as well, yes, is there a waiting for them to come to us. And there are, you know, intimate discussions and subjects that we might not feel are necessarily age appropriate, or we don't want to have with our children. But again, living in the context and the culture that we do, there are certain things that regardless of whether we talk to them about it, they're going to

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find out, and they're going to learn at school, and they're going to learn from their friends from a very young age. And I think a lot of parents are actually would actually be very surprised to know what at what age children are hearing things. So I always think if we're open with our children, we have these conversations first with them, at least we can teach them from the right perspective, at least we can give them the right, you know, understanding of whatever they want to ask is so true. Just yesterday, I was having a conversation with my son, he's 17. Now, so I was saying that is so important in our community to talk about the gender interaction, especially if the boys and the

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girls have been going to gender like in a mixed mix school, or if they've had homeschool education, or if they've gone to gender specific so boys only school, and are saying it's so important to create that discussion, because he has his he had his friends over to my house. So I was speaking to not only him, his friends as well as I was saving the food. And I was saying that our young people, they need guidance on how to navigate through that journey of dealing with opposite gender in a respectful way. And I was saying that, you know, there's no harm in speaking to the opposite gender, but you have to be to the point and it has to be a conversation with respect, and to the point of

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formality, and as long as you cover yourself in that respect, you know, then that's fine. And it's important that they also know the boundaries so that they can stick within their boundary and they can operate in a comfortable, confident, articulate way without causing like distraction to themselves or anyone else. So I think those kind of conversation is not very, like, you know, encouraging the community because you know, of awkwardness, but it's very necessary. Because what you're doing is you're paving the way for them when they're older, when they do have something very sensitive that they need to talk to you about when they're about to do something

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Maybe that you know is dangerous or difficult or they feel comfortable to come to you, because you you didn't shut them down when they were younger, they weren't there were no topics that were off topic, you know, that were taboo. In my family, we now that they're older, we have a halacha a family halacha every week. And in that Holika, we can actually talk about difficult things. So we've been actually going through the 17 major sins book. And that might sound like a bit of a scary topic, but my son's actually really appreciating it because the things that are coming up, those are the things we want them to be aware of our dangers, right. And but, but we get to have a whole

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conversation about each of those, they get to share their thoughts, maybe some misconceptions they have, and then it ends up being a very healthy conversation a healthy helps them have a healthy outlook, or right kind of attitude as well. There's another conversation that we recently had was in the school, there's a discussion on being grateful have gratitude is so good for him mental health and you know, how it's really good quality to cultivate. So then we started talking about how in our dean, you know, been thankfully so encouraged and Allah azza wa jal loves, hummed. And it was really interesting, because you're saying that, okay, when you're grateful to someone, then you have to

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acknowledge that, you know, being that you're grateful to not just being grateful for the fact that you've got good listening and good hearing, but who are you grateful to? So it was a bit of a deep discussion. So we were saying that how in our deen we know exactly if we agree, who we are grateful to, and that is our Creator. So we say Al hamdu, lillahi, Rabbil aalameen. Because certain things, I think the society is catching on, you know, being grateful, you know, having that sense of gratitude. But our Dean gives us that clear guidance, who are we being grateful to, you know, so I think discussion brings about so many deeper, you know, points that otherwise you would miss even

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things like a job, you know, we're quick to tell our daughters about your job like wearing it. But do they know, why do they understand? And sometimes they have questions like, How come Auntie so and so doesn't wear hijab, you know? And we do, or how come so and so do this, and we don't or, you know, it's really important to be able to without demonizing anyone, to be able to explain that this is a command of Allah, not everyone, obeys Allah, you know, or not everyone is that they level or maybe they're going through their own journey, Allah is going to ask us isn't that he's going to ask us about what we're doing. So that's why we want to be able to we want to be able to stand in front

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of Allah and say that we we did our best we obeyed Him, for example, right. Another example my my son was recently asking me on my what qualities were you looking for in a husband? When, you know, when when you were looking to get married? I was thinking, Okay, that's a good question. Because now I get to tell him the things I think he should have the qualities I think that he should, I guess, oh, having these discussions with our children's, it gives them the equipment to then answer other people, maybe their peers, maybe their friends, and it gives them a little bit of a confidence boost that they know why they're doing things and ultimately, when you know why you're doing something,

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you're gonna do it better.

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Again, just like a locker for joining me for another episode. Just for joining us viewers and inshallah we will see you soon on the next episode. Assalamu alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh