Writer’s Thoughts #01 – Reframing Parenting Positively

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Ismail Kamdar

Channel: Ismail Kamdar

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Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah. So this is a new series that I'm starting, it's going to be a few videos, where I share my thoughts on topics that I find interesting and that I've been reflecting on recently. So as an author, I'm always researching and thinking and trying to find solutions to the problems of the ummah. And one of the topics. That is the topic for today's discussion that I've been writing about recently, is parenting. And there's been a lot of requests for many people that I put something together on parenting. And so I've actually spent a lot of time thinking about this. And the one question I've

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been thinking about the most, is, how do we reframe parenting in a positive light?

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Well, I mean by this is that very often, when you have a book or a webinar or a lecture on parenting, you often hear the speaker starting with, there's no guarantees in parenting, obviously, them starting with this line that Listen, what I'm going to teach you, you know, it's Islamic way, but there's no guarantees a child could still go astray, they could still become a test for you, it could still, you know, leave Islam Ultra biller. And this has been bothering me for a while, this approach has been bothering me for a while, because while it is technically true, technically, it is true that if you do everything right, your child could still go straight. I think it's a very poor

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way to frame any conversation, or any topic. Because if you start the topic in this way, you are starting with a negative Foundation.

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And to give some examples on this, right, so if you're teaching a seminar on marriage, how many people started seminar knowledge by saying, listen, everything I teach you now is good and beneficial. But you still not guaranteed that your marriage is going to work out and you could still end up divorced. Nobody starts with that. When it comes to business, nobody says that lesson, whatever I'm teaching you now is good principles of business. But you could still fail, you could still end up bankrupt. Now, technically, this is all true. Technically, you could do everything to make a marriage work, it could still end in divorce, you could do everything to make a business

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work, it could still end in bankruptcy, you could do everything to raise your children well, and they could still end up going astray. But notice when we teach these other subjects, we don't frame it like this. When we teach business, we don't frame it negatively. When we teach marriage, we don't frame it negatively. But for some reason, when we teach parenting we do. And the reason why these other subjects are not framed negatively is because people are not going to give you the all you see if you tell someone that I'm teaching you some business principles. And if you apply these principles, you're not guaranteed success, it's highly unlikely they actually going to make an

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effort to apply these principles. It's the same with marriage. If you tell someone listen, these are my principles for marriage, but you still might end up divorced, they're not going to give it their all. Rather, our approach for many subjects in life is these are the principles. Go ahead, do your best do your absolute best. And then And then, if things still go wrong, we deal with it when it goes wrong. So when you are preparing someone for marriage, you teach them everything about making a marriage work, and along the way you help them to give it their all. But if they reach a point in their life, where they're going through a divorce, you deal with it then you don't deal with it

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before they get married. You don't tell them before you get married, listen, one day, you may end up divorce and now you don't go in that direction. You deal with it when it happens.

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Now, I'm thinking why can't we take the same approach with parenting? Why instead of starting all parenting seminars, when there's no guarantees, you can still fail, you know, it might not work, why not go all in on the positivity all in on making your best effort. And if it fails, then we deal with it when that happens.

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And the reason for this is that I he see the reason why this bothers me is that when it comes to Islam, for any topic in Islam, we have a positive framework. Right, our Islamic worldview begins from a position of Houston is one biller. Having optimism in Allah having good thoughts about Allah, that Allah has put me in this situation, it's best for me. If Allah has given me this gift is best for me. Allah has given me this trial is best for me. And that optimism, we see it in every aspect of our lives. But not often in parenting. That we see parents, you know, they don't start parenting with this question of zombie law they start creating with

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You know, I'm going to try but you know, my kids might still end up going straight with the good thoughts about Allah, with this positive framework with this optimism, that I'm going to do my best and inshallah I'm going to get the best results. I mean, again, we don't approach any other subject this way, none of us start the business and say, you know, I'm going to start the business and it might not work out, nobody stops, you know, we go all in and we have this positive framework, and we have this, you know, I'm not going to give up attitude. And we need to have that with parenting as well. Now, this negative attitude to parenting, where does it come from? It actually comes from what

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I believe is a miss placement of Quranic studies. That is, this is what I call it a miss placement of Quranic studies. What I mean by this is that, we look at some Quranic stories, and ignore all the others. So for example, you will find very often, in these lectures, we'd say things like, Prophet Nuh, Ali Salam was the best of parents, and the best of Prophets, but his son still went to St. Therefore, there's no guarantees in parenting. And that becomes our entire framework. And that becomes the position

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from which, you know, everything else is derived. And this This is problematic for many reasons. Number one, the Quran is full of stories of positive parenting ending Well, with this being the one exception. So we looking at the exception and ignoring everything else. Number two, the Sierra and the lives of Dubai is the same day full of positive examples of when parents did their best effort, they produce amazing results. And very rarely do you see an exception? So what's happening is we are focusing on the exception and ignoring the norm. And that exception becomes the norm in our minds. So when you look at parenting in the Quran, I want you to look at it in a broader framework. I look

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at it in terms of holistically what does the Quran say about parenting and what stories is the Quran give us about parenting. So in the Quran, we have the stoning of Prophet Ibrahim alayhi salam and he raises his sons is now Elan is hot, alleged Muslim to be to have the greatest Gambia and it's harkaway Salaam raises his son Yahoo to be amongst the greatest of the Gambia. And Yahoo. Alison also raises his sons well, right and we have four generations of righteous parenting. Now again, this is a story many people

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bring into this in the wrong way. Many people look at the story of Jacoba Islamically oh look Iacobelli Islam raised the sons well, but they still went to St. This is not the full story this this is this is wrong. It's actually wrong to do to position in this way because this is not the full story. Rather the full story is your old alayhis salaam raised his sons Well, his sons made a mistake when they were young. He continued to raise them well. He continued to guide them through the mistake he continued to teach them to seek Allah's forgiveness and eventually eventually those sons became righteous. That's the full story. We only looking at the first half and forming a

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negative framework based on the first half of the story. And we completely ignore the second half which shows us that even after your child slips up even after the combat a major sin if you have stubborn Jamil if you have beautiful patients if you remain a role model for them, if you teach him about Stefan, if you remain a part of their life, if you keep guiding him in the right direction Inshallah, inshallah they can find their way back to Allah. See, the story is very positive. We frame it negatively. And the many other stories of positive parenting in the Quran we have the parents of Maria Malay salaam, raising how to be a righteous woman, we have Maryam Elisa herself

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raising a child, a son to be a righteous man. We have Tao with Ali's reading Sulaiman Ali seem to be righteous man, we have Lookman Ali Salam, raising his children in a righteous way and offering a good parenting you'll see all of the parenting stories in the Quran are positive. Allah subhanho wa Taala only mentioned one story where the father was righteous and the son went astray. And the reason and the wisdom behind mentioning a story like that is to show us the exception, not the norm. In our minds, we made the exception the norm. But Allah is showing us the exception Allah is providing you're a role model for those parents whom he tests with the situation.

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You see 90% of the time. If you raise your children in a way that is extraordinary, a way that is amazing a way that is righteous a way that is pleasing Allah subhanho wa Taala 90% of the time, they will grow into amazing people. But but some people are tested some people not everyone, some people are tested where they did raise the children well, and because of the environment because of the culture because of the other parent because of whatever it is, that child may go astray. And that child may become a test for that person.

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In those situations, prefer new ally some becomes a role model. But we don't take that situation and make it the norm. We don't take that situation and make it as if it is guaranteed. This is a problem that we think that you know, it doesn't matter what I do, you know, my parent, my children could still end up like Nuala Islam. So we take a very negative framing from the story. Rather, we should treat the story like the exception. And we should only bring it up when it's necessary. Right meaning when someone is young and excited, and they've got a baby, and they come to you for parenting advice, don't start with the story of New Orleans. So don't start from that point. Right

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Start with the story of money money, Saddam, you know, or rather Hamid Hamada, big into alpha, start with with with the story of Zachary slums to offer for his son, start with the positive stories. And then 20 years later, Inshallah, that child will be a righteous adult, or, you know, exception once in a while, a parent may come to you and say, I did everything, right. And my son has gone astray. Now. Now for that parent, in that situation, you've been in the story of Noah, Lisa. And you use that as a means of consoling the parent and letting them know that this is a testament Allah and it's not their fault. But you don't make it the foundation, you don't make it the

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you don't make it the norm. Right. So this is this is what needs to change, we need to start having a positive mindset towards parenting, what I'm finding is a lot of parents, you know, they hear the story of New Orleans, Sudan, or the other story, the first half of the story of jacobellis lampstands. And they like, you know, what's, what's the point of China?

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Now, what's the point you're making all this effort, because Parenting is hard. Parenting is very, very hard. It's going to take 20 years of your life, it's going to use a lot of money, a lot of time, it's going to be very emotionally exhausting, you're going to get burned out many times, it's very hard. A lot of people they look at the story, and they and they think to themselves, like what's the point of trying, if they're going to end up like that. So we have to change the way we approach this topic. And I want us to approach parenting, the way we approach any other topic in our life, which is we don't think of the exception. You don't go into a marriage thinking I'm going to

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get divorced. You don't go into your business thinking I'm going to end up bankrupt. Likewise, you don't go into parenting, thinking my child is going to go straight. Rather, you will in with a positive mindset, you go in thinking that I'm going to give this my absolute best, and I'm going to make dua, I'm going to put my doctrine in Allah and Inshallah, if I do that, I'm going to have righteous children. And you know what, 90% of the time, that's what's going to happen. For the handful of people where that doesn't happen, then we deal with the problem, or we don't make the problem the foundation. We don't make it the norm. We don't make it in a negative framework for

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parenting. We leave it as something that we deal with, when the time is right. Reality is our history is full of lessons of Power of Positive Parenting, leading to extraordinary results. We see this with Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and the way he raised his daughters that his daughter Fatima regular Raha is from the full woman who attained perfection. And then right there is a role model of righteous parenting, and then her sons Hassan and Hussein, the leaders of the youth of gender, Allah be pleased to them all. We see the Abu Bakr regular annual raising Ayesha project on how to be an amazing extraordinary scholar of Islam. Abbas are young and the way he raised

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Abdullah even Abbas and he becomes this righteous scholar of Islam. We see this with every generation we see this with the parents of Imam Shafi, the parents of Imam Malik the parents of Imam

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Hammadi been humble. We see this with Omar bin Abdulaziz and and the way his parents, you know, left him with the Allah Maha Medina so you can grow up to be a righteous person. We see this constant theme in our history, that whenever parents put in the effort to raise their children extraordinary, those children grow into amazing people. And those shouldn't become, you know, the leaders of this ummah, they become the ones who are able to make a change in this woman. And I see around me all the time, whenever I meet a young man or woman who is amazing in the mind and the dedication to this deen and the work you do for this team 99% of the time, that amazing individual has righteous

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parents who raised him in a righteous way.

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So why can't that be our framework? Why can't that be the position from which we begin, that we look at all of these examples of amazing people who are the result of amazing parenting? And we see that is our framework and what we aiming for that is what we're going to do, and we put the negativity aside. We don't make that we don't even think about it. Just like when you go into a marriage, you don't even think about divorce. When you go into parenting. You don't even think about my children are going to go straight. Rather we give it our own. We give it one hand

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to present this to our, this the Wako there's hard work, there's investing in your children, there's raising them, well, there's dedicating 20 years of your life to them. There's all of this and Inshallah, inshallah I think if we have this more positive mindset, we are going to see much, much stronger results without parenting. So that's my talk for today, just a little bit that I've been thinking about because I'm writing a book on parenting and

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I wrote the first chapter and I'm thinking to myself is too negative, this is not me, I don't ever I don't ever frame anything negatively. And you will bothering me that my first chapter ended up to negative and so I spent a while thinking about it and these are the thoughts I came up with, like to hear your thoughts on this, am I right? Am I wrong? Do you agree? Do you disagree? What approach do you think works better? You know, should I keep the negative framework for the introduction to my book or should I go in this more positive direction and and should this what I mentioned now in these 15 minutes, be the introduction to my book. Let me know what you think and inshallah maybe

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your thoughts would help shape my next book. JazakAllah Pharaoh Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh