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Building a Beautiful Home

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Maryam Lemu

Channel: Maryam Lemu

Episode Notes

I believe strongly that if the relationship between us and our spouse is strong and we have shared values and goals for our marriage, it makes everything else possible including the biggest task we can possibly embark upon, parenting.

I share how critical it is to have a code of conduct for the marriage. Something like a 5 pillars or more for our marriage. Some non-negotiables. Values and principles that both couples must observe in order for the relationship to be strong.

Once those pillars are in place and one has no doubt that each partner will observe them, it makes it easier for everything else fall into place.

Then parenting in my opinion is the biggest responsibility we can ever take on.
Our children didn’t ask to be born. They are a gift to us from Allah, however, we chose to have them. We are responsible and will be held accountable for how we raised them and what gifts and seeds we planted in them.

Our children will often mirror what they see in the home.
Raise children in a home where they see God consciousness, love, compassion, great communication, laughter and peace.
Raise children to learn to be an asset to themselves and contribute to society.

May Allah grant us the ability to build a strong bond with our spouse and have shared goals.
May how we raise our children serve as a witness for us in the life to come.
Amin

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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I love the quote where it says if you don't know where you're going, then any road will take you there. If you don't know where you're going, if you don't have plans, and you haven't pinpointed the destination you map to get there, then it doesn't matter where that there becomes. So if your marriage doesn't go according to plan, well, you didn't have plans in the first place on how to build a beautiful home. If your children don't grow up the way you had expected or hoped, then it doesn't matter how they turned out. Why because you didn't have plans for having them. For us to have a beautiful Muslim home, have a great fulfilling relationship with our spouse, raise children

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that are not only God conscious, but useful to themselves and society. It takes deliberate planning. It takes hard work commitment from both you and your spouse, and a whole lot of press. So for us to build a beautiful Muslim home. It takes so much from us, but it takes deliberate conscious actions. Due to time I'm only going to be talking about two areas. two topics. However, the topic of how to build a beautiful Muslim home is inexhaustible. So I'm going to first talk about our relationship with our spouse. Because if we are okay, often our children will be okay. And it's so much easier to instill values, and raise children the right way.

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Then the second topic I'll be talking about is parenting and our roles. Now marriage and parenting takes a true partnership between you and your spouse. Ideally, both of you have to be on the same page, the same page on the purpose of why you got married in the first place on the same page and how to build a beautiful Muslim home, on the same page and how to raise well disciplined children. Unfortunately, you find in many, many marriages today, that some of us end up raising the children alone, we are the ones who take the driver's seat, we do all the work and if things go well, they take credit if things go wrong, we get blamed.

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Now it's not compulsory to get married, it's highly encouraged. However, once we choose to get married, then what is compulsory on us is this huge role we have to play. We have rights and obligations, however, so does our spouse, we invited a lot to be a witness to our union. And once we sign that contract in his presence, we're gonna have to answer to him for what we did, or didn't do.

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If one doesn't know one's rights, or obligations. Unfortunately, ignorance is not an excuse. We have to do our homework we have to read, we have to ask. Fortunately, many of us can go on YouTube today or Google and just type in rights and obligations of a spouse in Islam. But the divorce rate in the Muslim community today is at an all time high, and many couples are still together. However, they are running on empty. We are married. However, there is no relationship. I just came back from Canada where I gave this same lecture. And during the talk a gentleman shared some statistics that I found extremely disturbing. Someone had conducted a research of Northern Muslim women who were

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married. And 80% said they were unsatisfied with their marriage that their marriages were unstable. Some feel trapped in the relationship. They exist like roommates or are in a relationship that is toxic. Sadly, they stay in that relationship due to several reasons which I'm not going to go through. But we are not meant to suffer or manage in marriage. We are meant to grow, increase in value. We are not meant to depreciate or lose our self worth.

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Now peace and tranquility cannot be achieved. If one spouse is oppressed. If one spouse is suffering, if one spouse is just managing.

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If you look critically at those relationships, you will discover that some key critical ingredients are missing that are meant to be in any beautiful home.

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Now peace and tranquility in the home. Allah describes that thing as what we can achieve. If we do everything right that it's attainable, and that's why we get married to achieve peace and tranquility. So peace and tranquility hot steamy bedroom acrobatics. It's a package. It's not isolated. It's not compartmentalized. You can't be fighting over issues, being disrespectful, being unfaithful to your spouse and expect peace to exist.

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You can't expect love and mercy to exist in that kind of climate. You can't have feelings of contempt towards your spouse, unresolved issues and expect passion and sparks to be flying.

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There has to be a balance, certain key things have to be in place first. So the Foundation, and the structure of your marriage has to be solid. It is only when you are finished putting your building up. You finish building your house that you start to put decorations on the wall, you put the rugs you put the flowers around the house. But if the windows are missing, the roof is incomplete. The door is not there, then what are we decorating for?

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I experienced this a lot where people invite me to come and talk about how to bring back the passion in the relationship. And when they asked me to do one on one counseling, they say tell me how can I make sparks fly again? How can I bring back that passion? I was like, Okay, first of all, you're having issues that haven't been addressed haven't been resolved. And yet you want sparks to fly. You want to bring the passion back, I often ask Where did the passion go? What chased it away. It didn't go away by accident, something chased it away. So you have to address what sent it out before it has room to come back. We shouldn't be putting decorations on a wall that is cracked. We shouldn't be

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putting plaster on wounds that will not heal, the wound has to be treated first. issues and differences have to be addressed and resolved before we can achieve that state of peace and tranquility. So what is the condition of your marriage today? How solid is the foundation? How solid is the structure of your marriage? What is your relationship built on? What is the culture, the principles and values that are guiding your marriage? I like to describe it like the five pillars of your marriage. However, it can be 1015 or 20, it doesn't matter. The most important thing is, it's like a code of conduct for your marriage. I recently asked my husband for it to sit down and jot

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down what he considers to be the top 10 pillars of our marriage, the foundation, our code of conduct that we will both observe. And I compared it to mine. And what I found interesting is after we looked at the two lists, there was only one thing that was different. So upon reviewing it, he said we needed to add it and we came up with 11 things.

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The first was faith and spirituality. Because if Allah is our compass, and he's our guide, it gives us a sense of direction for our marriage. So putting Allah first it gives us the right Qibla

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we do actually bother to do together because spirituality is it for us. We pray together, we fought together as a family. Even during Ramadan, there is a mosque right outside our home. But my husband stays home and leads us in prayer. So we pray together. The second pillar of our marriage is fidelity and loyalty, loyalty to the institution of marriage loyalty to one another loyalty to the children, loyalty to the family. And then mutual respect, that no matter how upset we may get, when any way we relate with each other, the currency must be with respect. Then the fourth is mutual growth, that we both agree that in the marriage, we will grow together, we will encourage and

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support each other in our personal growth. The fifth is that we trust each other completely that I trust his word that what he says is going to be truthful. We trust each other to be honest, we trust each other to be there for one another, to be sincere and faithful. The sixth is forgiveness and giving each other the benefit of the doubt that if we have made each other upset, we're ready to think and make excuses that there must be a mistake. Or another side to what I'm seeing. The seventh is love and compassion that there will be love and compassion we have for each other. The eighth is validation. Now this is one of the most important ones that we make each other feel that we exist in

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the relationship that we matter. We are relevant. In other words, we feed each other spirits.

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We show appreciation, even for the littlest things we show gratitude. The ninth is effective communication. I had a big problem with effective communication when we got married. So I went on a mission. I took courses I read books, I went online, I did my homework to make sure that what comes out of this mouth of mine which I call my greatest weapon of mass destruction, that I weigh my words carefully and I'm always looking for a resolution when I speak that what I say will not aggravate, provoke or make things go wrong. The 10th is patience to see the results of what we put into the

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relationship, patience, patience with each other and patient to the see the results of our hard work. And the last one, which is the most important one to me is we are committed for life that we are in this for the long haul. Because once you have that mindset, that we're in this for life, you do whatever it takes to make your marriage work. However, I emphasize, it doesn't include managing or suffering.

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That's not why Allah wanted us to get together.

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Now these for us are the non negotiables in our marriage, the constants, the ones that we know will always be there, I can trust that he will also observe the same thing. So in other words, our code of conduct. If you have not given this much thought, I encourage you to sit with your spouse, and discuss and come up with your own list. Talk to your spouse, and make sure that you're on the same page on these most important pillars and fundamentals of your relationship. Don't be surprised that if you're having problems in the marriage, some of these things have not been put in place.

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So the first tip I'm sharing with you is to build a solid foundation come up with your code of conduct rules. It is also important that you ask yourself some key questions. The first question you ask yourself is am I a pleasure to be around? Says who?

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Are you a pleasure to be around? And who do you think feels that way? Is it your own belief that you're a pleasure? Or does your spouse acknowledge and say you are? Is your presence felt in the home in a positive way? Or a negative way?

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And will your absence be noticed?

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Do you look forward to coming home to your spouse?

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I see some people shaking their heads.

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And does your spouse look forward to coming home to you?

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If you think the answers to these questions are Yes.

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Then if there are cracks, ask yourself, What role did I play?

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To make these cracks get wider? And what am I doing to mend them? But if you think the answers to those questions are Yes, ask your spouse sincerely find the courage to ask your spouse Am I a pleasure to be around? Do you look forward to coming home to me?

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Do you look forward

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to coming home to me? Finally, are you conscious of what you are modeling to your children? Are you comfortable that your children one day will most likely copy what they see what they saw in the home. Because what you are doing is you are teaching them how to relate with their spouse and how to raise their children. There are so many more I want to share with you. But due to time, I'll stop at that particular point. I believe that if there's a solid foundation that your relationship is built on, that if there's trust, fidelity, good communication, mutual respect, and all the other things that everything else will easily fall into place. I would just like to add that take your time to

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learn your spouse's love language. I know some of you will say what is this terentius speaking, take your time to find out there are some things you are doing that your spouse may not actually be responding well to you think they like it. So you need to learn your spouse's love language. And also there are six basic human needs. Just simply go on YouTube go on google and type Five Love Languages and six basic human needs. We're lucky this has changed relationships. This has transformed relationships. I have had couples who have sat with me and I asked them, What do you think are your spouse's top five love languages? And the spouse is sitting right there? And they say

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no, that is not it. So you may be surprised at what you think you are doing, that you believe your spouse likes actually is not getting the right result.

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But I also want to say for those who think it is all too ranchy Please don't ever give up on your marriage. Don't say it's too late or we've been married too long. Or this one is for too long. It won't work for us. My husband and I are both up.

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And one thing we never forget is that we try to model what we know the Prophet sallallahu Sallam did with his wife and his children. And we never ever forget that Allah will ask us how we related with each other, how we fulfilled each other's obligations. And there is nothing nothing more pleasurable than coming back to a home. Not to a house coming back to a home to

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Your best friend, your confidence, your lover, your partner for life. Now we've talked about the relationship in between us and our spouse, let us look at parenting.

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Just like marriage, it's not compulsory to have children, though it's highly encouraged. But our children didn't choose us to be their parents or loved it. But they didn't ask to be born, we chose to have them.

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However, we didn't choose their character or their personality. They are alas gift to us. However, they can also be a trial. But what is disturbing is we can also be a gift to them, and we can also be their trial.

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Did we have plans on how we want to raise our children? Are we conscious of our behavior, that they will most likely replicate both the good and the bad? What seeds? Are we consciously planting in our children? What gifts are we giving them seeds and gifts of a good tarbiyah gifts of a holistic education, gifts beyond academic excellence, beyond creating a class students who are just going to pass the exams, get a good job and beefin economically independent, to raising a class human beings who will insha Allah grow up to be responsible and make positive contributions to society.

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Just as they will be called to account for how they took care of us in our old age, we will be called to account for how we raised our children and what we did with them. If we fail at this thing called parenting, or drop the ball or neglect our responsibilities, we could create dysfunctional children, children who grew up to be a problem to their spouse, children who grew up to be a problem to their children, sorry, to their children as well. Eventually, we ended up creating a menace to society, we look at the problems we're facing in the youth today will lie it goes back down to family values, the roots, how did we start? Where did we drop the ball? One thing that I believe is

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extremely important about parenting is are we conscious of why we had them, like I said at the beginning, many of us just get married, have children, nine months later, they're there, we end up becoming accidental parents, because we didn't have deliberate plans on why we want to have them and how we want to raise them to make sure that we read them together. Sometimes we make the mistake of having our children, because we want to live our dreams through them.

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We keep telling them you're going to be a doctor someday, oh, I can see you're going to be an engineer. But maybe that's what our parents did for us. However, if we are going to be honest, some of us are miserable today, because we didn't have a choice. Or sometimes we do everything for our children. We want them to have an easy life, the difficulties that we went through, we don't want them to go through such difficulties. We want them to have the things that we didn't have.

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Sadly, this generation, what we are doing is we are creating a generation of entitled children who have this sense of entitlement, as if society owes them because they exist. Society owes them an easy life.

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We help our children to live, but we don't teach them to live without us. They end up depending on us because we do absolutely everything for them. We are doing them a disservice in the name of love.

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For some of us, our parents did a fantastic job raising us. They raised us in a home where we saw love where we saw compassion, mutual growth, great communication, and God consciousness. We grew up in a home where they taught us the importance of service and making a contribution and being useful and living a life of purpose. If we are so fortunate, it makes it so easy for us to replicate that in our own homes. However, for some it's a totally different story. You see families, where unfortunately you find stories similar to those of the Prophet where the way we were raised, our family members are actually our trial. So how do we know? And how do we ensure that we do not

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replicate in our homes with our spouse, and our children? Those things that we read, scented when we were growing up that we knew were wrong? How do we make sure that our guidance is from God consciousness and the principles of Islam, not other people's mistakes and shortcomings?

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How do we fulfill our roles as parents to mold our children to become assets to themselves and to society? The Prophet sallallahu Sallam said the best amongst you are those who are the most useful. How do we raise children who

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grow up to be the most useful in society? How do we grow, raise children who grow up to have a desire to serve, and contribute, and also train and equip them with the tools that they need to succeed and thrive as parents one day. Remember, they will repeat what they see in the home. So we have to start with ourselves, we have to start somewhere. To achieve this, we start with ourselves. Because one thing I always say you can't teach, you can't share what you don't know and what you don't have. So if you don't have yourself in order, you don't have your act in order. What are you going to teach your children? What are you going to share? What are you going to contribute?

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Even if our parents didn't do a good job raising us, even if our parents didn't equip us with the skills that we need to thrive and be successful in life and also teach our children raise them properly. We need to recognize that and we need to start somewhere. And that somewhere is us because we are responsible and will be held accountable for our actions or inactions. I'd like us to just imagine a scenario that we've been told we have six months, six months to live a healthy life, then our life will come to an end. Imagine you had six months that you know, you can live a healthy life, and then your life will come to an end.

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I asked you to think about these questions and ask your spouse this, what are the most important contributions? If you had six months to live that you want to make to your spouse, and to the family? What are the most important contributions you want to make to your spouse? And to the family? The second question, what are the most important lessons you want to teach your children in the next six months?

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And the third, what qualities are examples of yours? Do you want your children never to forget? Now we're talking six months here.

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But what guarantees do you have that you will live to see another six months? another month? Another week, another year? And are you ready to say goodbye to your children right now?

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What guarantees do you have that you will live to see another day? And are you ready to face Allah to be called to account for how you related with your spouse and with your children? Now, this was not an easy exercise. However, I sat my husband down and I sat my children down separately. And I went through this with them.

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I asked my husband, what are the most important contributions that I have made to you and to the family.

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The feedback amazed me Alhamdulillah. But I asked you to do the same. Do this inventory now. Because it helps you get feedback. So you know if you need to make any modifications, I also asked, what is it that I'm doing today that you want me to do differently? What am I doing today that you want me to do differently? Then to the children? I sat them down both of them separately, and I asked what are the most important lessons that mama has ever taught you? What are the most important lessons that mama has ever taught you? Then the second question I asked them, which examples? And which qualities of mind will you never forget, mothers and mothers to be? I asked you these are important

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questions.

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It's so important we get feedback because it helps us in how we relate with our spouse, and our children. I asked you to do the same because the feedback may actually surprise you. The answer to these kinds of questions and more gives me a sense of purpose and direction because it tells me what I need to modify. And it helps us live each life deliberate each day deliberately guided by our goals, and the goals we have for our children and the family and the marriage. Now that we had a compass so if i may describe a personal Qibla it made it so much easier for me to learn, ask questions and Alhamdulillah share my best practices today and my biggest mistakes. my curiosity led

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me to research on how Allah wanted me to relate with my spouse, with my children and how to build a happy home. He gave us a sneak peek in how to behave in our homes in the best of models the prophets Allah Allah wa sallam using real life examples, with an emphasis focusing on his actions, like I shared in the previous lecture. Many of us are so guilty today on focusing on the sooner look more than the sooner way. Some seem so preoccupied with the external the looks the symbolisms and the

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Like the internal and the actions, and are selective of what paths they want to take that is convenient for them to practice, particularly neglecting the center of character. So looking at his character, and his example, I learned the beautiful stories of how he put Family First, when I showed her the allowance, and how was us what the Prophet used to do in his free time, she said, he would keep himself busy serving his family. And when it was time, he would get up and pray. How many of us are so busy today, trying to give our children and our spouse, our families, the best of this and that to make sure they are so comfortable? Well, we miss out on developing a strong bond while

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we miss out on priceless moments that we could spend with our families.

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Sadly, some today don't even know their children. We're running a school and I know very much this is something that is very, very disturbing. The number of kids will lie more than anything, say, my biggest problem is my mother. She doesn't know me, and I want somebody to talk to, and I can't go to my mother.

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The Prophet sallallahu Sallam was also a loving and affectionate father and grandfather. When he was praying with the Sahaba, he went down into sujood. And he stayed for a long time. And after the prayer, that's the habit, I asked him, were you getting a revelation from Allah, He said, No, my children were on my back, and I didn't want to disrupt their play.

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Now, how many of us are comfortable allowing our children to climb with us and play with us play on our backs, and so on? Of course, not the grown one. Unfortunately, some of us are feeling too big or too old. Or we feel this is too embarrassing for us to do this childish thing with our children, or our spouse. I always say if the Prophet sallallahu wasallam could do it, that is my license to do whatever I want. I remember stories where I shared the allowance on Howard raised with the Prophet, he would put her on her shoulders and take him he would put her on his shoulders and take her to see entertainment in the marketplace. Also, he couldn't put her in her shoulders in the room. It had to

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have been done in public, for us to learn from his example. So I feel if the Prophet sallallahu wasallam could do it. So can we. So these examples are for us to learn how to build a bond with our spouse with our children. Now I have two big boys, two really big boys. And of course, if they climb on our backs right now, we're gonna end up in the hospital. However we play, we wrestled, we fight. Even big fat mama like me, I always say wwe smackdown or whatever you call, it ain't got nothing on me.

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Although I cheats, when we arm wrestle, I use two hands and pull those down. And they're still stronger than me. But we rough play sincerely, and my boys are grown up. But we do even my husband wrestles with them. I told him, he should respect himself. One day kids kids will beat him. And he'll be so embarrassed, says he doesn't care. So when I see them all tangled in a knot wrestling and so on, I just leave the room because of the shouting going on. But I remember growing up, my dad used to allow my brothers and I to take turns to shave his hair. And he would sit outside and he falls asleep The moment you start. And I was a very very naughty, naughty girl. Very naughty girl.

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So when it was my turn, I would shave and give him a mohawk. So he would just have this center part with him here is almost bolt. And this was during the punk era. So I was like so desperately wanted to wake him up and say, Baba, can I paint it pink or purple? He'd be fast asleep. But it was so much fun, but it helped in developing the kind of bond we have with our parents.

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How many play with their spouse? Today I raised I know my neighbors have heard me scream for dear life. When I play hide and seek, I will go and hide. And like I look to many places I can hide without my butt getting stuck. So I hide and when he finds me, I scream sometimes the children have to say come down Come down people. They are children in the house. But this kind of plays what we learned from how the Prophet sallallahu wasallam played with his spouse. We show affection openly. When we go out we hold hands. When we sit we sit side by side we're always in the same room. I always crossed my leg on his when we're sitting together, maybe watching TV chat, chat, chatting, or

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whatever. And these little little acts of affection are what strengthens the bond between us and that's what we are teaching our children. Our children know that in our house, Allah comes first.

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They both know that Allah comes first. However after Allah

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It's our personal well being and psychological well being that that comes second. Then third, they know that our relationship comes next because they know if my mom Baba, okay, they're gonna be okay. Because no child deserves to be born into a home where there's no love, no laughter, no compassion, growth or happiness.

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We also pray together as a family we bring Allah co close to us and we hold on tight to Allah as rope. We let them hear what we pray for, we make to our and then we take turns we ask them to do as well. We are teaching them to have a strong love for Allah. And learn like how many of us raise our children don't do that Allah will punish you don't do that around Haram. And what turned me off of Islam, we try to focus on sharing the wisdom in Allah in His injunctions, his compassion, his Rama, and less on his punishment, though we make sure we emphasize to them to fear of offending him and displeasing him because there are consequences for that. But we focus on the positive highlight the

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beauty of Islam and most importantly, the simplicity of Islam. We make sure that our children know that they should have absolutely no fear of shaytan and not in any way give him power over them because he has none.

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In addition, we teach them

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the Quran, not just the words, not just the beautiful many men melody, but the translation, the meaning the context and how to apply it in their daily lives. We made sure that we taught them that as important as memorizing and pronouncing is that it's more important for them to have Taqwa to have consciousness of Allah, and to apply the lessons from the Quran and the Hadith in their daily lives. Because while all those are good, like we shared in the previous lecture, they are so far from sufficient, if it doesn't help them become better, so that they can do better. And that the Quran is not just an academic textbook to be read.

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It's meant to be studied and understood, and most importantly, it's meant to be lived. So let the children see in us that we are the walking Quran. And we are the walking Sunnah. Show them Islam in motion in our actions in our deeds and hold on tight to alas rope, and hold on tight to the rope that binds you to your children talk and talk a lot to them. Like I shared the girls complain in particular, they don't have anyone to talk to the boys do the same. Sadly, if you don't listen to them, even the littlest things, they're gonna find somebody else who will.

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I have to do research because I was hopeless as communication. And I was a terrible listener, I interrupted, I gave the impression I knew what they wanted to say. So I had to learn that this was going to jeopardize my relationship with my spouse, and our children. So I did my homework, I did my research to find out how to communicate effectively, and how to be an effective listener.

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We let our children hear how we communicate with each other. However, we made a promise that we will never ever fight in front of our children. We will never raise our voices in front of our children. But we teach them about ethics of disagreement that you will disagree. We teach them how to fight without fighting. We teach them about effective communication and listening and conflict resolution. We eat together with absolutely no technology. Even if we go out to a restaurant, nobody has their phones on.

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If we don't sit together at the table, we throw a mat on the floor and we sit we eat together if we're in the house, and it's time for meals we eat together, we do lots of acts of entertainment together. We also make sure that our children see how we care for our parents, because one day we are going to be their customers. So we want to show them how my children till today see me putting my head on my parent's lap or on their chest. My mom of course has gone But till today, every single time I see my dad, I kiss him on the cheek or the forehead, and I give him a big hug. And every time guaranteed I do it. He prays for me.

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I make sure they see this. And they listen to how I sit and listen to the stories even though I've heard them over 100 times. Even though I can tell the same story. Every time I look with fascination as they tell the story. And I act like I'm hearing it for the first time. My dad was talking about how he met my mom just about four days ago. And I've heard this story The world has heard this story. But when you said Have I told you this story. Never tell me again. And then he starts narrating the story. With so much passion and emphasis on every word and every moment every do it

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He made until he finally saw her. And I act like I heard it for the very first time, we are developing a culture where they get to also join us in community service. My brother is a strong advocate of protecting the environment. So he does a lot of tree planting. But he also emphasizes the blessing in planting a tree. So as a big family, we all get together and we plant trees together. Because we keep remembering that if a bird sits under that tree, or somebody enjoys the shade of that tree, we get the reward for it, even after we are gone. We go visit the orphans together, we read to them. We'll show them through our examples that there is no greater pleasure

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that comes from us being together a close family, pleasing ally in the best way. But most importantly, the greatest pleasure is from acts of service being useful, that our purpose on this earth is not just to take care of ourselves and make ourselves happy. That true happiness comes from helping and lightening other people's loads. So we do our best to teach our children to live a deliberate life a life of purpose, to know that their existence is not an accident because Allah doesn't make mistakes, and that they need to do something greater than themselves, that they need to unwrap the gifts that Allah has given them, and use it for something bigger than them.

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Everything in our relationship should be balanced our relationship with our love, first, our relationship with our spouse, our children, our parents, our loved ones, our work, everything should be balanced, we should fulfill our obligations to all but not neglect one for the other.

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I would like to just say this without offending anybody. Please, please, please put those phone down phones down and make family feel they matter. Sadly, Today, many of us are so guilty of giving the unseen, more priority over our loved ones. We spend more time on our phone than with our family research has shown that average family today spends no more than 25 minutes a week talking having a decent family discussion. How much time will you give your spouse? How much time will you give your children in 25 minutes in one week.

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And if you think of the hours we spend on our phones instead, and how we allow people to knock on our doors on our phones, with the alerts entering our homes, even a two in the morning, we quickly check to see we should be very conscious of how this thing is destroying us and our families today. Yes, we are also busy, everybody is busy. You can't find somebody who won't say he's busy. But we chose to get married. And we chose to have children. And we have obligations and we will answer to Allah for those obligations. Having said that, sometimes you do everything in your power to make your marriage work and things don't work out. Sometimes you do everything in your power to raise

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your children in the best way you possibly could. And they still go astray. Like I shared in my first lecture. Just because our children grow up in Muslim homes, doesn't make them practicing Muslims.

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We have two boys. One of them, the seeds we've been planting in them have started to germinate and Alhamdulillah it seems his compass is facing Qibla The second one is going through the similar journey and trial that I went through. However, as parents our role is to continue to plant seeds. We continue to plant seeds in our children and insha Allah with the doula because as they say, the prayer of a parent will never go astray insha Allah, Allah will bring them back on the straight path. But first and foremost, they have to see the right thing. We have to model the right thing. We give birth to our children, but we didn't give birth to their character. Once upon a time, even I

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wasn't praying for four to five years. Once upon a time even I wasn't covering my head or wearing clothes that were modest. Once upon a time even I had doubts, but Alhamdulillah the seeds that my parents planted in me are still germinating and I pray inshallah that they are bearing fruit. Everything boils down to individual choice, you cannot force your children to go a certain way. So don't be a hardliner and don't turn them off. By being too strict because they could break away from you. We mustn't forget that even some of the prophets couldn't guide all their children. Allah says that our wealth and our children are a trial, a trial for us. So my final words on parenting.

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Since this room is filled with mothers, I'm going to talk to them

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To all the mothers to the first schools and the mothers to be, you are the first school for your children. You are the ones who educates a nation, raise boys who grow up and respect themselves. boys who will not just settle for being just boys, raise boys who will grow up to respect women who learn to cook clean, and do things for themselves. When my boys go into the kitchen, I honestly don't know whether it's my cook or my boys that cooked. They are excellent cooks. They do their own cleaning, they do their own ironing they pick up after themselves, and they clean up for us.

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I know anybody interested? Let me know we can talk afterwards.

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The Prophet sallallahu Sallam used to mend his own clothes. Is there any example better than that?

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Raise boys who grew up

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to sorry raised boys who grew up to believe that women are not meant to serve them like glorified housemates then raise girls who know their role and their worth in their families and in society, who preserve their dignity. And what she said is that her mother doesn't want the stigma that her daughter came back home. So she made it clear to her that you cannot come home, you have to manage. Like I said at the beginning of this lecture, we're not meant to suffer we're not supposed to manage in marriage, were not supposed to be broken or depreciated. And there are so many who are hurting today, simply because they didn't have an outlet or we made it taboo to run away. When things get

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too heavy for us.

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Then sometimes, in spite of all your good efforts, divorce occurs, it's so important to remember that parenting is for life. Keep your children away from the chaos and the battlefield. Don't make them your psychiatrists, your lawyers, don't make them take sides. Don't make them resent your spouse.

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They may end up resenting you later on. My final words on how to build a beautiful Muslim home. My husband and I and the children, we treat our family, our home, like a garden. We put a fence around it, and we got it jealously. But everybody is planting seeds. Everybody is contributing, nurturing the soil, fertilizing, adding water, making sure there's enough sunlight, and everybody is removing the weeds, starting with the weeds within ourselves, our bad habits Alhamdulillah we get to smell the beautiful flowers, and taste the sweet fruit that come from our hard work, our sacrifices, our prayers, and our commitment to our marriage. The fact that we are here today, this is a full house

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means everybody came out to learn like I do. Everybody came out to be better. I always tell people I'm not a scholar, I'm a student. But just because we attend lecture upon lecture, read books upon books, they are so far from sufficient if it doesn't make us better, so that we can do more and be better.

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If it doesn't make us a better spouse, if it doesn't make us a better parent, if it doesn't make us a better Muslim. And if it doesn't translate into our actions, we have more access today than it for him. We have more access to data information and knowledge than ever before in our lives. We have great scholars from around the world that are talking to us on our phones in our homes on any channel we look for. They are right there at our fingertips. But the world isn't becoming a better place and the oma is losing its identity. And marriages are breaking down faster than ever and we're seeing more and more dysfunctional homes. It all boils down to good old family values. We are seeing

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more and more marriages breaking down.

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What many are suffering today is the self discipline to apply the knowledge they have learned and bring it to life. Because so many have heard so much even during this month of Ramadan. So many have listened to the tough series. So many have watched on their phones, things that would help them learn and grow. The challenge is applying it so let the fertilizer, the water the sunlight, nurture our hearts and our relationships and but produce beautiful sweet fruit. Like a student that I am. I'm on a lifelong journey to learn and grow and contribute the littlest I know to be the best spouse to be the best mother and the best Muslim I possibly can be. Every day I get to turn a new page. And

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every day I have the opportunity to write or rewrite my story. May our books once again he handed to us in our writing

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Maybe we heavy with all the deeds that we have done while on this earth with the gifts we've been blessed with May our spouse, our children, and our loved ones, those whose lives we have touched and inspired, even the animals that we were kind to and the trees that we planted. May they all serve as a witness for us in the life to come. Once again I asked you to forgive me if I have arrived in any way. May Allah bless you all and grant you the full blessing of this month of Ramadan. JazakAllah hiren