Raising My Child with Islam
Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
File Size: 26.22MB
Friday Khutbah 2023
Like the Muslim communities like the United States, or in many parts of Europe, Canada, Australia, where Muslims are a minority, we hope to build Islamic centers, Islamic schools, youth projects, these kinds of things, to be able to support and nurture the development of our kids in an Islamic environment. And I first of all want to start by saying that all of us should make sincere dial for any such effort that is, is making some kind of headway some kind of service in trying to instill Islamic values into our coming generations. But today, I want to speak about this from, from another perspective, the same subject, but from a different perspective. Coming from a business background
and a management background, I can tell you that when you have a project, you have to be very clear about your goals. And once you have clarity about your goals, then you decide what steps you're going to take to achieve those goals. And in what time will you achieve those goals? And for each one of those steps? What resources are you going to need to be able to get to those goals? Right? So the first thing you have to be clear about is the goal. And then everything else you do all the steps are now determined by that goal. And at every step of the process, you have to stop and ask yourself, Is this step taking me towards that goal or not? And is there a clear connection between
this step and that goal? What happens often in businesses in education and institutions, is people start with a very clear goal. Like I'll give you the example of politics, somebody can say, I'm going to change this country, I'm going to do this, I have this vision, this is my goal. If I come into power, that's what I'm going to do. And then eventually they run into elections, and they lose, and they run again. And they lose in one day. After so many campaigns, they finally win. And they finally went on that same campaign of those goals that they had. But now that they come into power, there are new considerations. There's no compromises, there are no complications, all this stuff is
happening. And now they start taking steps, or they start issuing policies are statements. And the followers are like, wait, but you said your vision is this. And now you're taking the steps that are not leading directly towards that goal. And they say I know, but life is complicated, we have to sometimes take a left turn and a right turn, and I'll come back around and I'll reach the goal eventually, right. But that's, that's what happened, then you start losing trust in these leaders, who promised you something who gave a clear vision. And eventually they started hopping into different directions, in business. And in the world of business, they also have this concept called
too big to fail. Right. So to give you an example of that, so we can understand the subject at hand better, somebody decided that they want to run a restaurant, right? They want to make the world's best pizza or something. And they bought themselves a big old stove, to make that pizza, and then they find out this is not the best stove, right, they put so much money in it, they put so much investment in it, they even got a special Cook, who knows how to operate that stove. And now this is not making the best pizza. So they have to get rid of this thing, but they spent too much money on it already. So now they have to tell themselves, I'm gonna just I'm just going to make this work.
This is what I got, it's too big to fail, just put more money in it. Because we've come too far. Now, it would be too much of a last to get rid of this and start over again. So since I already made a mistake, I might as well just dig myself my heels in even deeper, right. And so what happens then is the original goal gets lost and it gets compromised. The thing is, if you really want to achieve your goal, it will be because you and I are human beings, we might take a step, that was a mistake. It wasn't the best step. And I have to be honest enough with myself to say that step was a failure. I think we need to try something else. We need to try something new, you know, and then we try a
different step. And maybe that's more successful. And so you have to if you if your goal is clear, then you it may not work that you copy what everybody else is doing, you might have to try new things. Right. Now the thing is, when it comes to educating our children or giving our children a good data, we have an opportunity to hold on to their religion, to have a value system that they can then engage the world with. Let's first talk about the goal. In my mind, the goal is that a Muslim 10 year old should be prepared to deal with public school. Like when they go into a public school environment, what are they going to see? What kinds of conversations are they going to hear? What
kinds of ideas are they going to be exposed to, and they should be ready to deal with exposure to social media. They should even if you don't get them a phone, you don't get them an iPhone, and you don't get them a tick tock account and you don't put Instagram on their machines or devices. That doesn't mean they don't have friends that have access to those things. So they they're going to be exposed. So now my goal for my 10 year old is not to prevent access.
Because even if I limit access, it's going to happen. And I'm living in delusion, if I think that's not going to happen one way or the other, they are going to get exposed. And if I'm trying to protect them from being exposed, that's only a temporary plan, because a few years from now, they're gonna be old enough, and they're gonna get hit from all sides from all kinds of exposure, right? So I have to build something in this 10 year old, even younger, I have to build something in them, that makes them ready to deal with what's coming, what the world they have to face, right? And so if I step back and say, you know, I just really want to make sure that my 10 year old knows how to make
salah. I think that's an excellent goal. It's excellent. It's an excellent thing to teach our kids Salah and how to make will do and how to clean themselves when they go to the bathroom, what to ask to make, how to make sure they eat halal food, all that amazing. But it's salah, and we'll do an eating halal food is that preparing them for what's coming in the school environment? Are they going to get hit with something that they weren't completely ready for?
Some parents say to themselves, I'm going to make my child memorize the Quran, you know what I'm going to pull them out of school, I'm going to make sure they memorize the entire Quran, I'm gonna put them in a madrasa mother says that field, and they're gonna, they're going to take two or three years, and they become a half of the Quran. And Tajweed is beautiful. And they can lead the prayer and they can have we can even pray behind them. And Tara, we can we can celebrate them. Now this 13 year old boy who's a half of the Quran is eventually going to go to school. And he's also going to see what's on social media and what's available on YouTube and what's available on the web. What's
what's across, and the other 13 year olds, what are they talking about? Right, he's gonna be exposed to all of that.
And if I'm thinking that his tweet is going to help him navigate that crisis, or the fact that he knows what'll Baqara by heart makes him prepared for what's coming, then I've got myself a problem. Because I didn't understand the goal. Clearly, the goal of learning the prayer and the goal of memorizing the Quran, that goal, the steps are towards the goal of worshiping Allah better. That's a good goal. And you know, in other words, if I, if I do encourage my kids to memorize the Quran, and to learn the prayer, and to learn their religion and learn something about halal and haram, and learn something about fish and learn something about the seal of the Prophet, slice, and all of that
is preparing them to worship Allah better, great.
But that doesn't mean that it prepares them to fight against Satan.
That's a different goal. And shiping comes to people in multiple ways. Allah even said, there are devils among human beings and there's devils among jinn, right mineral, Jannetty, oneness. So there's negative influences that are going to come and hit my, my young son or daughter, and they're going to have a major impact on them. I need to be making, I need to make sure they can handle that environment. Now, how do you make sure that our kids handle that environment, this whole book cannot give you all the answers, I can tell you that ahead of time. But there are at least some things we can be become mindful of. And some practical steps we can take. I'm going to draw upon one
experience that I had when I was in a Muslim country, because I thought you know, problems of the youth, Muslim youth have problems in the in the West, and Muslims Alhamdulillah living in the Muslim world where they can hear the Afghan where they don't have to worry about if the food is halal or not. You know, where they hit with their been exposed to Islam from the beginning. They can go to Omaha or take Islamic trips every year, every year as part of their life, you know, that they're going to be under much, much less fitna. Right. And so I had this session with these kids at school at a school, teenage boys and girls, a few 100 Girls, a few 100 Boys, and I decided that when my
lecture was over, that instead of taking their questions on the microphone, because they will come up on the mic, and they'll ask a question. I know something about kids, they don't act like themselves when everybody else is watching. So if you say come up on the mic and ask a question, they're gonna ask the question, that's not going to get them in trouble. Because the principle is there, their parents are there, the cameraman is there. They're too conscious, they're not going to do that. So I said, I'm going to just go into the crowd of the kids, and I'm just going to talk to them. And there's going to be no camera or anything, just let me have a conversation with them.
Right. So when when when the the principle amounts, if anybody has a question, they should raise their hand there were 1000 Kids 500 Boys, 500 Girls, nobody raised their hand.
And then I said, let me just go and talk to them. And then go inside the crowd of the kids, these boys and these girls and I go into one side and for the next hour, they wouldn't stop asking questions, or climbing on top of each other to ask questions. And I this was not a teaching opportunity. For me. This was a low
learning opportunity for me I was honored to learn what is on the minds of these kids, what are they? What do they want to know about? And so many of these young girls were saying, what do you do if you feel lonely all the time? What do you feel like? What do you do? If you feel like nobody listens to you? What do you do? If you feel like nobody cares about you? What do you do? If you feel like your parents don't really love you? What do you do? These were the questions over and over again, one version or another of the same loneliness, feeling unheard, feeling alienated feeling not loved these kinds of questions over and over. And I thought maybe it's just one girl suffering from
something to girls are representing. When the next step after the 50th time, we have to recognize there's something happening, our kids feel alienated. One of the most important things a child needs from their parents is a sense of connection,
a real sense of connection. And you cannot develop a sense of connection. If you and I are going to have artificial conversations with our children.
If we are just going to do you mix a lot, even though there was another time that you do your homework. Okay, it's time for dinner. Okay, don't watch that. Okay, okay. We can go hey, what do you what kind of what shoes do you want for aid? These are the conversations. That's it, food, homework, some Islam, some some some chores. And years go by. And if anything, we're going on vacation, we had a great time. But we even when you had a great time, you didn't have a great conversation, you just had a great time. Right? The only and then children learned the only time I have to talk to my dad, or the only time I have to talk to my mom is when I'm hungry. Or when I need money. Or I need
something otherwise, I'm just gonna talk to my friends. I don't have to talk to them. And they're, and even when the parents are having a conversation, and you walk in as a kid, they're like, go, we're talking right now go in the other room. So the kid feels like I this is not really the people that I should talk to. And then the parents will say, yeah, he doesn't talk much. Yeah, he doesn't talk much because,
you know, give him an opportunity to talk. In fact, that same kid when he goes online, and he gets an Instagram account, or she gets a tick tock account, and they start commenting, or they start posting a small video or something, people start talking to them. People start saying that was really funny. That was really good. Those Ds are getting validated. And you start feeling like they're being heard. But they were supposed to get that feeling at home. They're supposed to feel like my my dad listens to me. My mom listens to me. So now they develop our kids start developing a feeling that they don't tell you. They don't tell you they feel like you don't care.
And you in your head, you're like, What do you mean, I don't care, I pay the bills. I put the food on the table. I gave them this President, I gave them this. I gave them this. I took them on vacation. What do you mean, I don't care a stock for a lot. Today's children are so selfish.
They don't understand. We have to make them understand, give the next home but to make the children understand that they don't know what they're feeling. We have to change how they feel.
And because our children don't express themselves, they don't say it. So we tell ourselves No, no, my son never complains. My son never says anything much yield, brother. Some other people's kids have that problem. My kids don't have this problem and hamdulillah my family are shallow, perfect children Hamdulillah.
I've seen that a million times. And then that same perfect child when they're 16 years old, and the tongue starts coming out a little bit. And those same parents are in shock. Share, Imam. I don't know what happened to my boy was such a good boy.
I don't know all of a sudden what happened to him? He doesn't listen. He gets he yells back. He goes out of the house. He doesn't tell me where he's going. And this why is this happening all of a sudden. And the issue is how you're thinking this happened all of a sudden. But actually, it was happening in the child's mind one step at a time for 5678 years. Until the point where the child developed a belief that my parents don't understand me.
They don't get what I'm going through. And even if I tried to tell them what I'm going through, they would lose their mind. There are many young people sitting here. They know what I'm talking about. If you said if what actually the conversation that actually happened in college, or the conversation that actually happened in high school, are the conversations that are actually happening online are actually happening even in your middle school or your elementary school. If your parents knew what you heard and what you said and who you said it to and what they said to you. You know that you would have to make a call to 911
like you did, somebody's going to the hospital, either they out of shock or depression or a heart attack.
heck, or you're getting a beat down or something's happening, because they're not ready for that conversation. Because you've created such an invisible wall between the two of you that keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. There's no communication. We read out of the Quran where Allah describes what happened in the end. But like I said, you can you can learn about the end, but you have to see the steps that lead to that end. For Hala from embody him holophone allows for that.
A generation came after them that was a waste. You know, if the next generation is useful, productive, they're called Caliph with a Fatah. If the next generation is a waste, like their disappointment, they're called Health.
So for Hala pub embody him handphone be spoon Allah. What that means is the next generation came after them. That was a disappointment. How are they a disappointment, a bottle salata, they wasted the prayer. Allah didn't say they didn't pray.
Because if they did pray, but they wasted it. In other words, the prayer was supposed to have a purpose. And this new generation came, even when they prayed, they had no idea what the purpose of that prayer is about solid.
And the prayer was supposed to transform. If you understand the goal of the prayer, it's supposed to transform my personality. It's supposed to transform the way I see the world. But when that doesn't happen, then you understand the next part of the idea of our salata. What about OSHA, what they followed, whatever their feelings told them to follow? They had urges, they had feelings, they had hormones, and they followed them, they did whatever they wanted. This is what came of the next generation. We read this idea and sort of volume and you're like this happened in history could never happen again, right? Allah doesn't mention history because it's dead in the past. He mentioned
this history because history repeats itself. And he reminds the believer of this history because I don't want my children to fall into this trap. So how do I make sure my my kids don't become step one abou salata, they don't waste a prayer. How do they have a real connection with this religion, you can you're you're the ultimate teacher for your kids religion, I don't care if you're knowledgeable or not, you know, Arabic or not, you're a scholar or not the biggest shape your child has for Islam, as you
know, you cannot outsource that job. No YouTube video can outsource that job. No Imam can outsource that job, no Islamic school, no Sunday school, nobody else can do that job, you are carrying 99% of that responsibility. 1% these institutions can help 1% everything else is coming from you. You're the ultimate influencer on your child's personality, you have to decide what that means. And what steps steps you as a father, the men that are sitting in front of me, you as a father, and you as mothers that are in the section, you have to decide what steps you have to take to prepare your child for making their own choices. That everything you're doing in that relationship isn't
preparing them for that.
In our head, we said if we build schools, if we build bigger centers, if we build if we get, you know, fancy, you know, well spoken Imams, the problem of the youth will be solved no problem of the youth, you can get support from those things, the institutions will support, the institutions will further the Imams and the scholars and the leaders in the youth directors will help. But the real transformation happens at home. And the real thing, the real thing happens at home. And it happens in the early years. It happens in the early we when we say oh, we need to do something for the youth. Usually we're talking about teenagers. Or usually we're talking about 12 1314 years old year
olds. And we're like all the little kids, they're too little, no, they're developing. They're absorbing your personality. They're absorbing your priorities. They're absorbing your behaviors, they're absorbing your treatment towards them. They're sponges, they're taking it all in, and it's not going to come out when they're eight years old, it's going to come out when they're 1314 1516, the most difficult years of their life, the most emotionally turbulent years of their life. And so we have to prepare ourselves as parents as adults, to actually understand what's going on in our children's minds in silence, if we really have the goal of getting them ready for what's coming in
the world. The example I often give is when a parent is really into football.
Their six year old gets into football, their four year old gets into football. If a parent is really into video games, their two year olds are sitting and going yeah. And play video games with them. What you are passionate about your children become passionate about
what makes them love you
And remember you are things when you validate them when you hug them when you say I'm proud of you, when you encourage them, but the things they hate about you is when you yell at them, and when they the same thing you hated about your dad. It's not any different. You loved when he told you, he's proud of you. You love when he came over to you and hugged you hear you love certain experiences with him. But when he was yelling at you,
leave your sister alone. Come here. What are you doing?
Don't make me come there. Listen to your mother, you don't remember, you don't like that part of your dad. Nobody likes that part of their dad. That's a necessary part of being a dad, sometimes. What I'm saying is are we giving our kids the experiences that build the first connection they have is to us. And if that connection is strong, then we have a chance to give them a strong connection to Allah, we have that chance to give that to them. Because we are their ultimate influencer. If our bond with them is weak, then we are setting the stage for their bond with Allah to be weak. They cannot you cannot yell your kids into being a good Muslim. You cannot yell you pray, pray, pray, and
they're gonna become, you know, they're gonna love the prayer. The only praying even you know, what's the use of us to make an ER before you pray. And jokingly, they'll just make a neon praying for a cow for law because my mother made me Allahu Akbar.
Right? Then he has that for Allah and he has your mom won't stop yelling at you. That's what you're praying, and the moment you're in college, but the moment you where you're among friends, there's no need, there's no mom there, so there's no need to pray.
About salata. We have to recognize that Allah has given us this opportunity to raise and nurture our children to nurture them, and you cannot nurture them. If you're not understanding what is going on inside them. What is it that they need? What is it that they need to hear? What is it that they're going through that they're scared to tell you that they think you'll get angry? If they tell you, if you cannot have those conversations with your kids, then they're definitely going to have those conversations with somebody else. They're human beings have to talk to someone they're human, they need to have the need to fulfill their need. And so what happens over time, is the last thing I'll
share with you is over time in the early years of our children, whenever they draw something, or they do something, what do they do? They run over to Baba and say, Baba, look what I did. Look what I made. Look what I did. Look what I mean, constantly trying to impress you, isn't it? That same boy when he's eight, 910 1112 years old? What are you? What are you doing nothing?
I can't go with my friends now. Who are you talking to? Just somebody
to tell me what you mean, oh, just do this homework. All of a sudden, they're not interested in impressing you. Because all of a sudden, they become interested in impressing their friends that happened with you that happened with me, that happens with our kids, there's a time where they just want to impress you, there's a time where they just want to get away from you. And they just want to impress their friends. There's an age that they come to, right? Before they get to that age, when they want to impress you. That's the time where you have the opportunity to put something in them
to put to put something deep inside them. And you have you can get them ready for the age where they're going to want to impress their friends. Because if they have the wrong kinds of friends, they will impress them by doing the wrong kinds of things. You understand. So we the the ultimate Islamic education is actually the role of Allah has given parents. I leave you with this thought Allah has given them one of the most profound ideas for parents are a bit hum Homer. Right. Allah mentioned that right after he mentioned his own rights and so to Alyssa Baca, darbuka Allah taboo in that year, Well, Bill, why didn't he? What a remarkable thing Allah said, don't worship anyone
except Him and be the best you can possibly be to both parents. So Allah mentioned himself that he mentioned parents. What a huge honor for parents to be mentioned right after Allah right after Allah.
But you know at the end of that, at the end with a dua is made for parents, Allah didn't just say we'll call Rob Durham Houma and that's it. And Taha
Elia No, no, Robert ham Houma come out of Bayani cerebra
So it's a well been Jonnie.
Yola wants you to show them your special Rama, your loving care, because just like they were the ones that make sure made sure that I was being nurtured. They nurtured me and they allowed me to grow in a healthy way. When I was small, though to be in Arabic is used for the growth of a plant and you cannot leave a plant on autopilot. You have to check on a plant all the time. You have to check if there's bugs around the dirt. You have to check for termites. You have to check if it's getting enough water, you have to check if it's getting too much sun or not enough sun. There's a constant nurturing process with a plant
and you're acknowledging that
My parents were very delicate with me. Now instead of you the adults here is thinking about their parents. We make this dog we make this for our parents, but I also in this dua, a parent has to think too, am I earning the right Bayani part?
Because I want to earn
I want my kids to make garlic for me, but am I nurturing them in this delicate way when they are small Sahira when I was small, so Allah is mentioning their critical need for that kind of care when children are small, that kind of delicate care. We have that responsibility, and no one else will take that responsibility over for us. Nothing will replace that for us. And there is no fitna in the world big enough to misguide our children when we do our job. That is my belief. Allah made that a timeless reality. You can't say, oh, the fitna now is so big. There's nothing parents can do? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. This is a lie has empowered every parent to be able to do that for
their child. By the way. I know that it's over time, but just ponder this with me. And I'll leave you with this thought. You know the story of Yusuf Ali salaam, right? Yusuf Ali salaam, his biggest influence, his biggest positive influence in his life was his father. Right. And his father spoke with him when he was a small child, the exchange he had with his father when he was a small child. After that, he gets kidnapped, and he's in a foreign country, and he's an a slave. And he's basically in a gopher society the rest of his life.
He's surrounded by cover and fascia and evil and theft and corruption and dirt and filth and criminals, the rest of his life most of his life. And the only positive time he had was those few early years that he got to spend with his dad. Allah is showing us something, the power of parenting at an early age, he's able to carry that even when he was in jail, he was talking to the other prayer prison mates about his dad and his dad and his dad. That's what he was doing. So we cannot underestimate the value of what we have to do with our young children, especially our young children. May Allah azza wa jal allow all of us to become the kind of fathers we're supposed to be.
And may Allah azza wa jal soften the hearts of our children and allow us to nurture them in a way that is pleasing to Him, making them the kind of fathers that the Quran inspires them to be BarakAllahu li Walakum Quran Al Hakim when a family we are committed to ethical Hakim
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