How to foster Islamic Identity in our Children

Saad Tasleem

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Channel: Saad Tasleem

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ICNA-North East Convention

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The speaker discusses the difficulties of parenting and how parents' actions can affect children, making it a lifelong trial for parents. They emphasize the importance of parenting for every step in their child's life and how it is a trial for themselves. The speaker also discusses how children are affected by their parents' actions and how parenting is a crucial part of learning. They emphasize the importance of resolving conflict and being proud of one's identity to become an American.

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I'm at

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work.

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And as I heard a lot, a little bit of the introduction, and

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I'm kind of like known for speaking to the youth and all that. So a lot of times the experience that I have, and it's almost at every single conference, every single talk that I go to, is that at some point, a parent comes to me with their teenage daughter or their teenage son. And they say, you know,

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they don't pray, or they don't really care about Islam, or I caught them committing this sin or that or whatever. And we like you, and we see that you're, you're, you're a positive influence. And so can you just say something? Like, just talk to them, like, say something to them? That will bring them close to Allah? Can you do something to them that will just make them like you? And I'm like, first of all, I'm far from being perfect. But second of all, it doesn't work like that. Right? It's not it's that's not how it works. It's not like I've had Allah have a magic pill or something. Right? I wish I did. I wish I had a magic pill. I'd be like caged Sokoloff, when I got in my pocket

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right here. One for me, one for you. This is both be super Muslim together. Right? I wish it was that easy. But that's not how it works. And actually, if you look at the life of the prophet satellite send them a lot of what Sister dunya was talking about, is if you look at the life of the person sending them what you realize is that he was mentoring, the Sahaba in every moment that he spent with them. And that is why you have the Sahaba you have the Abba dinner, you have a blood and Massoud of the love and the remote and others which were pillars of our ummah. And that went on to do great and amazing things. Because the time that they spent with the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa

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sallam, every moment, the prophets that ally sending them was not just teaching them was not just telling them, he was leading by example, because that is the message that is the responsibility that Allah subhanaw taala gave to the prophets of a life and limb nukkad Karnala computer sudo Allah He swore to an Hashanah, there is for you most certainly in the prophet, a prime beautiful example. And all you have to do is look at how the process LM was with the youth how he was with the younger generation. You know, a lot of times you Pamela, one of the issues that I see is all the times parents will demand respect from their children. And I'm talking about like teenagers here, I'm

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talking about little kids. Now, you know, they've spent, you know, 14 1516 years with their kids. And then you know, when you know, the normal teenage years, when kids tend to get rebellious and all that. They'll hear their child say something like bomb, I hate you. Or dad, I, I can't stop just stop talking to me, can you leave me alone. And the parents will get offended, like deeply offended.

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And they'll demand respect from their child. And look, I get it, right I'm I'm a parent myself. And even though my son, he's not even two yet, but I will law he I empathize with the parents. And I didn't really know I used to sympathize with the parents before I became a parent. And I used to tell parents, listen, just relax, like chill out, give them their space. But now as a parent, Look, I get it, I get the fact that from the moment the child was born, you were doing everything for that child. Right? You were everything for them. And you took care of them through thick and thin when you are tired and worn out. And I've seen what my wife has been through, and I know what parents go

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through. So I get it, that it is deeply hurtful to hear your child say, I hate you, or I can't stand you, I totally get that. But realize that that is the trial of being a parent. And every single human being who is a parent goes through something similar. And this is why Allah subhanaw taala told us that our wealth in Mr. Anwar lucuma, Allah fitna that your wealth and your children are a trial for you just like we are tested with our wealth. Likewise, we are tested with our children. And the test of our children is not a one time test. It's a lifelong test, and every single stage and every single moment of the child's life, whether it be when they're a newborn, or they're a

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toddler, they're going through their terrible twos, or whether they turn eight years old, or they start hitting puberty. And there's new challenges at that point, or when you know, they're in their teenage years, and they're, they're naturally rebellious, or when they get older and they get married and have children and that every single stage of the child's life is a test for us. I remember Subhanallah when my son was born, I was in the elevator. I think my son was like a couple months old. I was in the elevator I was holding my son and

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A lady walked in with her toddler, her child was a toddler. And I said, Hey, how you doing? You know, I was like, Oh, how old is your is your child? And I think she said, you know, he, he's about two years old.

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And I said, Oh, that seems like the the easy stage. Right? Because I was just getting used to my son like you just born, I like new parent is trying to figure stuff out. And I'm like, you know, she's got it figured out like she knows what's going on. And she goes, No, this is the hardest stage. And then I ran across another parents Hala, whose child was older, by eight years old. And I'm like, and I told him, I told him, I said, this looks like the easy stage, right? I think like, You got to figure it out. Eight years old, you know, you've had eight years of experience, they're like, No, this is the hardest time, right? And then I came to the realization that the moment that you're in

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with your child, that moment is the hardest time, no matter what, no matter what age that may be, right? Whether they're one or two, or three, or whatever it may be. In that moment, we are going through that through that struggle. And through that trial.

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And subhanAllah, what we don't realize and what I it's hard for me to convey this to parents. And I hate to sound negative. And I'm what I'm not saying here, by the way, is that it's too late, it's never too late. But when it comes to enriching our children, or we want them to turn out a certain way, it has to start from the very, very beginning.

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It has to start from the moment that we think they don't even know what we're saying. And now we understand this kinda in the first two years of a child's life, a huge portion of their personality is already developed. You know, when our children are young, and we're not even thinking about what we say around them. When we have no problem. backbiting, no problem, gossiping, no problem, yelling at somebody in the car, right? That's when our child is learning. And subhanAllah. This hit me like a ton of bricks one day, when my son went to his grandma's house. And my and my mother in law she was wearing a watch is like a normal, old school watch. And my son grabbed her wrist. And he grabbed

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the watch. And he started like tapping it and swiping the watch. And I'm like, What is he doing? My mother in law? I was like, what's what's what's going on? What is he doing my watch. And then I realize that I have an Apple Watch. And I've had this since before my son was born. And so from my son's perspective, a watch is something that you can tap, and then you can swipe. And that's all that's his perception of oh, that's how he understands what a watch is. And so when he sees any other type of watches, he's like, trying to tap it. Right? And then I realized Subhanallah how children are a sponge. And you know, I've read the books, I've read the parenting books, and I've

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read the studies, and so on, so forth. But until and unless you're in it, and you actually see something like that, you see how your child is affected, and how they they take in everything you say, and that can very much affect their personality later on. It's it's not really going to hit home. And I'll give you one more examples. Pamela.

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I was sitting with my wife, and we were we were having some food. And I have this little pet peeve when it comes to Pakistani or Desi food. By the way, I'm Desi. So I can say this, right? And that is you know, I like Pakistani food. But I have a problem with all the extracurricular stuff that is in the Pakistani food. And the bases know what I'm talking about, right? Like the the Kali mirch bomb, you know about that? Right? That little black thing that just hits you? Right? And I'm like, why? Like, why does it have to be like 50,000 of them in like one meal, like, I get like 20 or 30. But why someone I've been in situations where I've picked out every single one. And there's just one

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that sneaks up on you. Right? And I remember scatola one day I was sitting eating one of these dishes. And I got hit by one of those, those black pepper bombs. And I'm like, yuck. Right? And just I didn't even think about that. And then a few days later, I see my son walking around the house. And he's like a year and a bit at that point. And he starts going yuck, yuck. Yuck. And I'm like, What is he saying? And we my wife, we sat there for a while be like What word is he trying to say? And then we realize that he's just saying yuck. And he heard it from me. And I said it once not even thinking about it. Right? This is how our children pick up what we show them and you know, when we

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talk about respect, we talked about you know, I talked about how sometimes we demand respect you cannot demand respect from anyone, a child or even in an adult. Respect has to be earned respect has to be taught. If we haven't respected our children. When grow when they were growing up, how do we expect them to respect us

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We see in the example the President sent them, he made it a point to show respect to children. And that's why they were confident human beings. That's why they were confident and secure in their identity. We have the Hadith visa had been saddled the Allah that I mentioned Saudi Makati in which sir had been said says that person was sitting in a gathering once. And it was elders in the gathering and there was one boy like a young boy sitting on the right of the precipice, Adam and time came to pass around some food.

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And so the sunnah of our system, is to always begin with the right now who's sitting to the right person has had a young boy child, and there's elders in the gathering. So the press is sending them what does he do? Does he just bypass the child and say, you know, your little just back off? Right? There's elders sitting here know, what he does is, he turns to the child, and he asked his permission. What is the last time we asked our kids permission to do anything? Right? They have to like the way we treat our kids is you have I'm your father, I'm your mother, you obey. You respect me. Right? But he asked the child he said, Do you allow me to bypass you to to start with your

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elders? If the child says, he says no.

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And he says, No Yasuda Allah, why? He says, because I want to have the blessings of drinking right after you.

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And this shows us who had allah how much he loved the percent of men how much you wanted the baraka of the prophets of Allah who Allah he was setting them. This was the respect that the Prophet sallallahu Sallam showed to the children, Jana with the cycle of violence is

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the cycle of violence is a theory that children who are brought up in a household where violence occurs, are more likely to commit violence as well. So if a child grew up with a young boy grew up, watching his father, abused his mother, then there's a higher chance that he will turn out to be abusive as well. Right. And I know it sounds insane how to look. But it happens. It happens a lot. And one of the things is that, you know, when it comes to marriage, counseling is powerful. I've seen this happen a lot.

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Sometimes a child grows up in an environment where all they have seen from their parents is fighting, and bickering and then belittling one another, being condescending in their speech, because you know, what, every time they have an argument, every time they have a disagreement, they're just putting each other down. Right, they're being condescending to one another. And so a child can grow up. And what they learn is, this is how you try to resolve conflict, by putting the other person down. Then when you have a problem with your spouse, you criticize immediately in front of everyone, because they've never learned positive ways to deal with conflict. And now when years

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later, they turn around and they get married and they're in a situation where they have they haven't learned positive

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that they haven't they haven't they haven't learned these positive skills, these positive skills to resolve conflict. And that's why it's Pamela when it comes to our marriages, you know, we talked about we often there used to be a time where used to criticize non Muslim marriages, we say, you know, one in two marriages end in divorce. How crazy is that hadn't been enough for the blessings of Islam. Right. But unfortunately, now we're in a position where our stats and our figures are very close. And the problem is that we have abandoned the Sunnah of the Prophet satellites and known and we have adopted the same lifestyle that leads to things like divorce and dysfunctional families. And

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I believe sister dunya touched on this, but we like looking the part. Right it's nice, it's fun to it. It's great to look the part it's great to look like a Muslim, you know, your beard and your throat but whatever all the like the typical things that cliched examples, it's another thing to live the life of a Muslim. And you know, what's been happening in America? What's been happening is our children have been watching us, our children have been learning from us. And how did we behave? When tests and trials came? What happened after 911? How did we behave? Well, a lot of us, we just went and hid away. We changed our name from Mohamed Timo. Right, we had a bumper sticker that said,

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you know, don't die except in the state of submission to Allah. Right. We had a bumper sticker that quoted it out and we took off those bumper stickers. Right. We replaced our

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Our clothing with different clothing when it comes to going to the masjid, we hid away our Islam. So now, when another test comes, another child comes our children, our youth, they're not empowered, they don't feel the result of Islam. They haven't seen the generation before them stand up for their rights, what they have seen is us chipping away at our identity. Let this go and let that go and let this fall apart. And let this let this move to the side because you know what, we got to be safe. And Wallahi it's not my place to tell anyone to uphold any part, right? Understand if you're in physical danger or whatever, talking about the hijab. For example, I will never tell a sister that

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listen, even though things are bad, keep your hijab on

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if you're even if you're afraid for your life, but in a general sense, I can say this, that if we take off our hijabs now, if we shave our beards now, if we let go of our identity now, how long before there is nothing left of our identity? How long before there's nothing left of who we are? And if you look at the American experience, you know, we like we claim to be American, we want to be part of the American experience. Well, part of the American experience is that you stand up for what you believe, is that you have the self confidence to be to have your your identity as being wherever your your ancestors are from or whatever other issue makes up part of your identity and being

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American at the same time. If you look at Japanese Americans, they fought and they struggled, they spent time in internment camps. I don't know, I know, we can't even fathom this, we lose our minds. When we we just hear about the Muslim registry, we lose our minds. We can't even think about it. But can you imagine that Japanese Americans part of their heritage, part of what they went through is they actually lived in internment camps.

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And let alone the African American experience and what they had to suffer and what they had to go through. And I'm often thinks panela, about African American Muslims, and how for them to pan Allah, they are a guiding shining example for us. Because we haven't even we've barely faced it once right? We're going through we may be may be going through it once. And even now there are such positive signs that hamdulillah the mayor of New York came out recently and said, If they start registering Muslims, the whole state of New York is gonna come out and register as Muslim Allahu Akbar.

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Right.

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That didn't happen. It wasn't that easy when it came to the civil rights movement.

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When you think about the segregation laws, the Jim Crow laws, it wasn't like that. They had to stand up for themselves. And that is part of the American experience. And that is what we have to teach our kids, we have to teach our kids to be proud of who they are. Give them the result of Islam. Teach them that true is comes from Islam.

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This was what the companions that are the Allah that I know, they found their identity in Islam. And then they were able to convey that to others. When they spend time with the prophets of Allah. I said to them, This is what the Prophet saw something I said to them taught them. Because this, there was a time when the companions were looked at. They were demonized. They were otherwise as brother Hamza likes to say, all right, they were otherwise just like we are today. And every single generation goes through that every single generation goes through that same cycle. My point my brothers and sisters, is that I know it's easy to point the finger at our children, and the youth or

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as some uncle say youths, right? And say, they just don't listen. You know, there's too many, there's too many trials for them. They're just, they're living in a time where they just can't survive, and so on and so forth. We have to be the example for them, we have to show them that we can persevere. And not just for this generation, but for the many generations that will come after I think about my child Subhanallah, who's not even to right now. And I think about when he is a teenager, when he gets to that stage, when you know there's pressure to let go of his identity as a Muslim. How will he behave? Have I taught him to be proud of his Muslim heritage? Have I taught him

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to be proud of his Deen? Have I taught him to find honor in Islam? Or have I taught him that you know what, we can slowly let it go? And it's fine as long as they accept us as being Americans. No one will ever accept you as being an American. You have to fight to be an American. You have to be proud of who you are. And that is how you truly become an American. And that's that's the irony of this whole situation.

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That being an American passport doesn't make you American. A green card doesn't make you American. It's the struggle that makes you American. And right now Muslims, we're paying our dues, and we do it for our children. Ask Allah

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Palo Alto Allah to strengthen our community ask Allah subhanaw taala to return the ISR that Muslims have back to our community here in America and Muslims across the world Allahumma Amin Subhana Allah amo behenic A shadow Allah in South Africa with to lake which is Aquila Hara was set on warrican rahmatullahi wa barakato

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Zakum locusts Sheikh Saad mashallah

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Salah we're going to continue with our next topic, which is on the farewell address advice of the Prophet sallallahu sallam. I'm going to invite our their brother from the UK brother Hamza sources, hunters artists embraced Islam in 2002.

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And he has become an international public speaker, writer and lecturer on Islam