Iamy Convention 2012 Bridging The Generation Gap Sheikh Dr. Altaf Husain
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I'm glad you're all awake inshallah if we can have everyone start moving up and filling in the gaps we might have some more people coming in this is supposed to be in shuttle a very beneficial session from this seminar was not murder Haman Salaam Alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
you're falling asleep Come on salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
hamdullah your cup. Once again, we welcome you all to the first annual inspiring American Muslim youth conference in New Jersey. My name is Isaiah dusty and I am presenting to you today with this session, bridging the generation gap. We shall discuss tactics among the parents within families at home to reconnect and the gaps that exist within the overall American Muslim community. I'd like to welcome Shelley Asad Burgess and Dr. Altaf Hussain to the stage.
So Dr. Altaf Hussain is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a double alumnus of Case Western Reserve University from Cleveland. Having earned his BS degree in Biomedical Engineering and his ms degree in social work. He received his PhD in social work from Howard University in Washington DC. Dr. has seen His research interests include the mental health and integration of immigrant and refugee families, and especially Muslim adolescents in the United States. He serves as a faculty member of compass, the state of the art management training program of MSA national board member and chair of the Leadership Development Committee of the Islamic Society of North America is snuff and an
advisory board member of the peaceful families project dedicated to the prevention of domestic violence. his past service to the community includes serving as a two term national president of the Muslim Student Association and an executive committee member of the Muslim alliance in North America. Dr. Hussain lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Mona and their children Omar Ahmed and Esma Dr. Sa
how's it will eliminate shaytani r rajim Bismillah mn Rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala l mursaleen. Sayidina Muhammad wa ala las Habib main Madeira? Yes, sir. The organizers of the conference and our attendees. salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
You guys had lunch? Right? Yeah, I'm sure this group had lunch, you guys didn't need
to make space for them to eat the generation gap already. Look, they can eat
topic assigned to us and
inshallah, in the next maybe 1520 minutes, I'll try to cover some of these points. And I myself want to hear, Shakira said is that today in America, they are second generation, third generation Muslims, and in some ethnicities, those who came in the early 1900s, there are also fourth and fifth and sixth generation Muslims. So in talking about generation gap, we have to stop looking at it from a immigrant mentality. And think that is just about immigrants. For me, and for many sociologists, when you talk about a second generation person, is basically a person who's grown up in that country, if you will, born and raised in that country. And that's a result of a physical migration.
So immigrants who came in 1960s, most of them after the 65, Immigration and Nationality Act, was reformed. Then they came and brought their families and that's the second generation. The one that we forget to talk about is the fact that African Americans and Caucasian Americans and Hispanic Americans, anyone who came to Islam in the 60s and 70s, they also raise children, by virtue of a spiritual migration, they raised children in their homes. So there those children have only known Islam in their entire life. So when I say second generation or third generation, I mean everybody who is in America, who is a Muslim, whether of immigrant descent or indigenous inshallah descent. So
if we look at the importance of this topic, first and foremost, that it is critical to talk about bridging the gap because it's a phenomena that was not known to the Muslim community in historic Muslim sense. This is not something known that there was no such thing as a gap between generations because oftentimes generations were being raised together. So
The fact that we find ourselves in this position of having now to turn back time, if you will, and go back and try to bridge what has become a real gap, but from our culture should not be a gap at all. If you think and reflect on the life of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, literally everyone around him Subhanallah were of different age groups, Omar Abdel Katara de la and who came to Islam very late in his 30s, early 40s. So this is something of a phenomenon of itself, that he made a transformation at that age. But clearly in the in the company of the prophets of Salaam were people such as Alibaba, Talib rajala, and who, who is not only his cousin, but also then becomes his
son in law. And then the fourth halifa, of the of the oma. So these are people who then came from 910 years old, if you will, all the way through until adulthood. So they were learning together. The one example that we know very clearly recorded is when Ahmed Nakata on who used to have in his company had been abuzz with the lawn, that together, there would be other elders and the elders would often you know, sort of kind of look at it and say, you know, how come when we sit together, you have this young kid with us, like, what's up with that, like, why is he with us. And over the hottub News, I didn't know that
ignorant bus was someone of tremendous intellect, tremendous intellect. And so the child that's being raised in front of us, maybe may have tremendous capacity, but because we're following a sort of Western
model that's outside of our Muslim culture, we have, you know, sort of put kids little kids together and then teenagers together and then college students together. And this sort of
divisiveness, if you will, is not something known in the in the culture. One of those instances happened where Ahmed Nakata heard the voices of the people in this legend and his counsel. And he said to them, you know, what, what do you say? And he wanted to test them, he said, What do you say, when I when we hear the verses of an evangelist, Allah He will fetch so what do you what do you make of this? And the elders were there they you know, they gave a very literal meaning. They said when the victory of Allah comes with the translation, essentially, that this will be the the signal that many people will come at Islam. This was the surah says, Then, on the Hata paused and looked at
Abner bass with Ron who in said, kill him, yeah, even a burst. Why don't you speak? Why don't you tell us? What do you think of this, and he Subhanallah said that this surah this surah foretells it tells us about the coming the imminent death of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, that his vow had been completed. And now he was to return to Allah subhanaw taala. Now think about that. Because if you reflect on that, this was a young person sitting in the company of elders, he had taken in everything that the Prophet sallallahu Sallam taught him plus what the elders taught him. But then he had internalized the message in a way that he could process it, and then give up that
this is something critical to think about, because in America now Alhamdulillah, we are able to raise children with values with the values of Islam, but without, if you will, the cultural baggage that many of us may carry. Values tell us what is important. Values tells us essentially what is good and what is desirable. Values transcend time, but not space, because values essentially can be derived from a cultural context. However, faith values or Islamic values transcend both space and time. I know it's after lunch, and the people who are like engineers are going to just talk about space and time. Right? It's okay, it'll be alright. I have a point, right? Face values transcend
space and time. Why is that important? Because the fact that we're living in America should not mean that the generations that have come in sacrificed before us, the African Americans, the Native Americans, the Hispanic Americans, the Caucasian Americans, all of whom entered Islam, and even the immigrants who came back to Islam have values that they should be teaching. We should be teaching our younger generations. And those basic values to list God consciousness taqwa, kindness, compassion, accountability, justice, fairness, mercy, Rama, trustworthiness, a sense of ethos, all of these things we have to be able to impart to our younger generations. And somebody may say, Well,
what is the example of that? Well, the example of that is a prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam who in his own household, had multiple generations, had multiple generations. Why? Because when Allah subhanaw taala willed that he would marry, he would marry Ayesha de la and ha, she was clearly several decades removed from the age of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. He had his cousin in Alabama without him growing up next week.
with him, he had the companions as I mentioned, he was a husband. He was a father. He was a grandfather. He was a father in law, he was head of state, all of these things are going on. But he also had an ability to transcend the physical chronological age gap and to be able to communicate and relate to anyone who came in his presence, anyone who came in his presence, and this is critical for us to think about. And these values are important for us to be able to, you know, to impart to our children, one of these teachings of the Prophet sallallahu Sallam said, was my lamb you won't get Kabira Well, let me get him Savita Felisa Minda, that he taught us that one who is not who does
not honor or revere our elders, and does not show Rama mercy to our younger one little ones, that person is not one of us. What's interesting here is that for a young person growing up in America now, with our limited massages, space, limited places of worship, the young child coming to the masjid, the first place that they may act, the first interaction they may have with another adult, not of their family, maybe have somebody yelling at them, to be quiet, to stop running to don't do this, don't do that. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam had his grandchildren has an Al Hassan and Hussein on home, who used to play on the back of the prophets of Salaam when he was in
servitude, and he prolonged his such that so that he felt they had been they felt some contentment from their playtime, if you will compare that to what I grew up with. I mean, I had difficulties growing up, because in the massage, there were always these self appointed sort of police people who were constantly patrolling for the, for the kids who were misbehaving. And we weren't actually even misbehaving, we were just being ourselves. And they would yell, and they would be very upset. And you know, in an almost in a very impassionate way, no change would come of that because we would just be angry at them, they would be angry at us and SubhanAllah. In this one Hadith, the professor
is telling us that the one we young should be revering and honoring the elders, the adults in the community. But the adults should also be showing Rama mercy towards the young. And the provinces, I'm saying, The Tokido ness, the honoring of the people, if that's missing, in this one, if the mercy is missing, then that person is not from our community. And that's a tremendous gap to be filled by by us each for each and every one of us. Now, if you think about how to go about doing this, I would recommend that we really take a hold of this issue and make it a family learning experience that every family should have a learning plan. It doesn't matter if you outsource the
learning to a Islamic school to a private tutor to public school slash supplemented by the weekend school. However, it happens, the family has to take responsibility for the Learning Plan. Why? Because the family knows best. The strengths and the weaknesses of every member of that household. We know best who sits still for the longest time, we know best who learns by looking at the teacher and who learns by reading, we know best who learns by listening. And these things are learning styles. learning styles that can only that, once known can help inshallah to Allah to help to promote that learning. But if every family does not take responsibility for that, we will leave the
bridging of this gap to complete chance to complete chance and whatever happens upon Allah, we will just be always reacting to what's happening before us instead of being proactive and taking control of it. Now what does that mean? It means to role model the values that I spoke about. It means that the parents have to show that when we talk about taqwa God consciousness that we actually model that taqwa, we model God consciousness to our children, and that we point out to them, that their own grandparents, so we show them the intergenerational impact of this, of how conscious of god they were, and indeed, how we're attempting to model that. And then it doesn't have to be a very abstract
exercise. It doesn't have to be theoretical, it can be as simple as telling children, that even though you do not see a law, you have to obey, you have to follow you have to listen. Even though we may not be with you, after you're grown up and you go off to college and other things, your values will remain with you. But if that that's not role modeled, the gap exists. Why? Because sociologists tell us that assimilation, assimilation to any society any culture occurs, when the relevance when the relevance of the original values starts to decline and decrease such that the person being told something has no sense of a connection. So when you tell someone they have Taqwa, if you translate
that as fear of law
Then the child grows up for the formative years, only talking about the fear of Allah, the fear of Allah, never about the Wrath of Allah subhanaw taala never about the love that comes from Allah subhanaw taala never about the forgiveness that comes from Allah subhanaw taala. And so to avoid that level of decline in the relevance of the values, we have to model it constantly, we have to be there for our children to be able to show them inshallah, that this means taqwa is truly a part and parcel of a Muslims existence. And indeed, Allah tells us that in the Quran, that for the believers, yeah, you already know Manu,
calaca, tokachi, mutanda illa, anti muslim on that, oh, you believe be conscious of Allah as he deserves that you be conscious of Him and do not die or pass away in a state except that of Islam. Now, interestingly enough, if we role model something, be ready for the fact that children will imitate that. So if we are mediocre models of that behavior, our children can at best, be mediocre, if not worse than what we are or who we are. So we have to look at that and say, I remember a story where a dad was praying, and the child was bothering him. And he kept saying to him, you know, yada, yada, yada. And then the father finished and he said, You know, when someone is praying, you never
disturb them, no matter what's happening. The father, the child listened, and he said, Okay, the next day the child was in the kitchen, he was trying to reach for a glass and he broke it. And the dad heard the glass break Musa who did that, you start running after the child, the child ran around the whole house and he got stuck in the corner is that I have no place to go, Allahu Akbar.
Because what did the father say? Right? The father said, What when you never disturb somebody when they're praying, no matter what happens, okay. All right, try to get me now right along.
And then if you knew buckler, you might have started with a live Lam Meem and started going for a long time, right? They will model whatever you see, they will look at it and say, What about Rama in the household. We often talk about these values, but we don't see them occurring. We have to be able to show that between husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, children and grandparents. Now the worst thing happening in America is that we're imitating the society that in which we're living in the wrong things. The elderly in America are growing at a rapid rate in terms of their numbers in the population, the percentage of the population, the graying of America of the baby boomers, many
of them are in nursing homes, many of them are living a very desolate,
lonely life. But now I'm finding out the more I travel, the more this is the case of Muslim families of Muslim elderly, those who killed themselves, their blood, sweat and tears so that we could be where we are today are finding themselves no one calling them, no one visiting them. No one even asking them if they need anything. No one even checking up on them, helping them. You know how we can bridge in a practical way. The Rama and the compassion, the model that Muslims should have, we should look in our community and say, who in our community is elderly? They have so much to share with us so much wisdom, so much lived experience. Why don't we get our children? My son is not only
10. But suppose your son is 16 and 17. And always wants to drive you know, as soon as they get their license. You know, like you want to go get the milk. Yeah, go get milk, right. Can you go get milk again? Yeah, go get milk again. Right? He'll go every five minutes because they want to be in the car to be driving. Why don't we say to them, you know what? I'm so and so needs a right for Serato. Juma. So that's what you're going to go and do. You're going to pick him up, or you're going to pick her up, you're going to bring him to the masjid, in that interaction, let that unfolding take place. Let the unfolding of those values take place whereby the elders can tell the young people what they
lived through how difficult things were what the fact that they could not just look upon a GPS, where the next Masjid was to pray, because there were no massages to pray when they were living in this country. And look where we've come from, from where they were. This Rama will come when through service through the ability of our children to learn to serve not only their parents, but even those of the community who are in needs. And you know, the the justice and fairness value. One thing I find in the Muslim community, there's a lot of hypocrisy in how we're raising our boys and girls. And I used to say this point before, I only had two boys 100. Allah blessed with a smile. So I have
to really live out what I'm saying. And we have to stop that. Over the generations we've been doing what we've been focusing on this girls with young ladies women, and raising them as if they were they should be they're the most precious thing ever. They deserve all our attention. And then to the boys. We give them pizza and soda and we're like, raise yourselves basically right? raise yourself basically. And then maybe if you as long as you pray between the basketball game you'll be okay.
Right. And I think this is creating a different kind of gap is creating a gap and check yes, or we'll discuss more about the actual concept of marriage and the end that gap. But it's creating a gap that basically says what that certain things are modeled, so that only men do and certain things are modeled that only women do. So when it's coming now time for us to help them to really live in society to be mature adults, they have no role modeling, of transcending that barrier of transcending that barrier and saying, you know what, there's nothing wrong with me doing X, Y, and Z to help in the household.
Asked about the life of the prophets of Salaam, the transit, the narration tells us, can we admit the athlete that he used to be in the mecca of Hitman, the service of his family? Where is the role modeling of that? How can we bridge the gap if the fathers were never present when the babies were born, never present when the diapers were changed, never present when the laundry was to be done, never present when the house had to be cleaned, never present for those things. So another entire generation is growing up thinking that this is the domain of somebody else, somebody else. And believe me in our household, we we boys, we men, boys and men, we do the laundry, we clean the
bathrooms. We do the I do the ironing, but yeah, the kids are too young. But no, you don't have to clap. Because I have to talk to these guys. They need to clap see this side always claps when I say this, this side clap. This guy's like, dude, get this guy off the stage. Like, isn't his time finished? Isn't he done? Right? No. Why do I do that? Because my mother taught me see is one
time for 30 years, he's gonna be tougher. Wait, wait till he comes. He has seven points, I'm only have like five points. He has seven. So. So the idea is one, that we're going to be duplicating some of the ignorance of the past that put the entire burden of raising a generation onto the shoulders of our sisters. And somehow we escaped that. And I'm saying that let us help to bridge that gap in Charlotte. By by really taking this on first and foremost in the in the in the practical ways of serving in our families. And I'll speed through this, but let me close with ethos.
The generational the gap between the generations will be bridged when we internalize the meaning of ethos. That ethos in the Quran is mentioned in Surah. Al hasher when Allah talks about the relationship between the margerine and the unsought we use the Runa Allah and foresee him while Oh, can I be him? kasasa that the answer preferred the Maha jurien over themselves, while Oh, can I be him? kasasa even though their own condition, wasn't that better off? What I'm talking about is a sense of parental ether, where were you understanding how much of the 100 right? So the idea was what that they had little the answer. The Mahajan came having given up everything, for the sake of
the hijra, was a spiritual hero. And in this case, that ethos in English, the best way I can talk about it is to say it is a deliberate, conscious, intense preference of others, over myself, others over myself, amendment has already happened or law says that indeed, our goal should be not to burden others with our desires, but to burden ourselves with the desires of others, as long as they're not displeasing to Allah. Now, imagine in our household right now, little kids from birth, are talking about mine, this is mine, this is for me, right? What about me? What's in it for me? If we replicate this in another two or three generations, the sense of karma of justice of generosity
in Islam, that value will completely leave us. To the extent that I fear to think what would happen when if now we're seeing some of the elderly alone, and no one is checking up after them, their nursing homes and whatnot as Muslims, what will happen if this sense of ethos is lost, and I am recommending that we begin with parental ethos, parental ether means we have to model the behavior at home of turning off the Blackberry, turning off our cell phones, turning off the television, turning off the movies. Why? So that when we come home, that generation gap can be bridged by interactions? safer, never interacting with the kids? How do you expect them to even know who we
are? To this day I asked my father in law who's 75 now Subhanallah, I still ask him about things that he remembers about his father, and then hopefully his father's father so that I can then use them at bedtime stories for my children. So Bedtime Stories become one, some things from the companions, something from the life of the Prophet Islam, but also some things from our own families. If they never
Know the other generations and the sacrifices they make the sense of ethos they had, so that everybody else could succeed and survive, what could they possibly know about being unselfish? What could they possibly know? They will never come to know that so we ask, inshallah Allah to help us as parents, particularly to model the sense of ethos, it really has to start with us. And I believe me, I'm the first to do this. Allah blessed me with a commute of an hour and a half, on really bad days from Washington, DC, from Virginia to Washington, DC to Howard University. And in the beginning, I thought Subhanallah, like this is a, how am I going to manage this, but then I realized I can listen
to Quran I can do as God. And then the best thing is, all the phone calls I used to take at home, and then keep telling the kids not now not now, not now, I can put on my earpiece, and take the phone calls between that hour and a half. So when I walk in the door, m there's I'm ready to be there's so they can actually start to learn what it means to be as a family, to eat as a family, to pray as a family, to learn as a family, to sacrifice as a family, to give as a family all of these things. And in closing, really, we asked a lot smarter to help this generation that's coming up now to be better than the ones that preceded them, not because the ones who preceded them failed in any
sense. But because we want every generation that's coming to be better to improve and to advance the state of affairs. And this starts with the sense of values. And so imparting this sense of values means that we have to be generous with ourselves generous with our time, generous in the service of our families and home, and most importantly, generous with a sense of mercy and drama, so that our children can watch, believe me, one thing they do very much so in the scholars say, if you want to truly know about hypocrisy, it is to listen to the from the children, the state of their homes. Children are very honest in the description of the state of their homes. So whenever things go
really badly, social workers and psychologists often end up working with the children and just let them draw sometimes let them sing or make a like a funny song. And or not a funny song, but a song. And ultimately, the kids pour out their emotions from that. And what we're saying is that if the home condition is messed up,
already, there's a gap between just the parents and that child, the children, then if you've marginalized, the elders, the grandparents, there's already a third generation they're involved that's kept. And then what's happening, basically, these kids growing up here will be without roots, they will not have a sense of where they came from, they will not have a sense of what what the what parents went through to bring them here. And and really, they won't even have a clue where there should be headed. And we're asking each and every one of you who is listening to this because it's tiring after a while to keep coming to the conferences, and pretty much saying the same things. And
then not much changes occurring from the kinds of problems we're hearing. So reflect upon that reflect upon the state of our of our community. But remember these few things I said one, have a learning plan for the family have a multi generational learning plan so that the young kids can sit in the company, we are homeschooling our children now Mashallah my wife does much of that work. May Allah bless her for that. But in the homeschooling Co Op of Muslim families, about 12 families, they have the littlest youngest kids maybe 234 years old learning right alongside with the teenagers, the teenagers, of that homeschooling Co Op are inevitably gentle with the kids, with any child gentle,
able to be patient, able to really care for them, you can say to my son, Omar, no 10 Here, take care of us for a few minutes, we have some things to do. And he'll actually gently sit there at 10 years old, and not be frustrated, not be frustrated, and not feel overwhelmed, right. And he will ensure the managers so I will save him the walk to come back and show love by saying that the Learning Plan is important, reminding ourselves that the values are important. And I mentioned some of those values, modeling those values that are important for our children, ultimately trying to do have the God consciousness, the sense of ethos, the sense of mercy, and really making dua at the end to say,
Oh Allah, this gap does exist now. But let it be a temporary thing that as we undo it, undo this pattern that we've imitated that in sha Allah tala, the youngest will learn from the oldest and the oldest actually could still stand to learn from the wisdoms that some of our young kids do. And I'll close with this story. I was at a camp, you know, the narration when the Bedouin came to the masjid of the prophets of Salaam, and he started urinating right in the corner of the budget. They didn't have walls and stuff. You remember that story or no? Yes. So the companions were clearly upset. I mean, who wouldn't be read the message of the prophet of Sodom? And they wanted to just jump up and
and really, you know, attack him? What did the Prophet doesn't say? Let him Let him be right. Let him finish at the camp for the youth. I said, Why? He said, Why do you think the prophets have said that? You know, these older kids are saying
This and that this little boy in the friend goes I know. I said Why? He goes because he was already urinating. If they tried to mess with them he would go everywhere. Right? Is that going to affect him Sullivan?
Dr. Altaf Hussain. Next we have chef he has a bit of jazz chef he acid is originally from Palestine and was born and raised in Kuwait. He started his career in electronic engineering in 1988. In the United Arab Emirates, then in Medina where he graduated as class valedictorian with the highest honors from the Islamic University of Medina his college of Sharia in 1996. In 1997, after the war was over, he went to work as a relief program aide under the international umbrella of relief agencies to rebuild war torn bosnia thereafter and in the year 2000, he immigrated to the United States, shell he acid has served as the Imam and religious leader at the Islamic Center in El Paso
Texas for nine years thereafter, he became the Imam and youth Outreach Director, Orland Park prayer center in Illinois until 2010. And then he personally shared with me that it was too cold over there and then having the law. He went back to Valley Ranch msgid in Irving, Texas. He was also an instructor and magram Institute. His specialty is the subject of marriage and relations and made him a highly sought after marriage counselor and trainer for youth in the north in the Muslim community. He is currently finishing his master's degree at the University of Phoenix in adult education and training. Let's all welcome inshallah.
salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
La la la vida con la, Vina Muhammad Anwar earlier was seldom at the Sleeman kathira.
How many of you know people who got married just recently got married? And they're already having trouble in the relationship? Raise your hands?
Come on, don't be shy.
Okay, how many of you know that some of these kids they get married and the reason they have in trouble in their relationship because they're married against the wall of their parents? Raise your hand.
The guys are trying to keep quiet.
How many of you would know that one of the biggest problems these kids perhaps they have in the relationship because of the different values, the different values they share with each other? Maybe because there were values imposed on them and their relationship? Raise your hands if you know, it's a matter of values between these the couple.
So for everything that I mentioned over here, there's an issue going on. And Dr. Altaf Hasson Mashallah internets very well, in the introduction of the meaning of that, how the duration gap is genuine. And really, it's from the beginning of the relationship, the upbringing. And I would like to share with you right now, some of the outcome and the result of not paying attention to that generation gap at that very young age. It ends up when our young ones they become actually young adults.
When they young adults right now are in that age where they're now we prepare them to take over from us. They're going to become the future of our community. They become the parents of the future, they will have their own children and they will enjoy watching them as they take over from us slowly and gradually, but suddenly we realize there is a huge cultural gap. There is no communication or at least the communication is not as strong or as as healthy as we think it is. One of the reasons for that, one of the reasons for that I live in La Jolla and explains that he explained that 1400 years ago, he said in his beautiful statement, Carla at the Boo allah.com, Lisa Manny him La Liga
manickam. For inom Julio is a man in America,
you raise your children, you raise your children for their time, not your time, because they were created in a time different than yours. It's very simple, very, very simple, but very profound. Most of our parents, when they want to raise their children, they want to come they want to bring copies of their lives. Why? Because they think they know better and the true, they know better because there are treasures of experience. These parents they have treasures of experience. And every parent would love to see his or her child to be more than more successful than they are. Because the success of their children is nothing but continuation of their success. And what do you think
crowning or basically icing the cake for parents. When it comes after the children that finish school they go to college and they graduate. What is the icing on that cake for them?
They want to be happy to see their kids getting married.
They managed to the person they think is the parents, they think there'll be the best for them and shout louder Allah. And once they secure their children in marriage, parents retire.
hamdulillah done my job allows you to know right now,
not realizing and the process, we somehow see things changing differently and dramatic in the Muslim community. I live in Utah, he says clearly, when you raise your children, keep in your mind their time, not your time.
Ask yourself as a parent, how many of you they lived during the time when they were things like cell phones? Anyone lived in time have cell phones 2050 years ago?
How about iPads? Anyone know anything about Facebook until maybe five minutes ago.
So you see there's so much there's so many things happen. The younger generation parents they cannot catch up with sometimes. And unfortunately, it creating the gap because parents just like Dr. Altaf mentioned, there is no much communication between the parents and the children. They're too busy sometimes to communicate with their kids. So the kids, they start divergence. And those two paths, the kids were going one way, and the parents would go another way. And I would like to share with you shall love the barcode data here, seven points I have seen as gaps into the marriage into the culture of marriage in the Muslim community today, seven gaps that needs to be bridged, in regard to
the understanding of marriage between the youth, and the elders and their parents. And I'm going to be very honest and very blunt with you at some points, because these are very serious matters. And these are actually real issues. Number one, number one is the concept, the concept of marriage itself. You know, our kids, they grow up our kids, they grow up in this culture, watching TV and reading stories and novels and romance and more than seeing marriage in real life from their parents from their elders. Most of the elders, they modeled their marriage from their parents and from their aunts and uncles when they were growing up. The younger ones, they sit down among the adults, the
adults will be talking and chit chatting and sometimes raising their voices as they converse with each other. The kids are just watching
They can Mother of these examples. If you ask yourself, your kids, your kids, how often did you socialize with adults with elders in the community? Most of the times were answered because young circles. So when it comes to the concept of marriage, they're taking two completely different different source. This is the media. So they watch TV all over they know what marriage is supposed to be based on what
based on what they
are scared to say the word love.
It has to be based on love. Right? Okay, what is the number one option to prove that it's based on love? It has to be beauty, the value of love for them. So when they want to get married, I always face these kids and they come to me, they said, I want you to help me know find someone I said okay, what are you looking for? So I want this. They gave me slogans. Of course we're going to talk about that later. So they gave me slogans. And I said, Tell me more. What do you know? I want someone who's beautiful. Who is this? So tell me what is your standard of beauty? The standard of beauty for them is unrealistic. It says you know what? That's a very good choice if you find out I mean, I want
to Motorhead and Charlotte down
the barrel descriptions from Jenna
they give you just a simple lie that's amazing if you can find one like this
Oh, she's perfect. Mashallah
advice. And by the way, never asked someone to look for something like this for you. Because they're gonna take it for themselves.
But my point the concept is completely different. So when it comes to the subject of love, indeed, relationship should be based on that. However, how do you define it? I have a whole seminar based on that I'm teaching called feel called love and love notes, whole seminar on the subject, the concept of love and how it is supposed to be translated into real life. When it comes to love, we have two values here. The parents they tell their kids Listen, this is nonsense. You get married, you will fall in love afterwards. Insha Allah tala and for the kids to say how do you want me to marry someone? I don't love.
true statements both. But how do you translate that in real life, that is the problem. The young ones, they have this Cinderella model of love. It's all about beauty. She's beautiful. And somehow he fell. He fell in love for a shoe. That's the problem in this story. And he went around the entire city looking for that foot that would fit in that glass shoe. And whoever that person is regardless how beautiful how ugly might be. That's it. She's the one.
These are the things that images of love that comes to you know the hearts and minds of our younger ones. But for the parents as well as citizen I live with your mom for the past 50 years. Handle away
I have no issues with regard to the subject of love. You ask the mother says, Well, I have to put up with many things.
But at least they survived. And they have literally lived happily ever after. So there are huge actually issues when it comes to the concept of love. How do you define that? How do you bridge the gap between your children and and the parents, many cases I have seen today because of people, the kids, they go to school, on their own, they are on college right now. Specifically, those who come from high school freshmen, they go to college, they think college is all about falling in love. That's it. So the first year most of freshmen will be just, you know, looking around and just you know, having fun and wasting time basically. Why? Because they just train that this is how the
culture is here. And once they fall in love with someone they come to you says, I want to get married. How old are you? Even 17. And how old she Mashallah. She's 15. And it's so cute. But it's it cannot be real.
It's it's so difficult. All I'm telling you by the way, it's a real scenario, it happened when someone came to me. It's real scenario, not once, not twice will lie many, many examples. The young man isn't in college, barely freshmen, or finishing high school, and he wants to marry someone who's still barely in action in her first year in high school. I says Indeed, I tell them, this is a lie. This is so cute. But I don't think it's true. You have to wake up. And you have to make sure that you the concept of marriage is clear to you. Now if I asked you the question, how many of you parents how many of you parents discussed the concept of marriage when they were their children?
When they were about 1516 years old? Anyone?
Young Ones. How many of you heard serious talks about marriage from your parents, when you were about 1516 years old?
see just a few.
Few. And that's why when it comes to getting married, they have no experience. They have no theoretical even concept of it. It's all what they watch on TV, what they read in these in these magazines. Number two, the second thing, the choice. Okay, now we understand the concept of love. Fine. I understand the concept of marriage. Fine. But whom should I choose for marriage? This is one of the biggest challenges we have in the Muslim community.
For our children, for our children, they want to be completely independent and their choices. They have the full right and Islam sanctions that for them, even the girls when someone proposes and she's not happy with him, she has the full right to say no, I don't want this guy.
And no one has the right to force her marry someone against her. Well, no one has the right to do that, including parents. So when it comes to the choice, our kids they live different again time and different culture from their parents. Most of our kids, they live on campuses more than they do at home.
So when they intermingle with this community, also when they come to the masjid, they also intermingle with a lot of people from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different colors, and so on. So the the children, they grow up, they grew up in terms of culture, they grow up completely colorblind. In terms of cultural boundaries, they don't see that. So when they want to get married, and someone from a different culture proposes, or they propose someone to their parent, they say what are issues? But he's not Arab.
So what's the problem? Yeah, it's so it becomes a completely cultural shock for the parents. And sometimes even the boy or the girl. The parents they introduced someone to their children says but that I mean, she wasn't born here. She didn't grow up in this culture in this society. How am I gonna communicate with her? Don't worry, she can cook very well inshallah Darla.
So the only thing we know from the culture is the spices and the shortcomings. That's it. But reality has changed. These kids don't see these boundaries. So they now easily start introducing their parents to people of other cultures. The older generation is still holding actually tied to their old Jani traditions. It has to be someone from our not even just culture, it's actually from our family to that extent, and then guess what, which is not fair. They lead their children choose. So listen, you choose anyone, as long as he from from, from an Arab culture, from Philistine from Ramallah, from that, for that town. They live in that street when they went back 1950s and their
family is on so and then you have the choice of jello data.
And that's what they say, but that I think that's my cousin. Say, Mashallah.
You got the choice.
choices have changed for the children, our kids, they have varieties now, because again, they grew up in a Muslim family.
American Muslim culture, they don't see these colors, they don't see these boundaries. That's why when their parents want them to adhere to an old tradition, they're trying to force their them on their time on the amount of under the amount of the time of their children. So becomes an issue of conflict. Some of the kids under pressure they give in so they accept. And sometimes the parents they given and they accept, but not willingly. And that's why they always have trouble and their relationship had they've done that out of good faith and love and understanding of the opposite culture of their children, their parents, they would have no trouble they would, Mashallah will
succeed in this relationship, then Elijah number three. Another thing we have here is the issue of vocabulary. The issue of vocabulary.
One of the main and most common requests of the younger ones under parents when they want to look for some of the kids in particular, they asked me for to help them find someone for them. I said, What exactly are you looking for? You know, what is the first word they say?
What is the number one choice they have?
One word they say what is it? I need someone who is
can you guess?
The younger generation they say I want someone who's religious. And guess what? Sometimes these words come from the least religious person.
Why is that? Because for them, when we were still having fun in college, it was for the fun of it. But now what I want to get married isn't that serious now?
And it's someone who's religious. So I don't keep looking behind my back. I want someone that I can trust. That's what they say. But now when we come to saying religious we're talking about vocabulary over here right now. You asked the children and the parent to bring some religious for them. So the mother she says Mashallah. She's religious. But mom she doesn't pray. Yeah, but she Mashallah she's really good family. But yeah, but they don't even pray they even sell alcohol. Well, but they're very good family, their their grandfather used to be Imam of the masjid in our village back in 1940s, and all this stuff, and so on. So the concept of religiosity is completely different,
Same thing, sometimes as the father wants to, let's say, wants to put the concept religion first for their children's. But we thought arguing over what is religious and what is liberal.
Our kids, they grow up in the massages more, they spend more time in the massage than some of our kids basically, more than their parents.
And their parents, they grew up in a culture, being in the masjid is just, you know, luxury. But for our kids here is essential. Because it's instincts of survival. They want to know who they are, what's their identity, as a Muslim woman in America, most of the parents they grew up in Muslim countries. So coming to the measure was a was given. So there is no question about it. And that's why when they say I want someone who is religious, they want someone who support their views, in terms of Salah being faithful to Allah Subhana, WA, to their Deen and so on. And our parents, they have the traditional format of being religious. So we have a cultural gap here that needs to be
bridged, parents need to understand how kids think when it comes to the concept of religion. What do they want? Exactly? They need someone to help them under a band and their Deen. And by the way, for the parents, if you know now that most of these young men, even the most the least religious, when they want to get mad, they start looking for someone who's seriously religious, you better raise your children to be religious.
Otherwise, they're going to lose in the market of marriage.
Thinking that exposing your kids to be completely ultimate free from any kind of ethical, you know, responsibility, religious responsibility that once they get married, and Charlotte, they take care of themselves afterwards. It doesn't happen that way. You have to show them the way how to become religious. Number Four
Weddings alaqua you guys still you know what I'm talking about right?
When it comes to weddings, the kids they just want to get married. You know, let's do it in one of these restaurants here in Paterson inshallah, tada, I will live happily ever after what's the problem with that guys. But
sometimes when we do these weddings is actually it's not that it's not realistic. And in many cases, it's not for the kids to get married. It's for the parents to be happy. Let me put it this way only. They want to be happy that they were able to achieve such a magnificent wedding that they can talk about like Yanni Cinderella shalonda future
and on top of that we have another problem is the girl so she grew up watching all these TV shows and all these wedding dresses, programs and all
stuff on so on, she can never accept anything less than that.
So now they're competing with all these fantasies, they want to build their house also their castle to be above the cloud Yani for the guy who comes in is counting his dinos and Dylan dollars 12345.
Most of our younger generation, most of our younger generation, they're getting married, with about 50,000, on average, 50,000 deaths in average. Why just to cover their expenses that their parents paid for their marriages, let alone the other loans that they get from here and there. So can you imagine yourself getting married, having another mortgage on your back, just to cover up because of just to finish with because of your marriage, it's very stressful. So when it comes to the concept of marriage, the easy The wedding is, the more the Baraka, I had to intervene in situation when one brother He came to me, begging me to help him. I said, What's going on? His father wants him to
delay His word and or his marriage for next year. So but we're ready and hamdulillah his emotional, his finishing his business, but he has a job and is ready to get married. The only is because his father, he says, I don't have the money yet. I said, for what says for the wedding, how much are we talking about? If you need something that came in shallow, tada, he goes 100,100 $20,000.
I said, For what?
That's only for the wedding. Because they're gonna fly their cousins, and second and third, fifth cousins from Pakistan and bring them to the country here. And bringing all these people shouting holes that has never heard of before. I said 120,000. And guess what, that's his share.
Forget about the girls families share as sort of a lie. That's unbelievable. To spend close to one quarter of a million dollars on wedding. And then next day in the morning, you're gonna wake up saying that's it.
So what happened? All these $250,000 they're gone with the wind. So I called an intervene. I said, Could you please give him 50% of that pocket change. So he can start off in sha Allah without student loan, and then be an ally, he will continue this marriage. Finally, after negotiation with the Father, he accepted. But it says we're going to have to wait six more months at least. So I thought that the guy that says, keep quiet, you go to shallow Donna,
six months better than one year.
And having $60,000 in your pocket, be happy and just keep quiet, Carlos, at least it's a compromise. I'm against still against it. But it's a compromise. So we have these concepts of weddings, that beyond the means of these young men and women who are getting married. Number five,
our social circles, our social circles, they're one of the main sources of education for us, whether we like it or not, your kids are learning from their peers more than they learn from you. When was the last time you were sitting with your children on a dinner table and give them not lecture, but manners of love exchanging, you know, beautiful talks and words. And so when was the last time except that a god right? And don't drink with your left hand. Don't talk about it. Don't chew too loud. But when Was there any kind of communication beyond the instructions like this? few times. So our kids, they're not learning from the social interaction with parents as much as they would go and
learn from actually from their friends. And if you ask your kids and your children who is that and by the way, I met one time, actually, I made a survey in the workshop. And I asked these young guys, early freshman college, maybe one or two years, one or two years in college, and high school or I said if you have serious trouble, if you have serious trouble, who would be the first person that you would contact and have them write down the answers. The top number one number one, basically the type of person they would communicate with, or talk to would be a friend, the closest friend, number one, the top person.
is not even a parent. The second person would be actually some of them, they said cousins, some of them they said teachers
and the third, not even parent will lie they came after the third choice. When I discuss that further, I realized that the reason these kids they don't really want to communicate with their parents because they will live with parents always judgmental.
And whenever they try to bring this issue up, they get upset, they don't want to hear it. And they just want to finish it understandably and that said so there is no conversation between them. Our kids are learning from their social circles more than we learn from our from our from from us. So you make sure that you give them the chance you talk to them, you give them the venue so they can communicate and express themselves to you. This is my case, my son and my eldest son is 13 years old right now. So I'm officially a father of a teenager lampstand
But since he was very young, I told him that he doesn't like I mentioned this story, forgive me, my son, when he was still about 10 years old, we were talking about the values of you and your family values and being, you know, responsible to being a father and so on. So he was asking me, I always tell him, if you have any serious question about anything like that, come to me first, don't go to anybody else. So hamdullah, he trusts me, he comes, he asked this question. So one day, he was asking a very, you know, serious question about marriage and so on. And as I was driving him to the Quran program, when we arrived, but just before he stepped out of the car, he goes that he says, I
think I made a decision. I said, Bismillah is 10 years old, 11 years old. So what is it because I want to get married.
So I took it seriously will lie. I didn't mock him at all I was, I was holding my laughter, of course.
But I told him, You know what, my son, you have my support, inshallah, you have my support, but finish school first, quickly. And then inshallah you go to college, find your job, and I'll help you shalom.
But the point is, if there is a serious issue, he comes to me first, because you know, I'm going to let him Let him talk, let him speak, I won't judge him. And I'm going to try to help him fix the situation. And he's a human being, after all. And somehow you have to understand that number six, and seven, I'll fix that real quick and shot loudhailer. Number six is venues, venues to look for prospects. Many parents, they want their girls specifically for girls, they Wonder Girls to get married in the most traditional format, which means Prince Charming comes on his white horse, turning it upside the house or knock on the door. It says, I want to marry your daughter.
It doesn't happen like this anymore. Is this right? girls? It's very hard. Many parents, they tell their daughters Listen, no, I'm not gonna accept this guy. He needs to bring his family, his his to bring his parents this and that and so on. Or they say wait until someone comes and proposes. But the guy is there, why don't you talk to him? So why don't you talk to him? And the father would say,
No, I'm not gonna ask. Okay, fine. So how can I bring this guy and so there's a dilemma. And we put our children in a very awkward situation. They can't do it in the middle. They can't do it in conferences. They can't do in the traditional way. And they can't do it even online, and you want them to get married. And on top of that, parents, they don't actively pursue or look for the children. No, they want the other people to come and pursue this either kids. And in reality, it doesn't happen like this anymore. We have to see some compromise you wanted to see talk to your kids, and see what options do they have in their and their real life. And the same thing, you as
parents, you need to go introduce options to your children, they might overlook some of these options, but somehow that might be the best option for them. That is inherited. This bias against guided marriages, I'm not going to use arranged marriages, which is you have to marry him otherwise you're not my daughter anymore. Now it's guided marriage. Especially Why don't you check out this guy. Let's bring the family over and so let's see what might be the good person for you. I say if someone says someone like this, you would have full freedom to to say yes or no, don't say no. Give them a chance. Same thing for the guys. Why don't you go and check it out. It might be the best
option for you. So the parents might have again treasures of experience for you. At the same time parents they need to accept the fact that their kids they're going into completely different society different culture, you have to seek some compromise on the issue and how to find the prospect for your children the last point the issue of readiness being ready.
If I ask these kids right now the guys in particular how many of you believe that those are single? Raise your hands can you raise your hand? Those are single Okay, Mashallah. Good number away, keep him up. Give him up. Don't worry. I'm not gonna mark it for you but just give him a piano.
Now how many of you believe they're ready?
If you believe you already Keep your hands up. How many of you know that their parents believe they're ready Keep your hands up.
So eventually most of the word prop there has done because their parents one thing that they're ready for it you said let's listen my son finished first. Okay, but that I'm already 29 years old.
Yeah, but you're still in school. Don't embarrass me and is doing PhD degree.
So under surreal scenario, by the way, that surreal scenario, someone has been prevented from seeking the marriage because you
still in school? I said your parents don't know. They don't understand that PhD is not that kindergarten type of school, right?
We have wrong perceptions about being ready. How are you? How do you think you're ready?
with the kids, they think they're ready to be done simply because they fall in love. That's it. Because we're in love, everything is going to fall in place. inshallah Tada, we shall live happily ever after. Kids. That's wrong. That's only movies. And again, I will not even know if it happens in movie either.
But you need to be realistic about it. For the parents, you need also to push your children to be ready. And one of the biggest mistakes parents are doing they're pushing the age of maturity for their children farther and farther. Why? Because we are we are correlating the age of maturity with finishing school.
So as long as you're in school, don't think about finding a second part time job. Don't even try to volunteer. Don't do anything else. Don't Don't distract yourself from school education and science. Eventually, just school school school. Okay, but I want I want to carve out to get to the car. How am I going to fill the gas, I'll pay you. So eventually the kids that are already actually gone to medical school, driving Mercedes, or BMW will exist, Mashallah. They're having pocket change more than my salary, perhaps even. And then I will just ask the guy I said, Why aren't you married yet? He goes, because my parents, they think I'm not ready yet.
And seriously, I said, You're not ready. Make sure you have all of this in not ready yet.
So we need to figure it out. We need to help our kids and our younger ones to get prepared for marriage. Same thing with the girl's parents, they keep pushing the girl to finish school first finish school first. And unfortunately, they prepare them for the wrong reason. If you ask most girls, why aren't you getting married while you're still in school? Says because parents they want me to finish college first? Fine, no problem. But why do they want you to finish college first? That's what we have the problem? What is the number one reason ladies? The number one reason they want you to finish college? First? Why would it be for?
Don't be shy?
Not independent? Well, semi but for what? There's another word for it. They use the word just in case.
You know, what's the meaning of just in case? You guys know what does it mean? What is it
just in case it didn't work out. hamdulillah you have education to stand on. You know what we give our our girls, we give them the excuse the exit door. That's why we have high rates of divorce. Within the first two years of marriage among the youth in America very high rate of divorce. You have no idea how many counseling session had to do with young guys because of that situation. The girls, the woman, she come into the relationship things go rough A lot of it because if you're still getting used to each other, but the moment she sees that she has a handle, I have my education, Salaam Alaikum.
We taught our girls wrong value about their education. I'm not saying that should not be educated, I'm saying Go for it. But change your perception of it. Instead of taking this as just in case or a safety net, as they call it also, instead of taken as a safety net, take this as an opportunity to improve your relationship. You're educated, you can figure things out, right? You're supposed to be educated to all your marriage very well. Not to get away from a tough and rough relationship. You're not going to have that Romeo and Juliet marital is not a bad marriage relationship. It's a tragedy. So if you're going to base your marriage always on romance, it's not like that all the time. So
you're gonna have to be ready to face some difficulties in the relationship or occasion should qualify you to overcome these difficulties. There are so many things that in the in the subject of marriage, that needs to be any bridge between the two durations and I hope in sha Allah, Allah as the bottom line for this whole issue, that the younger generation, they should understand our parents. They're very protective because they have treasures of experience. You need to talk to them, talk to your parents, and ask them help me out. How can I go over these issues? What do we do in these cases and so on. On the other hand, parents, please, please, please get out of your comfort
zone. When it comes to the subject of marriage. You're going to have to talk to your kids about things you dislike.
You're going to have to face challenges you're not happy with you're just always scared that this is coming. You have to face it and you have to talk to your kids and have them getting ready for that and shallow the water Kota Allah Alhamdulillah Allah Nabina Muhammad Allah Azza wa Salaam wa salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.
Yes, a good Jessen, Dr. Altaf Hussain one more time for both of them inshallah.
So to show that we have a 15 minute break, the next lectures are in this room distress, isolationism and spirituality. We have in the derby room asked me anything the American Muslim youth panel, and we have the hotel preparatory workshop in the seminar room. All of those seminars begin at four o'clock which Zakouma head was now I cracked law