Yaser Birjas – Iamy Convention 2012 Bridging The Generation Gap Sheikh

Yaser Birjas
AI: Summary © The speakers discuss the gap between parents and children in the Muslim community, where the younger generation is choosing their children based on their values and experiences. They touch on cultural boundaries between children and parents, the challenges of finding a suitable wedding, and the importance of finding a suitable partner for younger children. The speakers stress the need for parents to push their children to be ready for marriage, as it is a personal decision, and to be educated and communicate with their children about their parents' preferences.
AI: Transcript ©
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Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.

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Salam Baraka, Nabina Muhammad wa salam, ala Sleeman, kathira. Tim, I'm about 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?

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Come on, don't be shy.

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Okay, how many of you know that some of these kids they get married? And the reason they have in trouble in the relationship because they're married against the will of their parents? Raise your hands.

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The guys are trying to keep quiet.

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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 in the relationship? Raise your hands if you know it's a matter of values between these the couple.

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So for everything that I mentioned, over here, there's an issue going on. And Dr. Altaf huson. Mashallah, and entertainers 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.

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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 we 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 Tran explains that he explained that 1400 years ago, he said in his beautiful statement, Carla, at the zoo, Allah, the

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Lizard Man in him, La Liga manickam. For inom Julio is a man in Monaco,

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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 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

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crowning or basically icing the cake for parents. When it comes after the children they finish school, they go to college and they graduate? What is the icing on that cake for them?

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Their marriage.

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They want to be happy to see their kids getting married. And they married to the person they think are these 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.

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hamdulillah done my job. You don't know right now.

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Not realizing in 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.

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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?

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How about iPads? Anyone know anything about Facebook until maybe five minutes ago.

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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 there to visit 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 a shout out about our 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

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the understanding of marriage between the youth, and the elders and their parents. And I'm going to be

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very honest, I'm very blunt with you at some points, because these are very serious matters. And these are actually real issues. number one.

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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.

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They're learning.

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They can model off these examples. If you ask yourself, your kids, your kids, how often did they socialize with adults with elders in the community? Most of the time is we're on circles, 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 what they know about marriage is supposed to be based on what

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doesn't What is your man? Are you scared to say the word love?

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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 it says, You know, I want someone who's beautiful. Who is this? I said, Tell me what is your standard of beauty? The standard of beauty for them is unrealistic. It says you know what? Well, that's a very good choice if you

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find out I mean, I want to murder her inshallah Donna.

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The burial descriptions from Jenna.

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They give you just a sense of a lie. That's amazing. If you can find one like this.

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Or she's perfect, Mashallah. They give advice. And by the way, never asked someone to look for something like this for you. Because they're gonna take it for themselves.

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But my point the concept is completely different. So when it comes to the subject of love, indeed, relationships should be based on that. However, how do you define it? I have a whole seminar based on that I'm teaching called filk of 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 in sha Allah tala. And for the KDC. How do you want me to marry someone our own love?

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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 or ugly might be that search is the one.

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These are the things that images of love that comes to you know, the 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 hamdullah we have no issues with regard to the subject of love. You asked the mother says Well, I have to put up with many things.

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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've seen today is because of people, the kids they go to school on their own, they are in 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

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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 is she Mashallah, she's 15. And it's so cute. But it's it cannot be real.

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It's it's so difficult. All I'm telling you by the way, it's a real scenario that 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 say this and indeed I tell them, this is a lie. This is so cute. But I don't think it's real. You have to wake up and you have to make sure that you the concept of marriage is clear.

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You know 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?

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Young Ones. How many of you heard serious talks about marriage from your parents? When you were about 1516 years old?

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see just a few.

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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,

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for our children, for our children, they want to be completely independent in 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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 introduce 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.

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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 are now easily start introducing their parents to people of other cultures. The older generation is still holding actually tied to their old 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 let their children choose citizen 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 St. Louis, they went back 1950s. And their

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family is on so and then you have the choice of jello data.

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And that's what they say, but that I think that's my cousin, say, Mashallah.

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You got the choice.

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choices have changed for the children, our kids, they have varieties now. Because again, they grew up in a Muslim 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 exam on their time on the amount of under the amount of the time of their children. So it 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

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the opposite culture of their children, their parents, they would have no trouble they would Mashallah will succeed in this relationship been delighted. Number three. Another thing we have here is the issue of vocabulary. The issue of vocabulary.

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One of the main and most common requests of the younger ones under parents when they want to look for someone 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?

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What is the number one choice they have?

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One word they say what is it? I need someone who is

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can you guess?

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The younger generation they say I want someone who is religious. And guess what? Sometimes these words come from the least religious person.

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Why is that? Because for them when we were still having fun in college

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It was for the fun of it. But now what I want to get married isn't that serious now?

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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 sure, Mashallah, she's a 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,

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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.

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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.

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And their parents, they grow 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

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bridged parents, they 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 and they abandon 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.

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Otherwise, they're going to lose in the market of marriage.

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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, inshallah to take care of themselves afterwards. It doesn't happen that way. You have to show them the way how to become religious. Number four.

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weddings. A lot of you guys still you know what I'm talking about right?

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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, a shallow Tada. I will live happily ever after what's the problem with that, guys. But

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sometimes when we do these weddings is actually it's not that it's not realistic. And in many cases is 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 Jani Cinderella shalonda future.

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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 this stuff and so on. She could never accept anything less than that.

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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 dinners and Dylan dollars 12345.

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Most of our younger generation, most of our younger generation, they're getting married with about 50,000 and 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 this to finish with because of your marriage? It's very stressful. So when it comes to the concept of marriage, the easier 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

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delay his wedding or his marriage for next year. So but we're ready Alhamdulillah 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, inshallah, Tada. He goes 100,100 $20,000

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I said, For what?

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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.

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Here, I'm bringing all these people shouting holes that has never heard of before. I said 120,000. And guess what, that's his share.

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Forget about the girl's family share a civil law, that's unbelievable, to spend close to one quarter of a million dollars on winning. And then next day in the morning, you're going to wake up saying, that's it.

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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 Bismillah, 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 told the guy that says, keep quiet, you go to Charlotte,

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six months better than one year.

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And having $60,000 in your pocket, be happy and just keep quiet.

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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,

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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 a few times. So our kids, they're not learning from the social interaction with parents as much as they would go and

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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 a workshop. And I asked these young guys, early freshmen 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 I have them write down the answers. The top number one, number one, basically, the top person that would communicate with a doctor would be a friend, the closest friend, number one, the top person.

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The second

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is not even a parent. The second person would be actually some of them, they said cousins, something they said teachers

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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 believe their parents always judgmental.

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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 instantly. And that's it. 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 In my case, my son and my oldest son is 13 years old right now. So I'm officially a father of a teenager, long, Stan.

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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 your family values and being irresponsible 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,

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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.

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So I took it seriously will lie. I didn't mock him at all I was I was holding my laughter of course.

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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 inshallah. Tada. So just like a locker.

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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.

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Kidd Subhan Allah you have to understand that number six and seven are fish that real quick in sha Allah tala. Number six is venues, venues to look for prospects, many parents they want their girls specifically for girls, they want their girls to get married in the most traditional format, which means Prince john comes in and Whitehorse turning it upside the house or knock on the door it says, I want to marry your daughter.

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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. And 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,

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No, I'm not gonna ask Victor. 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 Missouri, they can do it in conferences, they can 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 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, to see talk to your kids, and see what options do they have in their in their real life. And the same thing, you as parents, you need to go introduce

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options to your children, they might overlook some of these options. But somehow that might be the best option for them. The kids 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. No, 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 to 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

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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.

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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 keep him up. Don't worry. I'm not gonna mark it for you, but just give him a piano.

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Now, how many of you believe they're ready?

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If you believe you already, keep your hands up. How many of you know that their parents believe they already Keep your hands up?

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So eventually, most of them would prop their hands down because their parents wanting that they're ready for it. You said let's listen my son. Finish first. Okay, but that I'm already 29 years old.

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Yeah, but you're still in school, don't embarrass me. And is doing PhD degree.

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So and that surreal scenario, by the way, that surreal scenario, someone who's been prevented from seeking the marriage because it's still in school. I said, your parents don't know. They don't understand that PhD is not that kindergarten type of school, right?

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We have wrong perceptions about being ready. How are you? How do you think you're ready?

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with the kids, they think they're ready besides simply because they fall in love. That's it. Because we're in love, everything is going to fall in place in shallow data, or we shall live happily ever after. Kids. That's wrong. That's only movies. And again, I will never know if it happens in movie either.

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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 the children farther and farther. Why? Because we are we are correlating the age of maturity with finishing school.

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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 and vacation and sunset eventually just school school school. Okay, but I want I want car. I'll get you the car. How am I going to fill the gas? I'll pay you. So eventually the kids they're already actually going to medical school driving Mercedes or BMW and Lexus 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.

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Seriously, I said, You're not ready once you have all of this in not ready yet.

00:30:04 --> 00:30:40

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 where 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 four?

00:30:42 --> 00:30:42

Don't be shy.

00:30:45 --> 00:30:52

Not independent? Well, semi but for what? There's another word for it. They use the word just in case.

00:30:55 --> 00:30:59

You know, what's the meaning of just in case? You guys know what does it mean? What is it

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just in case it didn't work out. hamdulillah you have education to stand on. You know what we gave our our girls, we gave them the excuse. The exit door. That's all we have higher 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 does have hunger, have my education, Salaam Alaikum.

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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. Your 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 even marital 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

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going to have to be ready to face some difficulties in the relationship ucation 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 and shout low to 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

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comes to the subject of marriage. You're going to have to talk to your kids about things you dislike.

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You're gonna 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 the kids and have them getting ready for that and shallow the water Kota Allah Alhamdulillah Allah Nabina Muhammad Allah Azza wa sallam was Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.

00:33:25 --> 00:33:29

Yes, sir. Good Johnson, Dr. Altaf Hussain one more time for both of them inshallah.

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So inshallah 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 whole Tibet preparatory workshop in the seminar room. All of those seminars begin at four o'clock. Exactly. My head was now I cracked a lot

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