Living Islam Today
A Magazine for Muslim Americans
Vol. 1 Issue 1               Spring 1420/ 2000

Feature

IFNA

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate Source of All Mercy

Children's Souls for Sale:
Inquire Within

          Summertime. It is late afternoon and a girl sits in the hushed blaze of rust colored light. Although she believes that Allah is there, out there, somewhere, she still feels alone. Her parents are busy pursuing successful careers and live to tell their friends at the local Masjid how well she's done at school, how many awards she's won, and rave about the new BMW they're planning to buy for her graduation. But alone, on this day and on many others like it, she does not sense any hope. She does not see what will become of her.
          She watches as her non-Muslim friends bask in the dangerous freedom that is offered for the taking and how her Muslim friends fake the taqwa that brings home trophies at Muslim Sunday School speech competitions. The summer holds busy days and long depressing nights. The future looks dim and she feels that her heart and mind are sinking to nowhere. Fast. Her parents pass it off as "a phase" and think that other kids would be happy with a closet full of Polo and Banana Republic. But if it's just "a phase" then how come she feels like sometimes she doesn't know who she is? Why does she feel that the world is melting away from her twenty paces at a time?
          As the afternoon sun slowly passes into the horizon she thinks about who she can speak with. The one person who will take her seriously and know that what she feels is real. She twists her fingers around the tassel of her hijab and can't even think of a single someone.

By Reshma Baig

"Muslim parents have to become cognizant of the fact that their child does not live in a vacuum."

          After contemplating the above scenario you may be wondering the numerous times you may have looked at your children and could not understand what they were going through. But think again. How many times have your children looked at you and thought: "I know I can't talk to you." It's a dual dilemma that is eating out the Muslim community in North America from the core. Children of Muslim parents, regardless of race, ethnic, or cultural identity, are facing the formidable challenge of holding on to their Islamic identity and functioning in a world that grabs at the weakest part of their soul: their emotions.
          Simultaneously, Muslim parents are wrestling with the philosophy of attainment. In other words, how will they shower their children with the fruits of their labor without transforming young Muslims into a swarm of materialistic, Islamically-estranged Creatures of the American Dream?
          In a nation that preys on the emotions, libido, and pocketbook of their adolescents, it seems that most Muslim parents are actually consenting to the hijacking of their children's brains, hearts, and private parts. It's a harsh reality. It is almost as if they have forgotten the advice, traditions, and example of the Prophet (p) himself. In fact, Muslim parents around the country are wearing the armband of the kufr and inculcating (by default in some cases) the values of materialism and Jahiliyya in the name of progress. Progress by any other name than Islam is annihilation of Eman and Taqwa. But why is it that Muslim parents, who in most cases sincerely want the best for their children, forget the ultimate consequences of their actions?
          It seems that foresight is not taken into consideration. One cannot attain the favor of Allah (swt) on an installment plan by imitating virtue and embodying decay. If we imitate what we covet, then why do we allow our children to imitate pop culture? Prophet (p) was the trendsetter of his time, and he did not wear $100 dollar sneakers. He was an intellectual, steadfast, Allah conscious gentleman whose parents did not put him through an expensive top-tier college by exchanging their souls for the sweet cash register "ring" of Riba. The point is this: We cannot buy our children a good life. We can only ensure their Akhira through the active practice and conceptualization of Islam in our lives and theirs through communication. Simply said: Habits make the person. Develop good habits in your child and make him/her safe from the inside out.

     "And have you ever considered [the kind of man] who is bent on denying the truth of Our messages and says, 'I will surely be given wealth and children'?"
Surah 19:77

     Asad explains: "The insistence on material values, to the exclusion of all moral considerations, and the conviction that worldly "success" is the only thing that really counts in life; (i.e.) the idea of wealth and children."  Therefore, parents must keep their priorities straight so that their children will be able to value these morals as well.

"We cannot buy our children a good life."

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