Tag Archives: Child




It has been my attempt to relate the human cost of the PREVENT counter-extremism programme on this blog.  Whether it is teachers going through the humiliation and stress of being called “extremists” only to be exonerated two years later, or whether it is children suffering effective psychological child abuse upon coming into contact with the PREVENT referral apparatus. The theoretical analysis and argumentation can sanitise the real cost of such decrepit neoconservative policies like PREVENT.

Two years ago, it was suggested by CAGE’s Asim Qureshi that there was a possibility that children would be taken from their parents under PREVENT.  Those PREVENT-milking state-collaborators in the persecution of the Muslim minority were rolled out repeatedly to discredit CAGE using specifically this claim to highlight that CAGE was “fearmongering” and spreading “myths”.  Exactly who is linked to propaganda departments within the Home Office, and who is regurgitating their black propaganda “messaging” is known well-known.  The reality is that the Muslim minority had already anticipated the child-snatching policy. Boris Johnson was foreshadowing the removal of children from “radical” parents as early as March 2014.  The claims by PREVENT-supporters that children will not be taken away through the implementation of PREVENT has proven to be as vacuous and deceptive as their state-prostituted and ventriloquized minds.

CAGE has cited several cases in which ERG22+ – the discredited mumbo jumbo theory underpinning PREVENT – has been employed by judges:

“Through the CTS Act 2015 and PREVENT programmes, the government has sought to intervene in the homes of families where there is a risk of ‘radicalisation’, often forcing removal of children from the home.”

Forcing Compliance: “They are going to make my life difficult”

Two days ago, at a seminar hosted by CAGE’s Asim Qureshi and Professor David Miller on the report “The Science Behind PREVENT”, a distraught Muslim mother of  a baby and four-year-old child was reduced to tears as she described her ordeal at the hands of PREVENT.  In her moving account, she stated that her house was raided by counter-terrorism police the day she had given birth to her child, and despite the father being taken away, the social services came and questioned her, threatening her with the removal of her children on the basis that she could not safeguard them.  Demonstrating the sinister side of PREVENT, she further states that PREVENT was used to threaten and intimidate her, consequently impacting her family and friends:

“PREVENT has said to me that if I don’t work with them, they are going to make my life difficult. They gave me a warning, they called me on Eid day, and gave me that warning… They’ve been constantly on my back… I am scared to even say that I am bringing my children up as a Muslim… Everyone is scared my friends are scared, they said they want to support me but they are scared to support me, because they fear their children may get taken away.”

Based on her account, it seems PREVENT officers are using psychological tactics reminiscent of the German Stasi’s Zersetzung strategy to mentally destabilise individuals into compliance. The climate of fear and intimidation perpetuated by PREVENT is reaching levels of insanity. It is being used as a weapon against Muslims to force compliance. Family courts have even gone to the extent of forcing teenagers to watch television as a prescriptive antidote to “radicalisation”.

EDL? “Neither here nor there”

So far many of the cases concerning the issue of radicalisation and children involve Muslims. There is, however, precedent for judges taking a completely different line of thinking in the context of non-Muslim, white, far-right-linked parents.

In February 2015, it was reported that the council was trying to prevent a father from bringing up his own toddler due to him being an activist with the EDL, which social workers called “barbaric”, that he was immoral, drank too much, smoked cannabis, and had numerous criminal convictions. One social worker argued, “The distorted thinking of those within the EDL is barbaric and their actions inappropriate… therefore the mentality of those involved has to be brought into question”. In other words, he possessed possibly an “extremist” mentality due to his association with a fascist and often violent organisation, or, at the very least demonstrated “vulnerability to radicalisation”.  The social workers further argued that the child should be brought up in an “environment that supports difference, equality and independence”. The judge rejected the arguments stating that courts and social workers were not “moral guardians” and that the parent’s membership with the EDL was “neither here nor there”. The “top” family court judge further warned:

‘We must guard against the risk of social engineering.’

The EDL, which is regarded as perpetuating far-right ideology, is not a risk to the child’s well-being.  In the context of Muslims, the judge’s arguments are defenestrated and social engineering, to the point where mothers are threatened with the removal of their children to force compliance with PREVENT, teenagers are being forced to watch television”, and individuals are subjected to CHANNEL deradicalisation mentors whom teach them the “right” Islam along with truncated Western history, is adopted as a policy wholesale. Discriminatory social engineering, at least in reference to the Muslim minority has become institutionalised thanks to PREVENT. The whole project has echoes of the Nazi Germanization of thousands of kidnapped Jewish children to “cleanse” them of their Jewish heritage. The difference, aside from the war context, is that a bogus ideological counter-extremism premise has been created by neoconservatives to justify the “kidnapping” by the state.

Concluding Remarks

PREVENT is damaging, a point which is increasingly being recognised across the Atlantic.  The US-based “Open Society Justice Initiative”, after examining seventeen PREVENT/CHANNEL referral cases, concluded today that the policy “suffers from multiple, mutually reinforcing structural flaws, the foreseeable consequence of which is a serious risk of human rights violations.” The structural flaws included, “the targeting of ‘pre-criminality’, ‘non-violent extremism’, and opposition to ‘British values’.” The author of report, Amrit Singh, in a separate piece further lambasted PREVENT for “creating a climate of fear”.

These are not exactly new findings. The Muslim minority has known this through experience for a long time.  The distressed mother worried about her children being snatched from her represents the precipice of the various forms of fear PREVENT is manifesting. My question is, how many more mothers and fathers will need to have their children removed from them in a totalitarian fashion before the Muslim community takes an uncompromising, non-negotiable stance against PREVENT?


Children in accordance to Islam are entitled to various and several rights…


Originally posted to Islamway.net – http://en.islamway.net/article/13497/the-right-of-children

Let us first establish that children in accordance to the Islamic concept means both male and female. Some of anti-Islamic concepts accuse Islam by differentiating between male and female children claiming that it does prefer boys over girls in terms of inheritance, ‘Aqiqah (slaughter of two lambs upon the birth of a male baby and one lamb for a baby girl) and other matters. In accordance with true Islam teaching, both male and female are alike in the sight of Allah, the Almighty. Each, however, is physically prepared and equipped to perform certain task and duties that are suitable to his/her nature. All again are equal in religious duties, except for certain exception that are defined and illustrated by Allah, the Almighty, in the glorious Quran, or declared and specified by Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him). Only these differences are to be acknowledged and honored by in accordance with Islam and its teachings.

Children in accordance to Islam are entitled to various and several rights. The first and the famous right is the right of properly brought up, raised and educated. This means that children should be given suitable, sufficient, sound and adequate religious, ethical and moral guidance to last them for their entire life. They should be engraved with true values, the meaning of right and wrong, true and false, correct and incorrect, appropriate and inappropriate and so forth and so on. Allah, the Almighty, stated in the glorious Quran:

“O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones,” [At-Tahrim 66:6]

{يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ قُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلْحِجَارَةُ…}
التحريم: 6


Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo qoo anfusakum waahleekum naran waqooduha alnnasu waalhijaratu

Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) also said: “Every one of you (people) is a shepherd. And every one is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them” [This Hadith is reported by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim.]

«كلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول…والرجل راع على أهله وهو مسؤول…»
رواه البخاري ومسلم


Children, therefore are a trust given to the parents. Parents are to be responsible for this trust on the Day of Judgment. Parents are essentially responsible for the moral, ethical and the basic and essential religious teachings of their children.

If parents fulfill this responsibility, they will be free of the consequences on the Day of Judgment. The children will become better citizen and pleasure to the eyes of their parents, first in this life, and in the Hereafter.

Allah, the Almighty, stated in the glorious Quran:

“And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in Faith, to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything. Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned.” [At-Tur 52:21]

{وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَٱتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُم بِإِيمَـٰنٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَآ أَلَتْنَـٰهُم مِّنْ عَمَلِهِم مِّن شَىْءٍ ۚ كُلُّ ٱمْرِئٍۭ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهِينٌ}
الطور: 51


Transliteration: Waallatheena amanoo waittabaAAathum thurriyyatuhum bieemanin alhaqna bihim thurriyyatahum wama alatnahum min AAamalihim min shayin kullu imriin bima kasaba raheenun

Moreover, Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Upon death, man’s deeds will “definitely” stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously pray Allah, the Almighty, for the soul of his parents” [This Hadith is reported by Muslim]

«إذا مات الإنسان انقطع عنه عمله إلا من ثلاثة: إلا من صدقة جارية. أو علم ينتفع به. أو ولد صالح يدعو له»
رواه مسلم


In fact, such a statement reflects the value of proper upbringing of children. It has an everlasting effect, even after death.

Unfortunately, many parents from every walk of life, in every society, regardless of creed, origin, social and economical status, etc., have neglected this very important and imposed right of their own children unto them. Such individuals have indeed lost their children as a result for their own negligence. Such parents are so careless about the time their children spent with no benefit, the friends they associate with, the places they go to etc., such parents they do not care, are totally indifferent about where their children go, when they come back and so forth and so on, causing the children to grow without any responsible adult and caring supervision. Such parents neglect even to instruct, direct or guide their children to the proper way of life, behavior or even attitudes towards others. Yet, you may find these parents are so careful about their wealth. They are extremely concerned about their own business, work and otherwise. They exert every possible effort to lead a very successful life in terms of materialistic gains, although all this wealth is not actually theirs. No one will take wealth to the grave.

Children are not only to be well-fed, well-groomed, properly dressed for seasons and appearance, well-taken care in terms of housing and utilities. It is more important to offer the child comparable care in terms of educational, religious training, and spiritual guidance. The heart of a child must be filled with faith. A child’s mind must be entertained with proper guidance, knowledge and wisdom. Clothes, food, housing, education are not, by any means, an indication of proper care of the child, proper education and guidance is far more important to a child than his food, grooming and appearance .

One of the due rights of children upon parents is to spend for their welfare and well-being moderately. Over spending or negligence is not condoned, accepted or even tolerated in Islam. Such ways have negative effect on the child regardless of the social status. Men are urged not to be miserly to his children and household, who are their natural heirs in every religion and society. Why would one miserly to those who are going to inherit his wealth. They are even permitted to take moderately from their parent’s wealth to sustain themselves if the parents declined to give them proper funds for their living.

Children also have the right to be treated equally in terms of financial gifts. None should be preferred over the others. All must be treated fairly and equally. None should be deprived his gift from the parents. Depriving, or banning the right of the inheritance, or, other financial gifts during the lifetime of the parents or preference of parents for a child over the other will be considered in accordance to Islam an act of injustice. Injustice will definitely lead to an atmosphere of hatred, anger and dismay amongst the children in one household. In fact, such an act of injustice may, most likely, lead to animosity amongst the children and consequently this effect an entire family environment. In certain cases when special child may show tender care to his aging parent, for instance, causing the parent to grant such a child a special gift, or issue him an ownership of a house, a factory, or a land, a farm, a car, or any other valuable items. Islam, however, considers such a financial reward to such caring, loving or may be obedient child, a wrong act. A caring child is entitled only for reward from Allah, the Almighty. Although it’s nice to grant such child something in appreciation for dedication and special efforts, but this must not lead to an act of disobedience to Allah, the Almighty. It may be that the heart and feelings of such a loving and caring child may change, at one point in time, causing him to become a nasty and harmful child. By the same token, a nasty child may change at any given time, as well, to become a very caring and kind child to the same parent. The hearts and feelings are, as we all know, in the hands of Allah, the Almighty, and can be turned in any direction at any given time and without any previous notice. This, indeed, is one of the reasons to prevent an act of financial preference of a child over another. On the other hand, there is no assurance or guarantees that a caring child can handle the financial gift of his parent wisely.

It is narrated by Abu-Bakr who said that Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) was informed by one of his companions, al-Nu’man bin Bashir, who said:

“My father gave me a gift but ‘Amra bint Rawaha (my mother) said that she would not agree to it unless he made Allah’s Apostle as a witness to it. So, my father went to Allah’s Apostle and said, ‘I have given a gift to my son from ‘Amra bint Rawaha, but she ordered me to make you as a witness to it, O Allah’s Apostle!’ Allah’s Apostle asked, ‘Have you given (the like of it) to everyone of your sons?’ He replied in the negative. Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Be afraid of Allah, and be just to your children.’ My father then returned and took back his gift.” [This Hadith is reported by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

«أعطاني أبي عطية، فقالت عمرة بنت رواحة: لا أرضى حتى تشهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، فأتى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: إني أعطيت ابني من عمرة بنت رواحة عطية، فأمرتني أن أشهدك يا رسول الله، قال: (أعطيت سائر ولدك مثل هذا). قال: لا ، قال: (فاتقوا الله واعدلوا بين أولادكم). قال: فرجع فرد عطيته »
رواه البخاري ومسلم


Thus, Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) called such an act of preference of one child over the others an act of “injustice”. Injustice is prohibited and forbidden in Islam.

But, if a parent granted one of his children financial remuneration to fulfill a necessity, such as a medical treatment coverage, the cost of a marriage, the cost of initializing a business, etc., then such a grant would not be categorized an act of injustice and unfairness. Such a gift will fall under the right to spend in an essential needs of the children, which is a requirement that parent must fulfill.

Islam sees that if parents fulfill their duties towards all children in terms of providing them with necessary training, educational backing, moral, ethical and religious education, this will definitely lead to a more caring child, better family atmosphere and better social environment and awareness. On the other hand, any negligence in the parenthood duties can lead to the loss of a child or ill treatment to a parent at a later age.


child soap in mouth

Your child just blurted a word of profanity!? Find out how you can handle this delicate situation.

“What!?” You shift around to glance at your 6-year-old. You give him a heavy stare and then ask again, “What did you say?” He repeats the word again with the casualness of a morning greeting. Your 6-year-old just blurted a word of profanity!

How do you handle this delicate situation? Well, there are several things you can do to discourage your child from saying bad words. Here are 6 productive ways to get started:

  • Try to determine if older family members, friends, or TV viewing are providing your child with the improper words he is using. Young children are excellent mimickers. If they are hearing inappropriate words from those they regularly interact with, you might have a continuous battle trying to get them to stop using the words themselves. If you conclude they are getting the words from others around them, attempt to limit your child’s contact with these sources and mention your concerns to the individuals, as well.

Abu Hurairah   reported: The Prophet said, «A man utters a word pleasing to Allah without considering it of any significance for which Allah exalts his ranks (in Jannah); another one speaks a word displeasing to Allah without considering it of any importance, and for this reason he will sink down into Hell.» (Bukhari)

  • Explain to your child that the words he is using are not good words and that he is a Muslim, and Muslims should use decent words. Teach him the hadith in which The Prophet (saw) said: «Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say good or remain silent.» (Muslim)

Mention this hadith to your child often, not only during times of flagrantly ill speech, but also when he calls his friends and siblings hurtful names.

  • Provide your child with alternative words to use when he uses inappropriate words of a lower grade than profanity. Tell him instead of saying I hate Jamal, say Jamal “irritates” me. Children take pleasure in learning new words and phrases.
  • When you hear your child using proper words, compliment his behavior. One way of showing your child you are pleased with his pleasant words is by using incentive charts. Simply place a star on your child’s chart whenever he uses good words instead of negative words. When he reaches a certain number of stars such as ten, give him a special treat. Incentive charts work wonders! Acknowledging your child’s proper speech will go a long way toward encouraging him to use suitable words in the future, In sha Allah.

The Prophet said, «When the son of Adam gets up in the morning, all the limbs humble themselves before the tongue and say: ‘Fear Allah for our sake because we are with you: (i.e., we will be rewarded or punished as a result of what you do) if you are straight, we will be straight; and if you are crooked, we will become crooked.‘» (Tirmidhi).

  • If the words aren’t exceedingly objectionable, try ignoring your child when he uses distasteful words. Sometimes kids go through phases with offensive words. They use them for a while then switch to others. Although the words ‘stupid’, ‘crazy’, and ‘dumb’ aren’t nice words, they aren’t profanity. It can become a chore following every single improper word your child uses.

However the following verse from the Qur’an is a great reminder for your child:

{O you who believe! let not (one) people laugh at (another) people perchance they may be better than they, nor let women (laugh) at (other) women, perchance they may be better than they; and do not find fault with your own people nor call one another by nicknames; evil is a bad name after faith, and whoever does not turn, these it is that are the unjust.} [Al-Hujurat:11]

  • Set a good example for your child. When you speak to or about others, use pleasant words. Let your children hear good words flowing from your mouth on a regular basis. In the long run, this might be the most productive way of taming your child’s foul mouth.

Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari  reported: “I asked the Messenger of Allah : “Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said, «One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure» (Muslim).

Source: ProductiveMuslim



Have you had a meaningful conversation together? Do you know what your child accomplished today, how he may be feeling, whether or not he has any concerns? Does your child know that you care about him?

Originally taken from Islamway.net – http://en.islamway.net/article/13455/have-you-talked-with-your-child-today?ref=c-rel&score=0.6

Have you had a meaningful conversation together? Do you know what your child accomplished today, how he may be feeling, whether or not he has any concerns? Does your child know that you care about him?

 In Islam, the ties of kinship and family are very strong and something that will always be present throughout our lifetime. There are very serious consequences for someone who decides to break these ties. Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, says, {Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? (22) Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight.} [Muhammad 47:22-23].
{فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَن تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ ﴿٢٢﴾ أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّـهُ فَأَصَمَّهُمْ وَأَعْمَىٰ أَبْصَارَهُمْ} محمد: 22-23
Transliteration: Fahal AAasaytum in tawallaytum an tufsidoo fee alardi watuqattiAAoo arhamakum (22) Olaika allatheena laAAanahumu Allahu faasammahum waaAAma absarahum
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “Whoever severs the bonds of kinship will not enter Paradise” [Bukhari and Muslim].
«لا يدخل الجنة قاطع» رواه البخاري ومسلم
A major component of our familial ties is communication. In fact, without communication there would be little connection between people. Living together in the same household with limited, or even hostile, interaction would not fit the criteria for maintaining the bonds of kinship. To develop meaningful relationships within our families we need to know how to communicate effectively and sincerely with each other. A large part of this involves skills and principles that can be learned through practice and sincere effort. The following is a guide to strengthen these ties that bind.
1) Active Listening.
You may be surprised to discover that the most important aspect of effective communication is listening. This means that the listener pays full attention to the speaker and attempts to understand what that person is saying and feeling. The listener should suspend judgment, show interest, and respect what is being said. He or she may then restate the content and feelings to demonstrate that sincerity is present. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, always gave his full attention to anyone that he conversed with, even his enemies and those with whom he disagreed. When he addressed his companions, they listened intently and attached importance to everything he said.
2) Level of Understanding.
Parents should always keep in mind the age and level of understanding of their child and should speak with him accordingly. Ali, radia Allah ‘anhu, said “Speak to the people keeping in view their level of understanding. Would you like to see them think of what you tell them from Allah and His Messenger as lies?” [Bukhari]
«وقال علي: حدثوا الناس بما يعرفون، أتحبون أن يكذب الله ورسوله» رواه البخاري
This is important so that the child will be able to comprehend what is said, the expectations of the parents will not go beyond the capacity of the child and lead to problems, and difficulties will not be placed upon the child unnecessarily. This is particularly pertinent for sensitive issues such as death, personal modesty issues, and adult responsibilities. There are various levels of complexity with each of these and the correct level needs to be chosen for each child. One way to ascertain this is by the type of questions that a child asks.
3) The Manners of a Mu’min.
A believer is someone who believes in Allah’s Message and follows the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam. In relationships then, a believer would demonstrate honesty, kindness, patience, self-restraint, fairness, trustworthiness, etc. He would avoid teasing, blaming, belittling, mocking, excessive and idle talk, and fault-finding. There are many Qur’anic verses and ahadeeth that give detailed descriptions of this topic such as: {Verily, Allah is with the patient.} [Al-Baqara 2:153],
{إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ} البقرة: 153


Transliteration: inna Allaha maAAa alssabireena
{Speak fair to the people [i.e. enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and say the truth about Muhammad Peace be upon him].} [Al-Baqara 2:83],
{وَقُولُوا لِلنَّاسِ حُسْنًا} البقرة: 83
Transliteration: waqooloo lilnnasi husnan
{Kind words and covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury.} [Al-Baqara 2:263],
{قَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّن صَدَقَةٍ يَتْبَعُهَا أَذًى} البقرة: 263
Transliteration: Qawlun maAAroofun wamaghfiratun khayrun min sadaqatin yatbaAAuhaathan
“A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. He does not wrong him, nor insults him nor humiliate him.” [Muslim],
«المسلم أخو المسلم. لا يظلمه، ولا يخذله، ولا يحقره» رواه مسلم
And the prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, was asked about the thing which will make the majority of people enter Paradise, upon which he replied: “Fear of Allah and good manners.” [Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani]
«سئل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن أكثر ما يدخل الناس الجنة ؟ فقال: تقوى الله وحسن الخلق» رواه الترمذي وصححه الألباني
These principles should be applied in conversations with children and teenagers as well as adults. It is probably even more important with young people because we are setting an example for them. What do we want our children to learn? We cannot expect kindness and respect from our children if we are not being kind and respectful toward them.
4) Avoiding Contention.
The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “If a man gives up contention when he is in the wrong, a house will be built for him within the Garden of Paradise; but if a man gives up contention, even when he is in the right, a house will be built for him in the loftiest part of the Garden” [Al-Albani, good due to multiple narrations].
«من ترك المراء و هو مبطل بني له بيت في ربض الجنة، و من تركه و هو محق بني له في وسطها» الألباني، حسن لغيره
The value of this advice lies in the fact that contention and disputes lead to a breakdown in the relationship, even rancor, enmity, and hostility. I have worked with many families where this has occurred and it can be very difficult to mend the wounds that have been created and to bring family members back together. It goes without saying that it is best to completely avoid reaching this low level.
Let us all work to improve our style of communication and our relationships with each other. When our children feel that their parents understand them and are willing to listen to them, they will open up their hearts and trust will develop. Effective teaching and discipline cannot be implemented without a certain level of trust, understanding, and mutual respect. If you are concerned about your children in a non-Muslim environment and it is affecting the way you interact with them, the best you can do is teach and advise them, give them responsibility, trust them, and let them know that you care for them. We can then make du’a and rely upon Allah’s Grace and Assistance. This is our best weapon in a world of non-belief. May Allah help each of us to strengthen the ties that bind us together as a family and bring happiness and contentment to our homes.
·         Set aside some time each day to talk with your child. If you have more than one child, each should have their own equal, individual time.
·         Read books with your child about Islam that pertain to relationships with others and stories about the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, and the companions, radiallaahu anhum. These will provide you with the necessary guidelines and inspiration.
·         Tape record one of your conversations and rate yourself or have other give you feedback. This is an effective method to determine your weak areas and to improve upon them.
·         Obtain advice from other parents when needed, especially those who have more experience. This may save time and avoid undue hardships and pain.
By Dr. Aisha Hamdan


ORIGINALLY POSTED ON SISTERS-MAGAZINE – https://www.sisters-magazine.com/2016/01/15/the-stages-of-crafting-positive-muslim-identity-in-children/

In this special post to SISTERS online, Nazir Al-Mujaahid of Outstanding Muslim Parents offers some of his best parenting advice.

raising islamic kids

How would you answer the question, “Who are you?”

Some people would define themselves through their profession, for example, a doctor or a teacher. Others may define themselves by their cultural background, such as Arab or American. Other still may simply say, “I’m only a mother”. Many times, how people describe themselves is a reflection of how they feel about themselves and in the case of our children, we want them to radiate high self esteem and feel incredible about who they are!

The challenge of crafting an identity and strong personality in our children isn’t as difficult as it sounds if you start early. Think of yourself as a farmer. No, not the kind that toils in a field which is essential to healthy eating, but one that toils something more precious because the soil is more valuable. I want you to till your children’s brains and how they view themselves.

As parents we see how verbal abuse can damage a person’s perception of themselves and how bullying damages a person’s self-esteem. We can engage our children by building them up. Always remember that there are two ways to have the tallest building, one is to build it strong and tall and the other is to tear down all the other buildings around it.

I advise you to tell your child how beautiful and intelligent they are over and over keeping in mind that repetition is the mother of learning. It doesn’t matter the stage that your child is in, just try it. In Stage One (1 – 7 years old), Stage Two (8 – 13 years old), or Stage Three (Teenagers), they love to hear compliments and praise, even if they act like they don’t. As a mother or father, is it true that we enjoy hearing compliments? It helps us to feel appreciated and strengthens our iman, insha Allah reminding us to be grateful to Allah (SWT) for that blessing.

Stage One

Let’s take little Aisha for example. She’s in Stage One at 5 years old. Being young she imitates her mother and plays with her headscarves. She tries them on, prays while wearing them, and she looks so cute! One of the best things you can do when for a young child who is exploring hijab (or anything positive) is to compliment her. Tell her how beautiful she looks and how she is obeying the command of Allah (SWT) by praying, and include other compliments you can give, which when coupled by hugs and/or kisses creates a strong healthy positive neuro-association in their brains.

A great way to help our children cement their belief is for you to talk to others about them in a positive way where they can hear you. For example sharing with a friend, relative, or spouse you may say how Aisha is so intelligent because she figured out how to complete a math problem or how she’s so creative and artsy because of a drawing she made. This helps breed confidence and before our children know what to think, they borrow our belief in their self until they fully exude it. I call this “planting seeds” which is the most important part of farming because without a seed there is nothing to cultivate and absolutely no harvest.

Stage Two

Our children’s sphere of influence grows rapidly when they turn school age and are around others who have different experiences. In Stage Two (8 – 13 years old), as they have more exposure and use the internet, they have already formed opinions and perceptions. Now that we are planting seeds we must cultivate those seeds by making sure they are properly fed, watered, and allow the sunshine to reach that soil. Constantly reminding our children of their intelligence, beauty, and at the same time challenging them to stretch themselves by doing more or learning more is part of that cultivation. Allow them enough independence to make mistakes and learn from them while understanding that they are children and not little adults in Stage Two (8 – 13 years old). Letting them dress themselves as they desire, teaching them to make up their beds, clean their rooms, wash the dishes, and understand that doing chores is a part of the first great team they are a part of and it’s called family.

We must remember that the difficulty with parenting lies with the fact that there is constant conflict with other forces outside of our control, whether it be relatives that don’t share your values, people that don’t share our Islamic beliefs, or the media that makes all kinds of filth look attractive. The sad reality is that by the time a child is 18 years old, they have seen an average of 200,000 acts of violence including 40,000 acts of murder on various media, which can have a profound impact on human psychology.

In every stage of our children’s growth, planting and cultivating is a never-ending process and is essential to the way our children grow their personalities. I’m sure you have recognized that your children have their own personalities along with their list of likes and dislikes which may differ from ours. I use a personality test that I feel is one of the best tools I’ve seen when it comes to human psychology and it’s free to use! It’s called the Briggs-Meyer’s Personality Test and I think everyone should take it in order to discover their personality type. When you understand yourself at a deeper level, it will help with all of your relationships especially with your spouse and children. Children 8 years and older can also take the free test at the link at the end of this article.

Stage Three

In Stage Three (teenage years) is when we begin to reap the harvest of our actions or inactions. During the early teen years as our children’s bodies develop and they go through puberty is when there tends to be a lot of emotional uncertainty due to hormonal changes as they transition through the process. We must be that much more strategic in our praise by reminding them of successes they’ve had and lessons they’ve learned from things they may have failed at. In the Coach role, we build them up and continue to support them on their road to independence.

One thing we must do as Muslims is to infuse the lessons we have learned from the Seerah of the Prophet (SAW) and from the Qur’an. If we only focused on our children’s psychology without infusing our Islamic beliefs then we are doing our children a disservice. Reminding our children of the jealousy of siblings we can share the story of Prophet Yusuf (RA) or when dealing with children’s stormy relationships with their fathers we can share with them the story of Prophet Nuh (RA) or Prophet Ibrahim (RA).

Reminding our children of how the Prophet (SAW) was slandered and boycotted, and how even his near relatives despised him during his da’wah can help our children hold Islam as relevant today as opposed to simply historic events. Teaching our children of how his patience was rewarded is also essential.

We must also balance the amount of times our children hear the words “no” and “don’t” with the amount of yes’s they hear. It’s estimated that children hear 148,000 no’s and don’ts before they are grown, and most of those happen when they are very young. If we simply celebrate them when they are doing something right or we tell them “yes” to counteract the feeling that so many things “can’t be done” then we take a huge step in creating balance and helping our children’s growth instead of stunting it. This also helps them to not feel that Islam is all about haram instead of halal.

Being a farmer and focusing on your crop by implementing these techniques over time can help you raise psychologically sound children with a strong sense of identity who are at ease in their personality. So that when your child is asked, “Who are you?” they can confidently respond that they are a Muslim who is intelligent, beautiful, happy, proud, or fill in the blank with any positive traits that fits their personality.

*Resources: Take the quiz at http://16personalities.com

Nazir Al-Mujaahid is the author of Muslims Parenting on Purpose Vol. 1 and founder of OutstandingMuslimParents.com. He has been married over 20 years and is raising nine children ranging in age from 20 yrs to 6 months. Nazir has utilized his entrepreneurial, leadership, and human psychology knowledge to build a dynamic family especially focusing on relationships and child rearing. This led to others asking how they too can put a family plan in place which eventually led to designing and host the Outstanding Muslim Parents Television show and parental training products and workshops.