As salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,
Picture your young child looking up at you with adoration and innocence waiting on you to say something. You look back admiring your beautiful baby that Allah blessed you with and simply smile. They look up to us for guidance, protection, security, and love and many of us learn that they are some of our best teachers. It’s so easy to love and show affection to our children when they are small and innocent. It’s when their innocence gets tainted that we tend to experience frustration.
We have goals and visions for our children’s futures. We want them to succeed in this life and the next and we make sure that we do our best to give them the best foods, read them good books, educate them on how to pray, and keep them close to us. As they grow from babies to infants to toddlers to pre-school to school-age, things change fast. It seems like so many things are vying for their attention that their life is full of distractions, distractions that we didn’t have when we were growing up.
Today we have made exponential growth in technology in the modern world as opposed to only a century ago. So we have to be proactive as Shaytan has more tools to get his hands on. Now I love technology, but I also understand that it can be a double-edged sword. It can help you in daily life and even get you closer to Allah. However, it can also harm you in your daily life and get you farther away from Allah. Now if this can happen to me as a parent, how much more can it happen with our children who haven’t experienced the real world yet and are curious to see “what’s out there”!
It was the first time, in 1947, a television show showed a husband and wife in the same bed and they were fully clothed without any intimacy. It was shocking to the society and there was a huge backlash because of what that represented on the new technology. A few decades later, it became common to show men and women in bed together. However, many of these couples were not married. People wearing very little clothing and engaging in acts of intimacy became common on regular television, not cable, satellite, or pay to view channels. Today, curse words that used to be banned when I was young are now common in use. Even more common is to see homosexual acts by men and women on regular television, even during commercials. Sadly the homosexual agenda has even made it to children’s shows. There was an episode of Postcards from Buster that showcased a lesbian couple raising children and pushing the message that homosexuality is okay.
So what can I do as a mother, as a father, as a grandparent or concerned Muslim that wants to promote morals and build character in our children? Well, the first thing is to recognize that Shaytan is busy and will attempt to twist every well-meaning technology and thing to his evil benefit. Second, we must recognize that no matter how hard we try to shield our children from outside influences, as they grow, they will encounter the things we feared for them. The hope is that we have instilled in them enough sense of purpose and cultivated their Iman to the point that they will shun away from evil and come closer to the truth.
There are some very challenging messages that our children see, both boys and girls, here are just a few main messages that are being pushed;
- The Disney Princess Syndrome where a white knight in shining armor will come and save the helpless damsel in distress. This teaches our young girls that they must be hopelessly dependent on a man who usually will try to “kiss” them and they fall happily in love and live happily ever after.
- Black and brown people are inferior and worthless. I’ve traveled to many Masajid and experienced this despicable attitude that reminds me of the Quraysh in Jahiliyyah. It also is purported in Western society like the US who routinely brutalize and kill brown and black people. This includes the white standard of beauty where some people go so far as to lighten their skin and insult anything other than what they consider white, which to them encompasses all beauty. Allah says what could mean in translation “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [Quran 49:13]
- Homosexuality is morally okay. We are not to treat people bad or be violent against them; however, we must not mistake being kind for acceptance of ill morals either. Many stores have stopped “gender labeling” on toys and clothes which some say has blurred the gender line. Allah says clearly regarding homosexuality in Quran, “And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds?” [7:80]
I could talk about the false standards of beauty that have led many Muslims to develop eating disorders, the materialistic values that plague our youth, the social prestige that many professionals who run Masajid desire, and many more issues; but I won’t. I’m sure you get the picture.
How you can make a difference in your child’s life
- Being aware of the games Shaytan likes to play and the tools he likes to play them on. So if television was able to change the morals of a society within a generation, guess how fast it is happening with the internet!
- We must educate our children about the best generations WHILE we emulate good character and poise in the face of so much immorality. I’d suggest using services like AliHuda who has hand selected Islamic programs making sure it’s not dangerous for Muslim children which is a big relief for parents.
- Smartphones… Only older children, those who are 17 years old and up in my household have a smartphone if they’ve shown good character and exhibited behavior that I can trust. I’d also consider making sure you have some type of ongoing education as a parent. There are few manuals around about good parenting but there are some great resources, courses, workshops, and books that are developed by Muslim parents for Muslim parents. Whether you look into our products at outstandingmuslimparents.com/store or a different one, please make sure you invest in your parenting skills which in turn helps your children’s future Bi ithnillah (with the help of Allah) and the entire Ummah.