What’s your story?

As-Salamu’alaikum:

One thing we as parents know about raising children is that all children love stories (including many, if not most adults)! Reading is fundamental for a child’s development at every stage of their life, not just for developing their language skills, but also to develop their creative thinking. One of the challenges for Muslims living here in the west is to screen the content of these stories for their children. Some may consider us to be prudes for even discussing this topic, dismissing our concerns as being “fanatic”, “wahhabi”, “suffocating”, “overbearing”, but the truth of the matter is that quite a bit of children’s stories have content that are questionable by Islamic standards.
How so? Magic is a common staple of children’s stories for centuries (e.g. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio – which also happen to be standard Disney cartoons that most children watch), but the reality is that magic is HARAM in Islam, and should not be presented to children as being something that is glorified, or a path to immediate success. This is precisely what the allure of magic is for non-Muslims: It is a quick and easy way to become successful, no hard work, no du’a, and everything is for this present life (i.e. no concept of the Akhira). No du’a, no trust in ALLAH, no hard work, no patience. Nothing.
The problem with this, is that if our children are brainwashed with these false images, they will become disenchanted with Islam, and only focus on attaining worldly benefit. When we look at the stories of any of the Prophets, we see that there is a constant struggle against evil, their is a need for patience, and a requirement to have trust in ALLAH, and ALLAH alone. No wishing upon a star (which would be kufr), nor asking some phantom “fairy god mother” (also kufr, and who is neither a “fairy”, not a “god”, and nor your mother). As children get older, they read “The Wizard of Oz”, and when they get a little older, they come across “Hairy Potter”. The root of this problem is that we as parents first need to be aware of the magnitude of the concept of magic in Islam. If we are to be our children’s teachers, then we need to first and foremost become students ourselves, and learn the fundamentals of our beliefs. It is only by being proactive can we properly educate our children.

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Repetition helps, Repetition helps.

As-Salamu’alaikum:

Below is an interesting article I came across that could be quite beneficial to Muslim parents, except in our case, rather than reading the same book, one could easily replace this with reciting Surah’s from the Qur’an, thus giving the child a head start in memorization 🙂  In addition, one can of course do as the study suggests and read aloud children’s books just to improve their vocabulary! Continue reading

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“No Fruit From Visitors!”

As-Salamu’alaikum:

This honestly is an amazing article on making du’a that removes a lot of misconceptions that we have about how we are to call on ALLAH in our times of need.  Truly, a must read:

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Computer Programming for children…YES, CHILDREN!

As-Salamu’alaikum:

Here is a very nice article on how some very young children are able to learn computer programming, and develop their own games.  I honestly believe that with the right teachers, and with proper support, our children are capable of much more than we give them credit for, and this is further proof.  Subjects like mathematics (including Algebra), programming, physics, biology, chemistry may be intimidating to us, but we should not let our bias’ be an obstacle for our children.  Foster a love of learning, give them the right tools, explain the subject matter to them in a way that they can comprehend, motivate them, give them the freedom to experiment, and explore, as well as reward them for their hard work and efforts.  The results will surprise you!

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

As-Salamu’alaikum:

This article by Sheikh Abu Eesa Niamatullah in my opinion is a must read for both brothers and sisters on the reality of marriage in Islam in our time.  Unfortunately, the blog that this article was posted on is down but here is the full text of the article that I managed to find elsewhere on the web AlhamduLILLAH.  The insight from the people of knowledge is always beneficial, and I honestly hope that it benefits us all.  In my humble opinion, as the trend of feminism has grown in the western culture, so has this trend among the speakers and Imam’s that are popular as well.  The problem is that Islam does not need any changes, or “re-interpretation”.  From its inception, this Deen is perfect, is universal, and is relevant until the Day of Judgment.  AlhamduLILLAH, it is good to see that there are some people of knowledge (few as they are), who are able to present Islam in an unapologetic way, and call a spade a spade.  Islam is a middle path, that is neither feminist, nor chauvinist.

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Problems Toilet Training Your Child? Try Whistling.

Could whistling replace diapers? In many countries, it already does.

Researchers from Sweden recently followed 47 Vietnamese moms and babies for two years to study their toilet training techniques.
 From birth, mothers tune in to when their babies urinate, developing awareness and sensitivity to their infants’ physical needs. When the baby pees, the mother whistles.

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Commercialization of the Western Family

As-Salamu’alaikum:

I want to share an article that I honestly believe is very pertinent in our times.  It was written for the winter holidays, but I honestly believe that its message is relevant year round.  This article in my opinion is a must read, because it gives parents some very real ideas for activities to do with our families that are beneficial, healthy, and sorely lacking in our busy, techno-centric lives today.

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Islam continues to rise despite their efforts, SubhanALLAH!

It truly is amazing how, despite the laws they put in place to fight Islam, the number of reverts continues to rise, of all places, in France.

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Something fun I just wanted to share :-)

As-Salamu’alaikum:

This is a link I thought you might find interesting.  These are optical illusions that may make your head spin…enjoy!

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Pearl from the Al-Maghrib Course, “Protect This House” – Reverse Psychology

As-Salamu’alaikum.

I just wanted to take a moment and share a benefit (or “pearl” if you will) that I received from the Al-Maghrib course, “Protect This House” by Sheikh Abu ‘Eesa Niamatullah. Every parent has to deal with disciplining their children, and this is something Muslims in the west have a hard time with especially because the community here is either an immigrant population where societal norms from back home may be frowned upon or even deemed “abusive” by western standards, or are reverts from the local population, and unfortunately have experiences from their jahiliyyah period as a reference point which may not necessarily be Islamic. What is one to do? The biggest challenge that Muslim parents have in raising their children in the west (or anywhere else for that matter) are two things:

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