Wednesday, 18 May 2022

How to be a good parent to Muslim children growing up in twenty-first century Britain?


From Yahya Birt's Fb page, I found it very beneficial alhamdulilah.

An old friend whose children are much younger than mine asked me how to be a good parent to Muslim children growing up in twenty-first century Britain. I was a bit flummoxed by the question as I’ve never considered myself to be any sort of parenting model. As a father, I am decidedly a work in progress: I still make parenting mistakes even into my third decade as a father. However, after mulling over it for a couple of months, these are some of the rules of thumb that have worked for me. Maybe they will work for you.

1. Don’t squash your child into a preconceived mould of what a good Muslim should be, but facilitate their own journey of discovery. Good parents nurture: they are not dictators.
2. Prepare your children for the world as it is not how you would like it to be. You have to prepare them to be resourceful and resilient.
3. Focus on the fundamentals of faith: on God, the Prophet, and the Hereafter in their youth. Build that bond and connection with the faith, with the mosque, and with pious and holy people, with the gatherings of remembrance and learning.

4. Establish your own prayer and worship if you wish to establish it in your children. Let them see that dua is the first resort of a believer who puts their trust in God.
5. Make the child used to seeing giving in action, helping others; give them money to give to others from a young age. Make them see generosity, hospitality, service and compassion as the Muslim's bread and butter, and their salt and pepper.
6. Try to establish love and attachment to the Quran from a young age. Listening to Quran recitation is an important part of this.
7. If you break your child’s spirit in pursuit of inculcating self-control you will break their confidence. Don’t be your child’s eternal life raft and never be their jailor: focus on teaching them how to swim.
8. Always remind your child their faith must come to centre on their own relationship with God, not on parental approval or disapproval. The latter are props to be kicked away as their faith matures and their understanding grows.

9. Under-confidence is a bigger issue among young Muslims, boys especially, than is egotism. Let us recognise bravado as a sign of lack of confidence rather than of arrogance.
10. Our established systems of moral education (tarbiyah) were not built for Muslim minority status or the structural Islamophobia of the postcolonial period. They need to be rebuilt from scratch with wisdom and love to become fit for purpose.
11. No educational institution, religious or secular, will give everything your child as an individual needs to grow. Be prepared to change things around in the best interests of your child. Be ready to work in active partnership with your child's educators and to challenge them constructively if they are not doing right by your child. You can't leave them at the school and madrasa gates, do nothing else and just hope for the best. That is a failure of parenting.
12. If you find a teacher who inspires your child hang on to them. They are a priceless commodity. Even in adulthood, many of us struggle to distinguish between our interest in a subject and poor teaching -- this is doubly true for children. Teachers have the power to switch us on or off many subjects, either secular or religious, until we solidify our own motives for learning various subjects.
13. Consider holiday time an opportunity to explore the history and culture of Muslims; such educational opportunities are there even in our home countries in the West if travelling abroad is beyond your means.
14. Stay close to your extended family if you are blessed to have one. A child brought up in an extended family is more rounded and confident. The nuclear family structure combined with the current economic requirement for dual income households doesn’t add up to attentive parenting.
15. Keep your kids off smart phones for as long as possible -- at least until they gain a love of reading books. Make book reading with your children a daily practice. Focus on making it enjoyable for them not onerous. If they master the art of long-form concentration and capacity for subtle and extended argument or great prose and sophisticated character studies in terms of nonfiction and fiction book reading they will retain an advantage few others will possess in the digital age.
16. Don’t try as parents to present a united parental front to the children, but demonstrate to them the art of disagreeing and then compromising within a family setting. Teach them to use words and reason to convey what is on their minds.
17. A home without any arguments is one where someone is usually keeping quiet and making all the compromises.
18. Don’t go to bed without making up with your children after an argument. Don’t let things fester.
19. Always strive for open communication with your children above all. Never penalise honesty, especially when they confess to wrongdoing or to having doubts. That way your child will feel safe to tell you what’s really on their minds. This openness is a blessing not a test.
20. Tell your children that doubt is part of faith, and that you will always be there to help answer any question they have, no matter how tough or awkward it might be. If you don’t know the answer yourself, tell them you don’t know, but that you are willing to go away and find out more. Or direct them to someone who does know.
21. Try to teach your children as many practical life skills as possible. Schools do not cover this adequately in my experience.
22. Encourage your children to eat the same food that you eat from a young age. In other words, eat together, not separately. Resist the temptation to give them children’s meals. This is just marketing and the food is normally bad for them.
23. Try to offer them a balanced plate of food. Reduce carbs and sugar, and get them used to vegetables and fruit. Don’t become a household that is reliant on fried foods or a heavy meat diet. Try to source meat and poultry that is organic, halal and cruelty-free (this is particularly important in the case of chickens who are mostly kept in cruel conditions).
24. Encourage them to love the outdoors and sports. Let them muck around in puddles and get muddy when young. Don’t keep them cooped up. Barring a heavy storm with heavy wind and rain, there’s no such thing as truly bad weather but only a wardrobe unable to adapt to Britain’s temperamental weather.
25. Encourage your children to love plants, animals, and nature. Have plants in your home, and even if you have a small yard put some pots in it. Grow some tomatoes or strawberries so that they can see where food comes from. Cats make ideal pets. They are affectionate but also independent and clean. They retain a sense of their wildness and this is important for children to experience.
26. If a parent has to assert their authority by saying that Islam teaches children to respect their parents then usually something has gone wrong. The same goes for shouting.
27. Model good manners to your children. Good manners are gold, but only with the right motives. They are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.
28. If you model good listening to your children, they will become good listeners too, insha’Allah.
29. Help your children to learn to navigate friendships. This is particularly important for girls, who seek out deeper friendships than boys do at a younger age. The most important lessons they have to learn are that friendships come in different shapes and sizes, that they are based on reciprocity and can’t be one-sided, that friends should respect your boundaries, and not to blame yourself for dynamics in friendships that are beyond your control.
30. You never stop being a parent. However your children do become adults, and so the relationship does become more equal and this is natural and to be expected.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Mesut Özil: The Muhammad Ali of Our Time


I completely agree with CJ Werle here: International football superstar Mesut Özil is the Muhammad Ali of our time, risking reputation and livelihood to speak out forcibly against the world’s worst human rights abuses.

Whereas millions of ethnic Uyghurs have been forcibly disappeared in a network of Chinese-government-run concentration camps, torture dungeons, and possibly mass graves, international football superstar Mesut Özil, a German-born Muslim, has been forcibly erased from the world’s premier football league and international attention for daring to speak out against Beijing.

It all started with a tweet posted on December 13, 2019, when he condemned China for its persecution of Uyghur Muslims, and the governments of Muslim majority countries for their complicit silence.

“Qur’ans are burned, mosques are closed, madrassas are banned, religious scholars are killed one by one. The brothers are forced into the camps. Chinese men are settled in their families instead of them. The sisters are forced to marry Chinese men,” reads an excerpt from Özil’s tweet. “Despite all this, the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad is silent. Doesn’t object/say anything.”

Friends and advisers had warned Özil that there would be consequences for speaking out.

According to the New York Times, friends and advisers had warned Özil –– who was then under contract with the English Premier League (EPL) team Arsenal –– that there would be consequences, but Özil felt compelled by his religious faith to act. He ignored their warnings. The consequences came swift.

Not only did Arsenal distance itself from their star player, saying, “The content published is Özil’s opinion,” and that as a football club, it adhered to the “principle of not involving itself in politics” –– which is nonsense, given Arsenal has publicly expressed support for an array of political causes, including Black Lives Matter. In response to Özil’s activism, China disappeared Özil’s name from video games, social media, and Internet search engines, while threatening to ban telecasts of Arsenal’s future fixtures.

Ten months later, Özil’s name also disappeared from Arsenal’s rostered list of players, ending his time in the world’s top football competition with a £13,975,000 annual salary. Arsenal traded him to Turkish club Fenerbahce in the 13th ranked league in Europe.

His fall couldn’t have been greater. In 2018, he became the world’s highest paid player in history, earning £350,000 per week in the top-flight EPL, but today he pulls in only a fraction of that, roughly £60,000 per week, playing in the second-rate Süper Lig. Barely six months after he condemned China for its persecution of Uyghur Muslims, Adidas ended its seven-year, £22 million sponsorship deal with Özil.

Notably, Adidas has been accused of profiting from the mass detainment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, where detainees have been forced into picking cotton.

Speaking out against what the United States government has now identified as “genocide” has exacted a massive financial and emotional cost on Özil. Yet he remains undeterred, using his massive social media following to raise awareness about the brutalities endured by Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Syrians under Russian bombardment, and Yemenis caught in the middle of a proxy war.

Özil prayed for the “safety and well-being of our Muslim brothers and sisters in India.”

To celebrate the Islamic holy night of Lailat al-Qadr on April 27, Özil prayed for the “safety and well-being of our Muslim brothers and sisters in India,” calling the Indian government’s crackdown on the religious minority “shameful” before asking, “What is happening to human rights in the so-called largest democracy in the world?”

Clearly, Özil is undeterred and unintimidated by India’s growing economic clout. He fears no man and no government. He answers only to God and his own moral compass.

While far from a perfect analogy, Özil is the Muhammad Ali of our era, and like “the Greatest” heavyweight boxing champion of all time, he has risked reputation and livelihood in speaking out forcibly against the world’s worst human rights abuses.

Ali told reporters back in 1966, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong,” which was followed with, “No Vietcong ever called me [N-word],” a line that perfectly couched his ethical opposition to an unjust foreign war in support for civil rights at home. Sixteen months later on June 20, 1967, Ali was sentenced to 5 years in prison for refusing to be inducted into the US armed forces.

Although he managed to stay out of prison while appealing his case to the US Supreme Court on religious grounds, he was stripped of his boxing titles and denied the right to fight professionally for nearly four years. But the Supreme Court overturned his conviction and his actions as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War made him an icon of the American civil rights movement.

It’s impossible to imagine the late Muhammad Ali isn’t an inspiration to Özil in an era of hyper-commercialism.

It’s impossible to imagine the late Muhammad Ali isn’t an inspiration to Özil in an era of hyper-commercialism, where very few athletes are willing to put principles before profit.

Most live by the mantra quipped by NBA hall of famer Michael Jordan, who explained away his refusal to endorse Democrat Harvey Gantt, an African American, in a 1990 US Senate race against Republican Jesse Helms, a notorious and vicious racist, by saying, “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”

Well, China buys football merchandise and EPL products, too –– but Özil dared to use his global following to stand up against the abuse committed by Beijing against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. He knew that he would have to write off the world’s largest economy as a market, including his six million followers on the Chinese social media network Wiebo and his fan club there, which boasted more than 50,000 signed-up members.

He knew that “he might become too toxic even for any club with Chinese owners, or sponsors eager to do business there,” reported the New York Times.

With the world bedeviled and besieged by intractable conflicts, fledgling and ongoing genocides, and the hate that flows from rising ultranationalist impulses, we need the likes of Mesut Özil and Muhammad Ali more than ever.


Thursday, 12 May 2022

Australian Academic Accepts Islam After Surviving 1200 days as a Hostage

Very shocking but moving story of conversion. May Allah strenghthen this brother's faith and reward him for his patience.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Be kind.....



“Kindess is a mark of faith and whoever is not kind has no faith.” Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) (Muslim)

Abu Ad-Darda رضي الله عنه reported: The Prophet ﷺ  said:
Whoever is given his portion of kindness has been given his portion of goodness, and whoever is deprived of his portion of kindness has been deprived of his portion of goodness.
Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2013,

Ibn Mas’ud reported رضي الله عن : The Messenger of Allah ﷺ
Shall I not tell you for whom the Hellfire is forbidden? It is every person accessible, polite, and mild.
Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2488



Monday, 9 May 2022

Famous Jewish Skater SHOCKED Sheikh Uthman


A very emotional convert story. Share your faith by being he kindest Muslim you can be.

Thursday, 28 April 2022