Are We Preparing Our Children Adequately?

By Mohamedarif Suleman

(Nairobi, Kenya)

More often when we speak of the negative impacts that modern lifestyle has given us, or when we categorically cry fowl over the way in which global cultures are eroding our own – both Indian and Islamic, the main argument is really not against the strength of these and other outside forces. At least, it is not supposed to be. The real agenda is to remind ourselves of how weak and ill equipped we are in the face of western and unislamic influences.

Nowadays, it is immaterial where you live – whether you are an inhabitant of a marvelous city of the West or are tucked up in a corner of East Africa, communications and technology ensure that our lives are somewhat affected by the ethos of global of global culture. In most cases, it is the multinationals that have always been the transporters of same culture to various countries, expect in that some 10 to 15 years ago, there was a conscious effort to regard local cultures and values in the promotion of goods and services. Later on, as the younger generation of all this host countries began asking for more of such imported values, it became clear that many cultures and sub cultures would begin fading in its wake.

So, in every other way, this article purports to raise this question with parents in any part of the world, because we are now all under a common razor blade. Are we preparing our children adequately?

As Muslims and the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (AS), we face enormous challenges in raising our younger members, who are not only being attacked by anti-Islamic forces, but are in many cases themselves becoming a part of the whole value system. How does one prepare one’s child as a good Muslim? And you do not have to be a PhD to answer this, for it is definitely education. Sound and solid knowledge about anything that enables us to understand and appreciate things in their right perspective.

It is naturally unfortunate that as we race towards excellence in secular education, we conveniently sideline religious knowledge and in the process become directly or indirectly responsible for the moral and social decline that we then face as those young people assume adulthood. We falsely rely on our upbringing styles and hope that our children will be safe from the external influences out to devour them.  We fail to equip them with that knowledge that yields respect by the young for their elders when they talk.

In this time of ghaibat of the Imam (AS), the least that we are expected to do is to pass on the knowledge and positive traits of a Muslim such as humility, wisdom, modesty,piety, moderation and others. It is enough to send our children to University for secular degrees and diplomas. With that we also must dress them with an Islamic mind set, for which one does not necessarily have to go for higher Islamic studies.

Imam Ja’afar As Sadiq (AS) says: “Hasten with the religious training of your children before detrimental forces can get hold of them.”

About the author

Mohamedarif is a marketing professional and educationalist with a penchant for writing as a hobby since childhood. As he experimented writing about sporting events at first and then current affairs, he quickly developed a skill for observation of his environment and began to write on reform topics, especially in connection with the community. To further feed his pursuit of writing, he founded several newsletters and bulletins at his school and at the Husayni Madrasah in the 1980's, all the time learning from others already in the field not just about writing, but also about pre-press and production processes. He was also the editor-in-chief of the Knowledge Magazine in 1995–1996. A decade later, importing a flurry of ideas into his new home, Nairobi, he first founded a two page community newspaper then became a regular writer of the Friday Faculty before establishing the Community on Friday, a fully fledged Madrasah magazine in 1996. And while his writing at the community continued, he simultaneously started writing for a business weekly, pairing in with his newfound role as a marketing professional. During his time in Nairobi, he wrote several speeches for sitting chairmen and presidents while also giving some himself, developing his concurrent role as a public speaker and trainer.

With changing times and a decrease in advertising sponsorship, as well as a fall in overall readership, Mohamedarif transformed this publication into an electronic blog. Thus was born the Community on Friday in its present format.

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