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Islamizing the taleem and tarbiyah of our children – 13 (Controlling external influences)

28 Oct

(The writing that follows is my dialogue through email with a group on the Topic: Islamizing the Taleem and Tarbiyah of our children. I am maintaining the email format for ease of understanding as well as for maintaining originality of this dialogue.)

(A sister writes)
Assalamualaikum

JazakAllah for these discussions. I have only been silently following them. I think this should definitely be compiled into a book someday. I have also usually been a quiet student in class like sister Umm … , but over the years I have come to realize how much discussions can help in our own understanding and in others’ understanding of a subject. It can also help bring out otherwise unexplored angles to a topic. And what better forum to discuss it, than with people who have realized the flaws of the mainstream education system and are actively working on alternatives? Parents homeschooling their children or those interested in homeschooling are the best people to contribute to this discussion since they are already part of the movement for alternative education and can provide valuable insight in the form of the experiences they have had with their children.

I was reading with interest your discussions about the effect the education system and the literature children read can have on their perception. I have a question similar to Umm ….’s: Since we do not live in isolation, how can one make sure that children’s perception is not affected by the worldview/perception they get from other people they interact with, other lifestyles they see and even the media that they inevitably come across as they go about their lives? Also, till what age should parents exert conscious control over the literature and education system their children are exposed to?

Sister.

(My response)
Assalamu Alaikum,

I find you so correct in your observation that discussions are so important for resolving many issues and developing knowledge; especially if they are in the cause of Allah subhana wa ta’ala.

As sister mentions this group is aware of the ills of present system of education and actively pursuing solutions to educate their children correctly. I request them to add another objective: to endeavor to redefine and redesign education for the ummah’s need. What greater sadqa e jariah can be thought of? I have great trust on each single individual on this globe. The Creator has given each person tremendous capability and affectivity which is required to bring change in societies. Be it a house wife or a group leader, male or female. I have seen this practically in my life.

Allah’s human creation is so powerful and so beautiful. It is said Einstein used 30% of his brain power and a normal person is utilizing just 10 % of his brain power. Can you see how much opportunities we have to expand our brains? Probably the challenge is to develop realizations of why we should exert in a cause and that is it achievable. Iqbal says start moving and we will see things happening. He believes that it is the inertness, in-activeness, and lack of confidence which has stopped us from achieving.

Whether we can save our children from the effect of literature and media? I believe we can to a very great extent. Major problem at present is our intentional indulgence in the western literature and overawe of the English language. When it comes to English we seem to forget the negative effect of the western secularism. I feel most of us do not realize how their literature effect negatively on our Islamic faith and Islamic perception. I see this inability as horrifying. Because how we think and judge the activities around is what Furqan we have developed for us or our children. (I am speaking from an Islamic country’s perspective)

As far as effect of media is concerned, we still can control children’s exposure to larger extent, if we control their TV and Computer habits. A sister, a housewife wrote that she could do it successfully and her now married daughters and son were not exposed to TV. I and my wife did the same. Then I always remember a very relieving ayah “la yu kallifAllahu nafsan illa wus aa’ha”. “On no soul Allah places a burden which it cannot bear…” (al-Baqqarah: 286). So I did not burn myself worrying for what we could not control. When a correct Furqan is securely in place in a child’s personality, he is mostly safe, though the child’s probing nature will make him venture into some prohibitive zones, which should be very wisely handled. Remember one important thing, the love for your child should be unconditional if you want your children to follow your guidance. Many parents, especially mothers tell their children some conditions for their love?!! Insha’Allah we will discuss this later.

Till what age these controls have to be in place. It will depend upon how you go about developing the maturaty level of your child. I will say it is between the ages of 12 and 15. But a wise advice never goes unheeded at later ages even. Probably Taqwa is the strongest tool to keep the children away from harmful activities. Insha’Allah in future we can discuss how can Taqwa be developed in the children. Again it is very much related to development of correct perceptions.

Jazaki’Allah for participating in the discussion.

Truly,
Br. Abid

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