HAVE YOU BECOME YOUR MOTHER/FATHER?

The line ‘Oh my goodness, I have become my father/mother!’ commonly hits new parents. This article is a self-analytical piece geared toward all parents who are just beginning to understand the bigger picture. In the end, you will discover that sometimes, when you look in the mirror and you see your father or mother, it is not necessarily a bad thing.

The other day, someone called me ‘intolerant’ because I was raising my children according to the Islamic lifestyle. I respected her for telling me directly what her thoughts were. The conversation ended with, “When you have your own children, you will understand.”

I did not feel that was good enough of an answer from me especially because at the time, I had one daughter on my knees while the other was playing kitchen with us. The comment, however, got me to think.

ROLE OF A PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN:

A carer, a provider and adviser where and when guidance is needed.

A woman does not become a mother just because she has given birth. A father does not become a father just because he has held his wife’s hand throughout her labor pains. Scientifically, yes. Socially, no… because like a marriage is more than just the wedding ceremony, parenthood is more than just procreation. Parents cannot say, “I have given birth to you, now go and live.”

Not even a polar bear would give up its child into the wild without teaching it to fish and stock up for hibernation. Not even a bird would give up its child without teaching it to fly first. The role of a parent is to provide and nurture, which leads us to…

NURTURE:

The next step after giving birth is asking one’s self, “How do I want to  raise my child? What values do I want him or her to learn?”

This is when new parents ask themselves what values of their own upbringing they would like to teach to their children. That is not necessarily a bad thing because the experts in parenthood are none other than the ones that have raised us.

If one person has decided to get rid of everything he or she has been taught growing up and only embrace one thing as in the tradition of marriage, then that is a value that has been passed onto him or her by the parents.

If children go astray, who else will try to bring them back onto the right path than the parents? It is okay to ask one’s self “What is best for my child?” Islamically, a child is born innocent until he or she is exposed to the temptations and corruptions of this world. That exposure usually begins at school.

If there is a group of 13-year-old kids smoking weed outside of the school building and offers my child some, I would like to think it is in my child’s best interest to say ‘no’ in an attempt to prevent a potential drug addiction. How will my child know if smoking weed is a bad thing if I do not tell him or her the problems behind drugs?

There is nothing good in alcoholism, bullying or gang activity. These are the headlines that strewn our newspapers and run across our TV Screens on a daily basis. These are the headlines we do not want our children’s names to be printed in or publicized.

So, the next step after giving birth is asking one’s self, “How do I want to raise my child? What values do I want him or her to learn?” I want to raise my child according to Islam, my faith and my life.

WHAT IS SO BAD ABOUT THE ISLAMIC LIFESTYLE?

If someone can tell me one bad thing written within our Hadith or Qur’an that misguides my children, then please say so. But, do not misinterpret Islam by the misconstrued Media, who flash news about Muslims that do ‘bad things’ and use the name of Islam to justify their own evil actions/demise. Most Muslims are happy to answer curious questions about Islam so feel free to ask questions because it is much better than to

assume (ASS-U-ME).

I think the best message I ever received was from a non-Muslim American who said that she looked beyond all of the Media stories to understand that Islam is not a bad religion because she had gotten to know me over the years and according to her knowledge, I am ‘a Muslim who is a good friend, a good person.’

I will be teaching my children the values I have learned growing up.

1.No Drinking: Alcohol is the mother of all evil-Sunan An Nasai.

I ask you to Google the statistics.

2.No Drugs & No Gambling: Indeed, intoxicants, gambling, sacrificing on stone alters and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. [Quran: 5:90]

I ask you to recount the sob stories you have heard as a result of addictions such as the above. In Islam, Allah does not wish us to be intoxicated or harm our bodies. We should take good care of ourselves.

3.No Sex Before Marriage: They are as a garment to you and you are as a garment to them.  [Quran: 5:90]

Marriage in Islam is a sacred contract that binds a man and woman together for the rest of their lives unless circumstances become otherwise. This value, this mentality is something many of us would like to instill within our children so as to prevent heartbreak and preserve a purity that is touched only when there is true love between a husband and wife. Marriage secures the relationship.

4.The Act of Prayer: For Muslims, it is supplication, five times a day that we take our time out of our busy schedules to contemplate about what we are grateful for in life and what we hope to accomplish. We believe in Allah and we ask Him to help us get there.

The first three are universal “no-no’s” in most societies and “the act of prayer” is a means by which my children will gain hope for their futures, will be able to think about their lives and ask the Higher Power for guidance. Of course, as parents, it is our job to make sure our children are always guided and empowered. Prayer is one means by which my children will gain hope and empowerment.

Through all of the temptations I have encountered in this world, through all of the corruptions I have been exposed to in this world, I have decided to try to be as amazing of a nurturer as my mother still is to me.

My three-year-old  daughter asks me at least once a day, ‘Are you my best friend?’ I tell her, ‘Yes! And you are mine!’

Rumki Chowdhury
Rumki Chowdhury

Published Author, Poet and Journalist. Born in Bangladesh, raised in USA, lived in UK and now in, Sweden. Married and mother of two daughters, Alhumduilillah.

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