Parenting is an arduous task at the best of times. But for the Muslim parent, who aims to raise pious Muslim children, the task comes with an added weight and responsibility.
The objective of parenting in Islam is to produce God conscious, Islamic personalities, who inculcate Islam in their lives and carry Islam to others. The Muslim parent believes that they will be accountable before the Lord, Allah (swt) on whether they tried their utmost to fulfil this responsibility.
This by itself is a difficult task, but add to that the complication of trying to produce these personalities living in the West, turns the task from being difficult to almost ‘mission impossible’.
For some people the West forms the ideal location to raise children. Many will look to the Western societies with their economic growth (well on paper anyway), educational institutions (unless they have Muslim governors), jobs and prospects and be thankful to be living here compared to the backwards, declined societies in the Muslim world.
But as the saying goes ‘all that glitters is not gold’, when you scratch beneath the surface of the façade that is materialism you will see a spiritual and moral void in society. The rampant sexualisation of children, cyber bullying, binge culture, gang violence and general criminality are becoming commonplace, even amongst primary school children. This has led concerned parents, both Muslim and non-Muslims to take a much more proactive role in their child’s upbringing and education.
Muslim parents have started to realise that there is more to Western education than just GCSE’s and A’levels. A society built upon secular liberal values produces a personality which is the antithesis of the Islamic culture. As parents we have a responsibility to protect children from these values and the fruits that they produce.
However, recently we have also witnessed the imposition of liberal values within the state education system. Schools which attempt to inculcate an Islamic ethos into the general atmosphere have been targeted and face being placed under special measures, being labelled as radicalising and extremist.
The future of Muslims in Britain is subject to a wider debate. However, whatever the future may bring, our responsibility to our children remains. Indeed the future for Muslims in Britain may be intertwined with our responsibility to our children.
As a result, we, normal Muslim parents have decided to put together a blog by which we can share some of our thoughts and ideas regarding raising Muslim children in the West. We hope to discuss some of the challenges we face and how we can overcome them. We also hope to provide some practical advice and an insight into how we are attempting to Islamically culture our own children through our sister blog ‘3littlemuslimahs.blogspot.co.uk’.
We pray that you find this resource of benefit and pray that this small effort be counted amongst our good deeds on the Day of Judgement.
Please feel free to share, comment and ask questions as you feel fit.
Ibrahim & Tahira