Not every parent can have the luxury of sending their kids
to endorsed Islamic Centers. There is a large part of the Muslim community that has limited reach due to physical, financial, and social barriers. They may have a strong desire to expose their kids to an environment where the word of Allah and His Messenger (Peace be Upon Him) is taught. Yet, they can’t.
It does not mean that they should stop making efforts. In fact, Allah (SWT) immensely loves those servants who work hard in His cause. And as a parent, your kids should be your utmost priority. They are sent as an Amanah from your Lord. Their tarbiyah can lead you to Paradise or Hellfire. Hence, you have to work hard to make sure that you fulfill the duty that Allah assigned. Leave the rest for Almighty to handle.
He (SWT) also says in Surah Najm:
“Man will not get anything unless he works hard.”
With that said, let’s move to the central part of our
discussion. That is, how an Asian American Parent can impart Islamic Values in their Children?
Being a part of minority group tags along with plenty of challenges. Not only are you responsible for keeping your faith intact, but sometimes the ridicule and discrimination is beyond your tolerance level. Your responsibilities amplify if you have kids. You have to protect their young minds from getting corrupt. As constant exposure to a Non-Muslim culture may disrupt their basic Islamic ideologies.
Work hard to magnify their Islamic character. Here are five best ways that an Asian American parent can adopt to teach Islamic values to their kids:
1. Walk the talk
The physical demonstration is the best way to teach any concept. Considering how the generation today yearns for hands-on experiences,
they will hardly learn if they are only taught theoretically. Instead, as parents, we should show them that Islam is a way of life for all ages.
Let them live, experience, and breathe Islam with their whole heart. You want your kid to offer Salah gently? Start doing that yourself. Over time, you will see that they are praying in the same way. Tell them that Islam is not a plain old religion. Rather, it is a way of life that goes on forever.
2. Contact online learning centers
The expansion of virtual world is opening up a plethora of opportunities. If physical barriers or financial issues limit you from sending your child to an Islamic institute, you can always opt for virtual learning.
There are online Quran websites that provide different dimensions of religious learning. They offer courses with varying charges. You can opt one according to the age of your child and feasibility.
Remember to read reviews of their prior students. Also, make sure that the teacher has an authentic academic background. Once you weed out all potential elements of doubt, you can then jump onto the bandwagon.
About the importance of knowledge in childhood, Hazrat Ali (RA) says: “Gaining knowledge in one’s youth is like imprinting something on a rock [it will always remain].” Hence what they learn right now will stay with them for a long time. Just find out a portal for your kids and watch them learn Islamic values. Also, as a parent, you should be fully inclusive in their journey.
3. Constant reminders
The human brain is wired uniquely. Sometimes, they tend to forget stuff that they have been doing for a long time. While there are many psychological reasons for this, you must find out how to fix it. It is possible that your child goes to school and forgets to follow basic lessons, like reciting Dua before a meal.
There is no need to fret over it. Instead, you should work out a reminder pattern for the kids. When they are at home, tell them how they have to guard themselves against Satanic intrusions. Teach them about the perils prevailing around. Make them understand that as Muslims, they must fight
them off by implementing Islam in every second of their life. Use graphical content like posters and videos to drill the lessons.
Let’s face it: we all love stories. Whether you watch it or read it, we love how things unfold in a fictional world. Children love stories more than adults. They practically shift into the story ground when listening or reading one. How about using this to our avail?
Rather than making them read stories of Batman or Barbie, make them read glorious stories from Islamic history. Enhance their knowledge about past prophets and nations.
When they know their religion better, they will show more inclination to accept it as a lifestyle.
5. Spiritual discussions
We often dismiss the idea of including kids in our conversations. Most of the time, it is wise not to discuss secular matters with the children. But sometimes, you should let them stay among adults. This is when discussions about Allah and Islam are going on.
We learn from the life of Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) that he used to make children stand in the front row when he spoke to the people. So from now onwards, don’t hush the kids out of the mosque during Khutbah. Let them stay. In the meantime, ask them politely to observe silence and respect for the gathering.
The Noble Messenger of Allah (Peace be Upon Him) says:
“Respect your children and treat them with good manners.”