Raising Practising Muslim Kids in Canada
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“Each of you is a shepherd, and all of you are responsible for your flocks.”
Parents are responsible for the upbringing of their kids in the best manner possible. Being the head of the family, they are obligated to raise their kids on Islamic values to ensure that they grow up to be better Muslims and productive individuals in the society. Fulfilling this duty can be a real challenge in the west.
Here are some tips:
1. Teach them about Islam
Your kids don’t get any Islamic education at school, and there is no Qari to teach the Quran. You would have to teach them everything about Islam yourself. Start with the basic teachings at a very young age. Tell them about Allah, His Prophets and the pillars of Islam. Pray Salah with your kids and teach them to recite Quran, memorise short Surahs and learn essential Duas. Tell them Islamic stories, so that they can understand their religion better and accept it wholeheartedly. Stay in touch with the Muslim community. Encourage your kids to participate in any Islamic programmes at the mosques in your area. Thanks to the efforts of some Muslim organizations, some Islamic books, and videos are available in a few libraries now.
2. Never coerce them to follow Islam
Always explain the Islamic principles to your kids kindly and politely. Make them love Allah, our Prophet (PBUH) and Islam. Hence, they can follow their religion willingly rather than out of fear. Let them and let them voice their opinions openly to you. Be reasonable while clarifying instead of forcing opinions on them.
3. Celebrate Islamic Festivals with high spirits
Don’t let your kids miss experiencing the Islamic festivities. Celebrate everything enthusiastically and explain the significance of those traditions to them. Make an extra effort at your home, and visit or invite your Muslim friends. Try to arrange an event, with the help of other Muslim families, for the whole Muslim community so that they can come together and share happiness on these significant days.
4. Have a balanced approach
Sometimes we overdo while trying to be our children’s friend. Keep a very balanced approach to parenting. You must have such a relationship where you are able to discuss all the issues openly with each other, even those that are normally avoided. But, they should never forget to be respectable towards you.
Although parenting is getting harder with times, you should try to take in the best of both the cultures. Never forget that it is your prime obligation to raise your kids to be good Muslims, no matter where you are but also instill in them the good Canadian values we are all proud to have.