It doesn’t happen in our family.
Our ancestors never did anything like this.
Where are you bringing these practices from?
We have seen families where the father claims that his family has better values. And then mother says her roots have better values.
When there is a wedding in the family, the Grandma says the wedding should be according to the family culture. Whereas the boy says, I want to have my own say in how my wedding should take place.
Have you heard statements and questions like these from family members? Yes, we all have heard this, irrespective of the places we come from.
And now as parents have you noticed saying something similar to your children?
The never-ending tug of values and customs, creates confusion, disturbance, and ego battles within the families.
We all want the best for ourselves and for others, more so when it is our own children. But who will decide what is best? Whose lifestyle should we follow and should ask the children to follow?
The secret behind the existence of the strongest of cultures is the unquestioned and unified following of a willing society. A society that has made an informed and independent choice and not a blind or forced decision to follow their leader.
The question to the parents and other adults is – whose culture are you following?
A culture that pleases you. Or a culture that defines you?
In order to answer this question one needs to ask themselves- Who am I? An Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
If we are talking about Muslims, then before any other ethnicity, his/her foremost identity is Muslim. He/she is first a Muslim and then of any ethnicity, place, tribe, or family.
Islam is a way of life. If every Muslim decides to follow their own idol and practices then will there be uniformity among Muslims?
So coming back to the previous question – whose roots are we following?
We all need cultures and a code of conduct to live in a society. The complete rule book is already given by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) . If we want to copy or establish a culture, then it has to be of correct Islam. No other way. A Muslim can only follow the way set out by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
How can a Muslim think of following some grand dad or uncle’s practices when he already has the full blueprint of the lifestyle? The Prophet (pbuh) hasn’t left any area which wasn’t already modeled by him or explained by him.
Parents have been given children as Amanah and will be questioned by the Rabb about their upbringing. Every moment, every approach, every source, and every objective of tarbiyah will be brought into question. It is not just about raising one’s children, the purpose is to raise a total generation of Muslims. The values the parents pass on to their children will be carried forward for years to come. So when the task is so important and huge, then whose roots are best to be followed? Definitely the ones shown by the leader of all Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
We have come across many who argue that it is very difficult to go against the set family values or it is difficult to go against society, or it is very hard to break the culture.
Have we not seen heroes in our own times? Heroes who went against the culture and revived the correct Islamic practices. We have seen sincere men who shunned dowry or married widows. We have witnessed women who didn’t compromise on Islamic rulings yet achieved worldly accolades.
We need to revive the sunnah and follow the teachings shown by our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). No parent, no grandparent, no uncle, no husband, no teacher, no leader, no imam, no judge is correct if he isn’t advocating what our Prophet (pbuh) had already shown.
Islam is not a religion of convenience nor is it an evolving religion. Islam has been perfected for us. How can a slave make changes to something which is already perfect, and that perfection has come from the creator of humans and Deen itself?
Customs have never been static. There is always some addition or subtraction in them. And in every era, we have had people who broke the cultural barrier and either introduced something new or brought back old practices. If men could do it before, why can’t the Muslims do it for their Deen and for their akhirah.
Imagine the peace and uniformity if all of us do what our Deen says and not follow different leaders and influencers.
For us to revive our Deen, we need to have the following;
• Knowledge of the Deen
• Implementation of the Deen
• Hikmah to preach.
It all might sound very overwhelming. How can anyone master all of the above? We are insane, imperfect beings. Mastering all at one time is not expected of us. One deed at a time.
Every day is an opportunity for parents to present the right to Islam to their children. In order to do that they need to learn, accept and follow the right Deen first. There is a huge difference between knowledge and practice.
“The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said to me: ‘Whoever revives my Sunnah then he has loved me. And whoever loved me, he shall be with me in Paradise.’ (Tirmidhi: 2678)
The beloved Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has shown what, why, when, and how anything needs to be done.
Dear parents, use this rule book left by him and raise a generation whose roots go deep down to the main roots set by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) let your children become the branches of the same tree and let them produce fruits that will again join the same roots.
When you speak to the children, give them the practices of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and not of any other personality. Let the respect for your elders remain intact but do not choose them as your leaders or guides. All Muslims have only one leader the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).