Last few days has been about tidying up the house, arranging a few last minute things before mother in law’s arrival on Friday inshaAllah. We asked her to come a bit earlier as my braxton hicks are getting stronger!
R has spent the last few days playing with her brother, reading, doing some arts and crafts, watching animal park and playing on iboard! She loves iboard!
Today, we were invited by a sister who also home educates and another sister who also home educates was there with her kids. The conversation we had led me to think loads and loads about loads of things! lol I truly enjoyed their company and actually haven’t enjoyed sisters company like that in a long time. I don’t know if it is because they were both reverts like myself and we share the passion of Home Ed, but I really felt like I could relate to a lot of what they were saying.
Our topics of conversation took me back to why I had become Muslim in the first place. That was almost 11 years ago. I cringe at some of the things I have said, done and felt over these years. May Allah forgive me. But it made me think about the REASONS why I had become a Muslim. It was all so simple back then. I became a Muslim because I believed in a Creator. I believed in all of the Prophets and Messengers that He sent down to earth. I believed in His Word. And somehow the simplicity of all of that which tamed this once wild horse has slowly been lost along the way. And that makes me feel incredibly sad.
The message of doing good to others, of worshipping Allah with SINCERITY which used to make me cry back then got hijacked by what I thought was important: ‘difference of opinion’ ‘different groups’ and ‘sisters issues’ etc.
What struck me about one particular sister today was the fact that she has maintained her identity even though she almost lost it for the same reasons. I think that takes courage. Why? Because too many reverts tend to think they need to kill themselves off upon entering Islam. I don’t know about other parts of the world, but there seems to be a certain ‘talk’, a certain ‘hijab’, a certain ‘walk’ that everyone needs to adopt to be admitted into the ‘correct’ circle! What a fascade! I appreciated these sisters company, because they were who they were. End of. And to me, that just showed how sincere they were. As one of them put it, sincerity is something that is so rare not just amongst Muslims but also amongst non-muslims.
What has this got to do with home ed you might be asking. Well, it made me think about the way in which I raise my children. The importance of teaching the TRUE meaning of Islam. I remember an incident years ago. A sister was laughing about how her 6 year old daughter had told her teacher that something she had said was an innovation. The sister laughed as she recounted the incident because her daughter had said it so matter of factly and quite rudely. She felt proud. I wasn’t impressed at all by this. What was going through my mind was that this little girl was very rude to an adult and anyhow the issue was a difference of opinion!
What are we teaching children? But most importantly, how are we teaching our children. Is the deen just about memorizing Quran, wearing the hijab and thobe at a young age and nothing else? If so, then we are only raising our children to practice the deen superficially! I do think that my home ed needs to place more importance on the true beauties of the deen that attracted me to it 11 years ago. And unfortunately that was minus most of the rubbish I have seen over the last 11 years.
Another thing on my mind is the issue of community. Whilst I am trying my hardest to raise my children upon Quran and sunnah with a deep attachment to their Lord, I do not want to raise children who do not know how to mix with children of other faiths. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for everything and there are certain people I would not want my kids to mix around until a certain age. But surely, another important part of raising our children and home educating for that matter, is so that they become the beacons of society – especially if that society is a non-muslim one.
I see too many home educators secluding their children too much. And I guess I was one of them. There is one particular sister that comes to mind who I admire incredibly. Her children are able to interact well with muslims and non-muslims alike. They have a confidence about them and are mashaAllah the type you can really see making a difference in society inshaAllah. May Allah make them just that. Ameen.
What do I want in the long run? I wish for my children to be lights in a society plagued with problems. But how can they be such lights if there is always this ‘non-muslim/muslim’ divide. Again, the importance of teaching the truth from falsehood is very important, but I think teaching compassion for humanity is also very important. I find that the Muslim community here in London is a bit of a farce. I feel that we need to build on that again and what better way, than to do that with our children. Our children need to see us as adults visit one another for the sake of Allah, laugh together, have fun togther, cry and share with one another. They need to see us give food to our non-muslim neighbours. They need to see us respect another person not just if that person is a Muslim, but because that person is a human being.
You see, I’ve come to the conclusion that Home Ed is much more than just workbooks. It is instilling vital values within our children. Values that they will only learn from us. And sometimes, you need a reality check from sisters who are ‘keeping it real’.