Keeping it real!

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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’.

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7 responses »

  1. Salam sis,

    It is absolutely correct. We do need to intermingle, be friend but we don’t have to follow them (non muslim) in wrong way. I had nw started to send my kids to youth club to mix and intermingle and show how we are and behave as a muslim. We can’t secluded ourself. It’s wrong and I do not want to send a wrong signal to my kids that we had been divided between muslim and non muslim. Yes, we are different but we cal still all walk together and enjoy ourself at certain things and certain point as we all human being.

    • Ws wr wb

      I think its about strking a balance between sticking firm to our deen but also ‘showing’ them the way with kindness etc (if you know what I mean). I think I need to keep reminding myself of that as it is so easy to fall into ‘They’re kuffar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ mentality. Astaghfiru’Allah. I think many Muslims need to return to the seerah.

  2. Absoluteley brilliant sis, just incredibly, amazingly brilliant. You have articulated every sound every word that has been going through my mind and my heart…..

    For the record, I don’t think its a revert issue, simply because as a practising muslim you ask yourself very similar questions. I was born Muslim however didn’t wear hijab till I was 18, I started fasting earlier but the way I practised back then till now has changed and evolved over the years, I am back where I started. The whole innocence for a while disappeared but you know, when I thought about why and how, and all that I truly want, I think I got my mojo back. I have learned to love myself and this was something that I couldn’t do a few years earlier – my son and daughter were a little younger then and my time was taken up with them leaving little time for me….

    When I read about your comment about community it really struck a chord with me. Why can’t we all just get along?????? why does it have to be a salafi thing, or a tablighi thing, or a sufi thing. It really makes me cry to see all this 😦 And sometimes I truly yearn for our Prophet, I think about how he would be upset and I end up missing him:(( He would be so devastated if he was alive to see his ummah split up like this, but I have hope that one day everything will be the way it started, but that time as you know will be a different time altogether. I think my outlook in life today, is far more balanced than it was when it first started but with a whole lot of wisdom to boot. Alhamdullillah, Allah swt is most merciful!

    Over the last 8 months or so I have been making active conscious choices about who my children mix with. They have their Arabic and Quran three days a week, they also have their swimming classes three times a week (before awrah becomes a serious issue!!!) – I have just enrolled my son in a football club that has a great diversity of children from different ethnic backgrounds. I am ***** and live in a predominantly ***** neighbourhood and surrounded also by Asians and Arabs. I could have easily joined the local ****** football mad club, but I said thanks but no thanks! How can my children be citizens of the world if they don’t mix with others in their locality? And they are so young, so that really depends on me. My daughter is 7 now, but when she was younger I sent her to a preschool that was owned by the local church. I couldn’t tell anyone lest the looks of horror turned to stone. A few knew but not many. It was owned by the church but they were secular in their outlook – and I knew for sure as there was Muslims who worked at the preschool, who again had no less then 8 different nationalities with their students.

    I think many Muslims have become so insular, and I think that whilst it may have its obvious advantages, it can also become dangerous – being a Muslim is a gift from Allah swt, not a right, otherwise there wouldn’t be any non Muslims and I can see from my experience that for alot of people it means they are superior than others 😦 And this is the last thing that should exist in the heart of a muslim. May Allah protect our iman on the day it matters! How horrific and saddening would it be to live your life as a muslim and not be raised as one on that most important day!

    Our beloved Prophet pbuh dealt with people of different faiths for many different reasons, and he did it with eloquence, wisdom and grace and we as Muslims should be courageous, are we so scared or weak in iman that we feel threatened or are going to break apart, if we say say hello to a non-Muslim? or eat with them? or deal with them in any way?

    Thank you for your lovely blog, you have a dedicated reader here – your children are very fortunate to have a mother who cares and spends so much time with them. May Allah bless your and your family 🙂

    • Salaam sis,

      Jzk for your comment. I couldn’t agree with you more. I often sit and day dream about the Prophet (saw) seeing what his beloved ummah has become. And it hurts to picture the tears he would cry and possibly the anger he would feel. May Allah protect us all and keep us on the siraat al mustaqeem. Ameen.

      • You’re welcome sis, and I couldn’t have said it better myself – indeed his sorrow and the anger he would feel makes my heart heavy too. Ameen to your dua.

  3. As salaam alaikum,

    You know the thing about keeping it real is that you find yourself alone most of the time with your family, but alhamdulillah, we have our family!

    I don’t think it is just London either, but a worldwide issue. The “cliques” are everywhere, subhannallah.

    BTW, I didn’t see River City Homeschoolers on your blogroll. Could you please add us, insha Allah?

    • Ws wr wb

      How true! I find that the more I contemplate about keeping it real, the less I want to see others. But aside from being a wife and a mother, I am a member of a society in which I think I should have a positive impact. Sometimes I remember to watch what I say and what I do. Other times, it is so easy to fall into my old way of doing things. And then I remember that my children are watching and picking up everything, which scares me. I think I’m going to start reading a good seerah book again to return to how the Prophet (saw) dealt with all walks of life. Sometimes you’ve got to refresh your emaan with these things as it dries up!

      Sis, can’t believe I haven’t put your blog on my blogroll! I thought I had. Will do that straight away inshaAllah.

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