How should parents raise their children so that they do not go through an identity crisis?

Mulaqat with Nasirat and Lajna from Denmark in This Week With Huzoor - 24 February 2023

Question: Huzoor, our children are being brought up in two different societies, where they spend a majority of their day in the Western environment in schools and colleges, and then they spend the rest of their time at home. It has often been observed that some children fall into a complex in terms of their identity. Beloved Huzoor, my question is: how can parents morally and spiritually train their children in such a manner that they do not become a victim of such a complex?


Answer: Your children start going [to school] at the age of five to six, and seven in some places. Up until the age of five to seven they are with you. During that time, you let them play carefree because you see them as children. At this age, teach them small acts of goodness, prayers and educate them. Some parents do have their children complete the recitation of the Holy Quran by the age of four or five, and desire to hold their Amin Ceremony because their child completed the recitation of the Holy Quran at the age of five. However, they do not educate their children on religious teachings. The children do not realize what is in the Quran even after completing its reading. These small aspects should be instilled in a child’s mind. A child is receptive to goodness, and it is for this reason that Islam has commanded you to recite the Azan (call to prayer) in your child’s right ear and the takbir (glorifying God) in the left upon their birth. At that time, despite the fact the child possesses no understanding, the name of Allah and His Messenger (sa) and the doctrine of the Unity of God is articulated in their ears. Correct?


Furthermore, you claim that your children attend school and are influenced by its atmosphere. This is correct. They do attend school. However, I have calculated that in these western nations, out of the 365 days of the year, 180 to 190 days are spent in school, and the remaining 180 days are spent at home. The children are with you for half the year. What do you say to them during that time? Perhaps “go out” or “do not bother me”. If a mother is working, then she goes to her work and the father is engaged in his work. Meanwhile, the children are playing or sitting in front of the TV. Thus, they are influenced by their school [environment] for 180 days, and for the remaining 180 days, they sit at home and play games on the internet or watch TV and never learn anything of goodness.


For this, you should make a plan to teach your children religious knowledge for at least 90 out of the 180 days. Then, at least a third of the year will be dedicated to learning religious knowledge. Educate them about the importance of religion, who we truly are, the facts that we are Ahmadi Muslims, what Islam is and what Allah the Almighty desires of us. As far as what they learn is school is concerned, whether it’s about gender identity or other things, you should tell them that although they learn these things in school, however Allah the Almighty, Who has created us, knows everything about us. He has guided us on how we can follow the right path. These things are not freedom, rather, true freedom is in adhering to the commandments of Allah the Almighty, establishing a relationship with Him and learning about your faith. This requires great effort.


Parents should make the same effort in educating their children as schools do to instil the concept of freedom in children. A mother’s true duty is to morally train her children. If you are able to manage this, then you have protected the next generation. If a mother is working as a doctor, teacher or professional for five to eight hours a day, she should give her children some time as well. If a mother is working out of necessity it is an altogether separate manner. Otherwise, during a stage where the moral upbringing of a child is at risk, a mother should sacrifice her career.


In the same manner, instead of spending the weekend here and there, fathers should give their children an hour or two of their time when they are home from work. Mothers should also give them time. If the mother and father make a joint effort, they can convey religious teachings to their children despite them learning in such an atmosphere. When children observe their parents worshipping, reciting the Quran, praying and speaking about faith, then they will also have a practical example [to follow]. If the elders do not set a practical example, children will learn nothing. If you have given your children complete freedom at school and at home, then what will be the result? In some places here such as Spain there are new laws that have passed that allow for a 16-year-old child to change their gender freely. People have raised objections saying that the law does not permit children below the age of 18 to consume alcohol without supervision, yet they have the freedom [to change their gender]. This means that these are Dajjali schemes at work, very harmful schemes, to take the world away from religion and to establish atheism. This is the agenda of atheists and the Dajjal [Antichrist].


People have forgotten about Christianity and do not go toward it, and they have forgotten about religion in general. According to statistics, it is Muslims who are considered the most religious people. In fact, in the recent past, an atheist man wrote that although he is opposed to religion, he has realized that if there is a true religion, it is Islam because Christianity has lost its teachings. If we go down the same path and do not teach our children; if we do not reform ourselves, if we do not tend to our own moral and spiritual training, and do no set examples for our children, then our children will go down the same path and will not understand anything of Islam.


Hence, we should thank Allah because we have a living religion and its teachings, and these teachings enlighten us about every aspect of knowledge and show us how to adjust even with the modern times. Despite this, if we still do not act upon [these teachings] the it would be our own misfortune and we will be wasting [the potential] of our children. Hence, the parents should come together and devise a plan whilst considering all these things. I also address this matter on various occasions; you should watch and listen to these [advices] along with what has been said by previous Caliphs as well. These are the matters which must be studied with great care. If you carefully listen to every sermon, you will find lessons in them. There are also lessons that can be learned from various programs on MTA. You should watch all these things. Your own actions are vital; if you do not establish those, then what will your children learn? It is merely an excuse to say that they are in school; they are [entirely] with you for 180 days out of the 365 days. Alright?

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