Anecdotally, there is sufficient evidence to state that there are major issues in the way most families are raising their children, and the effect of their upbringing is the root cause of various serious problems at an individual as well as at a societal level.
The lack of appropriate Islamic upbringing is most noticeable in children who:
- spend most of their time using electronic devices
- are disrespectful towards their parents and towards other family members
- answer back habitually
- believe they are not answerable to anyone for their actions
- are more influenced by peers rather than Islam
- are argumentative even in trivial matters
- display self-destructive tendencies
- are self-centered and self-absorbed
- spend more time interacting with screens than with people
- do not consider marriage important
- are involved in music, internet-surfing, watching movies or in other such activities instead of doing anything productive
- are ungrateful and negative
- have no regard for their parents’ hard work
- are not inclined towards advancing themselves academically, professionally or spiritually
The above list in not meant to be exhaustive. It is instead just a snapshot of the type of behavior which is becoming increasingly common among young people. The real danger is that it is becoming so common that it is regarded as normal. In my conversations with mothers whose children indulge in such behavior, the most common reason they have brought up is that their son or daughter was born in a western country and therefore it was normal for them to behave in such a manner. It is time parents are reminded that Islam is not bound geographically. The principles of Islam are not meant for a specific group of people at a specific period in time. The issues that societies face at different times vary greatly. However, as Muslims, we believe that the solution to those problems lie within Islam and that it is our duty to utilize the tenets of our excellent religion to overcome them.
Obviously, the topic of raising children in Islam is a vast one, and which cannot be covered in the scope of a brief discussion. I hope to raise some important and pertinent points in the forthcoming articles covering various aspects of raising Muslim children. If you have tried and tested ways by which you have successfully raised Muslim children, do share them with other readers in the comments section below.