The distasteful aftermath of Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election has still left us in awe. We are all left to contemplate our position now in society. What is our role? Are we where we want to be in terms of our iman’s state? What does this mean for our children? It’s important that we prepare both our children and ourselves with the notion that the antagonism of Islam is not a new reaction, but perhaps one that has laid dormant in a lot of communities. The result of the election only highlighted the division between those who will team up against it and those who will be for it. We must recognize that Muslims are meant to stand apart from others.
This hadeeth was narrated by Muslim (145) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.”
It is our choice whether we remain on the side, evaluating calamities from a distance or working in the way of our Creator who gifted us our beautiful faith. We cannot let ourselves be satisfied with our current state. That will just teach our children to not strive for more. So, we must evaluate our perspective because our children are observing our reactions. Our children are going to grow up in a different world than us. It’s incumbent upon us that we equip them with the right tools.
Some tips for our interactions with our children:
- Pray on time – when children see us following the commandment of Allah (swt) they will value each and every minute.
- Be meticulous about extra curricular activities – encourage children to partake in Qur’an and tajweed classes as one of their after school activities. Keep in mind that each man is the Shepard of his household and the woman a Shepard of their children. Therefore, we should go the extra mile to provide positive tarbiya for our little ones.
- Take advantage of every opportunity to answer your child’s question. Curiosity about our beliefs should be encouraged so that children understand what they follow. Let’s not forget the humble teachings of Rasul (SAW) and exercise an approachable and non judgmental forefront.
- Remain informed about all the influences in your child’s day – school, social media etc. Undoubtedly, Muslims will face challenges everywhere they go. Therefore, we must be proactive in having our children in the company of those that will boost their Iman.
- Be mindful of our speech and actions – Hate crimes have gone up 67% since the election race began. As Muslims and as parents, we must provide our children with a portrait of humility and akhlaq, especially when we are interacting with others.The best of speech should come off our tongues for our little ones to hear and learn from. It’s important for us to convey the message that regardless of the situation, we do not want to incite the same hateful speech used by others who may be ignorant.
After all, we want the lessons our young ones take away from childhood to last a life time, not just until the next president is appointed.
If we instill these strong characteristics and practices in our children regardless of the circumstances, when the time comes for them to stand up for their beliefs, they will have a strong foundation to draw their strength from.
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