Islam, Oct - Dec 2007

Developing Ideas on the Parenting Program

By Rebecca Abuqaoud

Assalam Waleikum!

First of all, I would like to say thanks to the sisters and brothers who have emailed me recently and in the past regarding the programs and acitivities that they would like to travel to travel to Illinois to attend. Potential programs are coming too inshaAllah, for families; and of course, this includes programs for brothers. Programs that are organized by Latino brothers in Illinois. You can visit latinomuslims.com for more information.

I would like for you to consider this an informal conversation. As you may know, I recently posted information a few days ago inviting mothers to attend a program that would discuss this interesting topic: Parenting in the West. I know some of you, especially you sisters, would like to come for this topic but you cannot come because you live out of Illinois.

So, I was thinking about taking some questions that you would like to ask the speaker but it is also too late to take your questions. However, inshaAllah I’ll do my best to share with you part of the topic. I really consider this to be a very important topic that Muslim parents should consider seriously.

I was born into a Christian family and my parents were pastors. Believe it or not, they had a lot of influence in shaping my personality, character, my behavior, and moral values. My mother influenced the way I’m now. She used to say: “Education starts before a child is born.” And, she explained to me why. She used to read the Bible before breakfast time every day. Believe it or not, I still remember the verses from the Bible, of course; I was a child. The mind of a child is fresh and absorbs new concepts fast. I attended Sunday school church where teachers make sure you know the verses by heart.

Now, I’m Muslim and a mother of two small children. Ready to apply to my children what my mother thought me when I was a little girl. But I’m not going to read the Bible, instead I’ll read the Quran before breakfast time inshaAllah. Before bedtime, my mother used to tell me biblical stories, instead of that I read or tell my children stories from the Quran and the great teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Probably, you are comfortable because your children are attending private Islamic schools. However, teachers alone cannot provide everything that you are expecting from your child. However, if your children attends public schools, your concerns are double. I’m sharing with you some ideas that I learned from my mother but let’s do them in the Islamic way. Certainly, we learn from each other, and I learn from you, too.

If you have good ideas, thoughts, or something valuable, don’t hesitate to share. Before I close this informal conversation, I would like to leave you with a few questions to consider:
Who is the heart of the family?
Who is the heart of the community?
Who is the heart of the society?