It is so quiet in this little world of mine. The children are asleep. Reading to them stories from the lives of the blessed companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), at night when they are in their beds is proving to be a very soothing and calming therapy to wash away the effects of all they might have heard and copied in their school, with friends. This time is also ideal as they sleep with the words they hear last of all and wake up with the same spirit. I am trying this time not to add my comments too much; just let them absorb the stories and let them make the inferences themselves. Only one question I ask, what did you find most interesting or exciting about this companion of the Prophet (s.a.w) if they answer “nothing” then I tell them only one aspect that impressed me and just let them go to sleep. Basically one thing that I learned during the last few days is that if I hope to attract them to the true ideals then I will have to build a deep trust in them that I am “on their side”. I felt like they were alienating themselves from me a little, especially Ali, thinking that they could not be the sort of people I expect them to be so they might as well do what pleased them…. whether right or wrong. It quite scared me and put me on the right track too, when Ali (who is now a little over 15) started questioning me with a stubborn look on his face, asking me who had said music was haram and where do I expect him to find the pure people to make friends with……… I realised that I had to change my strategy and create a warm and friendly atmosphere. I had to let them open up so that I know what they are thinking. There should be no frustration in their minds about not being heard or understood. So my evenings are now spent mostly in the lounge instead of the study and I am just there for them. I try to keep myself very natural and calm so that I can cool them down when any “dispute” arises between them !! They have responded well to this change. Ali, who had never showed me any school work before, is opening up bit by bit. Today he brought me two notebooks of his to proudly show me his work. I felt so happy and then I let him “teach” me his favourite subject, (which I came to know today was geography) so I feel like Allah helps me with every little step that I take. The most important lesson I have learned from this experience is that what greatly matters between us and our children is our level of expectation….this should be normal and should never be allowed to become a barrier in this most important relationship. If we accept our children as they are and succeed in making them believe in our unconditional love, only then can there be harmony and trust and an environment in which we can hope to transfer to them our love and submission for Allah and our commitment with our deen.
May Allah give us true guidance and make our children a Sadaqah-e-Jaria for us. Ameen