Choosing your parents?

From the minute we are in our mother’s womb our destiny has already been written. Who we will be, what kind of name we will have, what sort of person we will be in this world and what kind of parents we will have. So we can’t choose our parents, right?

Right. It’s already decided for us. However, we can choose how we want our relationship to be with the people that Allah has chosen to be our parents. Allah has decided that the two people who you will call mom and dad, are now in charge of you and you don’t have a say in it at all!

Now that I am an adult, and about to be a parent, God willing,I ask myself what does it really mean to be a parent. Who is a parent and what is their role?

The first thing that comes to my mind is all the grief and worry that I must have caused my mother and father when I was a teenager. All the times that I was late coming home or when I hadn’t called because I was having such a good time with my friends that I simply forgot.

Looking back on those times, I think well, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was with other Muslim friends, my parents knew where I was and what I was doing, so why did they worry so much. Often times I felt like my parents didn’t understand me or didn’t know how I really felt and what I really wanted. Any of this sound familiar?

Well, we all get older and hopefully wiser. As I got married and moved away from home, I slowly but surely began to be on a different level with my parents. I wasn’t treated like a child anymore. I had my own responsibilities now and they treated me like an adult, often times I felt like I was on par with them like I was their friend. The role of parent and child started to gradually change into a relationship of mutual friendship and love.

Many teenagers today, can’t say that their mom or dad treats them like an adult or a good friend. And I always wonder well have you earned that respect from them so that you could be treated so? From the time you learn how to make a friend and maintain a friendship, you work hard to earn that other person’s trust, right? I feel that it works the same way with your parents. You have to prove that you are capable of earning their trust and becoming their friend.

Many of you might have heard lectures or read hadith about how one should behave and act towards one’s parents. We’ve heard them a million times. How our mother’s carry us for nine months, and how we should care for them in their old age as they did for us when we were baby’s, etc.

But have you ever thought about what a parents Islamic duties are? As I come close to being a mother myself, I thank Allah first and foremost for blessing me and my husband with a new life to be responsible for. When I feel my baby move inside of me, I don’t know what kind of person this new little being will be and likewise the baby doesn’t know me. According to Medical research, the baby is likely to hear my voice and recognize even her father’s voice, but who we really are is unknown to us both.

I pray to Allah that the baby we are blessed with will be among the believers and I can pray for that all I want, but ultimately, the brunt of the work will be in my hands. Not only will I be responsible for feeding and taking care of the physical needs of this new being, but I will also be responsible for how the child develops as an individual. Being a parent is an extremely important and challenging role. If I were to raise my child not knowing Allah (swt) and guiding him/her to the path of Allah, I will be questioned on the day of Judgement for what I did.

Likewise, when I think about my teenage years and about how hard it must have been for my own parents, to bring up my sister’s and I in this society and what responsibilities where upon them to make sure we did not go astray, I thank Allah for blessing me with the parents that he did.

Not only did they feed and cloth me, but they nourished my heart and soul. They taught me to love Allah. They taught me that he is my creator and that he placed me temporarily under their care and guidance. In the big picture we are all the same, we are equal in Allah’s eyes, there is no distinction anymore between parent and child and we will all be accountable for our deeds and actions on this earth.

So the next time you have an argument with your parents or you feel that they just don’t understand you, really try to talk to them, and understand that, from their perspective, not only do they want to protect you, but they have the duty to guide you and make sure that you are making the right choices for yourself. Just as you are accountable for all your actions, your parents are accountable for how they raise you.

Comments

MashaAllah that was a wonderful article sister.

Location

Karachi,Pakistan

Peace and blessing of Allah be upon you sister. It has been seven years sinc you wrote this article i red it today. You made want to work for my dad who is the only one living now. What a great advice to the youth of today. Wasaalam

Location

Staten Island.NY

Asalamu alaikum wa rehmatullahu wabarakatu,First of all, praise be to Allah, the creator of the heavens and the Earth. His grace has made muslims like ourselves come together and discuss and talk about issues in our lives and help us to improve ourselves as Muslims and as human beings. This was, mashallah, a well-written article and reading it made me question my ability to step in the shoes of my father and mother; Whether, I would, as a muslim parent be able to guide my children and nurture them into becoming better people and the best muslims? I cannot vouch for myself or my sister, but I know that Allahtallah has shone light and blessing on our lives by giving us perfect parents. I just wanted to write a small note to celebrate my parents and everyone else's. Thank you for this article, it really touched me. :)

Location

Toronto

Salaam...firstly sister i would like to say that this article was very well written MashaAllah and may Allah (s.w.t) bless you for your efforts InshaAllah. I would like to present an alternative viewpoint if I may. Living in a non-Muslim country, what is a Muslim teenager to do when his parents are asking him to conform with Western ideologies as opposed to sticking to Islamic traditions. What am I supossed to do when my Muslim parents forbid me from keeping a beard, from wearing a Kufi and other Islamic headgear and apparel. What am I supossed to do when I have to lie to my parents when I wish to go to the Masjid, to hang out with Muslim friends whom they know very well are good people, to simply practice Islam openly and freely. Now I understand that I am to obey my parents, and in most cases I do, but somewhere deep down, there has to be a line between raising children correctly and downright opressing them. WasSalaam, Saif

Location

Toronto

This article is great if it can reach to other children especially their are muslim teenage children in the custody of children aid of children.At presently I have spend money to find out there are 650 muslim kids in children aid society of Toronto which was in 1999. Day by day the number increases. I wish there are some muslim organization such as yours who can contact this children who are brain washed by CAS to hate the family and parents. I hope such article can reach them please help this children !

Location

TORONTO

Asalaamu-Alaikum. Excuse my late response to your article but I'm really pleased it touched so many people. I recently lost my mother whom I wish was still here and being raised "Christian" [aka:Protestant] was one of the main ingredients to my teen and pre-teen rebellion. I was a truant since 3rd grade and in later years I fiercely rejected the "trinity" which later led me to reject and rebell against God and "ALL" religion. This of course hurt my mother very deeply because she was deeply religious and didnt like the things I would say against God and the faith, especially since I'm the son of a Preacher. I became a flaming atheist,basing all my beliefes on how life began on Darwinian theory [which of course I now reject] but coming into more contact with Muslims in the late 70s changed my perspective and although I never went back to "Christianity" my mother was greatful that I was a believer again but looking back on my rebellion,I'm deeply sorry that I unintentionaly hurt her.

Location

USA/NYC

da points i was readin in dis article made sense to me, (although i cum from an mix arab/english muslim background wich is kinda hard livin in da uk), From now on, when ma dad gives me advice i will tink about wat he said, n not sure ignore it. peace out.

Location

London UK

As Salamu Aalaikum. I really enjoyed your advice and I will definetely take it into consideration when I encounter hard times with my parents. Shukran, JazakAllah hukyrun.

Location

Bronx,N.Y.

heyreadin dat has changed a lot of my points of viewssafe

Location

maida vale londan

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