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Muslim family

& youth

Musbri Bin Mohamed

Yayasan Pekida
Malaysia

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In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most
Merciful.May He bestow His peace and blessings
on His Messenger Muhammad, his family, his
Companions, and all of those who follow them
sincerely.

"We will show them Our signs


in the universe and in their
own selves, until it becomes
manifest to them that This
(Quran) is the truth". (Holy
Quran: 41/53)

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Family issues are some of the toughest that we
must face in this life. Despite the gift of our
families, they are also one of our greatest
challenges.

Allah confirms this in the Qur’an in numerous


places when He mentions the inherent tests that
lie within family life.

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The family is at the center of the Islamic way of
life anywhere in the world.

The Qur'an exhorts the believers, "Save


yourselves and your families from hellfire," thus
placing the family at the core of one's
responsibility in this life.

Numerous hadiths (sayings of the Prophet


Muhammad, PBUH) extol the virtues of taking
care of one's family.

Prophet Muhammad
(PBUH), has said,
"A fathers' teaching his child
good manners is better than
giving a bushel of grain (in
charity)" (Bukhari).

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The key in family life, as in all things, however, is
first to know Allah, the Creator of everything, to
know His deen, and to know ourselves. When we
commit and engage ourselves in this ongoing
work, insha-Allah, He will provide us with
insight, wisdom, knowledge, forgiveness and the
peace of heart that will allow us to think and act
clearly in a way that is best for all parties.

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Muslim youth are hooked into the same dangers
as non-Muslim youth of today's society

Muslim youth have been harmed by socializing


via the Internet on sites such as myspace.com,
facebook.com, friendster.com, and xanga.com.

Do not buy rock music tapes (out of love for your


child) nor allow him/her to listen to any hard
rock. Encourage outdoor activity in preference to
indoor (e.g. TV/music). Encourage them to read
newspapers, good magazines (National
Geographic) and Islamic periodicals.

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When asking youth why they are so fond of
such websites, girls in particular
respond emotionally when explaining that
they feel this is the "safest" way to vent out
their feelings. They feel their parents are
clueless about how they feel and they want to
reach out, even if it means talking to
strangers through the Internet. From personal
observations and conversations with these
youth, it appears they are using these sites as
a form of attention seeking.

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Allah SWT has created a link of special love
between parents and children and has clearly
defined the responsibility of one to the other.
It is the duty of the family as a whole to not let
these bonds of love and responsibilities
weaken. When they do, communication
suffers and the flow of experience and
guidance from the parent to the children is
interrupted. The importance of encouraging
an open and caring relationship between
parents and children cannot be stressed
enough.

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What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
not what you got, but what you gave. What will matter is not
your success, but your significance. What will matter is not
what you learned, but what you taught. What will matter is
every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that
enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate
your example.

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The Islamic education of
children in contemporary
society is a bigger challenge
than most parents can handle on
their own. The dearth of proper
educational material, the
distractions of television, and
peer pressure in schools are just
some of the obstacles families
must face.

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The Muslim community can establish
programs and institutions to produce
children's literature and entertainment in
a superior, captivating format. While the
above may help, the solution that may
offer more lasting results is the
establishment of Islamic schooling. This
could include full-time schools, as well as
home schooling or supplementary
schooling where full-time schooling is not
possible. In each situation, the family
should be involved as a unit to ensure
success through its continued
participation. Islamic schools can help
give children the sense of direction they
need to stay on an Islamic course of life.

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The Muslim community
can take specific steps to
help the contemporary
Muslim family fulfil the
role that it needs to play.
Each aspect of the
family's role contributes
not only to strengthening
the family but also the
community that it is a
part of.

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To enable the Muslim family to excel on all
fronts, materially and morally, the Muslim
community can create training and
enrichment opportunities for them. Muslim
families should work towards superior
performance in whatever they do, as
individual units and as groups of families
bound together by an effort to perform and
achieve. Small groups of such families can
become examples for other groups to form.
Internally, Muslim families should be
motivated to become centers of excellence,
establishing high standards of conduct for
themselves and seeking out other families
with even higher standards for socialization
and friendship.

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The life of the Prophet SAW and our rich
Islamic heritage can offer guidance from day to
day as we struggle to reach them. Challenging
as they may be in today's environment, they
are not options to be exercised if we wish, but
marching orders for shaping a future for
Muslims in contemporary society.

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Beyond the family, the community
itself must build relationships with
children, and work with them to help
develop better parents for the future.
Although the essence of parenthood is
a matter of instinct, there is much to
be said for a community helping
parents learn how to be more effective
in parenthood.

Children are both the present


and the future of every nation.

Find a time and place to talk to your children.


Children are sometimes in a "bad mood" upon
returning from school, loaded with home work,
as are parents in the afternoon with a busy day
at work. The best time to have a chat is during
breakfast and evening dinner together.

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No role is as important for a family as that of bringing
up a new generation that will internalize and articulate
- perhaps in a better way - the values and lifestyles of
the parents. In order to enable the Muslim family to
fulfill this role, the community can encourage good
parent-children relationships, help families in
educating their children, build Islamic schools with
family involvement, and foster relationship with
children.

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There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or
days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or
forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame
and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not
matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your
grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will
finally disappear.

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In order to enable the Muslim family to offer
solutions to the social ills that plague
contemporary society, we must be able to uphold it
as an example to others in society. It is an accepted
fact in that in all societies, social ills spring
primarily from some failure in the family structure.
Well-adjusted and well-motivated Muslim families
can offer solutions by their examples that no
amount of social analyzing and theorizing can.

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Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

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What will matter is not your
competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many
people you knew, but how many
will feel a lasting loss when
you're gone. What will matter are
not your memories, but the
memories that live in those who
loved you. What will matter is
how long you will be
remembered, by whom and for
what.

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The principle role of the Muslim family in contemporary times is to:

Model an Islamic way of life,

Excel on all fronts, materially and morally,

Raise a new model generation,

Offer its members stability and comfort in its sanctuary, and

Offer solutions to social ills that plague contemporary society.

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