Oh, brother

>> Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Assalamualaykum sisters..
I've got something to share and maybe need some advice or opinion..inshaAllah=)
I have a brother, a younger brother..
Since he is the only brother i have, my expectation towards him is a little bit high. I don't expect him to be a huffaz or etc..but i do want him to learn about responsibility towards religion, family or also his obligation as a muslim. Why i'm saying this? my brother seems don't take seriously about his life which includes studies.he spends a lot on games, computer, rather on his studies or even about religion! what makes me sad is, he's comes from religious school so i expect him to know better than me. but eventually, he's not. His world is only about games and fun.Since he is already 18, i do hope that he can be our 'backbone' of the family and can be relied on if anything happen..
my question is. do u've any suggestion on how i can deal with him? I've tried to speak to him but it doesn't give any effect.."

wa'alkyum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo!

Dearest sis,

You remind me of ME! HEHEHE! You sound a lot like a very concerned older sis, which is really nice to see--unless of course, you're the 'object of concern'. As my brother has pointed out to me numerous times (he's 14), though," if you push me too hard, you're going to drive me away from religion."

Here's the thing. Let's take a look at things from your bro's perspective. Your bro already goes to an Islamic school. He already learns about it. Just like ANY of us, when we're done with school, we want to go home and relax. So he plays video games...

He's really not alone. I'm quoting Muhammed al Shareef:

Ok, so the background here is that our boys, as much as we love to diss them at our lectures and they say nothing ... we see that they are:

a. not turning up in large numbers for Islamic events.
b. Muslim sisters having trouble finding "mature" brothers suitable for marriage
c. Their leadership is flimsy and weak, if they even step up to be a leader
d. they are wasting their youth and lives with games and chatting and seclusion

See. It's a global phenomenon!

So what do we do?

Well, as our mantra has been from the beginning of this blog, don't pressure him. Show him some funny Islamic videos. Ask him some interesting questions. And when you ask him, say it like you want to learn from him and not like you're teaching him or quizzing him. How about YOU watching islamic videos/lectures when he's around?

Also, are there any good Muslim brothers that he's friends with? How about telling your bro to arrange a 'basket-ball/ soccer/ cricket' game near the masjid, and then having a short Islamic talk? Each week one of the Muslim teen brothers gives a small talk on a topic he's interested in?

If he won't be interested in that, how about forums? You can look up a very 'hot/hot/hot* or interesting topic on a forum and then either show it to him or e-mail it to him.Maybe he'll join one *shrugs*. Look for some 'manly lectures', lol...:)

What else? Well, one thing I remember my Qura'n teacher telling me is that you really need to compliment your bro when he does something 'good'. Even simple things. "Wow, you read that surah beautifully." "Thanks, you're such a big help around here." You can even joke with him like, "Soon, we'll be asking for your autograph". Let him feel important! You see, there's a big difference between making someone feel 'responsible' and making someone 'want to be responsible', you know what I'm saying? One will view it as a burden; the other will view it as an honor. 

You need to also try to share some of his interests. What does he care about? Besides video games, LOL. You see, you cannot expect him to turn into you or even share your dream of him. He is his own person. You need to dream WITH him. Who is he? What's he interested in? Take some fun personality quizzes together, like 'what's your hidden talent", the shape test, etc. Islam doesn't only need religious scholars. We need 'religious graphic designers, writers, teachers, doctors, etc." Everything. Let him know that whatever he's talented in/great at/ we can use :)

And truly BELIEVE in your bro. NO matter what state he is in now, that doesn't determine his future/ or what his end will be. Stay positive with him. Instead of telling him, "Bro, GROW UP and get rid of your video games", how about asking him to help you design an Islamic board game or something like Baba Ali? Let him use his skills/talents/ and interests in the name of Islam :)"

Why don't you also tell him something like "How about we design an Islamic video, ourselves"? A short one? On youtube? Look around for challenges/ competitions that he might be interested in that have an Islamic touch....

Hmmmm....What else?

If it's economically feasible, why not plan for a umrah trip?

But other than that, I a'int ashamed to admit it! We need some 'uncle help'.

Ladies, ask your brothers/husbands:
How do we get an 18 year old guy interested in religion?!
 and write their answers in the comments. You can also pitch in your own ideas...:)

The most important thing though is to make dua for him. 

 Make lots and lots of dua, especially during the last third of the night.

P.s.I know that you said that he's even not interested in his own studies....Well... You can try and talk to him about what he wants to major in? Ask him what university is he planning on applying to? What grades does he need? Ask him if he's checked out the job opportunities available? What's the market like? Again, not too pushy..in an "I-care-about-you- am-interested- in-what you-want-to-do-believe- that-you-can-become-somebody-great" way :)

p.s.s. an older post that might give you some ideas: http://dearlittleauntie.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-parents-dont-reallypray-and-stuff.html

5 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Fida Islaih February 5, 2011 at 9:28 AM  


Thanks for the post, though I don't have brothers who aren't interested in Islam. They are, right now they want to read the whole Quran. What keeps them motivated. My mom! She rewards them and we talk about the reward Allah will give.

I hope this helps,

P.S. thanks for the little mention "We need 'religious graphic designers, writers, teachers, doctors, etc." Everything...Let him use his skills/talents/ and interests in the name of Islam :)"

Anonymous,  February 5, 2011 at 10:46 AM  

I had the worst week of my life with my brothers and I was just about to give up on them, like SERIOUSLY give up. But qadar Allah that I came here and read this. May Allah reward you sister. I will now try and implement this advice.

And to the sister who asked the question inshaAllah you can share this lecture with your brother: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2sa5ymA8SE
InshaAllah i'll be sharing it on the tv with my family tonight! It will move your heart closer to Allah inshaAllah!

Little Auntie,  February 6, 2011 at 3:45 AM  

Fida, ma'shaAllah at your brothers and family! Your mother sounds like a smart woman! ma'shaAllah. Getting interested in religion truly does begin with our parents :) And i agree with talking about the reward :D Good point, ma'shaAllah.

I saw your comment also on the parents - i think it's great that you're looking for ways for non-Muslims :) This might be of better help though: http://dearlittleauntie.blogspot.com/2010/09/dawah-dos.html

Anonymous, subhanAllah. That truly is amazing. We actualy received this q a few days back but yesterday finally answered it. Qadara Allah ma'shaa wa' faal. :)

Jazakillah for the link, too. I've been meaning to watch that lecture for a long time, myself, actually :) everyone recommends it!

the sister=),  February 7, 2011 at 8:20 AM  

MashaAllah..thanks for sharing all the great advices,suggestions and comments sisters!it helps a lot..

May Allah bless U!!=))

Tania February 11, 2011 at 5:52 AM  

Salam...Sisterzz :)
i m facing same situation here at my home though my only brother is 12 years old n still now he listens to me(nt all the time:P)..since i hv begun practicing n studying,knowing about our religion,automatically i started worrying abt my family specially abt my siblings.its vry natural n they will start to see u a religious person whos duty is to tell or warn them alwys abt their activities which suddenly became normal to them so they started to avoid ur saying..so we hv to be conscious abt tht..my brother has alrdy started to call me "Islamia Girl" which is nt bad at all..wht do u say?;)

i hv 3siblings,we r 4 including me..my brother is the youngest one..from my 2younger sisters 1 is alrdy became adult bt other one nt yet..so i can give sum pressure on 2 of them bt i alwys remain alert whneve i say anything to the older one..at first i gave pressure on my youngest bro n sis to do their 5times prayers in time..at tht time they alrdy knw sum duas/suras n the rules of saying prayer as their arabic teacher taught them who came at our home weekly..i just tried to polish tht n corrects sum mistakes..inspire them to pray wid me..during the prayers i usually recite loudly at tht time so tht they can understand which cums after wht...made a chart of the time of prayers where they were supposed to mark after finishing certain Namaz...
at first they were very excited...though my brother was much restless,still now...its the nature of them...after certain period of time i let them say their prayers by their own under my observation...i usually hear Nouman Ali Khan's lectures..sumtimes he gives funny expression in his lecture which is enjoyable ;) during tht time i showed thm sum of tht...throu tht they also heard sum lines which was my intention of showin them his lectures...bt 1day sumthing sad happened..in one of his lectures Nouman Ali khan said sumthing bad about POKEMON cartoon n my brother is fond of pokemon n after hearing tht he started to cry:( howeve i tackle the situation..now Alhamdulillah 2 of them say their 5times prayers regularly...bt my brother missed the Fard most of the time thou i made him to pray kaza n still now he doesnt hv idea abt waqt,i hv to tell him when to do as he has to go to school n tution n yet dosnt hv realization abt whts Namaz is all abt...as bcz he is nt tht much mature according to his age..bt Alhamdulillah he listens to me n say his prayers though sumtimes i hv to shout on him n hv to gv him my laptop to use net/play games:P bt my youngest sister is a very good girl MashaAllah,she doesnt miss her prayers now n try to follow me to cover herself..sumtimes share sum issues n topics wid them to make their concept clear abt wht Islam says whn thy r in good mind...i m worried abt my older sis...she is living in diff world n also diff among us..she knws the basic..bt dont obey them yet..so i m trying to convince her so tht she starts praying at least ofcorse widout giving pressure..also making dua for her..i m worried bt didnt loose hope...:)
i think i hv written a lotttttt...oppss..:(

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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