My Faith is Fun :)

>> Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Asalammu Alaykum! :)

May Allah [SWT] keep you in good health, Insh'Allah. Ameen!

I have a little problem. I live in the United States - but, actually, I'm from Pakistan. Anyway, I'm 15-years old, and I have seen a lot of Muslims/Muslimahs in the United States. All the Pakistani Muslims that I have seen are, well .... err .... not pious Muslims. I don't mean to offend anyone, but they don't act like Muslims - most of them. They smoke hookah, make out with girls, skip their classes, do drugs, etc. These are all haram. I have younger brothers [8 and 4]; I am the oldest sibling. I don't want my brothers to lose their track in Islam. I fear that if they grow older, they might become like the rest of the other Pakistani Muslims, influenced by the media of the America. I will be embarrassed and depressed if my brothers will ever become like that!

My 8-year old brother gets into trouble in school. Well, now he stopped, but he used to. He talked to other students in his class, while the teacher was explaining something. My mother scolded him, so he stopped. Also, he's not very smart. All of my other male cousins study hard and respect their elders. My 8-year brother fails almost all his tests no matter how hard he studies. He didn't get accepted into Gifted Classes because he has low marks. He speaks back to his elders. He is violent and screams a lot. My 4-year old brother is not like this, but sometimes, I am afraid that he will be.

I keep telling my 8-year old brother about Islam - about Jannah [Heaven] and Jahannam [Hell], but I think he ignores me. I tell him about all the Punishments, and he probably ignores me with that, too. He likes to watch TV, play on the computer, and play sports.

I know that he should be around other good Muslims, who are his age, but the problem is: There are no other Muslims, who are his age. My male cousins, who are pious Muslims, are in Pakistan. They don't come to United States. All of my brother's friends are not-so-pious Muslims.

My brother doesn't know anything about Islam. He's collecting sin, sin, and more sin. And what will he have to show Allah Taa'la? As the older sibling, I feel responsible. My mother tried to teach him, but he always speaks back to her. Now, I guess it's up to me. But, what should I do? I tried everything - I told him about Allah Taa'la, Jannah/Jahannam, etc. He just ignores me!

I'm extremely sorry that you have to read this whole thing. It's very long, I know. I'll be patient. I know it takes time to answer all the questions you recieve.

Sincerely,
Layla ♥
Wa alaykum Salaam Layla, ♥ :)

Firstly, apologies for the late answer! Sounds like you've got an awful lot to handle and I think it's so good of you to take the reponsibility for your siblings. May Allah reward you for your good intentions and efforts in being such a fantastic older sister. (:

Now it seems that if you try to help you 8 year old brother, he could be an example for your 4 year old as he grows. 8 years old is still young, mashaAllah so you just need to show him that Islam is a whole lifestyle, even for a child! Some things you can do to make faith fun for younger children include:

Multimedia
It's new and vibrant and interactive. There're many resources available which use a multimedia medium in order to convey a particular message or some knowledge.
-Nasheeds!: Zain Bhika's album 'Our World' is very child-friendly and I'm sure an 8 year old would to hear the messages Zain Bhika gives. You can find it and other great nasheeds here.
-TV! : Once again, Zain Bhika, along with Dawud Wharnsby has a great series which is really fun-loving and educational too. Here it is. And Baba Ali has some great videos aimed at younger children; Here.
-Websites! : I found this really cool website for kids, I actually love it :'). http://www.muslimkidsville.com/ ! Check it out! :D

EID!
When you're not in a Muslim country, it can be easy to lack efforts in celebrations like Eid. Christmas and other holidays are hyped up so much, right - no wonder kids want to take part in a school nativity play rather than see their families in pretty clothing on Eid.
All it takes is some balloons, games and stories about why this Eid is taking place. Make Eid a special event for your brothers to remember with a smile of excitement!

Ramadan!
Only a few more months and Ramadan will start to approach. Make it exciting! Make sure they know why we fast, so explain why it's good to follow what Allah has ordered us, because He loves us a lot and He knows what is best for us!
When Ramadan does come, inshaAllah, make sure you all get treats at iftaar. :D

You're fifteen, (just a year younger than me), although you are responsible (and mature for taking this responsibility), do remember to stay calm and stay happy. It's the best example for your brothers if you're happy and in Islam - they'll get the message that that's what Islam gives - happiness! :D

Take any and every opportunity to show him that Islam is in everything we do. And that he will be rewarded for good deeds, inshaAllah! Talk to him about ALLAH. And everything He does for us. Most of all, pray for him, Layla.
Your efforts in helping your brother will not be wasted. Allah is with you in every little difficulty and heartache which comes your way in this task.

Keep praying and keep smiling dearest Layla :).


12 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

ℓαуℓα ツ April 26, 2011 at 6:44 PM  

Thank you so much for helping me! The problem is: my family doesn't celebrate Eid. I don't have any other family members living around me. I don't receive money on Eid. I don't wear new clothes on Eid. My dad is an Atheist & he doesn't give us any money. :( I think my dad is impacting my siblings' lives. Plus, he doesn't fast on Ramadan & he yells at us if we fast. I didn't start fasting until this year because my father would beat me and curse at me. :'( He says, "You're too young, Layla. Do you want to die? It's stupid to starve yourself." I fast secretly.

I like your other advice! :) Thanks so much, Sister! :D

x@hu April 27, 2011 at 4:30 AM  

Awww, I really have to say that u're the sweetest big sister and may Allah grant you tawfeeq in this endeavor of yours! :)

That said, I wanted to tell u that I have a slightly similar problem to yours. I have 2 younger cousins, 15 and 8, who I adore to bits! But the thing is, they're lifestyle is such that when it comes to Islam, they're on the other side of the spectrum and I constantly have nightmares about it!

My 8 year old cousin is completely ignorant about Islam just like your younger brother. I wrecked my brain for days on how to go about bringing this up with his parents and sadly chickened out! :(

But sometime back, I decided instead of the parents, I'm gonna work with the kids themselves and see if I can get them interested in Islam. So, here is something you could try with your brother:

First, u have to get interested in what he's interested in.

Kids are naturally quite averse to preaching and nowadays religion is considered "dull" and "boring", so don't take is as a separate thing and talk about it. Instead, find creative ways to bring Islam into something that he already likes doing.

U said he likes TV, computer games right? My cousin is exactly the same. So I do those things with him with an Islamic twist. For eg: once we were playing a game about demons and zombies and while talking, I brought up the subject of jinn. By the time we finished, he was all fascinated with the jinn, asking all sorts of questions.

Al-hamdulillahi our conversation about the jinn led me to telling him all about the Iblees and how he was expelled from Paradise and other explanations, and now he's very diligent about saying the dhikr of morning and evening, to protect himself from the "bad guys", as he calls them :)

Next, u can poke your nose into his homework time and try and introduce him to Islamic studies there. Buy a few Islamic books for children, beginners level and try and make it something u can do together.

Science is the best subject so far that I've found easiest to get talking about the Greatness of Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala!! You can take any topic, the planets, the water cycle, the animals etc... and show him the Majesty of his Creator.

Remember to relate to something he already knows, like if he's a fan of Transformers and he thinks they're so cool that they can change into machines, you can get him to see how infinitely more cooler Allah is because He created the chameleon and those other animals which are so mind-boggling! :)

Little boys have this thing where big sisters are automatically put into the "annoying busybodies" category, but if u try and speak his language, then u can get into the "cool adult" category, which will be a really big help. Because then he will share with u, and when he shares with u, you will be able to subtly influence and steer him in the right direction insha Allah.

It won't happen overnight, but he's still young and you can get through to him if you work at it. About his little behavior problems, try not to respond when he talks back. Usually adults get angry when children talk back, but ignoring is the best way to get him to stop (as most psychologists say). Children talks back when they want attention, you just have to make them realize that bad behavior is not the way to get it.

I know you're just the sister and it's the parents who are responsible for a child's upbringing. But here's something u could do. Instead of focusing on his bad behavior, next time you see him do something nice or good, praise him for it and maybe give a little reward if he behaved really well :)

One more thing, when you talk to him about Islam, don't stress too much on the punishments and Hellfire, instead focus more on how Loving our Lord is and His infinite Mercy. Kids are more persuaded by rewards than with punishments :)

x@hu April 27, 2011 at 4:33 AM  

P.s. I am so sorry about your Dad. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'aala guide him and may Allah reward you and keep you steadfast upon the Deen.

It is the slaves who struggle against oppression to worship Him that Allah richly rewards, and may He grant you Jannatul-Firdaus! <3 :)

ℓαуℓα ツ April 27, 2011 at 5:54 PM  

Thanks so much, Sister! That really helped! :) I'll remember to keep you in my prayers. :D

You sound like a responsible, wonderful cousin, too! :)

I'll try to find some fun books, too! Islamic websites for children sounds very effective.

rialive April 27, 2011 at 6:59 PM  

Salam alaykum Layla, and Aunties!!!
For kids, 4 years old, there is a blog to teach them holy Qur'an, pls do check :D

FB page : http://www.facebook.com/readwithmeaning

blog : http://readwithmeaning.wordpress.com/

ℓαуℓα ツ April 27, 2011 at 8:18 PM  

Wa'Alaykum Asalam, Sister!

Ooh, that blog looks good! I checked it out. Thanks for the link. It means so much to me! :D

I want my younger brother to learn the Holy Qur'an by the heart. I want him to memorize the Holy Qur'an. It will take a lot of struggling, but I really do want him to learn.

:D

M4D April 27, 2011 at 8:40 PM  

Layla!

My heart goes out to you. Know that I love you SO MUCH for the sake of Allah!

I know I post this video a lot but if you haven't seen it please listen to it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2sa5ymA8SE InshaAllah everything you go through, you will be rewarded for it. And patience is the key.

Always remember that, the reward of those who practice patience is doubled!

أُولَـٰئِكَ يُؤْتَوْنَ أَجْرَهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيَدْرَءُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

[These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend out of what We have provided them.] (28:54)

Aunites: I read that you wanted me to send you some videos!! haha I haven't upload that much actually. I've been trying to upload some surahs, but you can see some from my link in my name that i haven't done that much...now that I am done school I might try again! I've uploaded videos Palestine related but I never made those, i'm not that talented... :)

Little Auntie April 27, 2011 at 9:04 PM  

Layla, I'm very sorry to hear about your father. What about your mother? Do you have any uncles that you can talk to about his lack of faith and his not allowing you to practice Islam (fasting, etc.)?

May Allah make things easier for you and your family. You really sound like such a great older sister :)

Xahu made a lot of good suggestions, ma'shaAllah!!

M4D, inshaAllah will check out :D

ℓαуℓα ツ April 30, 2011 at 9:53 AM  

@M4D: Thanks for all the help! It means so much to me! <3 :)

@Little Auntie: My mother is a Muslimah, Mash'Allah. To tell you the truth, I have no one to talk to except for my Muslimah sisters online. All my family members live in Pakistan. My father forbids tham to come to America to see us. D:
Ameen to your dua. Thank you! :)

Shazana Shaik May 2, 2011 at 7:08 AM  

Salam Layla and all my dear Sisters,

Alhamdulillah, Masha Allah, Subahanallah. Beautiful advice all of you gave:) I love each and everyone of you all sincerely and solely for the sake of Allah:)

Dear sis Layla, i really really have to say i was and still am SO touched to see such a concerned sister at 15 years old already. Alhamdulillah. May Allah guide you and your family to the best, ameen <3 Im 19, and i too have a similar test..with my two younger sisters, 17 and 15..exactly, like what sister x@hu said, be interested in what they are interested in, but be careful not to become too engrossed in what they do:)

for me, since my sisters are teens, they do alot of things that can easily distract me, and since its also whatever i used to do before Alhamdulillah Allah guided me, i find it difficult at times to, you know, resist? Like using facebook excessively, listening to music..that kind of stuff. But insha Allah you wouldn't have that prob love! But just be careful.. :)

It's also very very important to be leading by example. Masha Allah. It's one of the most important aspects, so teach Islam to them through your actions. Everytime I talk to my sisters, i try to remind myself to talk and behave in the way that will please Allah the most, and what Allah loves for us is def the best, wouldn't you agree? :) So, try to have the best Akhlak in your home, and make Islam the way of life..it's not just a religion that we have to follow like other religions:) have sincere intentions and keep smiling always, its hard to have less positive thoughts that way:)Do your best and leave the rest to Allah. Tawakkal.

And as for your struggle, be patient my dearest. This life was created as a test for us, you know? Listen to this clip posted by TheSisterWhoSmiles : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcaeBnxUU9k

I can never get enough of it, Subahanallah. It has the most Beautiful message I have EVER come across masha Allah. <3 anything, you (or any beloved sister for that matter!) can contact me at shazanashaik@hotmail.com :)

But above all of that, turn to Allah always, and remember the struggle of our Muslims who came before us. It will not be easy, but if you love Allah, His Deen, Allah will def love you and give you strength..ask Him:) Love you dear, takecare <3

Anonymous,  May 7, 2011 at 2:21 AM  

http://muslimsinaction.proboards.com/index.cgi

Loved ur ideas :), implemented them too!

its under: Islam for kids

http://muslimsinaction.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=islam

Lady of the Ozarks May 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM  

Just keep telling him what you find awesome about Islam. He may find your excitement contagious and want to learn more!

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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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