Parents and the Internet

>> Saturday, March 3, 2012

Salaam Sisters,
I'm not supposed to use the internet lately, well cause I'm not allowed. My parents kind of banned me cause they thought I was having a relationship with someone online. In the past I did have one, but I learned my lesson and alhumdulillah I have no intention of going down that road again. I told my parents that and I know my mom believed me and I think my dad did as well. Of course, Shaytaan has his way of tricking so I can understand if my parents are worried and I don't mind them checking up on me... but they took my ipod and laptop and everything. And I do tend to lose my temper so I talk back sometimes. But taking all my tech from me for that reason is a bit extreme especially since I'm working on myself now. It's been a week, and I school from home so I need to do my work on a computer or something but I guess I'm kind of scared to ask for my laptop. I don't want to seem like I'm desperate for it and I don't want to look suspicious. And I keep getting in trouble for not mailing any work in but I don't know how to explain that it's cause I need my laptop. And I was supposed to have finished a course a week or so ago which I told my parents I did but I haven't. I'm a bit of a procrastinator with school, it's not like I have zero motivation. I know I want to become a psychologist one day iA but its so hard to get myself to do stuff. I'm getting better though but I don't know how to sort out the mess I've made in my life. Please help.
-A sister who has really made a mess of her life. 

Wa'alaikumussalam wa rahmatullah dear Sister, 

I'm glad you've realized that a relationship before marriage is not the right way to go, alhamdulillah, and I can also see that you're working on yourself. May Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) grant you istiqaamah. Ameen! :D

Okay, first things first, you have to earn back your parents' trust, the key word being earned. It's attained, not given. As my dad always says to me and my siblings, "All of this stuff is a privilege, you have to earn it". They don't have to give us anything. It's not our right to have our own gadgets and such.  And honey, I know this is hard. Trust me, I know what you're saying, but our tongue can be the cause of getting us into so much trouble in the aakhirah, so we have to be really careful.

Uh-oh, now you not having your laptop is definitely a problem since you have to get back to your studies.  Try compromising with your parents. How about doing your work on the desktop computer so your parents can check in on you whenever they want to? Or if you don't have a computer, bring your laptop downstairs and do your work in front of your parents. If I were you, I wouldn't ask for the iPod back just yet. Take what you can get right now. When see parents see you improving, they'll give it back to you themselves, inshaAllah. :)

When I was in a tight spot a few months ago, I ended up telling a friend all that I was going through, and subhanAllah, it helped me so much. May Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) reward her immensely. She set me straight and related to me the incident of Owais al-Qarni (radi Allahu 'anh). I'll relate the story (more or less to the effect of what happened) below quickly:

Owais al-Qarni (radi Allahu 'anh) was from Yemen and had a mother who was very ill. He stayed home and took care of her. Now, Owais was living during the time of the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam and he desperately wanted to travel to Madinah to see the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) but at the same time, he didn't want to leave his mother behind. He was torn between his mother and visiting the prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam. 
Finally, Owais made the decision. He chose to stay behind and take care of his mother. 
 He gave up the greatest honor in this dunya...he had the chance to see the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) , and still, he didn't take it, just to obey his mother, and in essence obeying his Lord. He knew his priorities. He had them set straight. And because of this, Owais (radi Allahu 'anh) was given the honor of being a sahabi without having ever met the Prophet (salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam). Rasulullah (salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) even instructed Umar  (radi Allahu 'anh) to have Owais  (radi Allahu 'anh) make du'aa for him and the ummah if he ever had the chance to meet him. And how did he get this honor? Only because he listened to his mother. SubhanAllah!

Can you even begin imagining how he felt?! Yet, still, he chose to please Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala). May Allah ('aza wa jall) please him and be pleased with him. Ameen! Sometimes--or a lot of the times, honestly--you need that push from your friends to get you going again. So do all of this for the sake of Allah. Remember, you're obeying Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala)  through obeying your parents.

Some practical things you can do: if you have a dresser (or mirror in your room) or something you look at every day in the morning before you leave your room for the day, write on a post-it or your mirror with a marker (dry-erase works best, lol) something like "Don't talk back!" or something like that, and circle it. Make it stick out! These really are great reminders!

Do khidmah of your parents. Try helping out more than usual. Does your dad like tea after dinner? Does you mother like to drink coffee? Offer to make it for them. Jannah lies underneath the feet of our mothers. 

If things are really getting very sour between you and your parents, try getting a mediator to sit in in your compromises. A sister or brother, perhaps?

When you're really mad at your parents, try this: make du'aa for them. Remember the sunnah of what to do when you're angry. If you're standing, then sit. If you're sitting, then lie down for a bit. When you get mad, walk away (respectfully). Don't act upon your anger. Remember Allah(subhaanahu wa ta'aala) . Nothing is worth disobeying Him, absolutely nothing. Yes, you will probably cry...a lot, but still, try to do the right thing, only for His sake. 

Make du'aa, make du'aa, make du'aa. Never give up hope in Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) . Wake up for tahujjud. After every hardship there comes ease, and remember that Allah (swt) never tests anyone more than they can bear. I can just imagine how frustrated you are. Think about it; this is your chance to get close to Allah. And remember this too; if a mu'min gets pricked by a thorn even, Allah ('aza wa jall) expiates some of his sins for that. 

I know this is hard and extremely frustrating, but make du'aa and istighfaar. You might fall short of this again and again ( I know I did and still do) but keep trying. That's our job in this dunya. We all will and do make mistakes, but our job is to make sincere tawbah and repentance. It can take days, weeks or even months to earn back your parents' trust. Don't give up and keep at it, inshaAllah!

“Allahumma laa sahla illaa maa ja’altahu sahlaa, wa anta taj’alus sa’ba in shi’ta sahlaa.”
(O Allah, nothing is easy except what you make easy, and You can make what is difficult easy if You wish).
And one last thing, time will make it better, inshaAllah. We all make mistakes. Just don't let them hold you back. I remember hearing from a scholar (he came to my community masjid for a lecture) that once you truly do repent and you still feel as if you haven't forgiven yourself, go  and frequent the masjid, because there, the angels make du'aa for Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) to have mercy on you for as long as you're there.

There's also another beautiful du'aa I'd like to share with you. It's one of my absolute favorites.

Laa ilaaha illaa Allaah al-haleem al-kareem, subhaana Allah rabbi al-`arshi al-adheem, wal-hamdu lillaahi rabbi al-`aalameen, asaluka moojibaati rahmatik, wa `azaaima maghfiratik, wa al-ghaneemata min kulli birr, wa as-salaamata min kulli ithm, laa tada` lee dhanban illa ghafartah, wa laa hamman illaa farrajtah, wa laa haajatan hiya laka ridhan illaa qadhaytahaa yaa arhama ar-rahimeen. 

(There is no Allah but Allah, the Clement, the Bountiful; glory be to Allah, Lord of the Mighty Throne; praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds; I ask of You for the things that merit Your mercy and the things that bring me Your forgiveness; I beseech You for all that is virtuous, and freedom from all sins; do not leave for me any sin unless You forgive it, no worry unless You remove it, and no legitimate need of mine that is pleasing to You unless You fulfill it, O the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!)

This is what works for me. I hope it helped! Maybe some of the other sisters have more advice that they can offer, inshaAllah! :D May Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) have us all be among the people who obey Him through obeying our parents. Ameen!

I'm going to attach a link to Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam's lecture on trials and tribulations to the bottom of this post. It's a great lecture, mashAllah.  May Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala) preserve him. Take a listen if you can. :)


2 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  March 5, 2012 at 3:39 AM  

Alhamdulillah! Beautiful advice. Reading this just renewed my sense of duty to my parents, alhamdulillah. :) JazakAllah Apple Blossoms :)

Anonymous,  March 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM  

As always amazing advice, Masha'Allah! Every time I read your advice...I make so much du'a for everyone that writes on this blog. May Allah (swt) shower you with His blessings. Ameen.

As an older version of this same sister, I would love to tell her from experience that the way parents forgive amazes me. Their unconditional love amazes me. I let down my parents quite a number of times and yet they are the only ones that have never once reminded me of that as an adult. Of course, when I was young...they had to remind me to set me straight. But now as an adult...they are proud of the good decisions I have made...and they have never once reminded me of the mistakes I made as a teenager. It is important to appreciate that.

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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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