Hassan and Hina, Why wouldn’t they listen to their Parents?
Hina was an attractive fifteen-year-old with a slender, attractive figure. She attended the Islamic weekend classes on a regular basis, wearing very short skirts and skin-tight sweaters. The teacher mentioned to her mother that she might want to encourage her daughter to dress more Islamically because her way of dress would attract undesired attraction of the boys at school.
“Hina, you have to change the way you are dressing. It’s unIslamic. No more short skirts and you have to wear overlarge sweaters to hide your shape!” scolded her mother.
“Who are you to say anything?” responded Hina angrily. “Look at yourself, your dress is up to your knees and I can see everything about your shape!”
Hina’s mother has a split personality when it comes to religion. On one hand she prays her prayers and fasts during Ramadan. On the other hand she likes to be ‘fashionably’ dressed when she interacts with non-Muslims. She reads the Qur’an most evenings, but spends her afternoon gossiping with her friends. What is her daughter learning?
Hassan is no better off with his father, who takes him to the weekend Islamic classes but tells him he can skip Juma because his academic studies are more important. Hassan’s father is a leader in the Muslim community, but Hassan overhears him bragging to his friends about how he cheated on his income tax and got away with it.
If we as parents pick and choose which aspect of Islam to apply and which to omit from our own lives, we can hardly expect our children to live purely Islamic lives.
If Hina’s mother chooses her clothing based on what her non Muslim associates are wearing, then of course Hina will demand the same right, even though her mother feels like her clothes are too short or too tight.
The question is, who is the authority and who has the right to decide? If it is Allah who has the right to decide, then parents have no right to pick and choose which practices they will follow. If it is the individual who decides, then children have as much right as their parents, once they reach puberty. Parents who think differently will have their youth point this out to them (if they are on speaking terms).
For sure the youth will be thinking this. If you know you are not following what Allah orders, you can attempt to change your own behavior, admit to your youth that you are also still growing in your faith, and tell them frankly that you are trying to help them on the right path now because it will make their life easier and better. Then you will need to point out the times when your deviation from Islamic values has caused problems for you.
If you choose to ignore this aspect, most likely your children will choose to ignore your advice.