By Lisa Zahran
As a parent of a Muslim child born in a non-Muslim country such as Canada, you will naturally become concerned and worried on how to raise them in the proper Islamic manner. This is coupled with the fact that the environment in western countries like Canada is in no way welcoming for the proper nourishment and raising of Muslim kids.
Nevertheless, we spoke to several folks including Imams, activists and Muslim families already residing in Canada and here is what they have to say about raising Muslim kids Islamically in a country like Canada:
1- Firstly, Put Your Kids First
I know that this may sound vague but as a matter of fact, may parents in western countries give their careers priority over their kids. This is in turn detrimental to their spiritual health.
Therefore, it is important to fully acknowledge that kids are a blessing from Allah and they need your undivided attention in order to prosper both in this world and in the hereafter. Therefore, striking a balance between your work and family will go a long way in ensuring that your kids are given enough attention.
2- Learn the Quran-Even for Five Minutes Daily
The Quran contains the complete code of life and to teach it to others, including your children, it is important to read and understand it yourself first.
Therefore, embark on a mission to learn the Quran. Start with as few as five minutes daily in which you can read and ponder upon each verse you learn. You can also use several apps such as the Quran Companion to learn and memorize the Quran.
This way, you will reconnect with Allah and in the process also allow your kids to do the same since you will be their guide.
3- Show Love and Respect to Your Kids
It has been psychologically proven that kids learn more with love than by any other method. Therefore, it is imperative that you talk to your children respectfully like maturing adults instead of being harsh and rude to them by belittling or humiliating them.
For example, you can sow seeds of respect and cooperation in the house by involving your children in decision-making and seeking their opinion on matters of due importance.
4- Have a Masjid In Your Home
You can convert a room in your house into a specific praying area where all family members can gather for joint prayers.
Involve your children in every aspect of maintaining the masjid such as keeping it orderly, calling out adhaan, and keeping track of prayer times. This kind of environment will in turn be good for nurturing a spiritually enlightened child.
5- Participate in Islamic Activities
Save the money that you’d otherwise want to spend on a fancy family dinner to instead go to a local Muslim fundraising event. This will be good for your children in a way that they will be able to interact with other Muslim kids and therefore, the spirit of Muslim brotherhood will be nurtured which will naturally lead to a willingness to learn more about Islam.
In conclusion, it may seem like a tough job raising practicing Muslim kids in a non-Muslim country, but it is doable. Just keep in mind that it is process that will take time and patience, which in turn requires effort on your part as a parent.
Lisa Zahran is a writer and copywriter who has worked with New York Times bestselling authors and personal development organizations such as Productive Muslim and Mindvalley. As CCO at Quran Academy, she’s authored a transformative ebook that can help make Quran memorization easier and more meaningful in your daily life. Experience this ebook plus a 14-day trial of Quran Companion for free today.