Strong Fathers, Strong Mothers, Strong Ummah Conference
Watch our Director, Mualima Radia’s speech titled, “The Light Within”, presented at the Strong Ummah Conference held by the Light Upon Light Women’s Foundation (LULWF) between Friday 6 April – Sunday 8 April 2018 at Portia Primary School, Cape Town. This event shared inspiring and practical talks from an array of organisations, coming together to work towards strong parents, strong families and strong communities.
[Watch] “The Light Within” – Strong Ummah Conference
Key Points from “The Light Within” – Strong Ummah Conference
Common issues facing our young women:
- Harmful low self-esteem that restricts them from their own true potential: Firstly, social media plays a big role and impacts their self-esteem greatly. It leads to immense pressure to fit in, to fit into the online world, which is a seemingly perfect world – a realm of perfection that results in young women questioning their own lives. This is an illusion of perfection and very fake. Teens must understand there is a whole world beyond social media. Secondly, cyber bullying is an issue. Bullying in social environments such as schools has extended to social media. In an instant, a life can be destroyed.
- Moral confusion in a world where anything goes: We are living in an age where anything and everything goes. In past generations, people would acknowledge their sins or injustices; now people argue and justify their wrongful actions. You can just explain things away. This is not really a new concept – it is relativism, which is your subjective view. Regarding moral relativism – morality is not bound nor confined to right or wrong – morality is subjective from person to person. Examples of moral relativism include euthanasia, sexual orientation and religion. Society says you should be accepting and tolerant, but there are limits and right and wrong is very clear. All of this makes teens very confused, with them even questioning their religion.
A few advices for parents:
- Fulfil your trusts: One of the greatest trusts is that of raising a child. Children are a trust. This is not only a great gift, but also a great responsibility. Remember, whatever good your children do, you too will reap the reward, even after your death.
- Understand the different realities of our children: Parents and children have very different realities. Have open lines of communication, offer validation to your children, talk about how this world is deceiving us. Teach your children how to navigate social media and the boundaries thereof.
- Build a suitable home environment: Girls say they wish someone could provide them with love. Their homes are tense, they feel like they’re a burden in their homes, parents work too much and are stressed. The anxiety and frustration of the parents filter down to them. The Arabic word for house is maskan from sakina, which means to rest and to find tranquillity. Therefore, we need to create a loving and warm environment where our families can flourish and thrive.
- Change the way we look at our children: The future is NOT bleak. Look past their mistakes, flaws and failures, look past our own failures as parents. Acknowledge the light within them, their fitrah, it still shines brightly and don’t ever lose sight of it. The veils covering the light may be murky, but the light is still there. There is a great disconnect and generation gap, but we have to have empathy for our kids, our teens. They find it difficult to cope with these things. According to many surveys – young adults are more anxious and stressed out than adults. We may not understand it, but the reality is there. We live in a different time, practice empathy.
- Nurture the light within: You are the first nur (light), the second light is Allah’s Light and when
the two meet – Nur ala Nur (light upon light). This can be achieved through self-care by connecting with Allah (swt), by begging Him (swt) for His Light. Never neglect your own growth and self-purification. Only once we nurture ourselves, can we truly channel our energies towards our families and communities.
“Start with the heart – the heart must submit before any other limb, for if it does not, all else is pointless. We’ve become so focused on every aspect of Islam, except the part related to the heart. The purification of it. The softness of it. We are the submitters. Humble. Soft. Peaceful.” – Aziza Brown, Zahraa Institute Alumni on Purification of the Heart