Wed 22 November 2017
Wednesday 3 Raby` al-awal 1439 A.H.  



LECTURES

Man is in Loss

Parenting

Building Personality

Muslim Personality

Marriage

Muslim Family


Ingredients of a Blessed Family

Journey to Parenthood

A New Arrival in the Family

Infancy and Pre-school Nursing

School Exposure

Adolescence

Issues of Social Ills


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Issues of Social Ills (Click here for multiple questions on this Lecture)

Sickness Proliferates Faster

Sickness transmits easily, not health. Germs and bacteria multiply in congenial conditions. Like infectious diseases social ills also spread quickly. In a society where nafsaniat (sensuality, permissiveness, promiscuity, etc.) is encouraged to proliferate, the pressure on individuals is very high indeed. Young people generally lack maturity and are vulnerable to the social ills if they are overwhelming. Human being is neither angel, nor devil. Allah, in His wisdom, has instilled in man the dual nature of evil and piety (fujur and taqwa). In a healthy society piety is encouraged and
evil suppressed. Piety needs nourishment and proper environment, not only for growth but also for survival. Throughout human history schools and institutions had been established to create good human beings. No school was ever established to train rapists, paedophiles, gang fighters, drug users
and people of evil nature. They grow and multiply when a society loses its
anchor, the direction.

Although human race has made celebrating technological achievements, there are reasons to be appalled by the present degeneration of man, destruction of family and dehumanisation of women. In the days of globalisation, sin, vulgarity and other evils have now become global issues. Some of the ills directly affect our children in the educational institutions and some
influence them from around them in the society.

A Question to think about : What according to you is the greatest social ill of our times and why?

Bullying

Bullying is a major and common problem in schools. It destroys self-image of the victim and leaves a long-term scar on him. Both the bully and the victim lack self-esteem and some might have undergone abuse in their life. A bully compensates it through bullying, but the victims most often fail to put up
with it. A bully is most often an unhappy or frightened child who has angry, bitter or defeatist attitude to life. Children of minority groups, especially religious and ethnic, could easily become the targets of bullying. A loner or socially passive child is usually an easy target of bullying.

Bullying and teasing cause psychological damages. A Muslim child can be the target of teasing because of his dress, attitude and culture. Parents should prepare their child to be assertive and instil in them the confidence to face this challenge. Parents should make sure that a trust is built with their
child during his early years so that he does not fail to inform about bullying if it occurs to him. A Muslim child should be taught that human beings are all equal and there is no room for teasing or bullying any one on any basis (al-Qur'an 49:11).

A Question to think about : How would you approach your child to explain to him or her, how he should deal in the case of bullying and what steps he should take?

Delinquency

It is considered as a symptom of the rebelliousness of puberty. However, delinquent behaviour before or after puberty could be a sign that the child is emotionally or morally disturbed. With rising family problems and numerous other social ills discipline among adolescents has become a serious issue. The young tendency to rebel against the status quo and follow their role models has tremendous influence in their behaviour and many turn to anti-social activities. Many schools are
struggling to put the genie of delinquency inside the bottle.

Muslim parents need to be conscious about what is going on in their child's world and discuss the issue with him so that he grows with positive attitude towards life and shuns away from anti-social behaviour.

A Question to think about : How would you go about to be aware of the trends in the world of your child or adolescent. Do you think it is important to show this awareness to your child or should you only keep it for monitoring your child's behavior?

Racism

The Lawrence Report in Britain has highlighted how endemic racism is in the western world. However, racism is an historical disease. Nations were wiped out in the past because of their perceived racial inferiority. The recent ethnic cleansing in some parts of the world horrified the world. In day to
day life, in schools and workplaces, racism creates fear, distrust and disturbing environment. It kills of decent human behaviour.

Muslim parents should educate their child with the Qur'anic teaching of man's diversity for a divine purpose (al-Qur'an 49:13). It is a disease to be fought hard and Muslim adolescents must not give in to it.

A Question to think about : How would you explain to your child the divine purpose behind man's diversity as mentioned in the quran?

Religious Discrimination

As secularism and materialism have taken a dominant role, religions have become irrelevant or just rituals to most people in the West. As a result, non-Christians or even minority denominations within Christianity do undergo visible religious discrimination. Islam, because of its uncompromising
allegiance to divine command, suffers most in terms of its image and treatment. Islamophobia, like anti-Semitism in the past, has become a wide phenomenon.

Muslim children often undergo undue prejudice and mistreatment in many places for their religious background. The situation can become worse if cultural practices among Muslims are projected as Islamic. A Muslim adolescent should be equipped with a holistic understanding of Islam in order to make an impact on the others. Ignorance is the root cause of misunderstanding and
eventual unequal treatment of one by the other.

A Question to think about : What is the most important factor that you should make your child understand if he is religiously discriminated at school?

Family Disintegration

From a report by 'Family Policy Studies Centre' a dire picture was published in the Daily Guardian of London (27 March 2000) with the title, 'Are we turning into a nation of loners?' about family issues in Britain. It is disturbing that 38% babies are born outside marriage (compared to only 7.2% in 1964), the number of lone parents has trebled from 7% in 1972 to 21% and more British people are getting used to 'solo' living. With increasing teen-age pregnancy in many western countries, we are living in an era of social deconstruction with the danger of leading us to a disastrous future.

What is the root cause of this? Materialism has given rise to individualism, which is making it hard for people to live under the same roof. Marriage is losing its importance as the source of permanent relationship between man and woman, divorce is increasing at an alarming rate and living together is
becoming norm. The TV, computer and other gadgets are keeping man away from other people, loneliness has become perpetual friend of many. Muslims in the West are now sucked into this social black hole. Its impact in schools, in terms of discipline and poor performance, is causing concern in many inner city schools.

A Question to think about : How can you make sure that your child is not being engulfed by the materialistic way of life?

Addiction

The drug issue is frightening in many inner cities of the western countries, where Muslim communities are settled. Drug, sex and violence are intertwined. Only a decade ago Muslim community, say in Britain, could proudly shrug off any complaint of Muslim involvement in these vices. But things have
already changed. The Muslim adolescents are now not behind in these.

The danger of drug has pushed aside the devastating physical and social effect of alcoholism. The detrimental physical effect of smoking is also ignored. Many adolescents drink and smoke in imitation or defiance of their elders. As a result, the health, economy and social life is ruined. Peer
pressure in the schools works as catalysts for adolescents to enter into the world of addiction. Parents need to be conscious about who is their child hanging around. Islam has explicit opinion on addictive practices.

O you who believe! wine and gambling, stone altars and divining arrows are filth from the handiwork of evil. Avoid them completely so that hopefully you will be successful. Devil wants to stir up enmity and hatred between you by means of wine and gambling and to debar you from remembrance of Allah and
prayer. Will you not then give up? (al-Qur'an 5:90-91)

A Question to think about : What steps should you take if you sadly discovered that your child is a drug addict?

Sex and Sexuality

The three-letter word, SEX, is now a determining factor in modern western life. The media world is awash with this subject. It has become the world's hottest commodity and its commercialisation has become globalised. It is disgraceful that sex industry has become a source of national income in
some countries. But, Allah, the Almighty, has not only prohibited adultery, but asked not to go near it (al-Qur'an 17:32).

Sexual promiscuity is giving rise to sexually transmitted diseases (STD) like HIV, gonorrhoea, syphilis, etc, especially among young people. Public Health in the developed countries is experiencing a traumatic rise in these and the so- called 'safe sex' message is leading to nowhere. In a conservative
country like Britain, 'up to 295,000 women are raped or suffer other forms of sexual assault every year', according to Home Office sources published in February 2000.

The term 'sexuality' has, in recent time, become a tool of abhorrent practice of homosexuality. Adolescents are vulnerable in this social climate. The aggressive campaign of a powerful lobby group in the name of 'civil right' and the meek response from the Church have forced many western governments to pass various laws in favour of homosexuality. The British Labour government's strenuous attempt to repeal a clause (Section 28 of the Local Government Act) that forbids teachers to promote homosexuality has shaken the conscience of the moral majority. Homosexual practice is unnatural and morally evil. Individual affinity for a sinful act cannot make it acceptable. The people
engaged in this abnormal act showed arrogance during Prophet Lut's time and were punished (al-Qur'an 7:80:84).

A Question to think about : What is important when you approach your adolescent child to talk about the danger behind sexually transmitted diseases and the fact that free sex is widely accepted socially but strictly forbidden by islam?

Eroticism, Pornography and Modelling

Eroticism, capitalising mainly young and attractive woman's body, has probably become one of the worst weapons to debase human desire for innocence. In many places, even today, women are traded as 'sex slaves'. The gift from Allah has become a commodity to earn money and deviate people
from Allah. Pornography and modelling are the tools to proliferate sin in the society. Prostitution is on the increase. Modelling in effect leads to high society prostitution. The eroticism in adverts, TV films and pornographic print media are provocative to the adolescent mind.

On the other hand, the uniqueness of masculine and feminine features is now contested by both the sexes. Is a neutral gender on the making? Extreme feminism sees woman's role in the society as competitive to man, rather than complementary. Women, of course, suffered in the past and they still
suffer in many cultures today. But by driving away from their designated role feminism has put a heavy pressure on women and, in many cases, degrading them.

A Question to think about : How would you deal with situations where you and your child come across sexually offensive material on tv or other types of media?

Paedophilia

Every country has its share in crime. Paedophilia is the inhuman crime of the pervert man who destroys the innocence of a child. In civilised societies the law and order agencies rely on the civic responsibility of the people and work in tandem with them. Young people are vulnerable. Like plants they need nurturing, not misuse and abuse. A civilised society cannot tolerate paedophiles. Muslim parents need to be alert on this.

A Question to think about : What is important when you are trying to protect your child from ills like paedophilia?

Laissez Faire Morality

Over the centuries materialism has knocked aside Christianity in the West and societies have fallen in the grip of amoral and immoral values. Modern or post-modern West has seen the rise of moral relativism where the concept of absolute values is all but gone. Man is lost in the moral maze. Two
scientific theories in the beginning of the last century, Heisenberg's 'Uncertainty Principle' and Einstein's 'Theory of Relativity' have influenced human thinking on moral values over the decades. As a result, morality has often become selective and double standard has virtually taken over
international decision making. In social context this has given rise to permissiveness. A Muslim child growing in this environment needs to be protected from this confusion.

A Question to think about : In the previous question, we talked about physical protection. In the case of protection from poisons of the mind, how would you put it into practice in your family.

Fighting the Ills

The challenge of fighting the social ills is enormous, especially in the context of weaker Muslim position in the West. However, these are not only Muslim issues. They are at the heart of many other people. As such, the Muslim attempt to eradicate these ills should include the wider society as
well. Of course, as an important line of defence, the Muslim parents shouldtry to create a protective shield around their young children through various means. But they need to widen their struggle and forge close links with the moral majority in the societies they live in. A small island in a sea of
social ills can easily be washed away in time. An epidemic cannot be fought out by running away from it or through selfish attempt of individual protection. This is neither effective nor Islamically sound.


A Question to think about : Can you think of effective ways of organizing yourselves in your local community (amongst muslims and non-muslims) to create a network of common protection and consensus to fight these social ills?