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Tuesday, 18 February 2020 / 23 Jumadal Ukhra 1441 AH
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ACQUIESCENCE VS. CRITICAL THINKING
By Freda Shamma
Many parents grew up in areas where colonizing rulers maintained schools for acquiescence. That is, pupils were taught to repeat exactly what the teacher told them. If the test question asked for 3 reasons why it is good to brush your teeth, the answer had to be the exact three reasons that the teacher had told them in class. The pupil is not supposed to think; he is supposed to accept everything without questioning. This is too often the way we teach our children about Islam. Do this action because Islam says you have to. Do this exactly the way I say because every other way is Haram. Our children need to learn that there are two kinds of knowledge, that which is revealed and that which is humanly acquired. Knowledge revealed in the Qur'an and hadiths is unchanging and unarguable. Knowledge that is derived from our five senses and our own thinking is subject to error and can and should be questioned.
Schools, including good Islamic schools, stress critical thinking. For children who grow up here, it is not sufficient to say you have to do this because I say so. You can expect your children to honor and obey you because Islam requires obedience to parents, but you must also explain and discuss why you are asking for their obedience. Your youth should be required to pray, because Allah says for them to pray, but you must also be open and willing to discuss why Allah would ask us to do that. What are the possible benefits of praying, what should you do if you feel like the prayer is empty of meaning to you, and so on? These questions don't mean your youth are turning away from Islam; they mean that your youth are thinking seriously about their religion. One of the most wonderful things about Islam is that because it is the truth, it can stand up to the most critical of questions.
Parents must also learn to acknowledge that they make mistakes, and they are ignorant of certain answers. Your child does not have the right to expect you to be able to explain every Islamic injunction. He/she does have the right to expect you to give an honest and open response to their questions. When you tell your youth, "That's an important question. I don't know the answer. Let's see if we can find out what the Qur'an says about it." then you have created an open, honest exchange of thoughts with your youth.
Discuss Islam with your children from the time they are young, stressing the positive, and encouraging them to speak frankly and freely to you. Be an Islamic role model for them. By the time they have emerged from their troubling, questioning adolescence, you will have children who have actively embraced Islam, and who want to be Muslim because they know that it will make their life better in this world, and in the hereafter, in shaa Allah (Allah willing).
Planting A Tree
Question: Is it virtuous to plant a tree?
Answer: Yes, one will attain reward for planting a tree if one makes a good intention.
Sayyadina Anas Radiyallahu Anhu reports that the Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (Sadaqah) for him." (Bukhari)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
|* [LISTEN] #RunningWithTumiSole Inspires South Africans to Live a Healthier Lifestyle - Renowned social media personality Tumi Sole says he wants people to be inspired by running and walking and sharing their stories using the hashtag #RunningwithTumiSole.
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HILARIOUS VINTAGE SLANG (1875) THAT WILL MAKE YOU SOUND AWESOME
- Mutton Shunter (Policeman)
Usage: "Is the President in town or something? There's mutton shunters on every blasted corner!"
- Gigglemug: A habitually smiling face.Fly Rink (bald head)
Usage: "Be sure to wear glasses if you go outside; Grandpa's fly rink is blinding today."
- Sauce-box - (the Mouth)
Usage: "When my kids won't stop talking, I give them some chips just to fill their little sauce-boxes."
- Bags of Mystery - (Sausages)
Usage: "Hope there's no intestine in these bags of mystery; I'm trying to cut down on intestine."
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