By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com
If we lie to our children and pretend that we are perfect and that life is always wonderful, we do them a disservice. Young children are idealistic by nature, inclined to believe that all people are good, that adults have the answers, and that their parents are the best and strongest people in the world. They believe that the adults are managing the world properly as they should.
As they grow older they begin to see through our pretenses. They see that our words don’t match our deeds, and that adult society is running the world into the ground, ravaging the natural environment, making war, and destroying their futures in the process. So our children become deeply disappointed. This disappointment leads to cynicism and bitterness. That’s when we lose them to alcohol or drugs, gangsterism or bizarre countercultures.
That’s when, in Western society, children begin getting tattoos and piercings, wearing black clothing and chains, getting drunk and having casual sex, listening to screaming metal music, and generally saying to adult society, “I see through your lies, and I want nothing to do with you. Since there’s nothing to believe in, I won’t even try.”
Some parents strive to maintain the facade because they have no truth to offer. They are caught up in a meaningless consumerist lifestyle. Or they may see the hypocrisy of adult society but have no alternative to offer.
We do! We have Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’alaa. We have the Qur’an, the Prophets, and the tremendous life lesson of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). We have the amazing lives of the Sahabah, and all the heroes of Muslim history. We have the shahadah, salat, zakat, sawm, and Hajj. We have something real, a genuine alternative to corruption and malaise, but first we must be on the path. We must be dedicated. We don’t have to be perfect but we must be sincere.
So let’s do that, and then let’s tell our children the truth.
Let’s tell them, “I’m not perfect and neither is any other human being, but I’m working on it Insha’Allah, and I love you, and that’s what counts. Yes, there is evil and hypocrisy in the world. Yes, adult society is largely superficial and selfish. But each of us has the ability to change the world. Each of us is powerful. Go out there and be a force for change in the world. Imagine the world as it should be, then work to bring it about. Be sincere, be strong, keep Allah in your awareness, and do what you can. If you do that, then you have succeeded. No matter what, I will always love you and be proud of you.”