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Raising/teaching non Muslim siblings about Islam

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Culture & Community
Forum Name: Family Matter
Forum Discription: Discuss Family Issues
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13193
Printed Date: 24 July 2014 at 3:45am


Topic: Raising/teaching non Muslim siblings about Islam
Posted By: ayisha098
Subject: Raising/teaching non Muslim siblings about Islam
Date Posted: 17 September 2008 at 4:07pm
Assalaamualykum.  I have a dilema. My 6 year old brother and 8 year old sister are non Muslims.  As it is very possible that my sister will start puberty at 10 years old and possibly get her period at 12(I did, and I think that's around the age when all my female realatives got theirs), I would like to teach them about Islam, as it is very important to me.  But my mother, and their father are non Muslims, and hate everything about Islam.  I will be living with them for 5 years starting January 2009(if I don't go to college on campus), and I have some questions:
1)My brother is not circumcised.  If I teach him about Islam(like praying) or he accepts Islam, will his prayers be accepted by ALLAH(Subhanna wa ta'ala), or will his prayers not be accepted because he isn't circumcised?
2.How do I show my 8 year old sister the virtues and beauty of Hijab?  Should I just wear my hijab in front of her so she is comfortable being around it?
3.Would reading Qur'an to my brother and sister help them learn about Islam?
4.When teaching them how to pray, should I wake them for Fajr, or just teach them Fajr, when they are up later in the day?
5.Also about prayer, do I put my sister behind my brother when teaching them to pray, or can I just have one on either side of me, so they can see what I'm doing?  Also does my sister have to wear hijab when she learns to pray? I don't have any children hijabs for her to wear.
6.If my brother accepts Islam, the nearest mosque is in Newark, OH USA.  Would my brother be required to go to Jummah on Fridays when he reaches 10 years old, or could he just pray at home?  My mother and stepfather(their father) won't take him to pray, and I don't drive so I can't take him.
7)Since my stepfather is non mahram to me, should I wear my Niqab 24/7 in my stepfather, and mother's home?
Shukran for your comments and advice.



Replies:
Posted By: Chrysalis
Date Posted: 18 September 2008 at 10:39am

Alhamdulilah it is good that you wish for your siblings to have Islamic knowledge and want to intoduce them to Islam. However I would urge you not to rush things and be too forceful . . . since the parents are non-muslims, they could object to your intervention. Hence I would suggest that you keep a low-profile and tread carefully. Dont be too zealous, as it may offend the parents, and they have the right and legal power to prevent you from contacting your siblings, if they see you are trying to influence them.

All that you have stated is well and good, but a bit too far ahead of time. Indeed all the aspects you have mentioned are important in Islam, but we need to look at things from a case to case basis. What is more important is that your siblings are introduced to the truth and goodness of Islam. And that can be done gently, without having to offend your parents. Rather than try and have your parents intervene and forbid you from influencing the kids.
 
1. You cannot have your brother circumcised, only your parents can have that done, and since they arent muslims, we cannot expect them to. Just because your brother is not circumcised does not mean his prayers and good deeds will not be counted. Circumcision is sunnah, i.e. a highly reccommended act, that does not mean however that if a boy was not circumcised due to no fault of his own, his actions are nullified. So rest assured, that will not effect his Muslim status.
 
2. The best way would be to observe the hijab yourself, 8yr olds are naturally curious, she will ask about hijab, and you can explain to her according to her maturity, what hijab is all about. So yes, wearing it in front of her, and bieng a good example is the best way to go about it.
 
3. Yes, you can teach them about Islam. I would suggest you buy them books that contain short stories from the Quran. There are lots of good islamic books for kids. I remember my parents getting me a book 'Joseph and his brothers' thats when I first found out about the Prophet. Start by telling stories about Prophets etc, that will get thier interest. And the parents couldnt possibly object to stories. The stories have a good moral.
 
4. I think Fajr all of a sudden is a big jump for now. Pray in front of them a couple of times. An easier prayer like Asr or Zuhr. They will be curious, then you can suggest they try as well. . . and help them along. They could simply follow your actions the first few times, I would not start by having them learn surahs.
 
5. Since they are young, and impressionable, also since they dont know how to pray yet. . . you could have them on either side of you. They are just kids. You dont have to worry about that until they reach puberty. And yes, I would encourage your sister to wear a hijab while praying. You could even take a big handkerchief/bandana if you dont have a hijab. Or fold and use yours. . .  no biggie. If not, just use any scarf or sheet lying around. I would also reccommend that you have your brother wear something on his head as well, just so no kid feels left out or feels excluded.
 
6. Since you live in a nonmuslim society, and since your brother is still young, it is not compuslory for him to go to a mosque. Especially since he does not have an adult to accompany him and the mosque is far. Allah made Islam easy on us. . .  Inshalah once he is older and able to, he can pray Jumma at the Mosque. So he can simplt pray at home . . .
 
7. I'm not sure about the mahram thing . . .I dont think step-fathers count as Mahrams. . . So I hope someone clarfies on this. However, since Niqaab is not compulsory, you could remove the Niqaab, but keep the headscarf on . . . it would be inconvenient having to wear the Niqaab at your own home 24/7 !


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"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."


Posted By: ayisha098
Date Posted: 18 September 2008 at 4:11pm
Originally posted by Chrysalis

Alhamdulilah it is good that you wish for your siblings to have Islamic knowledge and want to intoduce them to Islam. However I would urge you not to rush things and be too forceful . . . since the parents are non-muslims, they could object to your intervention. Hence I would suggest that you keep a low-profile and tread carefully. Dont be too zealous, as it may offend the parents, and they have the right and legal power to prevent you from contacting your siblings, if they see you are trying to influence them.

All that you have stated is well and good, but a bit too far ahead of time. Indeed all the aspects you have mentioned are important in Islam, but we need to look at things from a case to case basis. What is more important is that your siblings are introduced to the truth and goodness of Islam. And that can be done gently, without having to offend your parents. Rather than try and have your parents intervene and forbid you from influencing the kids.
 
1. You cannot have your brother circumcised, only your parents can have that done, and since they arent muslims, we cannot expect them to. Just because your brother is not circumcised does not mean his prayers and good deeds will not be counted. Circumcision is sunnah, i.e. a highly reccommended act, that does not mean however that if a boy was not circumcised due to no fault of his own, his actions are nullified. So rest assured, that will not effect his Muslim status.
 
2. The best way would be to observe the hijab yourself, 8yr olds are naturally curious, she will ask about hijab, and you can explain to her according to her maturity, what hijab is all about. So yes, wearing it in front of her, and bieng a good example is the best way to go about it.
 
3. Yes, you can teach them about Islam. I would suggest you buy them books that contain short stories from the Quran. There are lots of good islamic books for kids. I remember my parents getting me a book 'Joseph and his brothers' thats when I first found out about the Prophet. Start by telling stories about Prophets etc, that will get thier interest. And the parents couldnt possibly object to stories. The stories have a good moral.
 
4. I think Fajr all of a sudden is a big jump for now. Pray in front of them a couple of times. An easier prayer like Asr or Zuhr. They will be curious, then you can suggest they try as well. . . and help them along. They could simply follow your actions the first few times, I would not start by having them learn surahs.
 
5. Since they are young, and impressionable, also since they dont know how to pray yet. . . you could have them on either side of you. They are just kids. You dont have to worry about that until they reach puberty. And yes, I would encourage your sister to wear a hijab while praying. You could even take a big handkerchief/bandana if you dont have a hijab. Or fold and use yours. . .  no biggie. If not, just use any scarf or sheet lying around. I would also reccommend that you have your brother wear something on his head as well, just so no kid feels left out or feels excluded.
 
6. Since you live in a nonmuslim society, and since your brother is still young, it is not compuslory for him to go to a mosque. Especially since he does not have an adult to accompany him and the mosque is far. Allah made Islam easy on us. . .  Inshalah once he is older and able to, he can pray Jumma at the Mosque. So he can simplt pray at home . . .
 
7. I'm not sure about the mahram thing . . .I dont think step-fathers count as Mahrams. . . So I hope someone clarfies on this. However, since Niqaab is not compulsory, you could remove the Niqaab, but keep the headscarf on . . . it would be inconvenient having to wear the Niqaab at your own home 24/7 !
 
Shukran for your comments.  I guess I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here.  It's good to know that my brother's prayers will still be accepted even though he isn't circumcised.  I have three hijabs, so I could probably just fold one of my hijabs up so it will fit my sister, or I may buy her her own hijab if I can get a job as a teacher when I get my A.S. in Early Childhood Education degree.  I could probably buy my brother a Kufi if I get a job, or have him wear a hat.  Shukran for your help.


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Posted By: Hayfa
Date Posted: 18 September 2008 at 8:35pm
Asalam Alaikum,
 
I agree with Chrysalis, I wolud tread VERY carefully. First of all, its your actions and deeds that speek louder than words. 
 
Things like waking them for Fajr would in my mind not be good without their parents' permission. Imagine if they came to your home one day and started teaching Christian rituals to your children.  People can be highly offended by this. If they ask that is one thing. Waking them up for Fajr can interfere with their schedule.
 
If they ask, introduce them in a light way to Islam. As suggested, kids books are one way.
 
 
Just be yourself. If they ask questions fine.  Allah calls to whom he chooses. Be a lovin, caring sister. Shoe them the virues through your actions. And let the rest come as it may.
 
I lived with my sister and her husband and two kids. And if the kids asked questions than fine. Otherwise I left it alone.
 
People tend to not like what they feel is religious zealotry. would tread very carefully they are not your children.


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When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi


Posted By: Chrysalis
Date Posted: 20 September 2008 at 6:52am
Have you heard of Islamic Nasheeds? They are very nice and melodious (without musical instruments) , and beautiful. . . the message is also very universal and nice.
 
I would highly recommend you to get a CD for them. I still love them. And since the content is very general in nature, the Parents wont think them as you enforcing your beliefs on them.
 
Highly recommended:
1. 'Love Allah' - great Nahseeds by Dawud Wharnsby. I especially love 'Sing Children of the World' . . . .  If you cannot find the CD, I could email/PM you the names of the songs, which you could download, or I'll try and email them to you.
 
Other ones, that are 'A is for Allah' by Yusuf Islam. . .  , Zain Bhika.
 
If you are okay with use of muscial instruments in Nasheeds then Sami Yusuf also has beautiful songs. With songs such as 'Mother' in them, I dont think any parent would disapprove.
 
I personally think they are a great way of making kids interested in Islam, and learning about it. They are so melodious, you find yourself humming them all day. . . far far better than the other music alternatives the young ones have. Do look into them
:)
 


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"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."


Posted By: abuayisha
Date Posted: 20 September 2008 at 7:07am
Forbidden to you are your mothers and your daughters and your sisters and your paternal aunts and your maternal aunts and brothers' daughters and sisters' daughters and your mothers that have suckled you and your foster-sisters and mothers of your wives and your step-daughters who are in your guardianship, (born) of your wives to whom you have gone in, but if you have not gone in to them, there is no blame on you (in marrying them), and the wives of your sons who are of your own loins and that you should have two sisters together, except what has already passed; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.   4:23


Posted By: Chrysalis
Date Posted: 20 September 2008 at 7:16am

Jazakallah Abyayisha. . .

So step-fathers are mahrams. . . I though I've read this verse before, I didnt pay attention to the step-daughters part.

Does that also apply to non-muslim step-fathers?



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"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."


Posted By: abuayisha
Date Posted: 20 September 2008 at 10:49am
Interesting question; a mahram is one who marriage is permanently unlawful, so I assume technically it matters little whether step-father or bio-father with respect to uncovering.  But, with respect to marriage he can't be her wali.  Some scholars say it depends upon if he actually raised the girl from a young age.  Others say with travel and uncovering herself, he should have good character.



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