Should I Let My Son Go on Residential Trip? | About Islam
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Should I Let My Son Go on Residential Trip?

Questioner

H (34-female-US)

Reply Date

Sep 09, 2017

Question

As salamu 'alaykum,  I have 2 other children at the school and the teachers are extremely careful and supportive about their religiosity, eating halal, etc, even though there are very few Muslims. The trip is an educational trip to the countryside, supervised by the teachers, the boys and girls are obviously sleeping in separate rooms. My son has been pleading with me to let him go, but I am worried about what the right thing to do. Please advise. This problem will likely come up again with all my younger children also.

Counselor

Answer


Trip

In this counseling answer:

“From the situation, you described though “he prays 5 times a day, he is quite careful about this. The teachers are extremely careful and supportive about their religiosity. The trip is an educational trip to the countryside, supervised by the teachers, the boys and girls are obviously sleeping in separate rooms” it appears to me that you have a very good son.”


As-salamu alaikum dear sister,

May Allah SWT bless you for trying to be a dutiful parent and do what is right by your child. May He continue to always grant you guidance and wisdom in the tarbiya(training) you implement in your household, now and always.

Regarding this trip- there are different opinions on children traveling to go on school trips. There are many factors that must be considered such as their safety, ability to maintain their religious practices, that they will be in a supportive environment, that they will not be engaged in activities that are un-Islamic, that there is supervision and overall, it will be of benefit for them.

Being a young Muslim in such an environment, is always difficult especially because in many ways, they may be “different” from their friends. When trips come up and they are unable to go, especially if it is because they are Muslim, it often heightens the sense of being different and alone. This can be negotiated in different ways, and eventually a child can overcome these issues.

From the situation, you described though “he prays 5 times a day, he is quite careful about this. The teachers are extremely careful and supportive about their religiosity. The trip is an educational trip to the countryside, supervised by the teachers, the boys and girls are obviously sleeping in separate rooms” it appears to me that you have a very good son.

Furthermore, he is in an environment that supports his beliefs. Because the teachers support his beliefs, I would simply have a small conversation with them and ask them, if he goes on the trip, if they can continue to assist him to meet the following requirements- his prayer (a space to pray); proper dietary requirements are followed and that they are not left unsupervised.

Sometimes it helps to give the teacher a prayer chart with the prayer times so they can remind the student. Let him have an alarm so he can wake up for Fajr. Other years, I have seen parents provide some halal meat and give it to the teachers (like burgers, chicken etc) so that the child can have some meat for the trip as well.

I would also sit and talk to your son and let him know that allowing him to go means that you are trusting him so that he would do what he knows is right and proper. Remind him that Allah knows and sees all things, so keep Allah in mind. I think in this case, there is no harm in letting him go.

In this way, you have done your best and then make du`aa’ and leave it in the hands of Allah SWT. It appears that you have done a good job with your son so far, in sha ‘Allah, may Allah continue to bless you and your family and make your children leaders of the saliheen, God conscious. Ameen.


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About Jeewan Chanicka

Jeewan Chanicka is from Toronto, Canada, and has been involved in working with youth, education, and social services issues since 1993. He graduated with a bachelor's degree with honors in individualized studies at York University with a focus on conflict resolution and culturally appropriate forms of mediation. He has done much work with both youth and adults, especially around parenting, teenage and youth issues, and bridging the gap between generations.

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