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Scared for My Kids After US Election

Questioner

A

Reply Date

Nov 14, 2016

Question

As-Salamu Aleikom dear counselor, I and my husband live in the US with our son, alhamdulillah. So far, we feel comfortable here and feel it as our home country. But after the election, I am not sure how to continue here. I am not sure either if we could relocate as it takes so much money. Alhamdulillah both my husband and I have a work here. We are really scared. Even my son told me while we were watching the news on TV: “mom, I don’t want to leave America. I love my friends here.” (He is in kindergarten.) We are not only scared for ourselves, but more for our kids. We actually wanted many children, but honestly, I am scared as far-right is spreading around, not only in the US, but in Europe as well. I fear for having more children, especially girls who cannot hide their identity of being a Muslim. I do not want my kids to grow up, maybe in the middle of the Third World War when leaders like Hitler are ruling the world. Maybe I am over, and I know everything is in the hands of Allah…I am just a worried, desperate mother. What do you think? What shall we do?

Counselor

Answer


US

Wa alaikum salaam dear sister,
Alhamdulilah, you have had a comfortable experience living in the US and your son is settled and happy too.
You are afraid of raising your child in an environment that is intimidating to us as Muslims and are therefore afraid of having more as you had hoped to, but we must remember that firstly, all the best people and prophets before us (may he peace and blessing of Allah be upon them) faced serious persecution and this did not stop them from having more children otherwise the Ummah would simply die out and decrease and the Prophet (SAW) made this clear to us.

It was narrated from Aishah that: the Messenger of Allah said: “Marriage is part of my sunnah, and whoever does not follow my sunnah has nothing to do with me. Get married, for I will boast of your great numbers before the nations. Whoever has the means, let him get married, and whoever does not, then he should fast for it will diminish his desire.” (Sunan ibn Majar, Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1846)

We all fear for the potential future for our children, but we do not know what is to come sister – and Allah knows best and is the best of planners and we should find comfort in that. It is our responsibility to ensure that we raise our children in the best way, instilling good Islamic values and morals and knowledge to ensure that they equipped to manage any difficulties they may face in life. See this situation as a blessing, a situation that will encourage us as Muslims to take this role as parents more seriously, that we often take for granted and neglect our duty to educate our children about Islam, especially when we are living in the West and therefore resources are less and support from fellow Muslims is less accessible. It is therefore important that we educate them well that they will feel confident and comfortable in their Deen.

You might feel fearful for yourselves and especially your son, but try not to let him see your fear, or any hard feelings because this will effect him in a number of ways. It may make him start feeling scared himself, or he may be influenced by them and act unfavorably towards his peers. Be aware of how much he is exposed to the negative stories that are portrayed in the news and spend more time focusing on educating him on his religion.

Remember that a lot of the hype about it comes from the media regarding islamophobia and its consequences, and yes it is real, it does happen, but there is disproportionate representation of the experience of those who live comfortable, integrated lives too. You say you have lived a comfortable life there and insha Allah anyone you know well and is good for you will not see you any differently just because there is now a new president. It is important to realise that people may not have voted in the way they did because of their dislike towards Muslims – there could be any number of other reasons why, and one of the commonly cited ones is simply that people are fed up of the way the country is being run and so see the need for change and therefore the vote they placed could have been based on this amongst others. Viewing it form a more rational viewpoint like this, taking other potential and less threatening viewpoints into mind, the fear that you are encountering now will be lessened.

However, with that said, bad things have happened and do happen so we also need to be prepared to manage it in accordance with Islam and, alhamdulilah, we have blessed with much guidance in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Relying on this advice from Allah, we can deduce the best way to respond to this situation that will not only bring us strength individually and as an Ummah, but will portray Islam in the beautiful was that it truly is.

Remember that Allah is the one in control of all affairs and is the best of planners and we should always remember that He is our Protector in difficult times, especially those of oppression:

‘Say, “Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allah let the believers rely.’ (Quran, 9:51)

You might not be happy with the way things have turned out for fear of what the consequences may be, but it may be something that will ultimately be good for us as an Ummah, even if it is just that we become united in facing any oppression and managing potential difficulties that face us as a community:

” O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good’ (Qur’an, 4:19)

Accepting it as a test from Allah:

‘And We shall certainly test you by afflicting you with fear, hunger, loss of properties and lives and fruits. Give glad tidings, then, to those who remain patient;’ (Quran, 2:155)

And trusting the will of Allah:

” His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, “Be,” and it is” (Qur’an, 36:82)

And ultimately remain positive in the times of difficulty:

” So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers” (Qur’an, 3:139)

Keeping these things in mind can help us to view the situation in a more positive light and guide is responding in a more acceptable and rational way that will portray Islam in the beautiful way that is, whilst strengthening us individually, as a family and as an Ummah

May Allah bring you and your family ease and bring you comfort in His remembrance.

Salam.


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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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