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Moving Out Is My Son’s Goal

Questioner

R

Reply Date

Apr 23, 2017

Question

I am having serious problems with my eldest son, who will be 16 years old in a few days' time. He has decided that he is leaving home to move down south to be near a non-Muslim girl he has met through the Internet. He has been skipping school for basically the whole of this academic year and he has been under the care of a psychiatrist for the past five months. His school has been supportive and obviously the psychiatrist has played his role in all aspects. As his parents, we have found it difficult to bring an Islamic perspective into all the dealings that we have had with statutory authorities. Basically, it would seem that once he is 16 he can do whatever he likes; until then, we have just got to put up with whatever he throws at us. We know that he is not happy at home and we have suggested that he move out but stay within the area so that at least we are there if he needs us, but what if he refuses this suggestion? Is there any way that we can point him in the right direction? Should he wake up to the fact that what he is doing is wrong Islamically and morally? We have younger sons and we do not want to go down the same route again, so please advise us. Any help on how to bring them up in such a way that their iman (faith) will be stronger would be very much appreciated. We have daughters who have not had these problems. I find the difference between the genders difficult to understand and deal with. May Allah reward you with good.

Counselor

Answer


moving out

As-salamu Alaikum dear sister,

May Allah Most High remove the anxiety that surrounds you regarding your son’s future. In sha’ Allah, your other children will not pose such a tremendous challenge to you if you take precautions now and increase your involvement in their daily lives. We pray for the best for you and your children.

Parents living in the West often encounter problems with their children similar to the problems you are having with your son. Since you are so closely involved, it might seem from the outset that the situation is beyond repair, but we want to reassure you that, in sha’ Allah, everything will work out with some patience, perseverance, and understanding.

The psychiatrist who is working with your son needs to be oriented to the Islamic worldview of natural parenting regarding the parent-child relationship, and age-appropriate behaviors according to an Islamic outlook. You need to talk to the psychiatrist and help him or her understand that what might seem age appropriate behaviors for non-Muslims, sometimes directly contradict Islamic teachings such as the impermissibility of dating or drinking alcohol. Although the appropriateness of such behaviors for non-Muslims might be related to a specific age, in Islam, dating and drinking alcohol, for example, are forbidden for all ages at all times.

Your psychiatrist and other statutory authorities must be oriented to such an Islamic outlook; otherwise, you will find it very difficult to show them why you oppose certain of your son’s behaviors.

Finally, with regards to your son moving out or moving down south, we think you should do your best to talk him out of it. Do not give him ultimatums, as you might find it difficult to uphold or carry out what you propose to do as a form of discipline. If he insists on moving out, and you feel that he will move out regardless of your opposition, then let him move out to a good and reliable relative. Should he refuse even that, then be proactive and try to locate Muslim youth groups and Islamic societies whose members could possibly link up with your son.

Should he refuse even that, then be proactive and try to locate Muslim youth groups and Islamic societies whose members could possibly link up with your son. In sha’ Allah, there will be some young Muslims who can reach out to your son and make him feel a part of their community. This is the safety net you can provide for him and his choices should be within this net.

And Allah Most High knows best.


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About Hwaa Irfan

Hwaa Irfan serves as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. She is focusing on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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