I am from a joint family and I am eldest among my siblings and cousins and I am trying to practice deen.
But my siblings and cousins (most of them are teenagers) spend most of their time watching TV or on social media.
I know it is my responsibility to call them into deen but I cannot know how to do it. I feel so guilty and sad about it.
Please suggest some process through which I can make them come into the path of deen and they will watch less TV.
In this counseling answer:
•Never give up on du’a. Ultimately Allah is the only one who can guide them on the straight path.
•Be easy on them at first as often being too pushy can only make people run away
•Continue to be a good influence in front of them. As the older sibling/cousin, they look up to you and are more likely to imitate you.
•When it’s time to pray, gently invite them to pray with you.
•Encourage them to engage in any activities that might be happening in the local mosque.
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,
It certainly is a difficult task trying to help people see the beauty in the Deen and to help them away from modern day distractions, such as the TV.
As the older sibling/cousin you feel like you are the one who should be responsible for helping them, but your efforts thus far have been fruitless and this is becoming difficult for you.
Most importantly, your intention is a pure one and Allah knows your intention, even if it feels like you are being unsuccessful so far and you will be rewarded for your good intentions.
So, firstly, don’t lose hope that Allah will not see the effort you are putting into trying to guide them aright.
Remembering this will help to keep your motivated to keep trying with them, without losing hope as your efforts are not in vain, as at the very least, Allah is watching even if they are not responding yet.
There are a few things you can try to help them to practice their Deen more and stay away from the TV and other distractions.
Firstly, never give up on du’a. Ultimately Allah is the only one who can guide them on the straight path, so continue to make du’a to Allah and ask Him to guide you and use you as a tool to assist them.
Continue to be a good influence in front of them. As the older sibling/cousin they look up to you and are more likely to imitate you.
So, make sure to openly continue your duties to Allah, pray, make du’a, read Qur’an..etc.. in front of them that they might have a desire to emulate your behavior at some point.
When it’s time to pray, gently invite them to pray with you. However, understand that as teenagers, it is quite likely that they might be resistant to some extent and it may not be an easy job.
Be easy on them at first as often being too pushy can only make people run away and more resistant to engage as it is seen as more of a chore. S, begin by simply asking them at this point.
Given their age, eventually, at some point, you may have to be a bit more forward about it as at their age they will be accountable for whether they choose to pray or not.
Perhaps give it a certain amount of time with gentle persuasion, before you approach them with more of a firm tone, not by forcing them into it as such, but educating them on the importance of prayer and worshipping Allah.
Another thing you might try is to encourage them to engage in any activities that might be happening in the local mosque.
This way they will be out of the house and away from the TV mixing with other Muslims who might also assist you in guiding them to be more practicing of the Deen.
When in larger numbers like this, they might feel more inclined to join in acts of worship such as prayer.
If they are resistant to engaging in activities at the mosque like this then perhaps begin by inviting them to do something together as a family outside of the home.
Pick something that you know they enjoy that will make the task of getting them out of the house an easier one.
Perhaps if it is something that might involve other extended members of the family they might also be more inclined to join in.
Whilst this might not do anything directly to encourage them to practice their Deen, it will take them away from the TV which might then make them more open to hearing more about the importance of practicing.
Bonding in a fun activity as a family like this will make the task of talking to them about it a lot easy and a lot more relaxed and a lot less like you are trying to pull them away from what they love, i.e the TV to do something that they don’t seem to be so interested in at present.
Doing so in this relaxed environment, they are more likely to be receptive to your message as well as observing for themselves that there is more to life than sitting in front of the TV.
May Allah reward your intentions and help you to be a positive influence on your siblings and cousins.
May they see the light of Islam and start practicing their Deen more frequently.
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(From Ask About Parenting archives)