Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
This is a very difficult situation to be in where your son who has Downs Syndrome seems to benefit greatly from activities that are discouraged, or even harm in Islam. To allow him to continue means you be able to see him continue to thrive but the concern is that perhaps if this was taken away from him he would lose the social comfort that he presently gains from this. It may even cause a bit of conflict if you try to discourage the same which makes the task even more tricky.
Even though on the surface it might seem difficult, if we consider it solely in the light of Islam the answer becomes much easier. We know that singing and dancing are worldly matters that we should abstain from despite their seeming attractiveness, and whilst this makes it difficult there are many other alternatives Islamically. Keeping in mind that it is only Allah that can improve a person’s state and not thinks like music and dance we should be turning to him for such comfort. We also know that it is said that when we give up something we love, Allah will replace it with better.
When he seems to be benefiting from this it might be hard to discourage him from it but, as his mother you will be held accountable for the actions of your children, so if they commit haram deeds and you know about it and don’t take steps to prevent it, that sin would be counted amongst your own deeds. Keeping this in mind will help provide the motivation to do what you can to discourage him.
This all makes perfect sense to us who are not in his situation, but to try and implement this comes with its own set of challenges. It’s easy to say that such things should be discouraged, but the ‘how?’ is more difficult to deal with.
Clearly, your son has benefitted and thrived in the field of performance so the first step might be to get him involved in performing still, but in a way that is more aligned with Islamic values. If there is nothing to stop him from making his performances more Islamic in the school then you could encourage this. For example, instead of singing and dancing on stage, reciting Qur’an on stage instead, reciting with a beautiful voice. If the school is not agreeable to this, then this could be something done in the local Muslim community.
You might ask the masjid if they could organise something with the youth to put on halal performances of such a thing doesn’t exist already. This will encourage the youth to come together and for your son to interact with others for the same purpose that he has thrived previously, only on an act that is more acceptable. In sha Allah this will have the same effect on his social skills as previously. This should give him the same social boost as previously which will make it easier to part from what you have discouraged him from as it has been replaced with something that gives him the same.
Fortunately, since your household is not fond of music this will make it easier for him too. And, if he desires music still, then you could get him a duff drum which is the one permitted instrument in Islam. You can find ways to implement this into his learning so that he may benefit in the same way that he has previously with music.
May Allah reward your concern for your son and trying to raise him in the best way whilst pleasing Allah. May He make the task an easy on for both you and your son.
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