Friday, 29 June 2012

Being Me Sisters Conference : Zohra Sarwari

Alhamdulillah this year so far has been quite a productive year for me. At the start of this month I went to Being me Sisters event in London organised by Mercy Mission UK Alhamdulillah. Last year for the first time, they organised a sisters only event at Tower Bridge. I really wanted to go but couldn’t get the chance.
Alhamdulilllah this year they invited some great speakers. I was really looking forward to sister Zohra Sarwari’s talks and workshops on home-schooling. I have always been quite fascinated by education and tarbiyyah of children so this was my opportunity to learn more. Alhamdulillah I wasn’t disappointed J she is really inspiring mashAllah. I wish she was based here in London! Her first talk was titled “Importance of Islamic Education, tarbiyah and manners in children”

No doubt, parenting is a difficult job, full of challenges. We as parent can feel sometimes quite overwhelmed with all the problems. But we should try our best to fulfil this great responsibility. Zohra told us that we need to remember three points to tackle all the challenges:
First: Acknowledging the problem: Sometimes parents don’t want to admit that they got a problem to deal with.
Second: Being proactive
Third: Waiting patiently (Sabr)

She mentioned a beautiful hadith “One who has good manners may attain the same level of merit as the one who prays all night” Narrated by Abu Hurairah (RAW) [Bukhari]

As parents our goal should be to teach children the best manners and behaviour and not just that, they grow up to have a respective profession. Unfortunately, we live in a world, where acheiving professional success is the ultimate goal. Life as a Muslim is more than that. We are here to serve Allah Subhan Ta'ala. Allah Subhana Ta'ala wants us to excel in both worlds.
In the Qur'an Allah Subhans Ta'ala teaches us an amazing dua:

Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire
Usually people tend to take these steps below in bringing up their children:

Blame game: “Oh he learns all bad stuff from that certain kid at school”
Sunday school: Unfortunately, most of the parents expect the Sunday schools ( most of the times taking place in the mosques) to teach their children about Islam. “My kid will learn everything from his mosque teacher.”
Bribery: Always telling the children that if they listen then you will give them something nice in return. “Honey, if you do your homework, I will give you a candy.”
Punishment: If they don’t listen, just punish them.

Now the tips for effective parenting according to sis Zohra:
We must stop blaming others if our children misbehave. We are the parents so who should teach our children the right behaviour. If we rely on the Sunday schools to teach our children manners and values of Islam, then shame on us! Wow! I thought it was just me who thought like that! I definitely agree with her on this point. I still don’t get it why people send their children to the mosque to learn about their faith. I strongly believe that this is our responsibility to educate our children about Islam as a way of life inshAllah. No way I would like to delegate this huge responsibility on someone else. My husband also believes that we need to teach them about our faith. Also we need to remember that our children are our investment. If we help them to be better Mislims, we will get the reward from our Rabb Insh-Allah. Why would I want somebody else to gain that reward?

She also told us to be proactive as parents. What do you want from your kids? What is your goal? I want my children to behave well and grow up in a good environment. Then I must get rid of all the bad influences i.e. TV, video games, internet, PlayStations and all the distractions.
We need to check who they befriend and advise them to befriend the right kind as bad “friends” are too easy to find. Some may think “Do we isolate the kids then?” “Yes! For a while.” She said.
When they are growing up if we as parents can isolate them from satanic tricks, deceit and means then when they are responsible young kids , they will Insh-Allah have a strong enough imaan to avoid the evil influences on their own.
“Richness does not lie in the rich goods and the person but it lies in the richness of a pious heart.”

Focus only on bringing the kids up the best way possible insh-Allah. If they make mistakes, try to bring them back with your help and tenderness. Reward them occasionally when they do something good. Don’t get mad when they do something wrong. Explain to them what they have done wrong. Don’t hit them as they are weaker than you and helpless too.
You need to fill your home with books. Books on our faith, history, sociology, science and so on. The more books our children can read the better inshAllah. Instead of buying all the brand stuff and hi-tech gadgets to kill their time, buy them good books which will broaden their mind inshallah.

MashAllah her talk was so captivating that I really didn’t have that much time to take notes. I just kept listening. She mentioned about home schooling and how this is the best option for our children. I can't agree more with her alhamdulillah.
Below is an interview of her on the Deen show where she talks about homeschooling. Do listen if you are interested in educating your own children inshAllah.
MashAllah she is indeed a very inspiring sister. Alhamdulillah I have managed to buy some of her books. You can find more about her at

I believe that duas are the essence of good paretning. We cannot be good parents without duas. Here below are some great duas you can keep making inshAllah:

Supplication to protect children from Shaytan (dua of Maryam’s (AS) mother):
“Allahumma inni u-idhuha [hu] bika wa dhurriyyataha [hu] mina’sha-shaytani’r-rajiim(i).”
“O Allah, I put her [him], and her [his] progeny under Your protection from Satan, the accursed” - (part of Qur’an Surah 3:36).
Supplication to have children (dua of Zakariyya (AS)):
“Rabbi laa tadharnii fardaw wa Anta Kharu ‘l-waarithin(a).”
“O my Lord! Leave me not without offspring, though You are the best of inheritors” - (part of Qur’an Surah 21:89)
Supplication to have a blessed family:
“Rabbanaa hablanaa min azwaajinaa wa dhurriyyatina qurrata a’yun(iw), wa ‘j’alnaa li’l muttaqiina imaaman.”
And who say: Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring, the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaquun (pious).” - (part of Qur’an Surah 25:74)

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