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Found 30 results

  1. My fourth child is my first picky eater, alhamdulilla, and even he isn't all that picky. He refuses to eat any meat at all, no beef, no lamb, no goat, no chicken, no turkey. Occasionally he will eat a few fish sticks, but it's not his favorite. He also doesn't eat eggs, beans, or nuts. He does eat almost any vegetable, fruit, rice, pasta, or bread, and he likes peanut butter and yogurt and cheese. But you know mothers - I'm concerned about his nutrition, especially since he's only in the tenth percentile for height. He's not overweight or underweight. So first, does anyone have suggestions for how to get iron and protein into this child? Second, I've given him children's nutritional shakes, but most of these seem to be targeted more toward weight gain than nutrition, and they're all really expensive. Would it be safe to give him smaller amounts of adult vitamin beverages? The adult versions seem to target nutrition, not calories. He won't take chewable children's multivitamins. He doesn't like the taste. Finally, any other suggestions? Thanks.
  2. Dua' for nasibi parents

    Assalamualikum everyone, I'm a shia in taqyah and my parents especially my mother is a shiahater "on the way of becoming a nasibi". I have read before about a dua by imam jafar al sadiq as about a duaa for nasibi parents so that may Allah would guide them to the truth, so is there a duaa like that? Oh and i desperately need everyone's prayers cause the pressure on me because of her doubts that i'm a shia is unbearable. Pray for me to have strength and patience.
  3. Salaam Alaykum all, may this message find you well. I am a Shia female that belongs to a very respectful family alhamdullilah. However during my journey at University I came across a Sunni male. We want to get married. We are aware of the challenges this may pose and have in fact spoken about it before because we do not want any problems to arise after marriage especially with our kids. It will take a lot of compromises though but most aspects of Shiaism are not a problem for him. As you have figured from the title, I have already approached my parents and all I have received is a no. I was expecting this, however I do think persistence may pay off. Do not get me wrong, I do not want to engage in anything haram nor do I want to compromise with my Aqidah. I have discussed with the man I wish to marry that I strongly believe Ali should have come first and I have immense love for the ahlulbayt. my parents do not see it that way and are afraid of what the community will think and think my faith will fade and I will divert to the wrong path. I do not want to make my parents unhappy or do the wrong thing but I am willing to learn about both sides for my own sake so that my faith is not merely inherited. Although from what I do know I am convinced I am on the right path but I do acknowledge that we are all muslims at the end of the day and the ummah really needs to unite at this point in time. Also, when my father refused I asked for him to do an Istikhara for my own reassurance and he refused because as my wali he does not accept the person I wish to marry. Is it true that the wali is the one that should take an istikhara or can I do it myself? Also, do you think I should? Finally, I am an Agha Sistani follower who says that if there's a chance of being misled, marrying a Sunni is not permissible. However as I mentioned earlier most things we can agree to and I will continuously be practising my Shia faith. In conclusion I would like some advice on how to approach my parents and get the to agree. Also if you are aware of the ways and ruling on istikhara. Please let me know. Thank you Jazakallah
  4. Assalamu Alaikum brothers and sisters. I need some advice on a situation I'm currently. To give some background, I am a Sunni muslim and the girl I want to marry is a Shia Syed. Her parents are very traditional and want her to marry Shia man. We're both in love with each other, but she believes her family will never allow us to be together. I've told her I will become Shia and learn everything I need to. I'm not going to lie, I'm not the most religious person right now and I have a lot to learn before making a decision like this, but I am willing to dedicate myself and follow the faith accordingly. Even after telling her this, she is still doubtful that her parents will agree. I want to believe that doing that for her, and reasoning with her father how much I will love her and care for will be enough. But at the same time we both dont want to give each other false hope. I please ask brothers and sisters to give your advice and perspectives. I'm willing do everything to make it right for this girl and show her family I am the man for her. I know no one will love her like I do and I want to approach this the best way.
  5. mutah and whatnot

    Hi everyone, as advised by my mom that I also need to seek for opinions of some shia communities online, here I am. Long story short, I left home few months ago to get married with the person I love. He is not a muslim (I know) and we did the interfaith marriage legally, got things done and we're legally husband and wife. Though during this process my parents (muslims) came to know about this and my father converted my man and did mutah, it was one year in the contract. During the conversion though, my man told my father that he is doing this for my sake, so we are not sinning and my parents have peace of mind. My father said yes it is okay but he said he wants my man to keep on learning and find out about islam. He said yes, he will. The promise was that we can't have sex, so it's fine for both of us. We accepted it and the contract started. Few months forward I came home for Eid and before that I've been promised by my parents that they will let me go back to be with my man. With this promise in hand, I trusted them, i went back home. Few days I am home, I found out that my father took my passport and he has been telling me to leave my man, he is also told by my father that he needs to leave me. I was upset because I said we were in contract and it is not even broken, we did not have sex and he has been learning. But father said that in one of his convo with him he said that he is not yet being convinced by the presence of god, hence atheist, and dad said because he is mentioning this, our marriage contract is broken and it is invalid. To be honest I find this unfair. He never mentioned that there is something other than having sex will break the contract. I dont even know that and he doesnt know that either. But my father has been using this and say I can't go back with him because he broke the contract which I find unfair. Not just me, but he too thinks so. I asked him why did he say that, he said he didnt know that it was not allowed. he said he was just telling my father that he is not yet convinced and asked him questions about islam at the same time. I would like to know whether he is doing right thing or he is not? Is it right that my contract is broken because of that? We both have no idea and dont know that there is something that can break the contract other than what has been promised. My father too took my passport without my consent and I feel like I am being kept.. Please let me know what you think I need some help.
  6. what you do?

    parents agar needy hon to daughter jo job karti ho wo perent ki resposibilty la ya wo daughter jo married ho lakin job na karti ho wo la.kyon ka jo daughter job karti ha us ka mangator khata ha ka ma jab shadi karon ga jab tumaray sister responsibilty la is situation ma kiya hukum ha kiya married sister apnay husband as paisay la ya wo daughter jo job karti ha wo apnay money as parents ko da
  7. Lebanese parents

    Hello guys, I'm an 18 year old Lebanese guy living in the USA. I'm probably the most religious and smartest one in the family. I'm not saying I wanna get married now but I would like to get married like 2 years before I finish college (around 21-22). My mom keeps saying no, I have to finish college first and start a career job. I think I can work a decent job while I finish my studies and get married. I feel like all Lebanese parents are like that. Anyone else deal with the same? Thoughts?
  8. Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem Salaam Alaykum dear brothers and sisters, Question: What is it like to live with either spouse's parents during the first 1-3 years of marriage? Let's say if you brought your spouse to live with your own parents, how does that affect the relationship in the short-term and long-term? I would appreciate any form of experience from any of you, as this is something I have been pondering over for a while. Wassalam.
  9. When a preschool age child asks why the parents divorced, what is the appropriate answer? I've heard that it's wrong to tell a child negative things about a parent because they will take it as a negative statement about themselves, but there's sometimes no way to answer that question honestly without making the non-custodial parent look like a louse.
  10. Salaam Everyone, I am a university student. I find myself in a situation with things conflicting and causing mental stress and troubles. I decided I should reach out to a religious community as it may help to shed some light on my situation. During my time at university, I joined and started participating in a student run association which holds duas such as dua tawassul and dua kumayl. After going to these events (which are held in classrooms at the university), I had a chance to socialize with the people present. Personally, as I have only lived in one country my whole life, I have not had many Shia friends at my place of education and so this was a very exciting opportunity for me. I thus met dozens of Shia people through this, added them on Facebook in order to communicate and became good friends with a few. One of these was a girl also studying in my program (a lower year). Initially, we discussed class and I helped her with her classes because she was a sister in need of help. I also thought of her as an amazing individual with very strong aqeedah and matching principles with mine. I felt as if it was someone I was meant to meet, to help and talk to. Eventually, through purely platonic chatter, this attraction strengthened as I found out more and more about what an amazing person she is. In fact, her influence inspired me to be a better person. As unfortunate as it is (may Allah forgive me) but previously I did not pray as nearly as much as I wished to (although I did whenever I could and attended majalis, etc often). After meeting her I now pray 5 times a day and sometimes extra whenever time allows. She has truly changed me for the better in this manner and I still feel she is an amazing individual. I also feel that she feels the same way about myself. We have not discussed anything in depth but there have been times where it has been obvious we both believe each other to be ideal for ourselves. Of course, too much interaction of this sort is considered haram and should not be done. Hence, we have tried to limit it (one of the conversations we had). However, this is not the major issue. I personally sincerely see a future for myself with her and think she is absolutely perfect in this sense. The problem is the following. She is of Khoja descent and her family is from Africa (obviously with an Indian background). My family is of Indian background with a Syed lineage. Time and time again my parents have mentioned when looking for individuals for my older siblings that an Indian Syed family is important to them. Obviously, this individual is not Syed and hence would not qualify for this one limitation. She is educated, religious, etc. But because of this one criteria, I do not think my parents would be very open to the idea. Personally, I never want to upset my parents and could not ever do anything without their permission and well wishes. I have not even mentioned anything about this girl to them and do not know what to do at this point. I decided I should contact an alim in order to see if they could give me some further insight on this issue. Thank you so much for reading this, JazakAllah. If I have said anything that may seem incredibly wrong, I apologize. I would also like to know what your thoughts are on the rulings of Syed's marrying Syed's. Why or why not is this crucial? Is this just cultural or Religious? I look forward to hearing from you soon.
  11. I wanted advice on a problem concerning marriage for my sister. To sum it up, My sister met a muslim convert in the united states, and they want to get married. My father approves, but mother doesn't. She mostly does not approve because he is american, and not an arab. He is a convert and a fully practicing shia muslim., and a very decent guy, but they do not care. Are there any hadiths or anything to show my mother to help change her mind?
  12. The father is the reason of the existence of a child. It means without him, we did not even exist. So, it is not surprising that the father has some specific rights over children. According Islamic teachings, the overall strategy of children for parents should be based on being kind to them. In this regard the holy Quran has said: “…And that ye be kind to parents.” [17:23] But the quality of doing good to parents should be searched in the traditions of Prophet and his learned progeny. The seventh Imam of the Muslims Imam Kazim said: “A man asked the Noble Prophet about the right of a father incumbent upon his child. The Prophet replied: "He should not call his father by his name, and he should not walk ahead of him, He should not sit down before he does, and should not do things to cause his father to be blamed or sworn at." (Usul al-Kafi, v.2, p.158)
  13. Salam I am in the taqleed of Ayatullah Sayeed Al-Hakim and he allows Mutah with a virgin girl without the permission of the father(provided that they dont have sexual intercourse). According to him all other acts of physical love are allowed as long as you don't have intercourse. I am 22 and did mutah with a shia girl whom I plan to marry in the future. She is in the taqleed of Ayatullah Sistani who doesnt allow mutah without fathers permission. Please note it is impossible to get her fathers permission or even ask him as he is very strict and would end up forcing her to marry someone else if he was asked for permission. I read on this forum that the mutah is allowed since one of the wedding partner's marja allows it. I have been involved in physical relation with her since we entered the mutah contract, however, we haven't had intercourse. For some reason, I have started pondering and I am having doubts again about the validity of my mutah contract. If someone could provide a reliable source which could justify the validity of my mutah would make me peaceful again. I am posting here in the hope that I would get an answer sooner rather than later. It is very difficult to reach my Marja since I live in Pakistan and the only way I can contact his office is through email. It takes them 3-4 months to reply. Request: I have recently graduated and I am looking for a job. Please pray that I get a decent job soon InshaAllah so that I can send a marriage proposal and get into a permanent marriage contract with her as soon as possible. Her father is very strict so I really need other momineens prayers. I will be waiting for your response. Please help. JazakAllah
  14. I recently entered a university and I wanted to attend its functions I have previously attended school and college functions and I have always studied in co-education.I belong to a practicing shia family which is why hijab has always been a big part in my life.at all functions and events i have never taken off my hijab neither do I ever intend to do so but my mother has become so insecure ever since i entered university(even though I have never done anything wrong or immoral).She tells me to take a chaddar to the function and wants me to not go if possible.I am always over conscious of over doing thus even if I do get all dressed up I never stand out because you know how girls are now a days being over dressed and flashy but my mom is getting angry and keeps telling me that I don't listen to her anymore and I don't follow hijab and my body shape is showing she expects me to wrap a blanket around me and then go out. The university I am in is known for it's really out of limits rules and discipline but since it is the only well known art college in Pakistan I could not miss the opportunity but I am really getting tired of my mom's insecurity and over the top demands that I am unable to fulfill considering the surrounding that I am living in.I realize that she might be right in an Islamic point of view but that makes me hate Islam in a certain way I also want to enjoy my university life and have fun like everyone else but the way my mom is imposing hijab onto me is just pushing me further away from Islam and making me feel trapped and bound. "Islam is suffocating" says the heart as I try reasoning with it day and night trying to have fun and still not cross the islamic limits.... :/
  15. Assalaam alaikum..I'm married with three grown up kids. My parents are old but Mashallah self reliant and still quite independent but slowly it is reducing. My kids are great n a great effort could be attributed to my wife for that. But I'm not happy with her on many accounts. The main reason and the one that hurts me most is her attitude towards my parents. She doesn't sit with them or talk to them and lately I have observed that she doesn't even say salaam to them either. I know they are not her parents but they are my parents & if I respect n care for her father who is also residing with us, I feel a hatred for her that's difficult to suppress or hide. Is my patience unjustified?are my expectations unfair?
  16. Salam Alaikum Everyone, Okay sooooo I know it is our islamic duty to respect our parents at all times, in all situations etc. but, but. My mother is an emotionally/verbally abusive person who has anger management issues. I know I sound like a whiny child but every since I was very young she treated me as if I had the mental capacity to understand certain issues that a child doesn't at that age. This could be related to the fact that she was single and probably craving adult understanding. She is extremely explosive and never admits to making any sort of mistake. She blames me constantly for her mistakes and when I defend myself, tells me that I am being disgustingly rude and ungrateful. I appreciate everything she has done for me (raised me as a single mother while juggling a full time career) but the way she treats me contributed to so many mental health problems that she again, became angry with me for. All this changed slightly when she remarried another man but anyway, How much do I have to respect her? and am I obliged to respect her husband as a "father"?
  17. Asalam u Alikum I don't know where to start but i just want some sort of advice from you guys.I'm 19 years old living with my mom and dadand a brother and another one is in homecountry (doing studies). Well lets start from beginning since i rememberMy parents always fight on small issues (such as *why this pillow is here* *Why didn't you closed the door* etc etc) i think there wouldn't be a day that my parent didn't fought .We tried very hard to stop them. Me and my siblings always give advice to them.But theydidn't listen to us and sometimes my Mom turns topic towards us (Who you think you're? you have no rights to talk between us...... plus abusing , Putting Tuhmat on us) ..(Sometimes i just want to run away) I think our Neighbors will get very irritated because of my parents.This is not normal for anyone i think because of this me and brothers have some sort of OCD disorder (Checking doors twice before leaving house etc etc) Involving others in this issue such as (relatives) i think they will make it worse i really don't know what to do but it's causing us a lot of problems. I'm also worried if my brothers get married their wives will face major problem and my brothers will be stuck between wife and Parents. I hope you guys will help me to solve this problem Jazak Allah
  18. Parents Choosing My Career?

    Salam. My parents are forcing me to become a doctor. I don't want to be a doctor. My average GPA in High School is 4.07 (it's over a 4.0 because I took 3 Advanced Placement classes). I am in 11th grade and have completed Calculus I. I always get A's, and I'm overall a smart kid in terms of academics. I am a hard working person. But here's the deal: After over a year of researching careers, jobs, etc I have found that success lies in business and entrepreneurship. I understand there is uncertainty and risk involved, but business has been very strongly recommended in Islam and Hadith by Ahlulbayt. There is barakat and unlimited potential in business. Starting our own businesses is the way to go, both for individual freedom and for the benefit of the Muslim Ummah as a whole. Us Muslims should start creating new companies instead of working for the Jews. We should be the ones owning the companies and influencing the world. Here are some hadiths about business and Ahlulbayt's recommendation to start your own business: Prophet Muhammad Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå: “If blessings were divided into ten parts, nine would be found lying in trade.” [bihar Al-Anwar, V. 23, P. 5] Prophet Muhammad Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå: “Rizq is ten parts, nine of which are in trade.” [Al-Kafi, V. 5, P. 318] Ammar al-Sabati narrated, ‘I asked Aba-Abdillah (as) about a man who trades but can make the same money by working for someone else. He replied, ‘He shouldn’t work for someone else. Rather, he must seek God’s bounty by trading, for by working for someone else, he restricts God’s bounty for him.’” [Al-Kafi, V. 5, P. 90, No. 3] Imam Ali (as): “Undertake yourselves to trading, for in it lies your independence from what others possess, and verily God, Mighty and Exalted, loves the trustworthy servant who is engaged in a business.” [Al-Khisal, P. 621, No. 10] Imam Sajjad (as): “Investing money perfects courage.” [Al-Kafi, V. 1, P. 20, No. 12] I showed my parents these hadiths. I told them how us Muslims should've been the ones creating companies like Facebook, Exxon, Apple, Microsoft, Acer, and Google. Despite all this, they told me I must become a doctor because "it's the only way to make money, and if you choose ANYTHING else, it means you're trying to take a shortcut and are a loser." But I'm not trying to take a shortcut, my grades and everything show I'm a smart person. I don't want to go to medical school and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and 8 years of my precious youth studying to become a doctor just for that "steady paycheck." I, with the aide of Allah, want to be the one giving the paychecks instead of receiving them. My youth should be spent traveling the world and starting new businesses instead of sitting in classrooms and taking tests to work for hospitals owned by non-Muslims. It's time we look at what the Ahlulbayt have told us instead of continuing to follow tradition. According to Khamenei, it is not obligatory to obey your parents but it is Haram to make them sad or worried. It should be noted that my parents are very helpful and care about me a lot. They sincerely want to help me succeed in life, but they aren't convinced that it will be to my benefit if I go into entrepreneurship and business (I think mainly because they are scared and because it's against the culture/tradition). Or should I simply obey my parents and live my whole life in a career I don't believe in? Should I disobey and choose my career? Any answers would be appreciated (I also would like to hear stories of people who did disobey in terms of their career choice, and I want to know what ended up happening). My personality and abilities and desire is leaning towards business. What should I do?
  19. I've been wondering about this for a while now. People seem to have different definitions of child abuse. For the purpose of this thread I'm going to talk about physical and emotional abuse; I really hope there are no doubts as to which side of the line sexual abuse falls on. My first question is, is there a 'line'? Depending on where you come from, the kind of childhood you had, what your parents believed in...your definition of child abuse can vary. So are there certain acceptable things and certain unacceptable things..or is this a matter of opinion? I know the general rules in sharia..being allowed to hit a child, for example, without the skin becoming red. But that is, I feel, very general. As far as physical abuse goes I suppose we could still distinguish where that line is, but not so much with emotional abuse. The factor of 'respecting your parents no matter what' (just respecting them in your heart, not behaving badly) also plays a part, which is why I'm asking this on SC. Being a little more specific, I'll outline a few scenarios and you tell me what you guys think - whether this would be considered acceptable, and if not, what is the degree of 'horror' you would rate it at. 1. Parents threatening to cut off a child's fingers if he/she doesn't cut nails, bringing a knife and everything and stopping only when the child has cried and begged. 2. Blackmailing a child. (If the child complains to the father about the mother calling calling him/her names, the mother will 'make sure Daddy knows what a bad kid you really are'). 3. Hitting a child in a way that leaves a slight bruise that'll go away in a day or two. 4. Making siblings slap each other/themselves as punishment. 5. Locking a child in a room for hours when he/she is afraid of the dark. 6. Making a child feel like she should not have been born (unintentionally), or saying other hurtful things. 7. Forcing the child to do something that is just recommended in Islam, not obligatory (recommended fasts or prayers) by threatening to cut off education or using emotional blackmail? 8. Forcing a (13-14 year old) child to eat something they cooked because it got too salty/spicy as punishment. 9. Emotionally blackmailing an older child (14 - 15) to take care of a younger sibling - like holding a sixteen year old accountable for a twelve year old's misbehavior. On a slightly digressive note, what if a child becomes disrespectful (says things like Stop this right now, you're acting crazy, snatching objects from the parent's hands like maybe something they were going to use to hit the child or a sibling with) in situations like numbers 3 or 6? Would this be warranted from a religious point of view, keeping in mind the Islamic theme to never hurt or disrespect your parents? Sorry if it got a bit long! I'd really appreciate some input.
  20. (bismillah) Salam, everyone. I've been reflecting on my situation, and I've started to believe that it's best if I distance myself from my parents. God forgive me, but I'm just so tired of the double standards and hypocrisy in my house. I don't mean moving out and shifting to a different location--I can't do that yet. Rather, I just don't want to discuss religion or call them towards the path of Ahlul Bayt anymore--their religiosity is just so plastic. They claim to be religious(especially my mother) but the moment something happens they say things that offend Islam as a religion. I'm the only kid in my entire family who prays all the Salah on time, abstains from the girlfriend/boyfriend trap, doesn't masturbate, doesn't waste his time watching useless TV shows, reads Qur'an, offers Sadaqa from my his own pockets, gives Da'wah, prays tahajjud, etc. I even do well in my tests( I have really high SAT scores, for example). My father is genuinely happy that I do these things, but he would never accept me as a Shia. My mother claims she is happy about it, but the truth is she doesn't really care that much. My mom wears hijab, prays--every now and then--but I know that religion isn't all that important to her. She likes to talk about Rumi, heck, everybody likes to talk about Rumi. I thought she would be receptive to Shia Islam, and she seemed enthusiastic but then it faded out. Don't get me wrong, I love my mother and I care about her--she raised me more like a single parent. I can never repay her, I know that. But there are just things that bother me so much about her that's driven me to consider something like this. I know I'm not perfect, and that I should try fixing my own faults, but sometimes my parents say certain things that just drive me insane. Tomorrow, if I absolutely abandoned all my religious duties, started drinking and fornicating, and became a hedonist, my mom would be okay with it....so long as I get into a good University, or become a Rhodes scholar or something. My dad might get a shotgun to my head--which is genuinely comforting--but I don't live with him(he spends most of the year abroad, working and travelling). Here's the flip side: if I ever make a mistake, my mom says hurtful things like, "ashol kaj bad diye hujur der picche douraccho", which means "you've left your REAL JOB(school, social image maintenance) and started running after tales of dead men and mullas." Honestly, it's not what she says to me that hurts, but just how easily she can insult the prophet and the family of the prophet if things don't go her way. She always does this, and me telling her to stop--politely of course--has never helped the situation. It's really frustrating. It saddens me especially, that my worth to my mother doesn't depend on my moral standards but how well known I am in my community, and how much $$ I make in the future. This is why I want to just keep contact at a minimum, stop bringing Ahlul Bayt up in conversations, not ask them to get me married( a sheikh would do me more good), stop trying to preach to them. Just fulfill my duties as a son and be on my way. I've done my best trying to bring them to Ahlul Bayt, it's not like I haven't tried. I don't know why I'm even sharing this, maybe I just need to let this out. Anyways, I think distancing myself from them would be better for my spiritual well being. Salam.
  21. Qunoot: Dua For Parents

    (Salam) Can anyone suggest some good dua for parents which can be recited in Qunoot. Wassalam
  22. what are they, can someone tell me all their rights over children?
  23. can someone please give me the ayat, hadeeth of fatwa where it states that a woman cannot be forced into wearing hijab, but that it should be from her own free will. JazakAllah Khairan for your answers (wasalam)
  24. Salam If a couple has a mutah marriage, do the parents become mahram to the couple as they would in a permanent marriage. i.e. can the father of the boy now see the girl without her hijab on? Thank you
  25. Parents and Expatriate/Local Hire Teachers: Stay away from Al-Ghanim Bilingual School in Salwa, Kuwait! It’s my opinion that you should stay away from Al-Ghanim Bilingual School in Salwa, Kuwait. These are some of the things that I disliked about the school: 1. The turn-over rate is very high for new “Westerners.” I think the reason for this is the administration does not provide the appropriate classroom support. Instead, the climate at the school is one in which some administrators are critical of teachers. In fact, the Director, Dr. Afaf El-Gemayel said in a meeting with new staff members, “If you look hard enough, all student problems are the teacher’s fault.” As a result of this attitude, the probability of surviving for very long at this school is low. Given the low probability of surviving at this school, it is not worth the financial, emotional, and time investment to go here. 2. The administration is constantly popping into classrooms to observe teachers. In some cases, they will go into a teacher’s classroom five or more days straight . . . And, then they will still come back to do more observations at-will. It is very uncomfortable and nerve-racking for the teachers who are being watched. The administration says that they are doing it to “help” the teachers, but it feels more like they are doing it to “push” them out of the school. It seems barbaric. 3. On a regular basis, the school “docks” people’s pay. As a Westerner, this was abhorrent to me—the idea that you could work a day and then lose that day’s pay based on the judgment call of an administrator. (My belief is that if someone has done something egregious enough, suspend them without pay. But to have people work and not pay them seems too self serving.) 4. The school does not live up to financial commitments. You may or may not receive money owed you. Just because an administrator says in an e-mail that she will reimburse you for expenses, does not mean that she will. Also, I heard stories about how this school refused to pay summer salaries and “indemnity” pay owed to some teachers. 5. The housing the school provided smelled. I think it was a combination of cigarette smoke and feces (no joke) from poor plumbing. When I returned to the “West,” I had to wash all of my clothes because they smelled. 6. During the interview process, Dr. El-Gemayel said that the school had all the necessary classroom resources. The classroom decorations that were supplied to a colleague of mine were old and dirty, and several important resources were not available for the start of school. 7. Even though the school is not licensed to teach special education students, the school has numerous low-level classes called “Special English.” Guess what the “Special” stands for? These classes have many students that should be evaluated for special education services. It appears to me that the administration does not want these students evaluated because if the results determined that these students needed special education services, then the students would have to leave the school, and the school would stand to lose a lot of tuition money. So, when teachers have trouble managing and teaching these students, the administration acts like the problem is with the teacher rather than acknowledging these students need services beyond the scope of a regular educational classroom. Although I recommend staying away from this school, if you are even considering working there, make sure that you get the following before making a final decision: 1. A copy of the contract. 2. A copy of the staff manual. If it’s the same staff manual that I received, you’ll find a list of things teachers should not do and the consequences—including the number of days pay that will be lost. 3. Your assignment and schedule in writing. (There were teachers who were told that they would be doing one thing, and when they arrived they were told that they would be doing something else.) When you request these reasonable things, consider how the administration responds. Do they freely offer them to you with a smile, or do they come up with excuses not to provide them? If they don’t provide them, beware! If you make the mistake of accepting an offer from this school, then make sure you receive copies of your Initial and Final Approval Letters. (These approvals are sent to the school from the Kuwait Ministry of Education.) Also, once you receive copies of these items, contact that Kuwait Ministry of Education to make sure an original copy of your contract, as well as Initial and Final Approval Letters are on file. PLEASE DO THIS BEFORE YOU EVEN BOARD THE PLANE TO KUWAIT! I sought the assistance of the Ministry of Education when I was experiencing difficulty with the school administration. A ministry representative informed me that she couldn’t help me unless she had my original contract and approval letters on file (which she didn’t). Fortunately, the ministry representative was kind enough to refer me to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. (This ministry was a big help.) Unfortunately, I think the school administration purposely delays giving teachers these items so they won’t be able to seek assistance from the Ministry of Education when they’re being mistreated. _______________________________________________________________________ Here are more reasons to avoid Al-Ghanim Bilingual School in Salwa, Kuwait: 1. Teachers/staff members are required to work on approximately TEN Saturdays during the school year, without being compensated for this extra time. (The Saturday work is usually related to professional development or the accreditation application process.) 2. Al-Ghanim Bilingual School is currently undergoing the accreditation application process with the Council of International Schools (CIS). This school shouldn’t be accredited by any organization—ever! As part of the accreditation application process, staff members and teachers had to complete self-study reports grading and evaluating various aspects of the school and its administration—policies, infrastructure, transparency, ethical treatment of employees. Originally, the school and its administration were given many poor ratings in the self-study reports. The director, Afaf El-Gemayel, threatened staff members and teachers with the loss of summer pay unless the ratings were changed to reflect the school in a more positive light. As a result, the self-study reports were falsified and are now tainted by Afaf El-Gemayel’s need to lie about the state of Al-Ghanim Bilingual School.
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