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In the Name of God بسم الله
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parents - the good and the bad


3wliya_maryam

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Sometimes we forget to be grateful for many of the blessings God has decreed upon us that if we were to thank him for countless days and nights, it would never be sufficient. Some of us may not realise that despite living in a house where our parents have different mindsets that complicate many aspects in life, perhaps during their time they had it far more worse. We forget that they have gone through immense pressure trying to give us a life far more opportunistic than theirs, yet they fail to realise how a lot of their customs prevents us from seeking opportunities in the first place. Think about the conservative societies they used to live in the past century and how difficult it was to overcome. Perhaps our parents think that their way of upbringing will lure us away from the demonised world, to save our mental stability and hence they carry their past teachings and culture to the next generation. On the contrary, that belief has torn us apart.

Our parents have survived war, signed myriad of papers and fought with the Western laws to seek a better environment for themselves and future offspring. We know that our families cannot seem to fathom our changes as we develop. They believe we are steering out of the line of honour and family reputation that if a slight error was committed then it would be spread throughout the entire community. You end up hearing tales and calumnies from storytellers who often find it entertaining to dwell in the affairs of others. The values and customs I have been raised in believe that a family's dignity and privilege is held by the eldest daughter where her wrongdoings mean familial destruction. Whilst having a good reputation at some point is crucial to living a substantial life, parents forget that our unexpressed feelings matter more than pleasing an egoistic community. 

In Islam, one of the major sins is the displeasing of parents, where their anger is equatable to God's. Surely we must strive to respect them as they become elders, despite the levels of irritability we receive almost everyday. We are taught to maintain patience and that is further learnt more deeply during adolescence. Even so, a lot of the times one has knowledge of what is right yet still choose to divert into the path of wrong. An example is when our parents infuriate us, it results in retaliation rather than remaining quiet and calm. Understandably, nobody wants to hear someone create quite vague assumptions and further jump to the worst conclusions. That is one of the nuisances we normally find within parents.

From past personal experience, despite my OCD was likely of being genetic, I discovered that the strategies my parents used to make the entire family adhere to religion were often uncompromising. They believe using threats will make their children stand firm towards God and whilst I partially agree, the end result may be discrepancy. I've always loved being a Muslim. Observing full hijab from a very young age, praying at night outside the backyard beneath His illuminating creation whilst holding the sacred Qur'an in my hands. I thought I felt undeniable peace, but was it truly as peaceful as it sounded like?  I was on attack the minute I stood onto my prayer mat or opened a supplication prayer. Those rampaging thoughts destroyed my inner peace. It seemed like I was a saintly servant of God, but the reality was that I was hurting deep down without even figuring out the cause. After recovery, a part of me came to conclusion as to what had led to these doubts and whispers in the first place. It somewhat was in relation towards my parent's upbringing, where I had noticed the number of threatening remarks they used in relation to God made me believe that I was obliged to add in the extra effort and consistency towards my prayers and other obligations. However, a number of times they had caught me in such a state and tried to give me solid advice that I am already pious enough in the eyes of God. And yet I always felt like I did a mistake in my ablution that led to repetitive cleansing.  

Then again, we are far more mature than to be constantly blaming parents for our actions. I criticise myself for being too naive and turning small situations into extreme ones. The truth is nobody else is at fault but ourselves because we have full control over our own actions. We are willing to blame others for our mistakes in order to escape guilt or responsibility. Parents may have played some role in the way we have turned out to be, yet we know ourselves way too well as adults that most of it is our own fault, Maybe we did not realise that controlling our thoughts and actions could have been taken into our own hands if only we did not let all that negativity consume us.

 

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  • Advanced Member

Islam isn't based on fear. Some Muslims have focused on propagating fear as it's the easiest way to 'control' their kids and keep them inline. 

 الإمام علي (عليه السلام): إن قوما عبدوا الله رغبة فتلك عبادة التجار، وإن قوما عبدوا الله رهبة فتلك عبادة العبيد، وإن قوما عبدوا الله شكرا فتلك عبادة الأحرار 

نهج البلاغة ٢٣٧

Its narrated that Imam Ali (عليه السلام) had broken down the worshipers into three types:

The people who worshiped God out of desire, which is the worship of merchants.

The people who worshiped God out of fear, which is the worship of slaves.

The people who worshiped God out of gratitude, which is the worship of the free. 

Nahj Al Balagha /237

There's much more to worship than simply fear of hell.

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  • Advanced Member
On 12/29/2019 at 2:18 AM, Northwest said:

Islam is, at root, based on fear. Fear and obedience precedes faith. Yet constant guilt over one’s sins can be paralysing as well, especially given the stress and duties of daily life.

I just re read what u said. Whilst I partially agree that fear at times can be important for strong faith, but Islam at its root is based on fear? Why would Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) the most Merciful choose to create a fearful religion? Yes we should be fearful, especially when we do some major sins reminding us that Allah is watching, but too much fear is also unhealthy. If you are a faithful and practicing Muslim, then why should they be so fearful?

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2 minutes ago, 3wliya_maryam said:

I just re read what u said. Whilst I partially agree that fear at times can be important for strong faith, but Islam at its root is based on fear? Why would Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) the most Merciful choose to create a fearful religion? Yes we should be fearful, especially when we do some major sins reminding us that Allah is watching, but too much fear is also unhealthy. If you are a faithful and practicing Muslim, then why should they be so fearful?

...

Quote

Fear of God stands for the mental pains arisen from the anticipation of God’s punishment for the commitment of acts of disobedience to Him. It enjoins holding on straightforwardness and forbids vices and sins. … The previous texts have depicted the importance of fear and its contribution in rectifying man and qualifying him to have the honor of God’s contentment. … Excess fear impoverishes the personality and deprives of hope. Moreover, it causes despair, which, in turn, brings about perpetual deviation. Shortage of fear, also, causes negligence, shortcoming, and rebellion against acts of obedience to God. By the balance of fear and hope, one’s self nourishes, conscience towers up, and the spiritual energies go forward. … Accordingly, fear occupies the first place among the noble traits. It has played a big role in the fields of belief since it is the main reason encouraging acts of obedience to God. Feelings of fear enhance the souls and take them to a lofty angelic position that imparts to the ideality of the angels.

 

Quote

 

'He peace be upon him said: "The believer is between two states of fear: the sin which has passed; he does not know what Allah has done for it, and the age which has lasted; he does not know what he will commit of the sins during it, then he does not awake but afraid, and nothing reforms him except fear" al-Kafi 2/1/12

It was said to him:"People commit sins and say that they hope(Allah) and they will continue that till death comes to them." He, peace be upon him said: "They hesitate in hopes. They tell lies. They are not hopeful. Whoever hopes for a thing looks for it; whoever is afraid of a thing escapes from it" Al Kafi 2/68/5

If he knows that it is haram, and he knows that the consequences of haram are to risk earning the anger and displeasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), wouldn't he try to avoid earning the anger and displeasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)?

 

 

 

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  • Advanced Member

Respectfully, I have one question. Islam forbids even the mildest criticism of or ingratitude toward one’s parents, even if the parents, as a result of their own background(s), may occasionally—in some cases more often—act in a manner that is either a) contrary to Islam or b) causes distress or c) both, whether due to misunderstanding or other factors. Islam also has a lot of rules about which sins are greater or lesser and the circumstances that mitigate or modulate them. Many other Islamic rules and practices are difficult to remember. or, in some cases, to carry out. For example, repeating some prayers for a certain number of times may prove difficult, if one cannot repeat the phrase and at the same time count the number of times it is repeated, much less pay attention to details such as tone, pronunciation, etc. These kinds of things may tend to drive a prospective revert away from the faith, especially if the person has complications such as autism, OCD, etc., along with a number of negative experiences in life. Dealing with these issues, daily responsibilities, and the practice of Islam can be extraordinarily difficult. It is obviously easier, however, for someone who does not have psychological complications or other dysfunctions.

Edited by Northwest
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11 minutes ago, Northwest said:

Respectfully, I have one question.

Wheres the question?

 

11 minutes ago, Northwest said:

Islam forbids even the mildest criticism of or ingratitude toward one’s parents, even if the parents, as a result of their own background(s), may occasionally—in some cases more often—act in a manner that is either a) contrary to Islam or b) causes distress or c) both, whether due to misunderstanding or other factors

If the parents do act contrary to Islam, it is permissible to speak up against them. Even if they cause distress, speaking up against them is different than disrespecting them, and we know how a lot of parents intertwine culture and religion. Whilst I agree that it is hard to not retaliate and speak in contempt, were not perfect human beings. But we strive to try our best, and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is the Most Forgiving.

18 minutes ago, Northwest said:

Islam also has a lot of rules about which sins are greater or lesser and the circumstances that mitigate or modulate them. Many other Islamic rules and practices are difficult to remember. or, in some cases, to carry out. For example, repeating some prayers for a certain number of times may prove difficult, if one cannot repeat the phrase and at the same time count the number of times it is repeated, much less pay attention to details such as tone, pronunciation,

I get where you're coming from, but this is not a good example in relation to what you just stated. Islam really is a simple religion, there are just people who choose to complicate it in many ways. Prayer is one of the simplest rules in Islam, Allah made it easy for us because we would have been praying 50 times a day. Prophet Musa (عليه السلام) asked Him to decrease the number of prayers for the Muslims' ease. You can focus on the words and the number of prayers at the same time, I don't see the difficulty. If we choose to believe that something is difficult, then it will be regardless. From experience I realised that the more calm I am in prayer, the more focused I am.

29 minutes ago, Northwest said:

These kinds of things may tend to drive a prospective revert away from the faith, especially if the person has complications such as autism, OCD, etc., along with a number of negative experiences in life. Dealing with these issues, daily responsibilities, and the practice of Islam can be extraordinarily difficult. It is obviously easier, however, for someone who does not have psychological complications or other dysfunction

Having issues or daily responsibilities whilst practising Islam is not entirely difficult if you're a strong believer. Again, I completely understand where you're coming from and how it leads to low level of faith, but since you mentioned complications beside OCD, if one was to experience such dysfunctions, do you think that the Almighty would be hard on them in the first place?

Having OCD is not only genetic or stems from religion. Religious OCD is often known to come from environmental factors, as I previously mentioned, such as parents upbringing or society pressure. There is no clear evidence that OCD is a result of religion, chemical imbalances also play a role

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  • Advanced Member
18 hours ago, 3wliya_maryam said:

Having OCD is not only genetic or stems from religion. Religious OCD is often known to come from environmental factors, as I previously mentioned, such as parents upbringing or society pressure. There is no clear evidence that OCD is a result of religion, chemical imbalances also play a role

If I may add, we have narrations talking about the Shayateen (iblees's helpers) who's specific job is for instance to instill Wuswas (doubts) such as during Wudhu or praying etc In essence, these Shayateen try to exacerbate OCD symptoms. 

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  • Advanced Member

I have a random question about fitra. How much of our morality is innate? In other words, when we are born, according to Islam, does our divine (as opposed to animal) nature intuitively know what to do in every situation? If that is the case, then why are parents needed to teach the children?

Edited by Northwest
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  • Basic Members
On 2/2/2020 at 11:08 AM, Northwest said:

I have a random question about fitra. How much of our morality is innate? In other words, when we are born, according to Islam, does our divine (as opposed to animal) nature intuitively know what to do in every situation? If that is the case, then why are parents needed to teach the children?

I'm not sure what the Islamic view is here.. however, I don't think our fitra intuitively knows what to do in every situation. You find Shia teenagers who are still dealing with the harms of being neglected and abused in their childhoods, and our childhood does shape how we behave in our adult years. 

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  • Veteran Member

All religions are based on fear for the sake of adherence. The real question is always which are God's laws, and which are man made God laws?  

Forcing children can always go two ways. The preacher's kid was always the worst behaved. It's not to say they won't become pious later but the pressure to tow the line is often more than a kid can take. I spent all my young years believing I was going to hell because nothing I could do was ever good enough. I couldn't talk about it or it was more condemnation. To be fair, my Father practiced what he preached but that didn't help me. 

With my children I adhered to a promise from Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 

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