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In the Name of God بسم الله
SeekingHeaven

Young Brother doesn’t want religion anymore

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Salam, recently my 15 year old brother has been asking me for a ps4 to buy him on Black Friday and he really wants it and has his hopes up for it but I continuously tell him no and explaining to him why I don’t want him to be influenced by it. 

Originally it was my older sister who put the thought in his heads that she will buy it for him but I am refusing his request and he has basically blamed the fact that I’m religious and thinks that religion is putting too many restrictions on him when that’s not the case.

He finds listening to lectures boring, even by English speakers and has told me that he doesn’t want to pray anymore or have anything to do with religion.

I told him that he’s too attached to these things because he did similar things a few months ago when my sister wanted to give him her iPhone 6 because she was getting the new one and I refused at that too but seeing the way he was begging and saying that he’ll be responsible with it, I let him have it.

He doesn’t play outside, he has friends from school but they only interact when they are playing their game on the phones. Other than that he’s home all day and isn’t interested in going to the mosque, even though I try to explain why he has to have a relationship with God and how his life would be useless if he doesn’t.

I was barely able to get him to go to ahura lectures after argument after arguments and now I’ve just had it with him.

He’s not listening to reason and sound arguments because of his desire for wanting that gaming consol.

I even told him that he would accept to let go of his religion just for a game? And he said that he just doesn’t want religion anymore because he feels like it’s the reason for my decision.

He has been praying his whole life and I always try to bring up religion but I feel like the irreligious lifestyle that he sees outside of home and mainly in school is having a strong effect on him even though he denied that to. I think it’s subconsciously shaping him but he’s not really able to see it.

I really need help in all of this

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It's very hard if not impossible to convince a teenager that a gaming console is bad influence. Especially when all his friends have them and a lot of what they talk about is the games. 

Teenagers rarely listen to sound arguments as hormones are all over the place and they just want to break free and do what they want to do.

I can understand how you are trying to guide him and keep him away from the many negatives that come with a console. I do however think that you have bigger battles as he gets a little older. I don't mean to scare you but if he feels he doesn't want to pray anymore because of the console or a phone, how would you stop him from having a girlfriend in a couple of years time? My point is I think you should choose your battles. 

A console is not the end of the world. If you can put restrictions on the type of games and hours spent on it etc. 

I think it's also an opportunity for you to make him work for it and earn it. Either by mainiting prayers on time or household chores etc this way he gets what he wants and you can teach him good ethics and keep him in his prayer routine. 

There's no doubt the outside world is shaping and influencing all of us. We have to deal with it the best way we can. We also have to be very careful on how we try to pass on the faith to our youngsters because often times, it can have an opposite effect.

Edited by Moalfas

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Don't be forceful and don't emotionally blackmail him either. Don't make him hate religion by taking away things he really loves or making him have to choose between what he loves and religion. Be really careful and strategic with how you present religion. If what you're doing right now is not working then perhaps your approach to teaching him religion is flawed.

I think you should just get hime the PS4 but regulate the types of games he plays. Let him play sports games, shooting games, random fictional games like mario overwatch and stuff like that shouldn't really be an issue. Also, maybe just let him play once a week. 

Edited by AStruggler

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When I was around 17 18 I wanted absolutely nothing to do with religion no more and stopped practicing altogether. I didnt actually commit haram deeds as it was too engrained in me not to do so and struggled with it for 4 years. After seeing where the western lifestyle put many people around me I noticed the blessing of having guidance in my life and how damaging all the haram is. I think this may just be a phase and you have to be gentle with him, the worst thing you can do to someone who doesn't want to pray is keep telling them to pray. Put non Islamic lectures self development ones he may be drawn to them and they talk about wasting time on video games etc. I listened to alot of Steve Harvey and as he is a believer in God I was slowly drawn to the way he thought about it and I respected him. Give him time, gently advice and subtle reminders and iA he will come around 

Edited by Muslimthought97

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There is no compulsion in religion. Don't force him to anything as he's already 15 and old enough to decide for himself. If you persist he will naturally deter away from religion. He must find himself and all you can do is point out the importance of morality and philosophy to him but that is it. 

Video games have zero relation to this issue. 15 year olds used to marry, bring up children and go to battle in the past and people now think that 15 y.os. are still kids. They're not kids. If they play too much and think too little of faith, it's clear a matter to do with their mentality of life and being irresponsible. A 15 y.o. is old enough to decide for himself. If he keeps up with a careless behavior, life will knock him down and teach him a lesson, eventually and you can always mention that to him as well. 

As for his faith, go back to the baby-steps. Discuss his belief in God, the importance of religion and make solid arguments to prove that God is real and the Qur'an is from none other than the One who created all life. Once you do so, he will understand that he is in a wrong position to dismiss religion and that is all that matters. Whether he chooses to defect back to faith or not is up to him, not you. But as long as he knows that he is mistaken for treating religion as though it were nothing, the chances of him returning back to it in life are high, especially when he is older, facing troubles and full of worries (people tend to remember God when they need Him). 

If you believe that the outside world has been defaming the image of Islam in his eyes, then confront him and encourage him to debate you or ask you questions. 

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On 11/8/2019 at 4:16 PM, SeekingHeaven said:

recently my 15 year old

Brother I sympathise with you, but don't you think he is too old for you to restrict him like that? He is no longer 10 years old, you should act as friend to him from now on rather than a guardian, otherwise he might hate you for being too controlling. 

I remember hearing from a scholar saying that you should be very kind to a child until 7 years old (because he is very young), then be very disciplining until teenage years (because he is ready to learn what is good and bad), and afterwards be as a friend to them (because he is becoming independent). 

As for religion, it is very sad that he doesn't consider it important. However, this indicates that your family failed to give him a proper religious education at an earlier age (e.g. existence of God, Prophets & Imams, Qur'an). Or maybe your family was too liberal, listened to music, watched irreligious movies etc. So you can't blame him fully, children are often a product of their environment. 

Keep your relationship with him good. Do not make him upset with you unnecessarily. Give him good religious advice, and keep inviting him to prayer and sermons. My prayers and best wishes to you brother. 

 

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Am I missing something here? How is an having an iPhone or PS related to lack of religiosity? 

To me he seems like a normal teenage boy albeit a bit rebellious probably because he feels suffocated and controlled.He is not indulging in any haram so relax. 

On 11/9/2019 at 2:16 AM, SeekingHeaven said:

I was barely able to get him to go to ahura lectures after argument after arguments and now I’ve just had it with him.

I attended my first Ashura when I was 17. So take it easy! 

You are only going to push him further away from religion by being too strict. Let him have the play station with conditions - his grades, number of hours he is allowed, games which he can or cannot play etc.

Ayatollah Behjat recommends offering Salat e Jaffar Tayyar for family members you think are straying away from religion.

Be a supportive elder brother, someone he feels he can come to with his problems and questions. Prophet Muhammad(صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) made the Arabs of Jahiliyyah come to Islam with his good akhlaq. That's how powerful good akhlaq is.

Always bear in mind that you have only so much control over other people's lives. Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) couldn't make his son a Muslim. The goodness that reached Prophet Yusuf (عليه السلام) failed to reach his brothers. On the other hand we have so many reverts here MashAllah who had no one to tell them about Islam in their childhood but they were eventually lead to the correct path. 

Keep teaching him by example,keep praying. Allah listens to and answers prayers.

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8 hours ago, Kaya said:

Brother I sympathise with you, but don't you think he is too old for you to restrict him like that? He is no longer 10 years old, you should act as friend to him from now on rather than a guardian, otherwise he might hate you for being too controlling. 

I remember hearing from a scholar saying that you should be very kind to a child until 7 years old (because he is very young), then be very disciplining until teenage years (because he is ready to learn what is good and bad), and afterwards be as a friend to them (because he is becoming independent). 

As for religion, it is very sad that he doesn't consider it important. However, this indicates that your family failed to give him a proper religious education at an earlier age (e.g. existence of God, Prophets & Imams, Qur'an). Or maybe your family was too liberal, listened to music, watched irreligious movies etc. So you can't blame him fully, children are often a product of their environment. 

Keep your relationship with him good. Do not make him upset with you unnecessarily. Give him good religious advice, and keep inviting him to prayer and sermons. My prayers and best wishes to you brother. 

 

Thank you to everyone for the advice!

Actually he is getting better and he is praying again. 

You’re right I don’t think his upbringing by my parents was that good and I’ll list a few of the reasons so others take heed

1. Because of living in the Middle East and not knowing Arabic good because prior he grew up in the west, and my dad always used to take him to the mosque which had no English speaker at all, so he would never understand the Friday sermons or ashura lectures.

2. My dad would always make him go to the mosque without even considering his decision and wouldn’t really give him an option. 

3. My father would also never really treat him as a friend ( not that he used to hit him or anything, my dad loves us but he has his shortcomings as all do ) but he would always expect him to just obey his command without question.

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Guest Pschological Warfare
On 11/8/2019 at 4:16 PM, SeekingHeaven said:

he doesn’t want to pray anymore or have anything to do with religion.

Religion is not only praying,fasting, Zakat and Hajj- Its a way of life. As such, everyone has a Religion. Even the ones who hide the truth, has a religion. 

What does praying, fasting, Zakat and Hajj has to do with Theology (Tawheed, Justice,Prophethood, Imamate, and Day of Judgement)? What comes first ? A proper understanding of Faith (the Foundation), before you can act or implement it. 

Muhammad Al-Mustafa (peace be upon him and his pure progeny) first clarified doubts in theology before the order for general public to pray,fast, zakat and Hajj( these orders did take their gradual course and people accepted it and implementation was gradual and based on their understanding of Faith). 

Some Muslims/families just focus on praying, and say this person lost his/her religion or he/she does not want it or is not religious. Specially, for the young one, and old  ones growing in a secular communities. Maybe this person never had a good understanding of faith. He/she did what was socially acceptable in a Muslim household or society. You can order someone to pray, but if he/she does not understand why and who he/she is praying to- will result in what you usually see.Especially, when there are many ways to create doubts regarding The God. 

Quote

He finds listening to lectures boring, even by English speakers 

Teenagers are not usually interested in Lectures. They are more in tune with Massaib( last part of Majlis) and latimayah( Noha). Things like ultimate role model, loyalty, sacrifice, endurance, pure love are of importance at this age and hence the attachment to the above, which resonates with them. Logical stuff comes in later. 

Why do you think, teenagers are interested in Songs/Music- poetry with Music? 

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Guest de trout

https://www.reddit.com/r/ConsumeProduct/ (warning: inappropriate)

 

Tell him this is what happens to people who jump into this world head-first, and I want to prevent this from happening to you. Tell him all these products were made to enchant us, take our money, and keep us mediocre. And like people said, don't make Islam seem like this terrible thing that ruins all the fun. If he likes video games, maybe get him into retro games? Those aren't as harmful are modern games like fortnite.

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