FAITH, MOTHERHOOD

The Morning After: How To Talk To Your Muslim Child About The U.S Election Results

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In the early hours of this morning and late last night,  like many Muslim (and other) parents out there I have been thinking ‘How will I face my child?’

For those who read my post from Monday you will know that even my just turned 6 year old was worried and voiced his fears to me ‘Oh No Mama I don’t want Donald Trump to win’

I really really don’t know what to say to him. He will be sad. My friends’ and distant acquaintances’ kids are coming out with the most distressing things : One mother told me her seven year old was crying asking ‘we will be kicked out?’.  Another child asked if they will have to ‘go to a concentration camp’ (!) Yet another asked his father if he will have to tell people he is a ‘Christian now ?! It’s madness!

What should we tell our kids ? How do we explain this?

On Facebook I already started receiving condolences from friends in the UK. ‘It’s that Brexit feeling all over again’ said one ‘How could any U.S. citizen vote for that man’? Said another.

Then I saw a post from someone I consider a paragon of motherhood. We all know one right? That mother who always seems to know exactly the right thing to do – what would Hina Khan-Mukthar say to her child? Amazingly she reminded me of some advice that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once gave another child, a boy named Ibn Abbas who was just 13 years old.

If you are struggling to find the right words – find comfort and inspiration in this beautiful narration:

“Young man, I will teach you some words.

Be mindful of God, and He will take care of you.

Be mindful of Him, and you shall find Him at your side.

If you ask, ask of God.

If you need help, seek it from God.

Know that if the whole world were to gather together in order to help you, they would not be able to help you except if God had written so.

And if the whole world were to gather together in order to harm you, they would not harm you except if God had written so.

The pens have been lifted, and the pages are dry.’ ”

That last line gets me every time. Sure the voters have also lifted their pens and the nation has spoken but Allah, God is the best  Planner and His are the Best of Plans. There is no comfort more than in knowing and remembering this.

We would do well to say the same thing to our children today.

Are you American or living in the USA? Do you have children? What will you be saying to reassure them?

 

Edited to add: For a more detailed discussion on this topic have a read of this set of guidelines written by Psychologist  Omar Mahmood, who has a special interest in the development of spiritual identity through counselling, recreation and the arts. 

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8 Comments

  • Reply Wyndham November 11, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Hi Sumaya – I missed you after school yesterday and today. I cannot believe the results of this election, and am completely embarrassed of our country. I feel for you having to explain this to your kids, and on behalf of the white woman who will never suport Trump, I am truly sorry that there are so many who are still so hateful, it is truly eye opening. We are lucky to live in a city as diverse and inclusive as this one.
    My thoughts are with you.

  • Reply Rawan November 10, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    It’s nice what u wrote but u didn’t give the parents words or ways to comfort the kids !

  • Reply Thayyam November 10, 2016 at 4:23 am

    I must say that I didn’t agree with either one, Hillary or Trump. Born and raised Texan and very proud! What saddens me most about all this is people turn to hatred so quickly even those who claim to be so religious and it’s even more disturbing to see how many racist comments I hear coming from so many people of ALL race. I’ve heard a lot of Muslim people say “white people” when in comes to this election and Trump. It wasn’t only white people that voted for Trump. Not every white person is racist just as every Muslim is not a terrorist. So please keep that in mind my Muslim friends when you are making racist comments that you find offensive when it’s you on the other end. I like people of all race and all religion, it’s ones actions that I find so much dislike in. My best advice about all this is, There is nobody higher than God, and he’s still in control. So pray for understanding and pray for the president that he is touched and moved by God. Explain to children that we may not always agree but it’s important to pray with love instead of speaking negativity. I support the united states president even if I don’t agree with him and that’s because I understand that this has just started and we don’t even know what Trump will do. He may surprise is all and do great things. God knows best. May we all have peace.

  • Reply Zamzam November 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    So my kids aren’t going to school today. I need to sit down with them and explain in the most appropriate way that he is a con man that Scaried people into voting for him. That there is a movement against how politics are running therefore many people skipped voting all together to change the lies this country is ran on. That many folks who did vote for trump are haters who want to feel better than those who are different than them. That are jealous and want control that they are clearing losing. That the devil is at work. I will explain to my kids that they are great that they are lucky to be who they are and Allah is with them. I will explain that many many people don’t agree with him including many white voters. That this is a case of racist, islamaphobic, bigots lashing out.

  • Reply Alice November 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    I thank God my child is too young to need reassurance, and his smile can bring light to this as every other morning alhamdulillah. Thank you for the reminder! Allah’s plans are the best, and as He says in the Quran, with hardship there is ease.

  • Reply Salihah November 9, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing this and for the reminder that we should always turn to Allah.

  • Reply Zara November 9, 2016 at 11:46 am

    This is comforting for everyone gazing at the bleak future of America and World. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply Ayesha November 9, 2016 at 10:43 am

    That’s not only comforting for the kids but to us adults as well. May Allah keep our kids and us amongst His brave saaliheen. Aameen

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