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.