Islamic Education in the West
How do we as Muslims living in the west maintain an Islamic Education for our children. Primary and secondary education up to the age of 15/16 may be provided in Muslim schools (which are also very expensive), but as for Higher Education there is no such Islamic Institute.
Even on the secondary school level on the agenda of Curriculum, we do not have books that deal with the branches of knowledge that are available in secular institutes, such as; Political science, Sociology, Psychology, Pedagogy. Please advise on how we should go about bringing about an Islamic Education system for our Youth in the west (bearing in mind that it is near impossible for us to migrate to Arab/Muslim countries because of the restrictions on immigration etc.).
Praise be to Allah.
In order to preserve the structure of the Muslim family in the non-Muslim countries, we need to meet a number of conditions and requirements, both within the home and outside it:
Within the home:
It is essential for parents to uphold the habit of praying regularly in the mosque with their children; if there is no mosque nearby, then they must pray in jamaa'ah (congregation) at home.
They have to read Qur'aan and listen to its recitation daily.
They must eat meals together.
They must speak in the language of the Qur'aan as much as they can.
They must uphold the good manners prescribed by the Lord of the Worlds for families and in social settings; these include those that are to be found in Soorat al-Noor.
They should not let themselves or their children watch immoral and corrupt movies and shows.
Their children have to sleep at home and should stay home as much as possible, to protect them from the influences of the bad environment outside. They should be very strict in not allowing their children to sleep outside the home (sleepovers).
They should avoid sending their children to universities far from home where they would have to stay in university accommodation, otherwise we will lose our children, who will be assimilated into the non-Muslim society.
We have to be careful to eat only halaal (lawful) food and the parents must avoid using all kinds of haraam (unlawful) things such as cigarettes, marijuana and other things which are widely available in non-Muslim countries.
Outside the home:
We must send our children to Islamic schools from kindergarten to the end of secondary school (high school).
We must also send them to the mosque as much as possible, to pray Jumu'ah (Friday prayers) and other prayers in jamaa'ah, and to attend lectures, halaqahs (study circles) and study circles, etc.
We must establish educational and sporting activities for children and youth in places that are supervised by Muslims.
Organizing educational camps where all members of the family can go.
Fathers and mothers should strive to go to the Holy Places to perform the rituals of 'Umrah (lesser pilgrimage)and the obligation of Hajj (pilgrimage), accompanied by their children.
Training children to speak about Islam in simple language which adults and children, Muslim and non-Muslim, can understand.
Training children to memorize Qur'aan and sending some of them -if possible- to a Muslim Arab country so that they can gain an understanding of the religion, then come back to be daa'iyahs (inviters)who are equipped with knowledge of Islam and the language of the Qur’aan.
Training some of our sons to give Jumu'ah Khutbahs (Fridat sermons), and to lead the Muslims in prayer, so that they will become leaders of the Muslim community.
Encouraging children to marry early so as to protect their religious and worldly interests.
We have to encourage them to marry Muslim girls from families who are known for their religious commitment and good attitudes.
We have to avoid using the number 911 and calling the police to come to the house to resolve conflicts. If conflicts arise, we must get in touch with a responsible member of the Muslim community or with wise Muslims to help resolve the conflict.
Not attending parties where there is dancing, music and singing, or joining in celebrations of immorality or the festivals of kufr; stopping our children, with wisdom, from going to church on Sundays with Christian students.
And Allaah is the Source of strength and the Guide to the Straight Path.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid.
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