As they increase in age…so do my worries.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

Alhamdulillah she has just turned nine years old. My eldest.

The coolness of our eyes and the contentment of our hearts. May Allah swt always keep her like that. Aameen.

Once a shy little sweet girl, is now turning into a notsolittle girl. A girly girl who likes pretty things, arts and crafts and has the biggest sweet tooth ever! Mashallah laquwata illa billah.

However, as time goes by and her  character develops and changes, so is her physical appearance. And alhamdulillah as happy as I am to see her thrive and grow, there is a worry inside me that grows alongside…

I remember being that age, I lived in jeans and dungarees, a bit of a tomboy… the son my parents never had. It was only a couple of years later that I wasnt allowed to wear those “boys” clothes, and had to start wearing traditional asian clothing.

With my daughter however, I have started much earlier, not necessarily having to wear traditional asian attire but as long as her clothes are modest, loose fitting and cover her appropriately.

Some people asked me why from such a young age, some even criticised.

One word.

Well actually two.

Sex education.

(And no not the type we learn in school, although I’m going to have to have that discussion with her at some point…)

Sex education. Surely teaching our children to dress modestly at a young age is key to starting to teach them about modesty and haya. Teaching them that their body is theirs, a gift from Allah swt and should be looked after and well protected. (Thinking to myself… from prying eyes and evil thoughts).

Hijab. Another controversy.

“She’s only little, why do you make her wear it?”

I dont.

Honestly I dont and I never have. Encouraged with love? Definitely, but never forced.

Alhamdulillah, having it as part of school uniform and seeing me wear it, has embedded a natural habit and she sees it as a normal part of “getting ready” each day.

Surely instilling good habits from a young age will inshaAllah go a long way and make them easy to do at an older age?

All too often in my profession, I see the same mistake repeated. No encouragement, teaching or training given. She hits thirteen and boom! “Happy Birthday… heres a hijab”, not literally but almost. And that goes for many other things like limiting where she goes, who she sees, what she wears and how she behaves. Some people think their child is magically going to transform overnight. No one does. No one can. May Allah swt make it easy for those parents and increase understanding and love between them and their children. Aameen.

I remember at university classes meeting a forty something fashion student, cropped hair, cropped jeans, cropped everything. And then meeting the same student in the prayer room, fully covered praying salah. And she would turn up for every single salah.

When she saw me she laughed and said,”from a young age my parents taught us no matter what, never leave your salah…so I havent, I just cant…”. SubhanAllah. May Allah swt strengthen her imaan and grant her happiness wherever she is. Aameen.

Some time ago a close friend messaged me regarding my parenting skills and wrote, “you’re amazing mashaAllah. Such a wonderful example to the rest of us x”. Now as flattering as that message is my response was, “not really- feel like I should be doing loads more… just blagging my way through this parenting malarky x”.

Its so diffcult “getting it right”, they dont come with manuals and we dont get any training!

Alhamdulillah all is not lost, Allah swt tells us,

قَالَ لَا تَخَافَا إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَا أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَىٰ

“He said: Fear not, surely I am with you both: I do hear and see.” The Quran 20:46.

We are not alone and we never will be, alhamdulillah Allah swt is always with us.

And what we can do is make lots of dua, seek help and guidance from Allah swt, try our best and leave the rest to Him swt.

May Allah swt enable us all to teach, guide, protect and do the best we can for our children, and may our children grow to be the best of human beings. Aameen.

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