Monday, May 17, 1999
I have chosen this week to write about a topic which is important
to me, rather than answer questions.
WHERE ARE THE SCHOOLS?
As we reflect on marriage, and the many accompanying responsibilities,
I have a question for the Muslim Ummat: "Where are the SCHOOLS
for our older Muslim children?" As the mother of six children,
five who have reached the age of puberty, this is of deep concern
I am an American convert to Islam. The only other Muslim relative
I have is a female cousin who also converted (alhamdullilah).
So I'm interested to know: do Muslims from "Muslim Countries"
see this as a problem? I have noticed that Pakistanis and Arabs
to name only a few, seem to have the reinforcement of their Muslim-based
culture and other Muslim relatives in raising their children.
This is great! But all Muslims are not blessed with such circumstances.
Many of our Muslim children who are "young adults"
are attending American public schools (or private) for their
education and as we know, picking up many un-Islamic habits.
I'm sure this is not news to you. I don't understand why in most
situations, when a community decides to build and/or start a
school, it is always with the primary grades (K-3) when clearly
it is the older children who are most at RISK for LOSING THEIR
Could it be we feel we cannot give our older children "as
good an education" as the American school system? As a former
certified teacher, I disagree. As the past few weeks have shown,
American culture: schools, etc. are experiencing serious problems
and the less we expose ourselves and our children to these negative
influences, the better.
As Muslims, we have the answers to many of these problems:
drugs, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and violence to name a few.
A good education is not based in beautiful or expensive buildings,
and many of us have a talent for teaching because we care about
There are viable alternatives since many have already recognized
the problem. A few of these alternatives are correspondence courses
or home-schooling (which is popular amongst many non-Muslims
as well). True, each family is responsible for the education
of its children, yet all Muslims have a responsibility to develop
Islamic alternatives for the good of all Muslim children, because
we all ultimately feel the ill-effects. So, as a Muslim mother,
to my sisters/friends in faith, I say, we must make this a priority
for the sake of the FUTURE GENERATION of MUSLIMS. We can only
do so much in such a diverse environment, but I believe we can
do more in the area of EDUCATION prior to college.
I acknowledge the many brothers and sisters who are already
tirelessly teaching, administering, and counseling our children.
We must expand this effort and those Muslims who have been BLESSED
with WEALTH (individuals and/or organizations) should make this
a priority, for Allah's sake.