Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask Bilqis


Monday, May 17, 1999

I have chosen this week to write about a topic which is important to me, rather than answer questions.


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 to me.

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 DEEN!

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 the children.

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.

-Bilqis Muslim Matrimonials