Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My husband and I are trying to raise our daughter four-year-old for Allah’s sake, away from exposure to TV, secular education, etc. But when my parents come to visit, my father becomes a very big opponent to this method. He makes fun of me doing ruqya and blowing, or reading Quran stories at bedtime, etc. I feel very sad because I want them around, but I feel hurt and sad by their behavior. I try to always gently speak to him and remind him of the truth, but it doesn’t help much. Please advise because my daughter sides up with him, and it’s painful.
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and pray that you can find ways to establish meaningful habits that can help persuade your father that you are right.
The most important thing that happens in your home is what you do when your father is not there. Establish good habits, read the suras, tell the stories, recite the duas of eating, drinking, exiting, entering, and using the bathroom, etc., but even better, teach your child why we practice Islam. Go deeper. Teach her about the life of the Prophet, how he was the best Prophet, and how we are supposed to be the best umma. Inspire her, teach her about Islamic scholarship, history, and saints, and go beyond the routines of worship.
Once you have good habits going at home, your daughter will understand the default routine of the home, she will enjoy them, and one day, she might even be able to convince your father of the truth. When he does mock it, ignore it, be polite, tell him that you and your husband have chosen a specific upbringing and you will stick to it, and be firm. He will definitely come to accept it, even if after a while. With time, and with the grace of Allah, he will come out of the obstinacy and agree with you.
Please consider this hadith about patience: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.” [Ibn Majah]
I encourage you to be patient, consider well how often you should have him over, and turn to Allah in devotion and supplication about your problem. Give regular charity, for it stands in the way of calamity. Perhaps visit him instead of him visiting you so that you can control when you go and how long you stay. Have full trust that things will get better, in sha Allah.
Please see these links as well:
- My In-Laws Spoil My Child and Are a Negative Influence. What Should I Do?
- How Can I Guide My Irreligious Family?
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.