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A Child’s Innocence

A Child’s Innocence

This topic came to my mind when I was out with my 8 year-old sister. We had decided to go to the beach one evening just to spend time together. It’s amazing how little kids’ minds seem to work and how easily influenced they become by their surroundings.

I was curious to know a few things about my sister that I had always pondered about. I was not very surprised by most of her answers until I asked her “Who is your role model? The one person you look up to and want to be like one day?” While her other answers showed her intelligence and her confidence in what she knows, I was really taken by the way she chose to answer this specific question. She started by saying “Umm, I really like Miley Cyrus…but I don’t like her singing…just the way she dresses…” She stopped for a minute and then she continued: “Did you know she was only 15 when she became really famous?”

I had to stop myself before I completely exploded with fury towards her opinion. I thought about how while I was growing up in Saudi Arabia, I was taught that the only role models I should have in my life; the only people that I was supposed to be influenced by were the women that made a difference in the history of Islam, such as the women of the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) household, his wives and daughters. These were the women who served Allah and their community with bravery and wisdom, who tried to make a difference through learning, teaching, nursing, and other important activities.

I knew better than to spoil the moment and instantly lecture my sister. Plus, I knew that she wasn’t the one to blame. I am not exactly sure who is to blame, but I realize that compared to the exposure we have towards movie stars and celebrities, there is a lack of exposure towards certain historical role models in our educational system. I thought about the situation my sister would be in if she was asked the same question in front of her classmates by a non-Muslim teacher. What would the teacher’s response be if my sister said “my role model is the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) “? And what kind of explanation would my sister offer? I do believe that I’m responsible to educate my siblings about the important figures in Islam and I strongly felt the urge to begin doing so right after I had this talk with my sister.

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I am not saying that now-a-days we lack beneficial role models, nor am I trying to be judgmental about little kids’ mentalities. I just think that if we start by educating young kids about Islam in depth and gaining more knowledge ourselves, we will be able to have confidence in the personalities that we are developing in the midst of growing up. And who knows? Maybe after sharing what we’ve learned about the great role models that we can look up to, we’ll be able to influence someone into realizing that Islam is the most beautiful religion followed and celebrated by many people around the world!

View Comments (7)
  • Beautiful post. I do see younger girls who look up to celeberties and it saddens me to see it. We have the most perfect role models and we tend to see faults in them but find perfection in people full of faults. What saddens me more is when that famous person makes a mistake many mothers are like, ‘It’s a shame, my daughter looks up to her. I dont’ know how to explain this one’. The kids are sometimes blinded becasue the parents are blinded too.
    May Allah guide us toe the right path. Ameen

    JAK

  • What a beautiful article. I completely agree that we need to spread knowledge of Islam that better influences these young children. In this society, it’s so hard to convince them of the benefits and beauty of it with all the more attractive colorful things out there, but in time, Insha’Allah, we can let them see that our religion guides us to the right path, and makes us better human beings.

  • Beautifully written and amazing article. It was so thoughtful & true. You’re right – it makes me sad how, not only the youth of Islam, but youth in general tends to look up to the wrong people and role models. What’ll happen to our future generations if that keeps up?

  • you’re right here we are with younger sister and the awful shows that are on television and we don’t even inform our sisters about how these girls are 1 day going to the hellfire and they want to be just like them sisters in Islam we need to pull our sisters aside and speak the truth

  • as salamu ‘alaykum

    Great reminder! I was just contemplating this same topic (role models/heroes) this past week. I’ve realized that a lot of the Muslim children I know are so obsessed with movie figures, Spiderman, Batman, etc. It’s only fantasy, though, right?

    One day while at the store, I noticed my oldest, only 6, looking at the movies. For the first time, I really thought deeply as to what this love for movies means. It doesn’t just stop at the fictional characters does it? These fictional characters are played by REAL people, like you and me and worse! People with issues. Hollywood stars are known for their chaotic lives. Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking, Fornication, Adultery, Divorce… just to name a few of the issues! Once our children grow a bit more, will the obsession move onto these people themselves? Will they want to imitate their dress, their adab, and so on? Where does it really end?

    I believe the problem starts with the adults who are responsible over the children. Children are so pure and their little hearts are poisoned by those that expose them to certain things. How many times do we hear parents complain that their children are so addicted to candy? Well, who exposed them? I think as adults we need to ask ourselves if our own role models are the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) and the companions (radhiyAllahu anhum) and the Prophets. We must be honest with ourselves. Do we love Rasulullah (sallAllahua layhi wa sallam) with an immense love that pushes us to look at ourselves? Do we love the way he lived his life so simply? Remember the story of the woman who threw trash on him? What did he do? He worried about her the day she didn’t throw any trash on him! Amazing character subhana’Allah. Do we read about his life and try to find ways to improve our character after reading about his character?

    If we can encourage ourselves to be better then inshaAllah we can impart a better message to those that look up to us because we are role models ourselves and that is why we are to blame.

  • i used to behave the same way as your sister, but alhamdulillah, i am slowly moving away from that stage. all they need id time and enough, proper guidance. insya’allah.

  • very true about what muslim teens, kids etc etc Included me !!! get caught up in these type of stuff that entertrain us they do there jobs good .We always have to talk to our friends like what do you think gonna happen next on pretty little liars . Omg did you see last nights show . So there many ways we watch all these shows now a days and this terrible people become rolemodels . but not all are terriable .

    salam

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