My Kids Aren't Good Followers of Islam

Question and answer details
M (46_female_Canada)
Assalamu alakum. As a single mother who raised children, there are some deficiencies left in them. They know Islam very well but not good followers. They have grown up and crossed 18 years and they do not listen to me. They do not pray 5 times etc. I always pray and say to my Allah give a right path to my children Ameen. I have no family here. My son has no friends. How can I connect my son and daughter with Muslim friends? I badly need help.
Dr. Maryam Bachmeier

Wa `Alaykum As-salam Sister,

It sounds like you are living with your adult children and are worried that they do not have Muslim friends and that their faith might be weak.

Indeed, we are living in a very difficult time; please do not give up hope for your children. Over the years you will be surprised in sha’ Allah.

For now, how are you doing? Is there a Masjid near you? Can you call the Imam (community leader) and ask him to have a sister bring you on Fridays? Even if your adult children do not want to go, they will see your example, and it will touch their hearts even if you do not notice. You will make friends; when you make friends, your friends may know of Muslims who your children might want to know.

When I was a single mother, Allah blessed me in this way. The important thing is to focus on your relationship with Allah. Your loved ones are naturally connected to you, so when you are connected to Allah, they feel it. The life in Islam is natural; nothing is forced. Life brings forth more life. Do not try to force your adult children to listen to you. It is natural for them to want to know what is in their own mind. Rather, pray to Allah to guide their minds, and know that the Angels whisper in their ears. The natural course of things is for your adult children to connect to Allah and to listen to Allah. This is best, and will happen in time in sha’ Allah.

I really feel how difficult it is and how hard it might be to see such an outcome sister, but I pray you keep up your faith, no matter how long, and trust that Allah has a plan. As for being a good example, this is really easy. You don’t want to appear to be something you are not, but rather the Mom, the human, the friend, that you are, who happens to pray and who happens to be aware of her connection to Allah. Islam is that simple. So, set your Azan to go off at prayer times. You can use the one in your computer. Then, pray right there and then. They will see you. They will feel your connection to Allah. It is that simple. Be the picture of love, warmth, nurturing, and purity. Your adult children will be curious and attracted to that.

Instead of trying to connect your children with Muslim friends, connect with your children. Connect with Allah, and then connect with your children. Go to the Masjid, and allow things to unfold naturally. I have found that adult children do not necessarily need to meet up with peers in order for their faith to increase. Each adult child is unique, just as he or she was when born, and Allah will bring into their lives exactly what they need for their spiritual growth. Allah will indeed bring into your life also, exactly what you need for your spiritual growth.

Ask your children to go out with you on Friday nights. First, go to the prayer; if they don’t want to go to the prayer with you, that’s alright, ask them to meet with you after prayer for coffee, or ice-cream, or tea...for fun. That is a secret that many seem to have forgotten; Allah approves of us connecting, and having fun and this could be just what is needed here. You don’t have to all go your separate ways in order to have friends and company; you all have Muslim company here and now. Be a friend to your children now; I am sure you could use some friendship also.

Don’t pressure your children or try to teach them anything anymore. Announce to them that you acknowledge that they are adults and will make their own adult decisions from now on, that you know they will find their way to Allah, and that you want to be friends with them and have some fun. Then be a good example for them in sha’ Allah. Let me know a little more about your situation and where you are; maybe I can help you with some more tips.

For further guidance, please try the following links:

Is Religion Too Much for Your Children?

The Qur’an and Little Hearts

How to Instill Islamic Manners in Children

About the Counselor:

Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant in the areas of mental health, cultural, and relationship issues.