Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Important Role of a Parent

Yesterday was one of those days that made me feel like I really don’t like the work that I do. Sometimes I have those days, it mainly happens when I have to see how parents mess up the lives of their beautiful, innocent children. I guess that’s one of the downfalls of working in the psychology profession. It’s really sad to see what parents do to their lovely little kids. Although I’ve been working in this field for a long time already, it still makes me so angry every time. There are just some things that you cannot accept, and seeing how reckless parents are with their own children’s lives is one of those things for me. Obviously I cannot divulge details, but let me say that there are way too many parents out there who do not understand the role and responsibility of parenthood.

Parents are supposed to protect their children and keep them safe from harm. Having children is such a big trust and such a huge responsibility and yet I am amazed at how frivolous people are with regards to this. It’s like some people care more about themselves than they do about their children, and some parents behave like they are still children themselves, without considering the effects this has on their children. I honestly feel like knocking some sense into certain people because they are so oblivious to the negative effects that they have on their children.

Parents are the first people that a child knows, the first role models, the people whose behaviour is followed, and really from the things I see I can tell you that some people do not deserve to be parents. I know that Allah (SWT) is the knower of all things and Allah sees everything, and everyone will be accountable for their actions on this earth, but when I see how some parents are the cause of their children’s problems, I really feel that they don’t deserve their children.

Life is strange, there are so many amazing people out there who can’t have children and who long to have them just so that they can bring them up in the best manner; and then on the other hand you find people who are parents but they neglect their duties as parents and they abuse their children in many different ways. Clearly these parents have many problems of their own, but is it fair that innocent children have to face the consequences of their parents problematic lifestyles. And I have to wonder, if people can’t rectify their behaviour for the well-being of their own children then what will ever make them rectify their lives. All I can do is pray that Allah (SWT) guides every person who is a parent to fulfil their duties and to bring their children up in the correct manner. But more importantly I pray for all those little innocent children who are forced to grow up before their time because their parents are unable to act like mature and responsible adults and take care of them the way they deserve to be taken care of.

Parenthood is not an easy job, it’s not something that you can ignore or choose to do when you want to do it. Parenthood is a lifelong commitment, in my opinion it’s the most important human commitment that we will ever have. Perhaps people need to consider this more often and instead of only thinking of themselves and their own pleasures they should consider what type of a parent they need to be.

In Islam we learn that each person will be answerable for those that are in their care. I really wouldn’t want to stand in front of Allah Almighty one day and have to account for children that I did not bring up properly. I’m sure most of you wouldn’t want to do that either.

May Allah Almighty help us all and may Allah give strength to all the parents out there so that they can care for their children as they should be cared for!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to Blue Pearl for giving me this award. Dearest Blue Pearl, I pray that Allah Almighty rewards you and keeps you as fun and caring as you are:)

Now I have to pass on the award to 7 other people so here goes; These blogs are all really interesting and inspiring in its own way. All I can say is that my Muslim sisters are amazing: So the Versatile Blogger Award goes to..........

After the Nikah

Being the best damn sparrow

Bubblez Island

Muslimness- Zaufishan

Reflections 4 Muslimahs

Sweet Serenity

Xo Xo...Sweet Success

Well done ladies, I hope that you can continue to inspire us with your writing.

Now the second part of this award is to write 7 things about yourself, so after much consideration here are my 7 things:

1. I am really happy to be a Muslimah and feel blessed and humbled that I have been given such a wonderful gift- SubhanAllah

2. I love meeting new Muslim sisters and think its great that I can connect with so many wonderful Muslim sisters (even those I connect with in cyberspace!)

3. I am a psychologist who happens to disagree with many aspects of mainstream psychology so perhaps that makes me an anti-modern-psychology psychologist (Strange- I know:) and what a tongue twister)

4. I come from a big family (we are 8 children) and my crazy, noisy, weird family is an important part of my identity.

5. I am a born and bred Johannesburger or Jo'burger as they say here in South Africa. But city life is really starting to get on my nerves (as you can tell from my last post).

6. I want to change the world, and make it a better place, (and the lyrics of Michael Jacksons heal the world, make it a better place is now playing in my head).

7. On a lighter note, I'll tell you something unimportant about me- I'm really afraid of cats (and for those cat lovers please dont try and rationalize this, its irrational, thats the point of a phobia).

So there are 7 Things About Me. Stay well everyone, May Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon you all...and Blue Pearl- Thanks for the award again;

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Getting away from the urban jungle

For those of us living in major cities, we really don’t realize what we’re missing out on. We’ve become so accustomed to life in the city, everything’s busy and in constant movement. There’s no time to stop and just take a look around to notice things. We tend to take for granted the most simple things in life, like nature; trees, flowers, plants, animals and water. The level of urbanization that we’ve reached is quite strange. About a month ago I spent the day with some friends at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. This is not even a far distance out of Johannesburg, but as soon as we stepped into the Gardens it was like we were lost in another world. We were surrounded by greenery and the nature was so calm and relaxing that we all wished we could just stay there forever. You can see the pictures below, I’m sure you’ll feel the same way. We went for a hike and admired the nature along the way and of course there was the beautiful natural waterfall that’s the highlight of the Gardens. The strangest thing about this was that something that’s supposed to be normal and natural was actually unusual for us to do. One of the ladies even joked with us about been real city girls, you know, completely out of touch with nature. I think it’s really weird that this is what has become of the human race. In Johannesburg everything is very urban and although there are some beautiful parks and gardens, most people rarely have time to go to these places, and when you do go on weekends it’s usually very full and with all the hustle and bustle going on, it’s hard to appreciate the nature around you.

In the city people only get to see animals by going to a zoo, and yes, even the cities in Africa are like that. I think the whole idea of a zoo is unnatural in itself. Animals caged up so that humans can come and see them. This is so strange and it goes against nature, yet we’ve become so accustomed to urban living that we don’t even realize that this is so strange. And it’s not the only thing that’s strange about the city. People are so busy with their hectic lives that no one even has time to stop and talk to the next person. Everything’s so cold and unfriendly, and people seem to be constantly in a hurry. I don’t know exactly what things are like in other cities, but here in Johannesburg, if you’re taking too long to move after the traffic light has turned green (and by too long I mean like a matter of seconds) then you have people hooting behind you because they’re in such a big hurry, really its unnatural to be that stressed out and in a constant hurry.

I always used to think that living in the countryside would be amazing. Clean fresh air, quiet and peaceful surroundings, fresh fruits and vegetables instead of the frozen stuff we buy in supermarkets; space for children to play, and, a simple community where everyone knows each other and cares genuinely about one another- as opposed to a community that’s based on capitalism and constant competition. Seriously, rural life just sounds so much better!

In any case, since I am living in the city and chances are that I’m probably not going to be moving to the countryside very soon, at least it’s nice to take some time out and appreciate the beauty of nature, because appreciating Allah’s natural creations is also a form of worship. This is definitely something that I think us city people should try and do more often, because really, the city life just drains your energy and makes you forget that life can actually be very simple. When you are in natural surroundings you automatically seem to be more in touch with things, not only with nature, but also with humanity, your own humanness and that of others, but more important than this is that it makes you feel so much closer to Allah (SWT). You feel calm and peaceful, stress free, like there’s no care in the world and it seems that time can stand still because nothing really matters. Just writing this post makes me want to go back to the Gardens again.(Inshaa Allah that will happen very soon. )

So let me end off by saying that just because we’re living in the city doesn’t mean we have to be like city people. We don’t have to become part of the constant rat race, we can live by our own rules, and by that I mean we can take time out and appreciate nature, we can stop to talk to someone and ask them how they’re doing with the intention of really listening to them even if it takes a long time, we can spend the day getting dirty doing gardening. We can chill out on the roads and actually take time to look at what’s happening around us instead of just driving past everything in a hurry. There are many things that we can do to remind us that life is not about the constant rush, it’s not about working hard so that we can get more money to buy a bigger house or fancier car. Life is about worshipping Allah Almighty and appreciating the beautiful natural creations of Allah is one important form of worship. Let us try and take life easy instead of rushing through everything.

I hope that this inspires all you city people to take some time out and spend that time in natural surroundings, really it will make a huge difference in your life!

Masha'Allah, truly Allah's creation is beautiful! Isn't it?

Monday, January 3, 2011

I’ve been fooled and I should’ve known better

I’m sure that you are just waiting to know how exactly I have been fooled, well here it is, INFOMERCIALS!

You see I have very sensitive skin so I’ve always been looking for something good that will help remove facial hair easily because waxing just basically burns my skin and once or twice it even caused me to bleed. It’s not as dramatic as it sounds, but yeah, it is quite a painful experience. In any case I saw this product been advertised on infomercials and it seemed really great, it was one of those facial hair removing gadgets which is just supposed to magically do the trick. So I decided to get it, despite the fact that everything anyone I know has ever bought after seeing it on infomercials didn’t ever work the way it had been advertised.

Well, all I can say is that I really should’ve known better. It doesn’t seem to work at all. I tried it out so many times thinking that I must be doing something wrong, but no, I’m now totally convinced that I have been fooled. It’s not an unusual thing to happen either, I mean that’s the point of advertising isn’t it, ‘selling your products’, that’s all that it’s about and it doesn’t really matter whether the products work or not, what matters is how well it can be advertised. Now, I’ve known this for a long time, and it was sort of like an unspoken rule for me not to buy the things that are advertised so well, so I guess I just should’ve stuck to that. I mean, I used to see all these things been advertised and it would always irritate me because I could see how false it was. You have to agree with me that the worse is when they advertise diet products. The people they get to come on there to say how much weight they’ve lost after such a short time and how great they look now, really used to get on my nerves because it all just seemed so fake. Or, the really skinny women they get to advertise exercise machines and show the rest of us what we’ll look like if we use that machine, seriously, it’s ridiculous, right.

It reminds me of something we learnt so well at school when we were studying Shakespeare; The theme of Appearance Versus Reality. So in appearance it seems that they are offering us a really great product, but in reality it doesn’t really work the way they said it would. I have to admit though that it is quite tactful. Especially since there’s not that much you can do about it. You can’t take the thing you’ve bought back because physically there’s nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t work how you expected it to, that’s not a reason to get a refund. So I suppose we should look out for all the things that they go out of their way to advertise and then stay away from those things.

I don’t know about you, but I sure do hope that I never fall victim to this type of product advertising again inshaa Allah. And I’m sharing this with you so that none of you fall victim to it either. We should remember that the genuine things in life are the ones that will never look glamorous, they will be the unpopular things that are more difficult to find.

I remember reading somewhere that the Sahaaba (RA) used to make a duaa every time they went out to buy something, basically asking Allah to guide them in what they bought. This is a great practise to get into and I have decided to start doing this also, that way we won't end up buying unnecessary things and whatever we buy will be beneficial, Inshaa Allah.
May Almighty Allah be our guide and help us to spend our money on good and helpful things only!

Image from: