Bringing up our children can sometimes feel daunting, especially when we are unable to find the support we need. Discipline, deen, education, connection – the list of concerns goes on. We as parents all struggle at times and sometimes feel we are falling short. Brother Nazir bin Naseeb Al-Mujaahid talks to SISTERS magazine about his mission to provide Muslim parents with the resources to become outstanding.
Louise Adamson: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Nazir bin Naseeb Al-Mujaahid: I am the eldest of six children born into a Christian family. I was educated in a Christian private school for 11 years before rejecting what I had been taught and starting my search for the truth which ended with Islam.
I have 9 children, 4 daughters ranging from 13 to 20 years old and 5 sons ranging from a few months to 10 yrs old, alhamdulillah.
I’ve had a regular blue collar background from driving a school bus, taxi, CNC machine operator, and then I eventually started a home-based business where I learned the leadership and business skills necessary to retire at a young age which allowed me to work from home. In business, I’ve run my own consulting firm for offline and online businesses and began investing in precious metals and real estate.
LA:What brought you to start up Outstanding Muslim Parents?
NA: Different groups of friends began to ask about what we were doing with our parenting that they weren’t doing because they saw that our children were well-behaved in public and respected by their friends. I would advise on what I thought we were doing differently than many Muslims parents – what to me sounded fundamental, to them sounded like mind-blowing information. This began to happen frequently after friends began to suggest other parents contact us for advice. We were initially reluctant to delve into teaching parenting techniques, feeling uncomfortable because there are lots of different family dynamics that come into play. But one day I heard of a close friend’s son who vocalised his rejection of Islam! That hurt me deeply because my friend and I took shahadah on the same day and he was one of the first Muslims I’d met. My daughter was only one year younger than his son, but she was on a totally different path despite me giving him advice when his son was younger. That incident, along with the prodding of other parents, is what caused us to use the business systems that I was consulting about in our own business in the parenting niche because unfortunately there are few resources dedicated to Muslim parents that are practical and effective for today’s times.
LA: What are the most pressing problems you see within the Ummah concerning our children and parenting nowadays?
NA: I believe that the there are many issues, but what tops the list in my opinion is the disconnect between understanding how fast society is moving toward immorality and its ease of access. Parents no longer have the luxury of using the “trial and error method” of parenting where they just let things happen as they may and try to make adjustments afterward, which is what I define as being reactive instead of proactive.
For example, in the US, gay marriage is now legal and many parents don’t know how to address or speak about it. Technology now makes it so much easier to broadcast fitnah and almost impossible to hide your sins, no matter how young you are. Simply sending your children to a Muslim school, Qur’an class, or Sunday school while not having a some type of system at home isn’t the best course of action. Parenting requires much more focused effort and that may be why the barakat are so high for parents that raise righteous children. There is the hadith, “When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge and righteous offspring who will pray for him.” (Muslim)
LA: As a parent, what can I gain from Outstanding Muslim Parents? And is this mostly online support, or are there local groups or workshops?
NA: If you are a parent that wants to raise children with a strong Muslim personality then you can learn strategies and methods that flow well with your child’s personality type which help with your parenting effectiveness. In my opinion, in order to be outstanding, it’s imperative to be able to properly nurture the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, educational and mental growth of your child(ren) in preparation for their lives.
We have several courses available online in order to better serve people worldwide, and we have been helping parents in over 50 countries so far, walhamdulillah. We also conduct live workshops, training and seminars when we are invited by parents.
LA: Do you have any cases of success stories you’d like to share?
A sister in Egypt had divorced and was going through a tough time with her pre-teen son who began to rebel after she remarried. He stopped listening to her and staying out late from home. She contacted us a few times and after offering some actionable advice and even questions to ask, she learned how to listen more and lecture less while also making a connection with her son.
After a few weeks, she emailed back in tears telling me how she had had a major breakthrough with him – he had begun to ask her questions and had apologised for his actions. He started to open up more to her and they addressed his fears regarding his new family and alhamdulillah, she was able to support him emotionally and he began to associate that strength with Islam.
A family in the US were having problems with their daughter’s low self-esteem and seeming addiction to other people’s opinions of her. After watching some videos from a course we offer, the parents decided that they need to be a unified force in front of her instead of disagreeing and fighting in front of her. They backed each other up in their positions and allowed their daughter to freely share hers so that she would know she is heard.
After some time passed and their daughter saw some of the things come true that her parents had warned her about, she began to open up more about her feelings and insecurities which allowed her mother to initially reassure her and her father to provide his support by being there for her. Her parents were so proud of her when she began to change her associations without their provocation, and they were in tears when their daughter told them that she had only started hanging out with the wrong crowd in defiance to her parents allowing her to make her own decisions. They were overwhelmed with joy to recognise that overparenting can be just as bad underparenting.
LA: What are your plans for the future of Outstanding Muslim Parents?
NA: We are in the process of establishing a programme where we certify parents and others to teach the framework that we have created insha Allah. It will allow us to reach more parents worldwide and help them with their parenting needs so that they can go from Average to Outstanding bi-idhnillah!
We’re also working to have an annual ‘Rites of Passage’ camp for young men where we establish our own traditions for that leap into manhood so that we aren’t raising a bunch of immature grown boys, but instead we are raising a group of strong young men that can deal with today’s issues from an Islamic viewpoint without compromising their identities.
LA: If you could give one piece of advice to Muslim parents, what would it be?
NA: Please understand that our children are a trust from Allah that are only under our care for a short time. Knowing that, it is imperative that we educate ourselves on how to be the most effective at raising righteous Muslim children that can deal with today’s issues.
So I respectfully request that as a parent you learn about how to be outstanding so that you may effectively nurture the emotional, spiritual, physical, psychological and social needs of your child and reap the reward with Allah swt when we will all need it most!
To find out more and access free parenting videos, visit outstandingmuslimparents.com
Louise Adamson is a freelance writer and editor, living in Sweden with her 6 children. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org