Archive for March 27th, 2011
GUIDELINES FOR ‘PRIVATE EMAILS’
How often do we find ourselves having to email a sister (if you are a brother) or a brother (if you are a sister) privately, about a matter that is really not one that can be shared with everyone on the MSA board? There are three guidelines that fall under this:
1) Always make sure it is something that really can’t be avoided. Don’t just email him/her privately because it’s more personal that way, or because you just get a kick out of it. Really think to yourself: Do I absolutely have to email him/her about this matter privately? If you answer yes, see the next guideline.
2) ALWAYS CC a third party in the email. Rarely do we need something to be addressed that is SO private, that we can’t add even one more person to the conversation. If you really think this is the case, ask yourself what is it that you are discussing with the brother/sister that is so personal that you can’t tell anyone else, and is this something you should really be discussing with them?
“And do not follow desires such that you are misguided from the Way of Allah”[38:26]
CCing a third party will keep you in check during the conversation. There are things that can happen in a 2-person conversation that are less likely to happen in a 3-person conversation. If you still think you cannot CC third party, see the next guideline.
3) If you absolutely cannot CC a Third Party: Fear Allah, and keep the email as short as humanly possible. This is one of the easiest avenues that Shaytaan can enter to ruin your life, so don’t even give him that option. If the case is really that you cannot CC anyone, then understand that you still have a third party in that email/conversation and it is shaytaan.
The Prophet sallallahu 3layhi wasallam said: “Never is a man alone with a woman except that Satan is the third party with them.” (Al-Tirmidhi 3118, Narrated by Umar ibn al-Khattab)
And know that Allah swt is Watching you from Above the seven Heavens, and He sees what you are doing.
“Have you not seen that Allah knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth? There is no Najwa (secret counsel) of three, but He is their fourth (with His Knowledge, while He Himself is over the Throne, over the seventh heaven), nor of five but He is their sixth (with His Knowledge), not of less than that or more, but He is with them (with His Knowledge) wheresoever they may be; and afterwards on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything.” Surah Mujadilah, ayah 7
So keep the email as short as possible and do not mention anything that does not need to be mentioned. If you can, point it out to the email-recipient “I did not CC a third party for such and such reason, but let’s keep this conversation short and to the point.” This shows them that you are not interested in anything but a quick answer to your inquiry, otherwise, it sends people a really WRONG message when you email them privately.
Stay tuned for more!
(Check out the old posts under “MSA advice”)
When working with an MSA, you may find yourself having to email the opposite gender. So a brother may have to send an email to a sister, or a sister may have to send an email to a brother. Or it may be something like an email list where your email gets sent to every member of the MSA board. Without certain guidelines, this can be quite a hotbed of fitan (pl. of fitnah).
The biggest and easiest guideline that anyone can follow is simple, 4 short words:
CUT THE FAT OUT
Self-explanatory, no? Basically, your emails should be so short and to the point, that you leave no room to guess second-meanings, and that you don’t try to show your personality to the opposite gender (will it benefit the da’wah if you were to try to show what a great sense of humor you have? probably not, it’ll probably do the opposite, trust me.) So if there is a question about what speaker to get for an event, the answer is as simple as:
I suggest speaker A, B, and C.
You may end it with Barak Allahu Feekum, or Jazzakum Allahu Khayr, or waAsalamualaykum. But sometimes people end their emails like this purely out of habit. Like they don’t know what else to say and the email looks incomplete so they just stick it in the end. Does this mean that this is fat that needs to be cut out? Maybe not, but at least don’t stick it there out of habit, do it sincerely hoping that Allah blesses them, and rewards them, etc.
That is Guideline #1 for Communicating through Emails, more to come inshaa’Allah!
| The Role of Parents in Their Children’s Lives
By Maria Khani
Quoting a saying of Imam Ali where he says children should be played with until the age of seven, after which they are disciplined for a further seven years, and then befriended for the next seven years,
For example, prayer times should be a time of great joy for young children, not something that is rushed. Parents can tickle and play on the prayer mat and display affection before starting, so that children have a positive association with this important ritual.
– Parents can nurture love within the home and love for Allah and His Prophet through gentleness and warmth.
– Pick up the Quran, take your child in your arms and read together. Ask him or her to point out words they know or that you want them to learn.
– Move beyond memorization alone, and capture your child’s imagination by telling them the stories that would make a typical fairy tale pale in comparison.
– Flying creatures? Al-Buraq.
– Miraculous objects? A Pen, which wrote about everything that would happen.
– Look for topics that would engage children – study the animals in the Quran and work on crafts that relate back.
– Make the Adhan a fixture in your home.
Encouragement & Support
Respect is key to the success of any family, and translates to communities where children are heard and are encouraged to participate. This starts at home. Parents should make time for their children – why do teachers often know more about our own children than we do? If that’s the case, more time with your child is in order.
Respect your child’s needs. No one likes to get up in the morning and immediately head to work, for example. Give children at least one hour and a half before they have to leave the house, or start an activity. How best to wake them up? Massage them, kiss them – make waking up a bonding activity that everyone looks forward to. Make sure children are well fed before starting the day.
Encourage children to share with others. Only buy them what they need, not what they want. Let them give of their time and their effort, and they will soon prefer to give, rather than receive.
Muslim Versus Mainstream
Make Eid an awesome party.
Talk about the point of celebrating achievements.
Teach about sensitive issues – like sex education – through references to the Quran and Sunnah (which a parent can slowly impart between grades 4 to 7). Other health topics from the Sirah include information on how to keep bodies clean.
For daughters, show the honor of Hijab, emphasizing its beauty as something a woman voluntarily does for the sake of Allah. Mothers should talk about how they feel about their Hijab, and share their own experiences with it.
Parents should consult each other on how to raise their children. In Surah Al Baqarah, Allah Talks about the decision to wean a child as one that both parents should make.
“…but if both desire weaning by mutual consent and counsel, there is no blame on them,” [Noble Quran 2:233]
Nowadays, many fathers have given up this responsibility, but it is important for them to remain involved in the upbringing of their children.
Remember The Goal:
When Prophet Zachariah called on Allah to grant him a son, he wanted someone to carry on the Prophetic tradition. The aim of having a child was to raise someone up who would carry on the mantle of righteousness.
“And surely I fear my cousins after me, and my wife is barren, therefore grant me from Thyself an heir, Who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Ya’qub, and make him, my Lord, one in whom Thou art well pleased.” [Noble Quran 19:5-6]
Remember, Prophet Noah lost his son because his son’s actions had cut him off from his own father (which shows that ultimately, even the best parent cannot be sure of the outcomes.)
“[Allah] said: O Nuh! Surely he is not of your family; surely he is (the doer of) other than good deeds, therefore ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge; surely I admonish you lest you may be of the ignorant.” [Noble Quran 11:46]
Raise your children with love and kindness, and pray that Allah will save us all.
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