and Allah said "And proclaim the pilgramage among men; they will come to thee on foot and on every kind of camel. Lean on account of Journeys through deep and distant mountain highways" Surah 22 ~ Al Hajj Part 27
Afzal: Luton, England
Dear Webmaster - Asalaamwalaikum
I was born in Uganda and came to England as an expelled refugee when General Idi-Amin threw out all the Asians in 1972. For the first time in my life I realised how we had unknowingly mistreated the Africans for the shoe was now on the other foot. The English were treating us no better than that we were guilty of with the Africans! In the 35 years of living in England , I have seen many changes occur and am definitely not sure if they are all for the better.
Living and working conditions had improved tremendously by the time Maggie Thatcher became Prime Minister, but life was infinitely better than. One was able to leave their back doors open without the fear of being burgled or use their credit cards without being scammed. Whilst there was a sort of gang culture, hard core drugs were not that much of an issue certainly with in the Asian community. Life was also simpler and seeing the way society was degenerating to the point it is today I began looking at my own roots, re-examining it, if you like.
Born in Africa to "modern Asian parents" and growing up amongst mainly other Asians from all parts of Hindustan (present day Pakistan , India , Nepal and Bangladesh ) I did not really have that much of an Islamic influence. This fact remained with me even more so when we came to England and life completely changed. We had more of the English culture that we definitely imposed on ourselves in order to "fit in", I guess it's better known as "Integration".
Anybody, who knows Luton will tell you whilst its a bustling and dynamic place... its definitely not the place you want to bring up kids unless you want to loose them to the sinful depravation called society that is influenced by Rap, Drugs, Gangs, Sex and Partying! The language the kids use is no better than the sewers it comes out from and our children think that is amazingly Kool (cool- gangsta - Wicked - meaning Great !)
Parents are very ignorant for they realise not that the biggest teachers our kids have today are the Peers at school and the Internet. The situation is further exasperated and fuelled by American conglomerates one can not but miss the designer branding that the clothing supports especially when the trousers are hanging halfway down the hips! And all that is Gangsta!
My 17 year old son arrived home one day supporting not only a pierced ear but also a design on the back of his head where there was once nice straight hair. Needless to say that look with in a matter of minutes changed in to a bandaged ear and a bald head. I am not a wealthy person, I sold my car and paid for my son to be placed in to a Islamic boarding school. I changed my own ways and started studying Islam. In England this is not easy as not every city has these facilities. we are lucky in Luton. I realised that part of the problem I had with Islam was the fact that alot of traditionally asian cultures have been added to Islam and called religious. Islam is finally awakening and things are becoming clearer and a marked move...away from traditional and cultural values is taking place...finally!
It was the best decision I made as my son has just graduated as a doctor and is also helping other parents realise the epidemic that is sweeping our land and no one seems to be worrid by it. Some kids are better equiped to handle the modern culture, some are not...do you know if your child is?
That is the question you need to be asking yourself.... don't have the blinkers through your Love for your children. Look at them as you would anybody else and make the right decision.
Asalaamwalaikum wa rehamthullah wa barkathu brother
It is very much along the lines of one hadidth that comes to mind...
Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was walking though the market with the suhabas's (followers) when one of them asked him - "Rasulillah, how many of the people here were loved by their parents as children and how many were not, in that they had very strict parents"
The answer was: "All the ones that you see lugging heavy weights, begging, have menial jobs or are sitting around hungry and tired were very much loved by their parents!"