Resolving Family Conflicts – A Lectureshop with Dr. Bilal Philips

As most of you know already. Dr. Bilal Philips is coming to #Karachi Insha’Allah! On this occasion, Hiba Magazine and LIVE DEEN have joined hands to bring to you a mega event:

Resolving Family Conflicts
A Lectureshop and Q&A with Dr. Bilal Philips

When: Friday, 27th February, 2015
Timing: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Where: Marriott Hotel Karachi

Ticket price
Single: PKR 1500/-
Special discount for couples: PKR 2500/- (SAVE PKR 500/-)

Tickets are available from Hiba Magazine’s office, Role Model Institute, and Da’wah Books.

Separate arrangement will be made for mothers with children under 5 years.

We hope to see you there, Insha’Allah!

Lectureshop Flyer

Thinking about the Extended Family

By Qainaf Najam

family6“The world is a very big house, many people living in many boxes,” says Dawud Wharnsby Ali in one of his Nasheeds. Every day I walk around in this big house – I explore new pathways, discover fresh stones and cross numerous boxes on the way. I peek inside each box and see people. Each box is unique… each box has its own type of people, and every person is different in their own tremendous way.

I interviewed a couple of youngsters, posing to them the following question: “Who is your favourite relative and why?” Here are the choices they made:

  • 13-year-old Maryam Sharif said: “I like and prefer Ayesha Tahir, my female cousin, the most. I idealize her for her caring nature towards her young cousins and everybody else. Apart from that, she loves art and crafts, which is a common trait in us. So naturally I enjoy, when she stays over at our place, and we watch movies and do fun stuff together.”
  • Hamza Arshad, a 9th grade student, says that his favourites would be the sons of his cousin, namely Khursund and Asfand. “They are my best pals, because we are almost the same age and, hence, share similar interests. I love playing cricket, and it is like a blessing, when I get the company of other two in it as well. Also, I feel close to them, because I can totally open up to them and talk about anything,” observes Hamza.
  • “My cousin Aidah,” replied Saman Arif promptly, without a moment’s hesitation. Saman, a 19-year-old girl doing her A’levels from a prestigious institution, says: “I hate people, who talk when I want them to just listen, and Aidah is my best ‘silent’ listener, who is always there to hear my long and never ending gossips patiently… and giving wise advices often. We have a lot in common. Even though she lacks the ‘adventure’ genes that I have inherited, I usually drag her into my activities, which makes them even more enjoyable. My stomach literally aches, until I have rattled off my day’s routine to her. I often wonder, if her ears ache after my talking, but it doesn’t matter… she would be too sweet to admit even if it did. She’s my best friend, sister, helper and advisor.”
  • Another teenager Tanzila Raza speaks about an extraordinary relative of hers: “My favourite relative is Daboo. He is the son of my nana’s driver. It may sound funny, but he is as good as a relative to me. He is a man, who knows how to manage blood ties, when no blood ties exist. He has always devotedly served our family just like his father. Despite having children as a doctor and a lawyer in Melbourne, Daboo continued his love and care for us and dropped us to school as always. He remained our dear caretaker and butler, and I salute his loyalty and love for my Nana. Unfortunately, he died three years ago in his late sixties. People like him are rare to find and must be treated with great care and warmth.”
  • This is how a 20-year-old undergraduate Dabeer answered the query: “It has to be my elder cousin, simply because we have lots in common, and she is about the only person, who understands me, so I can totally confide in her. She is the only person and that’s the only reason.”
  • “I like my Mamun most. He is generous, sympathetic and helps others without any worldly intentions. I’m not sure, whether he takes care of his prayers or not, but I bet he is always ahead to help humanity just for the sake of humanity and for the sake of Almighty Allah (swt),” came the wise response from FD Sheikh, a 22-year-old student doing his CA.

Allah (swt) has laid great importance on maintaining blood relations, so much so that those, who break blood ties, have openly been declared as losers. Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us all the beautiful earthly relations. It is mandatory for us as Muslims to enjoy these relations, handle them with love and teach the same values to those under our care. May Allah (swt) guide us all towards the right path, Ameen.

Elderly Parents – Handle With Care!

Vol 3- Issue 1  Elderly ParentsYouth is a gift of nature; age is a work of art. The gray in the hair and the wrinkles on the skin reflect close encounters with life. Incidents and emotions many of us have just read about have been lived by many elderly people. Ironically, not much is ever said or done about the elder stratum of our society, though they form a nuclear part of each family.

The purpose of this article is to bridge the gap between adults and their elderly parents. How can we give an aesthetic and meaningful touch to the nature’s most treasured family ties? We can simply turn the occasional tartness into a treat by retaining our own perspective. Following are the tips that focus on the upside of positive attitude and the benefits we may reap.

Recognize the Child in Them     

An old man is twice a child, according to William Shakespeare. No wonder grandparents and their grandchildren often seem to get along so well. However, we apply a different formula to handle both. With kids, we tend to be softer and ignore many questionable situations, taking into account their limited comprehension and experience. Conversely, with older folks we adopt a much harsher attitude, expecting them to demonstrate grace and wisdom always. Just as a child at his worst behaviour needs to be loved and handled with patience, the same applies to the elderly. If we agree that the old age is the second childhood, we should gear ourselves to deal with both likewise – with tolerance!

Help Them Slow Down

If our parents have led a very energetic life, they sometimes refuse to accept that age is catching up with them. Just like any machinery works at its best when it’s new, it needs regular servicing as it depletes. We fail to recognize the signs, and our parents don’t listen to the signals of their body. As children, we also at times expect our parents to function like they did ten years ago. They simply feel frustrated, when they cannot operate with the same vigor and virility. All super parents do get old and need to condition themselves to a gradual slow-down. Children must help them re-schedule their lives with maximum support and assurance that they can still do much but at a slower pace.

Encourage Them to Live on

Age brings multiple complexities in life. Some elderly fall in the trap of taking a pre-mature retirement from the life itself. This may occur after retirement from employment, marriage of children, or death of one of the spouses.  Feeling redundant, they wait around for their candle to blow out. Here, we can give them assuage that if they are alive, they certainly are not worthless.  It means there is still a plenty they can contribute. For example, they can teach the basic language and mathematic skills to the household servants, pass on familial traits (such as cooking or gardening) to their grandchildren, and do much more depending on their interests, mobility, and health.

Pull Them Away from Dangerous Habits

Richard Carlson comments that the elderly have far more years of bad habits to overcome than youngsters. Having generous portions of time available to them, they occasionally negatively capitalize on it by indulging into gossips. This is an indeed hurtful habit for the ambience of the home. Try to explain to them politely, how such loose conversation invites Allah’s (swt) wrath. You may pretend to place the blame on yourself or other factors for enticing them into starting it. This will save them from embarrassment. In case they do not budge from their stance, distract them with other chores and divert the conversation to more general topics. If nothing works, stop lending them your ear.

Dodge the Criticism

Disraeli has said that youth is a blunder, manhood – a struggle and old age – a regret. Criticism is just a way that certain people express themselves. It says less about us than it does about their need to criticize us. At times, due to hardships of life, our parents become habitual critics. Bitterness entrenches so deep in their lives that they can never appreciate a kind gesture or sincere intentions. Here the job is certainly a tough one, as humans temperamentally demand reward and recognition for their efforts. In such situations, just remember that the One, Who really needs to know and see, is Omnipotent and Omniscient. With Allah (swt) lies our ultimate reward.

Give Them Time

Panin once said that in youth the days are short and the years are long, while in old age the years are short and the days long. Sometimes neglect causes parents to behave inappropriately to warrant attention. Especially, when they feel their worth is no more than an old piece of furniture lying around the house. The best way is to engage them in any possible way. We can ask them to play board games with grandchildren or to share some old tales. We can set exclusive time to have tea or snacks with them in their room. We may discuss current affairs, family issues, hobbies or even seek their advice on their areas of expertise. Besides, they may not be around for long.

Try to be in Their Shoes

Age is a wretched combination of sickness, hopelessness, and dependence. When a case of common cold hits us, we end up becoming miserable. Though with medicines and appropriate treatment it goes away, we are cured by the mercy of Allah (swt). In old age, most of the diseases become a permanent condition. The symptoms differ only according to days, nevertheless, they are to stay. It takes nerves of steel and an iron will-power to fight it daily. This may translate into irritation, which is thrown up on others. According to Simone de Beauvoir, it is this very awareness that one is no longer an attractive object that makes life unbearable for so many elderly people.

Recognize Their Resistance to Change

Michel de Montaigio says: “Has anybody ever seen old age that did not applaud the past and condemn the present?” Often, older generation refuses to acclimatize itself to new ideas. This is a natural phenomenon. The nostalgia is so overwhelming that it doesn’t let them part with their past, let alone bury it. This makes them overly critical of all that is new and associated with it. They visit down the memory lane and want others to appreciate it with the same zeal. We do not have to start a heated argument, shooting down their perceptions as being old and outdated. Just open up our mind and close our mouth to draw the best out of their experience. When we get off to a good start, our positive attitude feeds on itself.

Listen to Them

Regardless of age, human beings have an instinctual need to be heard. If we consider ourselves, we tend to like the most those friends, who have a heart to hear us out patiently. Schopenhauer said that the first forty years of life give us the text, then the next thirty supply the commentary on it. The elderly like to relive their memories and occasionally share them with others. This may mean having to listen to their tales over and over again. We should take it in our stride with a touch of humour. One day, we may sound like a broken record playing a song over and over again for our children, too. We can all unanimously attest to the fact that the clocks are ticking also for us.