Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
These are strange times we live in. On the one hand, it offers unprecedented opportunities, while on the other, it presents overwhelming challenges. The latter, however, far outweighs the former. Covid-19 lockdown and the resulting change in social life has further aggravated the situation.
Following the approval by Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa for Canada’s Majlis-e-Shura proposals of MKA Canada, a series of virtual parent information sessions were organised across the country at a regional level. The objective was to make parents aware of the challenges faced by Khuddam, share available resources and answer their questions.
Attending this session required prior registration and it was restricted to parents and married Khuddam. Personalised links were emailed. 15 such sessions were held across Canada during the month of June, with a combined total attendance of 1,400.
The first event was held on 7 June 2020, with the last event being held on 28 June 2020.
Mohtamim Tarbiyat of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada, Dr Mirza Tahir Ahmed Sahib hosted all the events. He reports that a link on khuddam.ca had been created to educate parents on how to monitor and control internet usage by their children.
In addition, a web portal has been created for parental support containing email addresses, phone numbers and other useful links. Huzooraa had approved multiple topics for these sessions. Each region was invited to select three topics that best met their need. 14 speakers were engaged to present these. The topics included:
– Timely marriage and marriage within the Jamaat
– Social media
– Seeking halal earning
– Mental health
– Drug abuse
– Covid-19 and family life
– Tarbiyat-e-aulad (righteous upbringing of children)
An engaging question and answer session followed the presentations. Answers were given by a panel comprising of speakers, local missionaries and Jamaat elders. 150 people gave feedback on these sessions. A selection from the feedback is given below:
“Information about pornography … along with some of the contents included in the curriculum that I was not aware of before.”
“It is important to instill taqwa in children at a young age along with effective and affectionate communication. If required, intervention should happen at early stages with hikmat [wisdom]. Becoming aware of technology and nuances is important.”
“We got a lot of information about social media and learned about mental health. It is good that those who are suffering can reach out (via Khuddam help line).”
“As a parent, you really need to look out for what your kids are doing and be updated on different social media problems they can get involved in.”
“… it was good to hear the emphasis on lawful earnings and how that impacts our children.”
“Help is available to ask questions pertaining to parenting and youth mental health.”
“We, both husband and wife, need to be more vigilant and strive for more prayers. A lot more prayers and struggles are needed if you want to have your children alive spiritually”.
“… important to teach kids at a young age [about] what is [the] impact of ‘Halal earning’; discussion with kids age-appropriate about sexuality and what is our religious teaching and the importance of marriage.”
“Taking care of izzat-e-nafs [self respect] of youth for their tarbiyyat and timely assistance.”
“Connection with Khilafat and Nizam-e-Jamaat. Open discussions with children.”
“Watch MTA regularly with your children.”
“Parent-child relationship needs to be developed more. Develop a friendly environment with kids at home.”
“Know the struggles of young kids.”
“Regular communication with children is a must. Having empathy for their situation helps.”
“Informative and realistic session. Helpful for parents to combat their responsibilities for [bringing up] kids in a good Islamic culture.”