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Question: What advice could I give my children as they are losing their Islam by hanging out with non-Muslim friends all day long?

Perhaps the only realistic way to wean your children of bad company is by providing them with practical alternatives; as is said: “The alternative to bad company is good company”. Children of all levels need to interact with other children at least some time. So, enroll your children in activities that are beneficial, where they will be able to interact with other children in a constructive and positive way. If such activities do not exist in your community, you should get together with other parents who have similar concerns and organize something. A trip to the nearest Islamic center or public library will provide you with some avenues to keep your children away from bad company.  

In and of itself, it’s not wrong that your children hang around with non-Muslim friends, but it is your responsibility to limit this hanging-out with reasonable limits, ensure that these that these youth are of good behavior and that they do not exert a negative influence on your children. This may also include that you, yourself, spend time with your children and discuss issues with them. Some of these issues could include the role of Islam in their lives, who they should look toward as positive role models in life and the challenges presented to young Muslims by the mass media, such as television. .

 Here are some important points for you to keep in mind:

1) Give your children innovative, and creative projects that would occupy their minds and time that they enjoy doing;
2) Allow them to participate in recreational activities that keep them physically fit, like various sports.
3) As parents, you should also spend time with your children and have fun in a halal way with them.
4) Try to teach your children through practical examples rather than by preaching, threatening or condemning them. Remember, the Prophet, peace be on him, taught people through examples rather than through precepts.
5) Last, but not least, always pray to Allah to open your heart and mind, and give you wisdom in dealing with your children; and implore Him to grant you joy in your spouse and children and make you all role models for the God-conscious people.

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