3. The Shepherd, the Flock and the Lion’s Den

3. The Shepherd, the Flock and the Lion’s Den

  1. Allah Ta’ala the Majestic, the Sovereign says :

“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire (Hell) the fuel of which is people and stones, appointed on which are angels stern (and) severe, who do not disobey Allah in what HE orders them, and do that which they are commanded.”

2. Allah Ta’ala, our Creator, defines for us what it means to love our children and to love our families, and he directs us to the ultimate responsibility we bear in relation to them. He warns us that it is not, as we are wont to believe, to give them what we perceive to be “everything of the best” in this world, while disregarding the moral decay and corruption of belief that permeate much of the “best” we strive to give them.

3. On the contrary, we are divinely enjoined as adults and parents to embrace a perspective that extends beyond this ephemeral worldly existence – a perspective that focuses primarily and essentially on the eternal consequences of our actions in relation to ourselves, our children, our families and our loved ones.

4.

“Everyone of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” (Bukhari, Muslim).

5. Would we as shepherds, to whom Allah Ta’ala the Almighty has entrusted the care and protection of our wives, children and families, throw them into the lion’s den, knowing full well the inevitable and invariable consequences of that course of conduct?

6. Steeped, as we are, in a society of unbelief, unrestrained capitalism and greed, we must be vigilant in guarding against our children becoming the pawns of our individual ambitions, our desire for social status, our servitude to institutions of unbelief and our coveting of the lifestyle of the unbelievers.

7. No area of life encapsulates the pitfalls of living under disbelief (kufr), with its all embracing institutions, more than our secular system of education.

8. Our children spend a minimum of 12 years of their most formative and impressionable years in school.

9. Many of us are inclined to send our children to “top achieving” private schools, given their perceived status as schools of academic excellence with a long history and tradition. We are induced to do so by our belief that these schools will mould our children into becoming productive and successful in their chosen fields.

10. We marvel at the discipline, the efficiency, the openness, the culture of debate and the values of these schools. We are impressed by the immense loyalty that these schools enjoy among their alumni.

11. We sacrifice much financially to enroll our children at these “schools of excellence”, believing that in so doing we are fulfilling our key responsibility as parents to afford them the “best education” money can buy. We sacrifice our children’s attendance at madrassas and institutions of Islamic learning and teaching in favour of giving them the full school experience by participating in all manner of extra mural activities and justify this on the basis that they will become more balanced as individuals.

12. A serious word of caution, dear brothers and sisters!

13. Many, if not all, of these schools are the very lions’ dens from which we are enjoined to protect our children. They are not neutral institutions of learning. They have core values, a defined ethos and a clear vision of what they wish their students to be. Make no mistake, being or becoming a faithful servant of Allah Ta’ala is not part of that vision.

14. On the contrary, they often promote values that are the very antithesis of the belief system of Deenul Islam. Whether Anglican, Catholic or devoutly secular, these schools are essentially schools of unbelief. They are environments of unbelief. They are purveyors of unbelief.

15. It is unsurprising in that context that a number of these schools openly promote the acceptance and promotion of LGBTQ+ , the lifestyle of qawm-e-Lut that Allah Ta’ala the All Mighty despises and rejects and to the adherents of which he warns of a severe punishment.

16. These are institutions that promote the philosophy of “live and let live”, of “don’t judge”. These values accord with South Africa’s constitution that so many Muslims have embraced unquestionably, but which contradict the clear injunctions of Quran and Sunnah and nullify a key component of deen, that of amar bil ma’roof (“enjoining good and forbidding evil”)

17. In an era when we, as adults and parents, have forsaken our identity as Muslims, have substituted loyalty to Allah Ta’ala and his Rasool and the Constitution, have replaced valour and courage with compromise and cowardliness (that we self-servingly describe as “hikma”), and wherein we constantly seek the affirmation of non-believers, how will we be able to balance the negative influences that these schools have on our children’s beliefs ?

18. The very opposite occurs. The values of unbelief that our children imbibe become the values of our households. We no longer act as responsible shepherds do. On the contrary, we fast become shepherds herding our flocks into deviance and unbelief.

19.

“The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.” (Bukhari)

20. What companions have we given to Ibrahim, Fatima, Ahmed, Summaya and all our children, that they think no differently, dress no differently and behave no differently from Peter Paul Nicole and Nadine ?

21. May Allah Ta’ala guide and protect us, our families and our children from baatil and from the guile and mischief of shaytaan! May He forgive us for our transgressions!

AMPSA Shurah Council