Many children spend an average of six hours a day online. Even with lesser exposure to the internet and social media, the chances that our children are stumbling upon and viewing Islam-hating material online are highly likely. Despite feelings of shock and disapproval, some may prefer to conceal there experience from their parents out of fear that their online access will be restricted and instead decide to forget what they came across or suppress it quietly.

In Madrassahs, we should preempt the occurrence of such incidents and should offer the guidance needed to protect the children’s valuable faith. Below is a breakdown of how we can go about speaking to them about this subject.

This topic is intended to be shared with maturer students. Mature means either teenagers or older. You may also share contents of it at your judgement with younger children who are very critical and intellectual.

Although the information here is presented in an article format for brevity sake, this is not the ideal way to deliver its contents to students. A good approach is to read this article carefully, then turn it into a lesson plan that includes a warmer, assessment for learning and a plenary. Additionally, a good way to teach is to illicit the information you want to teach from your students rather than spell it out for them.

Bismillah,

Explain the Concept of Iman

Begin by revising the concept of Iman; that Iman is to have full belief in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and Allah’s decree, whether good or bad.

Iman’s main place of residence is in the heart, but it is reflected on the tongue and in the actions of a person. For example, a person with strong Iman in his/her heart is more likely to pray and fast and speak well of other people.

Iman is not a fixed amount, it increases and decreases depending on:

  1. How much you know about Allah through his Signs (His Book and Creation)
  2. The quality of your Salah & Dua
  3. Taqwa (Being mindful that Allah is watching you and acting accordingly by doing good and keeping away from bad)
  4. Patience (doing the right and keeping away from the wrong no matter what)

Explain that no one knows the size of their Iman, only Allah knows and sees it. So we must always be careful that it is not running too low.

Iman is More Valuable than all Treasures

Regardless of how huge or small your Iman is, it is more valuable than all treasures.

The stronger the Iman that a person has, the higher their level is in Jannah.

If a person has no Iman at all by the time they die, they will not go to Jannah.

Is there a price for Jannah? Only Iman

Is there a price for being saved from Hell? Only Iman

On the Day of Judgement, those with no Iman whatsoever will not be saved even if they offer enough gold to fill the entire earth.

Guard Your Iman

If you had a diamond worth 10 billion pounds how would you take care of it? would you show it off to thieves? would you leave it lying around? And if you knew someone was after it, how would you act?

Iman is more valuable, take care of it. But you may ask? how do I take care of Iman? Here is how:

  1. Learn about Allah through His signs (His Book and Creation)
  2. Improve your Salah and your Dua
  3. Watch out against bad things that may be attractive (drinking, swearing, dirty things)
  4. Watch out against bad thoughts about Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, The Last Day, And His Decree

Bad Thoughts about Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, The Last Day, And His Decree

Explain to students briefly what is meant by bad thoughts about Allah (may He be Exalted), for example that He is three. An example of bad thoughts about the Last Day is that it doesn’t exist and that we will not be brought back to life after we die.

Bad thoughts vary in strength; they start off as a random thought, if not treated, they become doubts, if not treated, they become strong doubts, if not treated, they become opinions. The moment they become personal opinions, the person’s Iman is completely cancelled out.

Where do Bad Thoughts or Doubts Come From?

Bad thoughts or doubts come from our worst enemy. Give students a chance to tell you who that is (Shaytan).

Explain that the Shaytan is weak and helpless. The only thing he can do is share bad thoughts.

Then ask students to tell you how the Shaytan gets bad thoughts to people?

  • Whispers
  • Getting his followers from people to spread these thoughts (example: music lyrics, bad movies, Islam hating material on youtube, facebook and other social media)

What Do They Want From You

That is clear as Allah narrated to us in the Quran the vow of the Shaytan:

‘I swear by Your might! I will mislead them all, except for Your true servants’

[Surah Saad, 38:82-83]

On the day of Judgement Shaytan will say to the people who fell for the bad thoughts and doubts:

 ‘God gave you a true promise. I too made promises but they were false ones: I had no power over you except to call you, and you responded to my call, so do not blame me; blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me’ [Ibraheem, 14:22]

How to treat a bad thought or a doubt?

Prevention

  1. Avoid material that is Islam-hating or ridicules Islam or any part of Iman, whether it is online, in a book or a person.
  2. Do regular Iman maintenance

First Aid

If you expose yourself or are exposed to material that is Islam-hating or ridicules Islam or any part of Iman, what should we do?

  1. Seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan
  2. If the bad thought lingers and becomes a doubt ask Allah repeatedly to help you learn the truth especially in Sujoud
  3. Ask somebody with good knowledge of Islam to explain to you (relative or Madrassah teacher)
  4. If not satisfied keep asking Allah to teach you and show you the answer
  5. Get in touch with a reliable scholar (Ask a knowledgeable relative or Madrassah teacher to suggest a scholar you can contact)
  6. Keep a written record of the doubt, the answers you received and your own thinking and analysis
  7. If the doubt has been defeated, thank Allah for guiding you and ask Him to protect you
  8. If you still have not found a satisfying answer, don’t give up or get bored, be patient and continue thinking, ask Allah to guide you and ask other people of knowledge

Iman Maintenance

Just like you check on your friends to see if they are alright or go for a dental check-up every sixth months to check that your teeth are in a good state or go to the gym to improve your fitness, one must regularly check on their Iman and ensure that it is being trained to get fitter.

How do we do this?

  1. Learn about Allah through His signs (His Book and Creation)
  2. Improve your Salah and your Dua
  3. Taqwa (Being mindful that Allah is watching you and acting accordingly by doing good and keeping away from bad)
  4. Patience (doing the right and keeping away from the wrong no matter what)

Are There any Benefits to Bad Thoughts?

If treated correctly bad thoughts/doubts lead to intellectual resilience, a stronger Iman and confidence to explain and share it with others.

Can Bad Thoughts/Doubts be Eliminated? (Teachers/Parents)

As teachers or parents, we want to protect our children from every harm; physical, emotional or intellectual. Which is normal, however, it is impossible to try to completely eliminate harm.

We can decide to restrict potential harm to a large extent while children are young, but when they are old, we can continue to advise them, but there will be a time when they will have to decide for themselves how much exposure to harm they are willing to take.

Our duty is to protect them where possible, but more importantly to teach them how to recognise harm, how to deal with it and how to find their way back to safety. And above all, we should make Dua for ourselves and for them.