Well, another year has passed and we made it past another year end program … to what end and to what audience ?!? The efforts of the teachers to instill some islamic values into the kids were swept away in a tsunami of numerous singing sessions, skits, replicated videos and slide presentations.
What an impression we have made as muslims for others to see. Thank God this was here. Had we done this in the US or other non-muslim countries, this would make Dawah even harder to conduct.
One of my students asked me bluntly: Why did you make us present something to people who don’t want to even listen? Truthfully most of my kids did not even want to go on the stage. Especially, the ones who have seen this apathy before. It’s embarrassing and demoralizing for them. I forced them to show the parents what we had covered in the semester. For that, I apologize. My class should not have presented. I am truly sorry for boring the audience with something so banal as to why we should read a chapter in the Quran and what we covered in the semester. My apologies.
I think that if this was a presentation on retirement funds, investing or real estate, we’d have an enraptured audience.
Parents set great examples for the kids to follow in showing patience in listening to the kids perform… well they tried. Or did they? Did we set an example of behavior in line with Islam? If the Prophet (PBUH) showed up at the DFIS function would he have liked what we were doing? You have to judge for yourself.
The behavior of some parents at dinner time and prayer time surely will install a sense of values for Islam in our children that will burn in their psyche forever. I hope not. I pray that our children exhibit a better set of values that are in line with the Sunnah than their parents have shown. Alas, this may not happen either. Kids tend to look up to their parents and use them as role models.
We, as parents, have failed as role models. Miserably at that. Spinning wheels for things that ultimately do not matter. Letting our children know what’s important should be our moral and religious obligation: How to be patient, what really to do on a Friday, when it’s appropriate to talk and when silence is better, when not to fight for seating places while a huge hall is set aside for dinner. It is shameful.
By no means is this meant to undermine the efforts of the organizers and teachers who week after week spend their free time for educating your little brats to some moral values. They deserve the applause, especially the ones in the background like the organizers and their spouses. It takes time and effort to get gifts for teachers, make reservations, organize programs .. and it takes efforts on the part of the teachers who spend their weekends (and days) preparing for classes, course materials etc. all on their free time.
It’s sad to be humiliated this way by the apathy the both parents and the participants on YEP day.