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Difficult Teen


I have a teenage son who is a Hafez.He does not listen to us,he goes out when he wants and sometimes does not come home.He becomes very arrogant when we question him. He does not spend time with his family at all and only wants to be with his friends.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The problem you are facing is something common between today’s parents and their teenage sons.
To effectively solve the problem, you will have to firstly understand that there are many challenges facing your son and many other teenagers in today’s world. There are many pressures in society today on teenagers and only those who have had a good upbringing and a strong courage deeply rooted in their minds from before usually survive these social pressures.

Here are some measures relevant to your case which you should adopt for a practical change in your son’s life:

1) Try to understand what challenges teenagers go through in today’s world. This means that you should acknowledge that your son is in the position where he has to overcome certain social pressures. However, this does not mean that you accept everything that your son does as ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’, because an evil action remains evil and unacceptable even if there is pressure from society to commit that evil. By merely understanding the challenges teenagers face, you will know the most effective method of helping your son overcome these challenges.

2) It should not be that when you communicate with your son, you are only instructing him what he should do and what he should not do. This is because most probably he already knows what is right and what is wrong if you have repeated the same instruction to him time and again. If you are only commanding him every time and he does not heed, since it is most likely that he has developed an incorrect mindset of you which is why he does not heed. Therefore, together with enquiring from him about his activities, you should occasionally discuss with him usual day-to-day happenings so that an understanding is developed between you and your son.

3) Tell your husband to speak to a teacher who has a great impact on your son’s spiritual education or any other person who had once played a major role in his spiritual life. In your son’s case, it could most probably be his Hifz teacher. Because your son looks up to such a personality and does not have a preconceived notion about that personality, he will be more positively affected by that person’s advice. However, be careful not to go on complaining about each and every misbehaviour and misdeed of your son. If you do, it might cause this effort of his teacher to go in vain, because your son will sense that you divulged all his evil habits to his teacher and he would ignore everything. Focus on one important aspect and until it is not accomplished, do not move to the other aspects.

4) Similarly, in your effort to convince him to change his habits, focus on one aspect at a time (besides those aspects that are direct obligations in Shari‛ah like Salāh and respecting parents; these should be enjoined constantly). In your case, you can start with trying to make him understand that at least he has to return home at night if he goes out.

5) Tell your husband to speak to some youngsters in your area who are involved in Tablīgh that they should meet your son and convince him to spend some time in the Path of Allāh. This is an extremely effective way, especially with the youth, for a person to bring a change in his life by his own choice.

6) Most importantly, make Du‛ā’ for him daily after every Salāh. Parents’ Du‛ās for their children are readily accepted. In addition to this, recite the following Du‛a’ constantly, keeping the meaning in mind when reading it:
«رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا»
“Oh our Lord, make our spouses and children a coolness to our eyes (by them doing pious deeds) and make us leaders of the pious (i.e. make us leaders that are followed in righteous actions.)”

Furthermore, when you make Du‛ā’ for him and when you recite the above-mentioned Du‛ā’, you should bring within yourself the conviction that your Du‛ā’ will be accepted and he will change some day.
Be constant in making an effort on your son and persevere. Focus on one aspect at a time. Change happens gradually and over a period of time. Never give up on your son.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Checked and Approved by;
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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