Q&A with Imam Elahi


Q: Children fear war how can we reassure them and make them feel safe? 
One should teach children the lessons of peace, that God loves those who make peace, and that he hates war (especially those wars which are unjust and immoral). At the same time, prepare them to deal with life realistically. There are always arrogant and oppressive people in the world, who look for any opportunity to create a war out of greed and selfishness. People should be ready to defend their freedom and dignity.

Q: Can a couples clone a child if they can not have children?
A: This depends on what is meant by cloning in this case. If it is used as a way of enabling the barren woman from her husband to have children, then it would be permissible.

Q: Is it haram for a woman to choose the sex of her baby?
A: No!

Q: What are the circumstances of adopting a child? 
 If adopting means to take a parentless child under custody or a childless family to take a baby with permission and satisfaction of his or her parents under custody, then this is fine, but let's remember that this adoption doesn't make the relationship between this child and the adopting family and original and biological one.

Q: If a child gets mad and raises his\her voice at the parents but does not mean what he\she said because they lost their temper, what should their punishment be?
A: He or she should say, "I'm sorry", and ask for forgiveness. Kindness to parents is mentioned after God's worship in the Quran.

Q: If a father hurts his son with harsh words, how should the son treat his father?
 The father should discipline his child with dignity and respect. If in anger or ignorance, he didn't treat his child properly, still it is so nice and necessary for the child to treat the father with respect and not to answer evil with evil.

Q: If a couple adopts a child and they die, should the child get inheritance?
A: They can make a will and dedicate up to one third of their wealth to that child.

Q: Are the kids of a kafir relationship (like those who don't believe in God) to be considered najes or do they become najes after they become adults?
The opinions vary. Some Mar'jas believe that all humans are basically taher and in this sense there is no difference between believers and disbelievers.

Q: My family is being torn apart because of my eldest son. He has a behavior problem. He shows no respect to my wife (who is not his biological mother) he has threatened to kill her on more than one occasion. He bites and hits our younger child, who is 2 years old. He has failed 2 grades and is at risk of being expelled due to his behavior. My wife and I have tried every means to address his problems. We have taken him to a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a therapist, to no avail. We have tried giving him love and medication, still no improvement. He steals, kills animals and his new means of torment is to call the police or child protective services. This is a major problem, as I am a teacher and a report of child abuse can end my career. The other fear is that I may be arrested on his false claims, or they may place our younger child in foster care. He now says he no longer wants to live with me and my wife. He wants to return to his biological mother who is not Muslim. He took his Shahada at the age of 10, yet he refuses to pray. Is it permissible to allow him to return to his biological mother and if not what can I do to keep peace in this family. It should be noted that he has not responded to punishment or spankings. 
 At the time you made a baby with this non-Muslim woman, she was good enough for you, you may have broken her heart and the heart of your first-born son. Maybe you can improve your relationship with your son by trying to understand why he has so much rage against you. Your son clearly loves to live with his own mother. Let him live with her as long as she is not telling him to do something against his religion, but you take responsibility for driving him to religious services and classes on a regular basis, and be merciful.

Q: I am 18 years old. My friend is turning 17 in September. Every time I see her, she's depressed and sometimes crying. She always tells me that she can't stand life anymore and just wants to die. Her parents are really strict on her. She's never allowed to do anything. We have a field trip to Chicago soon at school and her mom and dad aren't letting her go. I mean I know they're scared for her and are trying to be protective but I feel that it's too much. They're very nice people and care a lot about her. What do you think she should do?
A: Field trips are sometimes used by kids as a chance to fool around and do things they might regret later. Her parents are right to try and protect her. It is not a good idea for a Muslim girl to travel out of town without her father's permission. But it is important for parents to help their children enjoy life and not deprive them of exciting opportunities. Her parents should volunteer to come on the trip as chaperones. By getting involved in their daughter's school activities they will have a chance to get to know her and her friends better and to protect her at the same time.

Q: I know someone whose daughter ran away and she's really bad right now, hanging out with the wrong people, and she's doing haram things. On the Day of Judgment will her parents get blamed for what she did or will she?
 Parenting is not only a biological process, it is about training and educating the kids so they know what is right and wrong: they have love of God in their hearts and are proud of their faith and committed to live a clean life. If the parents did their duties, but the kids didn't follow, then the parents are not punished for what their kids may have done wrong. The clear example is in the Quran, when prophet Nooh tries to fix his son's behavior but he doesn't listen, he is destroyed. Sometimes rebellion is a process of awakening understanding and deepening faith. If her parents set a good example in her childhood, she will eventually probably return to the Islamic lifestyle because it is in her true nature. Her parents and those who love her can help her by appreciating her deepest good qualities, not just focusing on the bad behaviors, and keeping the door open for her.

Q: Why is it that when a male child is born two goats are sacrificed and when a female only one?
 There should be no difference between a male and female baby for the Akhikhah. After 7 days from the birth of a new baby (boy or girl), its nave is finalized and then the hair of its head is shaved and its weight in silver is paid to the poor as charity. It is very advisable to sacrifice a camel or sheep the same day and to distribute its meat among the needy. It is better for the baby's family not to eat from that meat. These rituals are to bless the baby as a new member of the community and also to protect him or her and provide him or her with spiritual security.

Q: I feel very angry and frustrated towards my parents especially towards my father, the way they brought me up, the atmosphere in the home, and the way my personality developed (I am 36 now). I am severely under-confident, have low self esteem, I am a confused sort of a misfit and inhibited person and therefore developed into an unsuccessful person. Now I can see that my parents never bothered when I was developing like this. Also in my professional affairs no guidance was given to me. I was just going through a profession without any real interest in it. I was developing into a complex and confused person. I feel anger and regret that they didn't guide me, or take any real interest in my personality development, my professional aspirations or in my marriage. I am not satisfied about all these three aspects of my life. 
 Kindness, love, respect, and care for parents come after our prayer and obedience to Allah (swt). Try to forgive your parents and trust that they did the best they could do with the knowledge that they had at that time. Parents who failed to give their children a sense of self-esteem often lacked self-esteem themselves. It could be that your father was also totally unprepared for marriage and kids. At the same time, you have to realize it is normal to feel angry if someone made you feel worthless. If someone did something wrong you have the right to hate his actions without hating the person. Anger is a biological response which proves that your true self wants to have self-esteem. It can take many years after moving out of your parents' house to undo the emotional damage caused from a bad home atmosphere growing up. You owe it to yourself and to your future children to learn to be the man you wish your father could have been. Being kind to your self is part of loving Allah's Creation and essential to loving others. When you were a child you were powerless but now you are free to be happy and to be yourself. You are old enough at this point to ask yourself what you want out of life and go after it. You must believe that Allah wants you to succeed and to be happy. The person in the best position to help you express yourself the most could be your wife. Learn to appreciate her unique qualities, and encourage her to develop her true interests with your support. This will help undo your inhibitions caused by other people not helping you discover your unique qualities. By loving another person and being loved in return, we learn who we are, and we start to grow, to thrive and to succeed.

Q: How many night falls (ehtilaam) should a teenager have in a month? And, if it exceeds the limit which should be in a month then what preventive can one take at his own? Please, answer me briefly on my email account. Thanks. Allah Hafiz 
 The first night fall or "wet dream' is an indication of beginning of the puberty age. That is to start the daily prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan and other Islamic practices. There is no minimum, maximum on the number of what a person may experience, different people are different on this.

Q: My wife is pregnant. I know there are certain things that must be done for a newborn but I do not know what they are ....reciting the shahada at birth, and such. Can you suggest a book or where I might go to find help with the procedures a father must follow with a newborn? Thank you. 
Congratulations! It is good to get ready to do the rituals, like Adhan and Iqama and Walima, but the most important thing is to get ready to raise him or her as a good Muslim and a great moral citizen of the human family. The best way to do this in the beginning is to give the mother a lot of respect and help so that home will have a blessed atmosphere of peace and tranquility where the baby will feel safe and loved.