My 11 year old daughter recently asked me: “Abba what is a crush?” and “what is rainbow?”
Let’s take a look at the first question: what is crush?
About two weeks ago, my daughter (a 6th Grader) was attending her online school, and her classmates were discussing something in the chat box. After her class was done, she came to me and asked: “Abba I want to ask you something, what is crush?”
I responded: “Are you talking about the soda?”
She smiled and said: “No Abba, the crush between boys and girls”
I said: “Hmm okay. Why don’t you tell me what do you think a crush is?” (At this point, I wanted to see her thought process)
She said: “Abba it seems very haram because it sounds like zina.”
(Keep in mind that I’ve already taught her the definitions of nikkah and zina. I taught her that nikkah is when a man and woman stay together after marriage, which is considered a form of ‘ibadah. And that zina is something where a man and woman stay together without marriage and it’s super haram)
I asked my daughter: “Why does a crush seem like zina to you when a crush is only a feeling?”
She responded: “Because girls in my chat room were discussing how they liked one of the boys. Some of them were only 9 years old and they wanted to go for a date, and they were calling that a crush. So obviously this will lead you to haram things without marriage, right Abba?”
I responded (at this point I was over the moon in happiness): “yes, this feeling of a crush can lead you to zina, and it is haram”
I then asked her: “In Islam, if you really have this feeling of a crush and like someone, then how can you have a halal relationship?”
She said: “We can talk to our parents and we can get married, right abba?”
I said to her at the end: “Yes Alhamdulillāh. By the way, let me give you a gift because you asked me this question.”
Now let’s look at the second question: “What is rainbow”?
Around a week ago, my daughter’s same virtual school offered her an elective course for “understanding PRIDE”, replete with a rainbow sign. To which my wife and I obviously said NO. Later on, while my wife and I were discussing how aggressive their marketing has been getting, I saw that Fatima was listening to us, so I asked her to come over, and then I asked her: “Fatima do you know what is pride and what that rainbow means?”
She said: “A little bit”
I (surprisingly) asked: “Really? What is it?”
She said: “It’s when a man and a man have a relationship, or when a woman and a woman have a relationship.”
I asked: “MāshāAllah, so you do have an idea of what it is. What do you think about it?”
She said: “It’s haram Abba. That was the same problem with Prophet Lut’s (AS) people”
I responded : “MāshāAllah that’s right. By the way, how did you know about the meaning of pride and the rainbow?”
She said: “I searched about them on Google and found this out”
I said: “MāshāAllah, that’s great. But what if Google shows you inappropriate/dirty images or videos?”
She responded: “Obviously it’s from shaytan Abba, and I will close it immediately”
Then she asked me: “Why does a rainbow represent their haram relationship?”
I replied: “They have selected the rainbow as a flag for themselves, and have chosen June as their month to celebrate and take pride in their haram relationships, and to invite others towards this. So we should be very careful when we see these things”
***Why I am sharing this:***
– One of the primary reasons we are not sending our daughter to public school is because we want to avoid this type of environment, but do you see just how vigilant we have to be as a parents, even if whilst our kids are taking these virtual classes from home?
– I am grateful that she came to me to discuss these things with me. Can you imagine if she would have discussed this with her friends, who could have changed her thought process entirely at this young age? How detrimental would that have been?
– Be proactive: I had already had these conversations with my daughter; about nikkah vs zina in the story of Yusuf (AS), homosexuality in story of Lut (AS). Since I had already explained these things to her, it helped her to understand these things in a proper Islamic context. Alhamdulillāh I didn’t wait to have these conversations as a reaction to her being exposed to these things, becuase we are living in a very different time nowadays. If you are not proactively talking to and teaching your kids about these sensitive topics, then someone else will!
– Even though we can put filters on browsers and restrict access to mobile phones, eventually our children will be exposed to this garbage, so it is imperative for us as parents to start this conversation early.
– Please don’t read this and think that I am the ideal father, or that I have the ideal daughter. We all have our shortcomings, so please neither idolize us nor demonize us. Keep us at our level and make dua for us. If you found this beneficial, then talk to your kids about these issues. I am sharing my video series with my kids about this in the comments section. May Allah SWT protect us our kids. Ameen!