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Parenting Today Alone

Problems of Parenting Alone
Many of the problems that single parents have are the same as those for two-parent families. But these problems may seem more difficult to bear or manage when the parent is alone. For example, all children feel some hostility toward their parents as they try to be independent. But when the anger and rebellion are all directed to one person, it may seem worse if there’s only one to bear it, not two to share it.

There are some special problems that single parents have which make it difficult to raise children. These include bitterness toward the absent parent, loneliness, poverty, and insecurity about raising children without help. For these and other reasons, single parents sometimes cling to their children or overindulge them. The children may not get chances to be with other adults or other children as much as they need to.

Despite the problems of single parenting, a one-parent family can be good for a child if certain conditions are met. Most important, the child needs to feel loved -both by the parent at home and by the absent parent.

The Absent Parent

If your former spouse desires to be with the children, you should generally encourage such opportunities, even if you have negative feelings about your former partner. Moreover, you must allow your children to respect and love the other parent. It is important not to belittle or continually battle with the other parent. The absent parent can be given credit for the good things he or she has done.

Beware of resenting or condemning your children because they remind you of their other parent.

Role Models for Children

Children need role models to pattern after. Single parents cannot be both mother and father, but they can find other adults to serve as role models. The models show children how to become adult men or women. Allow your child to get to know adults of both sexes whom you like and admire. Relatives, neighbors, friends, and teachers can set examples for children about male and female behavior.

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).