- Author of: The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling: Advice on Teaching and Parenting the Muslim Child
- Homeschooled her 8 children
- Jamila’s mother found Islam in the 1960’s
- Owner of Noor Publications
- Blogs at: MuslimhomeschoolBlog
Question: What does it mean to be educated? What is important to learn?
Jamila: Acquiring knowledge essentially and simply means filling a void. Everyone should lean how to take care of yourself- being able to problem-solve. People should gain the knowledge to put food on the table and pay the rent. For this reason, entrepreneur skills are very important. We need to get out of the concept of simply relying on textbook learning. What good is a degree if a person does now know how to care for him or herself?
We need to remember that there are many ways to do the same thing. We need to learn from different people and cultures.
Islamically, you need to learn what is the deen (religion) and what it is NOT. You need to understand what is Sunnah (prophetic tradition) and what is NOT.
Question: How can parents help children find their passions?
Jamila: You need to pay close attention to each child and jump on their strengths right away. Always encourage the good and let them try different things until they find the ONE.
Question: What keeps you focused?
Jamila: Treating what I do (homeschooling) as my job. If you work in a corporation, you would give it complete focus. This is the same. Having the right environment keeps you focused and motivated and focused. Personally, the deen (religion) keeps me focused. We all have to struggle to incorporate our values in our daily lives and that struggle keeps me going.
Question: What is the ONE habit everyone should have or develop?
Jamila: Prayer. Praying to God is our strongest asset. It’s easy not to pray or ask since we cannot see Allah but we need to make it a habit to constantly ask for true guidance and clarity and have that special spiritual connection.
Question: How can we empower ourselves as mothers, daughters, and sisters?
Jamila: We need to have stronger sisterhoods and bond with each other. Back in the day, our husbands didn’t go into the delivery rooms. It was our best friends who were expected to rush to our sides. Our social independence as a culture has caused us to lose friendships. We’ve developed that “I got this” attitude and stopped asking for or receiving help. Remember, revolutions can start by women. We can’t be our best as individuals without the proper support system.
Another advice is to get yourself together as soon as possible! Try to develop the do or die mentality and learn how to work smart rather than working hard. Instead of complaining and quitting, step away from the job and use that worrying time to come up with a solution. If you’re already there, start reflecting- like the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Never, never give up!