Puberty and the Muslim boy.
Oh yeah …we are going to have to talk about this!
Guys, yes I know it’s awkward – trust me I have tried to avoid this subject for as long as possible but I guess time has run out. I now have a son nearing puberty and as awkward as this may feel for us- we have to talk about it. Since the boys were young, we have tried to be as open with them as possible- and by ‘we’ I mean mostly my husband. I am now known for my absolute awkwardness when it comes to this stuff- I try – I really do… but coming from a background where this was never ever spoken about makes it really difficult. I have been heard telling a much younger Hamzah that the difference between boys and girls is that girls wear earrings – I of course, will deny this if you ask me about it and call you a liar!
My husband is the more rational one, and has mentioned very matter of fact-ly pieces of relevant information when questions were I asked. I appreciate his ability to talk to them about these things without feelings of embarrassment etc. I have said that I will do the same when the girls are older…hopefully by then I will be a bit better at this whole thing.
So – because I felt so unsure about how to approach the whole “What does puberty involve” matter – I turned to my friend Taahirah from @Suhaylakids and purchased 2 books from her. The first one is called ‘Embrace’ by Ilmburst, and the second is ‘A Muslim boy’s guide to big changes’ by Sami Khan.
The reason I decided to purchase books is because as much as we talk to them about it- I want the boys to have a sense of independence in that they can refer to the book at leisure or when they wants to know something but don’t necessarily want to ask us.
If you are not familiar with Islam you may be wondering why puberty is such a big issue- I mean it’s just body changes – right? Well yes, but for Muslims puberty means a lot more. It means that you are now accountable for yourself and there are many acts of worship that become compulsory once you reach puberty. And so this coming of age is so much more than just physical changes.
If you have a child nearing this age I highly recommend you start giving it some thought – or purchase these books. Both books are available for girls as well. Personally I prefer the book ‘Embrace’ – it is written in an” easy to read and understand manner,” and covers much more than the physical changes, it goes beyond the rules and offers useful advice and tips, like the options for hair removal, an explanation of the reproductive system, regulating emotions like feeling self-conscious, moody, feeling like you’re in love or that your parents don’t understand you.
I love that it has a section on breaking cultural misconceptions like boys not needing to clean up after themselves or being valued more than girls. There’s even a small section on how to survive a ‘crush’ – now before I get blasted on how premarital relationships/crushes are not permissible I will remind you that we are raising a different generation and you are not obligated to agree with my views, but in my case – these were sections I found valuable. There is also a piece on what it means to be a ‘Muslim man’ with advices from the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). When it comes to a Muslim man’s view on women the value and status of women in Islam is emphasised as well as the responsibility of maintaining modesty by lowering your gaze as opposed to shifting the responsibility of modesty solely to the woman. I found this book adequately progressive in that I was happy to hand it over to my son.
The second book ‘A Muslim boy’s guide to big changes’ offers balance to Embrace in the sense that it explains other aspects like: What Muslims believe, Salah, advice on friends, being aware of how you spend your time, your responsibility to those around you, closeness to the Almighty, physical changes and how to deal with them and a small piece of social media advice.
The combination of the two books covers so many concepts and I hope that they are helpful as we enter this stage of our lives. It is always better for your children to talk to you about these issues, but if you feel like you don’t know where to start- perhaps these book are what you are looking for.
If you happen to have walked this path already- I am taking all the advice I can get! So please- comment, Dm or email me.
I have attached a pdf from http://www.mihraab.com/ with information on the topic should you not be able to purchase the books and need some reading material.
Disclaimer: the information shared in the pdf’s are the opinions and research undertaken by the creators of the file. I do not promote nor negate the information and am simply sharing what I have found on the topic. Please remember to do your own research on the subject so they are relevant to your parenting style.
Lots of love