Nephews, Toys, and Islamic Teaching at Home




Having two little boys at home make it finding toys scattered almost everywhere is unavoidable. Sometimes I find a tiny robot on the corner of my room, or a very dirty truck on my bed or a bike in the living room… my nephews, the Ariza brothers, love to play in our house and they always bring something along, but mostly forget to bring them back with them when they’re off back home.

Anyway, there has been this toy neglected on our family room table. It’s Ben 10. It’s one of the gift toys from the cousins, Ryan and Catherine, my other nephew and niece. I remember i was mistaken the yellow robot as a monster, just one of Ben10’s enemies. But Ryan told me that it’s actually one of Ben10’s shapes. You know, Ben10 is a shape-shifter…sort of. When he fights the alien monster, he changes into. a monster shape. Ryan had told me how many monster shapes Ben10 has, but i forget it.
What interests me the most about that yellow toy is the proportion and the amazing way it stands in a very good balance. It’s a good design, i think. Height is around 20 cm, bulky body, big weird armed-hands, and a pair of bent small legs with claws.

And this afternoon i watched an interesting activity. Farrel told me to turn off the tv.

Being our parents’ grandchildren means they have to start receiving the religion education from a very early age. Farrel has this private Quranic Arabic language lesson with my mom every afternoon. It kind of reminds me of my times back then. All of us got religion teaching at home from our mom and dad directly. They are more comfortable with it and thankfully very capable of doing it. So no need to send the grandchildren to additional Islamic school either, except for the Hay siblings. My dad keeps nagging my sister to find an Islamic weekend school in Singapore.

For my parents, i think the real point is not about hoping the children to grow up as religious’s about building a firm foundation about who our God is, our prophet is, and what it means being a Muslim. When we grow up, they give us choices to be pious in our own style. Well, that’s the challenge, i guess. I think it’s easier to be religious than to be pious.


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