Middle East, News Watch, Side Feature

UAE’s Increase in Child Runaways Need Urgent Attention

The Khaleej Times in the UAE reported that there is a worrying increase in children running away from home. The typical age range of the youth are from as young as 7 years old though to early teenagers. Most children are found after being reported to the police and before any serious danger comes to them. A rise in depression due to online gaming, adult movie culture, parental tensions and fear of poor academic performance have all been cited as the cause of children problems by experts.

Liberal Western popular culture has unfortunately taken hold over the righteous Islamic values that should be the guiding light in the Muslims home. Many Gulf states normalize the outsourcing of child care to desperate migrant workers who have zero interest in the moral culture of Islam. If the role of motherhood is not understood and taken as the highest work that a woman can do, then it is inevitable that children will be emotionally neglected. Left to be corrupted by the agents of vice and social deprivation, children are psychologically detached from the nurturing bond of the family. They are then drawn out of the home and can feel that anything, even another form of suffering, is better than the pain felt in the place that we are supposed to be a sanctuary of safety. Allah (swt) placed a great reward and responsibility in looking after the next generation of Muslims as discussed in ayat of Quran;

[يَا أَيُّھَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَأَھْلِیكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُھَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَیْھَا َمَلائِكَةٌ َغِلاظٌ شِدَادٌ لَا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَھُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ]

“O, believers! Save yourselves and your families from a fire, whose fuel is men and stones; upon it are fierce and mighty angels who never disobey Allah’s command and who promptly do what they are commanded to do.”

From this and many other evidences, Muslim mothers should never feel that they can be physically present in the house but psychologically absent from the raising of the children. In the Khilafah (Caliphate), the school and house must both be acceptable for the raising of children together with the social support. May Allah (swt) return this glorious system once again so children will never feel the need to run from their homes.

Imrana Mohammad