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Time Bomb 11 December 2006

Posted by MOZAFFAR in MOZAFFAR, Psychology.

We are taught that if your father is pleased with you, then that is a sign that God is pleased with you.

A particular generation of young men are growing up in America without their father’s love. These particular fathers typically express their love behind their sons’ backs. Meaning, they tirelessly provide for them, and suffer when these sons suffer, and are happy when these sons are happy. So, they may indeed be pleased with these sons.

But, to their faces, these particular fathers are quick with their criticisms and very silent and slow in delivering compliments. So, if these fathers are indeed pleased with these sons, these sons don’t know it.

I see it again and again. The son has some problems. Then, the father asks me to get involved, and suggest to him to extend a wing of mercy and friendship to the son, and the father responds asking how he can befriend a person who has x, y, and z flaws.

Anyone who reads the Qur’an sees the desire that sons have for their father’s love. Yusuf’s (Joseph’s) brothers were willing to commit heinous crimes to win their father’s love (or, in their case, to remove what they perceived to be the obstacles to their father’s love). The reasoning is simple, isn’t it? Sons make their fathers their mirrors for themselves. If the father does not seem pleased with the son, it is nearly impossible for the son to be pleased with himself.

Further still, in our American society, fathers are second class citizens. Though they’re not treated as well in real-life, Mothers are revered in the media almost as though each mother is a Mother Mary. Fathers, however, are commonly shown as absent and oppressive. We might trace it to this mixture of Christianity and American Paganism, or Freud might regard it as something innate, but it’s definitely present.

Go watch some movies, and see how mothers are portrayed, and see how fathers are portrayed. Darth Vader was a father, not a mother; there were two mothers in the Star Wars saga (Anakin’s mother, and Luke’s mother), and they were both presented as deeply caring mothers.

An exception—somewhat—is Finding Nemo. It’s the rare story featuring an absent mother (because she was killed), and a deeply dedicated father, willing to race across the world through all sorts of danger to save his child. Still, while fathers do worry about their children, this father was a neurotic. In any case, such a dedicated “father-figure” in movies is a deep rarity.

So, now we have this particular generation of young men starving, starving for their fathers to express love to them. Some have forced themselves to give up.

And, this generation is raised in a society where fathers are commonly vilified in popular media. This atmosphere only adds to their distance from their fathers.

And, in this polarized political era, these young Muslims of this particular generation are themselves the repeated target of vilification in society.

What can we expect?

A Time Bomb.

We can expect a time bomb. It’s ticking in the minds of many such young men. Of those who have given up on their dreams of making their fathers proud of them, there are some who have replaced that hope with the most vicious, deep fury.

The only people who can diffuse the bomb are the fathers. But that is unlikely to happen. The typical father of this group is unable to see anything but flaws in his son, and is unable to see how much it is breaking his son to bits.

So, the next resort is a wave of big brothers to reach out to these young men.

And, the third resort is that the individuals of this particular generation stand up and give up on this self-destructing fury, and extend their love to each other….and to themselves. For each of you, is more valuable than all that the universe contains. What use is a galaxy in comparison with a young person?

Otherwise, it’s a time bomb waiting either to explode or (more likely) to implode.

And God knows best…



1. Tasbeeh - 12 December 2006

My brother is experiencing some of the same things. However, it should be mentioned, fathers often show more tenderness toward their daughters, so that the son may come to resent their father for loving the daughter more, though that may not be the case. it may just be that the father wants their son to “be a man”. Deep stuff.

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