On Raising Daughters
“God has a Sense of Humour”
I'm as sexist as they come. Truly, Allah is Al-Latif for giving a man like me so many daughters. But I've also this sense that these girls will grow into women, they're their own person and they should get to live life the way they want and do the things that they want.
My girls take their example from their mother. Mrs. Azeez is a stay-at-home mom. The girls are already cooking. They're baking. They're already learning homemaking. They know how to sew. AND they compete in BJJ. They've done parkour. They've done gymnastics. So they're turning out to be well-rounded.
I don't have the capacity to train them how to be women because I've never been a woman. I can show them what the relationship between a husband and wife is going to be like by the way I interact with their mother, but that's it. At the end of the day it's down to the woman to teach the next generation of women.
And so my intent is not to control them. My intent is to teach them what good values are. Teach them what good character is. And then what they decide to do is their choice. People are gonna do what they're gonna do. And we're all gonna be held accountable by Allah at the end of the day.
In that sense also I have to respect their personhood and their intelligence and their individuality as human beings. And allow them to to explore all that life has to offer the way that they want to. As long as they're within the bounds of Islam.
In theory we all know feminism is bulls*** and this career woman thing is really just a disaster and women end up being unhappy. Women are unhappier than they were 50 years ago. There's the Paradox of Female Happiness. The more equal women become the unhappier they become.
But at the individual level, we have to give people the opportunity to pursue their interests. And I don't know how that's gonna turn out for my daughters. I can't see the future. All I can do is teach them their religion, support them in what their interests are and then go from there.
And the women they become are the women they become. May Allah guide them and protect them.
If you're interested in reading more, there's an entire section devoted to the “interpersonal man” – husband, father, brother, son etc – in 40 Hadith in Masculinity: How to Be a Good Man.