9:14 AM

Believe in Magic?

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

I wanted to buy my daughter some beautiful character sheets and at the time her favorites were the Disney Princesses. So I found some pretty pink and white swirled sheets with the princesses in their dresses. I got them home shook them out and put them on the bed. A month later my husband looked at the sheet and said "get rid of them". I was flabbergasted. "What? Why?"
"This is kufr saying." he replied. I stared at the bed and just then realized scrolled across every three feet was the words "Believe in Magic." I had honestly blocked it out all this time. We can't afford new sheets and we don't believe in using magic as Muslims and my daughter can't read yet so the sheets are there.
It seems everywhere in childland everyone wants kids to believe in Magic. From Santa to tooth faries to Faeries Period, and the "magic" in all the disney movies, UGH! I'm getting sick of it. I keep telling my daughter it's not real and we don't use this. The fairies she loves so dearly don't exist and the princesses who are surrounded by magic and fairies with wands is something we don't like. At first it was hard for her to understand but when i catch her waving a stick going "bibiddy-bobbidy-boo" I ask "what are you doing?" She says "Magic" and I go "We are Muslims, we don't use magic like this." She replies "I know, I'm doing pretend magic."
But still she knows the difference now between real and pretend but I worry all this magic hype everywhere for kids. It's like a story isn't good unless it involves some form of trickery and magic. It's frustrating me as a parents and as a Muslim about what to do to teach her that all of this stuff is plain old BS.
I watch all movies with her and correct her each time about things that aren't good Islamically.
We don't make "snow angels" we make "snow faries" (which she knows are pretend)
We don't say "godmother" we say "fairy" (in cinderella)
Elina in Fairytopia is silly thinking she has an inner magical light tha she can beam onto things.
Johnny Depp is pretending to be a person called Willy Wonka and then another Person called Jack Sparrow but really is Johnny Depp.
Santa Claus is not santa but just a silly man in red clothes and reindeer can't fly.
Fairies aren't real and they don't take your teeth.

She understands all these things and when she sees for example a picture of "santa" she tsks and shakes her head no and goes "silly man in red clothes".... when she hears the birthday song she crinkles her nose and sighs "we don't sing like that cause we're muslims." I applaud her each time she corrects what she sees to show her that it's good to speak the truth.
Sometimes I think about this whole concept of deluding children about truth and then breaking it to them gently when they are older as insane. When you're about 11 you have to come to grips that santa isn't real and the whole world and your own parents have been lying to you for 11 years.... hmmm yeah not something i want to put on my kid's shoulders. I want them to know I will tell them the truth and they can trust what I say is right.
Some might view this as cruel "OH MY! YOU DONT LET HER BELIEVE SANTA IS REAL!" Umm hello do YOU even believe it's real? No? So why should I corrupt my daughter's mind of what's right and wrong.
Sometimes I think not to let her watch all this magic mumbo-jumbo but she'd see it anywhere later and wonder about it so it's better to teach her whats wrong with it now so later she'll be more firm.
Just last night my SIL brought over Anastasia, the Russian Princess. In it the bad guy is a man who "sold his soul for the powers to destroy Anastasia's family with little smoke demon people" He sings cheerily a catchy tune about terrorizing her and killing her and I was sitting there wincing and wondering how to explain this to a 3 year old. "Who's that man? WHat's he saying?" She asked. I laughed falsely "He's such a silly bad man. He thinks he has magic powers but he doesn't really, isn't that so silly? We don't do that in Islam as Muslims." She laughed back, "Yeah silly man! He's not a good Muslim we should call the police and take him to jail." I sighed with relief. (She has a jail and police fixation that I'm trying to ignore right now and I didn't want her to loose focus of the point by lecturing her on the jail theme again)
I don't mind pretend or imagination as long as there is a firm Black and White line between them and reality, no grey in the middle for her to get lost in.
As Muslims we believe there IS magic out there that is used by the jinns and shaytan to trick people but we are forbidden from dabbling in it and using it.

[Thanks to Safiyyah for the idea of this post from her archives about Magic shows for kids-go check it out]

6 intelligent thoughts:

UmmAbdur-Rahmaan said...

See now here is the thing. Magic is real but it is Haraam. In the time of the prophet Musa magic was used quite it is real and it is here so believing in it is one thing but practicing it is another(Haraam). As long as your daughter is taught that it is Haraam and the reasons it is haraam then hey why not keep the sheets....

Aalia, chaser of Jannah said...

"Yeah silly man! He's not a good Muslim we should call the police and take him to jail."

LoOoL! Awwww so cuuuute!

julaybeeba said...

i agree she should know that santa isn't real, and that the tooth fairy is just make believe. and yes there is alot of magic that takes place in disney movies of which the disney channel is officially forbiden in this house. (mind u i have 5 neices and nephews). but we occassionally let them watch some shows with supervision of course. the problem is i think our society has kids believing in this garbage....especially this whole love stuff that goes on in almost ALL disney movies....
(okay this post was supposed to be me contradicting what u were saying but the more i write the more i find i can only agree with u. But still i think there should be less TV and more physical activities taking place with our children

Anonymous said...

Ok, here I go again with silly questions. :)
I understand the no santa and fairys and all that mythical stuff not being real, but why no birthday song? Granted, I understand that over there you wouldn't need an "america birthday song" anyway.....but is it that you sing a different birthday song? Or not celebrate at all?


American Muslima Writer said...

Thank you all for chimming in and I appreciate the comments. I will think more deeply about this for a while.

Amanda give me another few days to explain this to you ;) I'm sleepy now

Susanne said...

So did you ever explain about the birthday song? I am curious about that as well!

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