December is that period of the year when beaches across the country are at their busiest. Sadly, in their quest for ‘sun, sand and a splash’, many people lose their lives on the beaches during this period as well. It is for this reason that safety guidelines pertaining to the beach and swimming are generally circulated at this time.

As Muslims, our primary concern at all times – but more so in this season – is for the safety of our imaan. Hence, although as Muslims we will certainly avoid the beach during this period, especially due to the fitnah of nudity, immorality and other vices, as we steer clear of places that are fraught with dangers to our imaan, we can still apply these very same safety guidelines in an effort to protect and save our imaan.

– Just as beach-goers are advised to check the weather, tide and other similar environmental factors before setting foot on the sand, a Muslim must survey the surroundings to check for any dangers to his imaan that may be lurking in the environment.

It should not be such that the ‘rough sea’ of vice and sin prevalent around us sweeps us away and the ‘strong backwash’ pulls us in, to the extent that we are also ‘drowning’ in wrong. We must take time to observe the ‘waves’ of potential risk, and in the event where we misjudged the situation and the ‘current’ begins to drive us towards the ‘rocks’ of wrecking our hayaa, etc., we must get out immediately.

– People intending to swim are advised to always remain within close proximity of a life guard. In this way, if they encounter any difficulty while in the water, the lifeguard will be on call to rescue them to safety. Also, swimmers are advised to stay close to the shore. At times, they stray into deep waters where it is difficult for even the lifeguards to reach them in time. Similarly, parents need to be the ‘lifeguards’ of their children, keeping them under close supervision. They should make time for their children and personally bond and interact with them. Parents should not give their children a free reign to go where they please and do as they please, thereafter realizing that their children are floundering in the ‘deep waters’ of drug addiction, illicit relationships, gambling, partying, drinking, etc., and are already beyond the reach of the Rescue and Recovery team.

– Beach-goers are advised to wear sun-block lotion, limit their amount of time exposed to the sunlight and wear clothing that will shield the body from the harsh rays so that they do not suffer sunburn and sunstroke. Likewise, if a Muslim is forced into a negative environment to attend to some necessity (e.g. he needs to buy something), he should apply the ‘sun-block’ of zikr, limit his exposure by returning home as soon as the need is attended to and wear the clothing of a Muslim so that he is not ‘burnt’ by the environment.

– Drowning is associated with all kinds of watercrafts; motorboats, canoes, rowboats, etc. Ninety percent of people who drowned while boating were not wearing lifejackets or personal floatation devices. It is therefore incumbent that the parents make sure that every baby, child, teen and even adult wears a life vest.

In matters of Deen as well, while parents cannot be too strict on the children during the holidays, they cannot give them so much of freedom that they allow them to go into the ‘water’ without taking the correct safety measures. Cell phones, computers and tablets without the ‘life vests’ of adult supervision may lead to ‘drowning’ in watching filth, and impermissible chatting and flirting. It is therefore incumbent that every child is strictly monitored and not left alone with these devices.

– Most incidents of drowning occur at residential swimming pools! In many instances, we fall short in our supervision and a toddler ends up in the swimming pool. Therefore, the first step is ensuring that our pools are secure and access is difficult for a child. Together with that, advice on safety should be given at close intervals.

In the same manner, the reality of life is that we do not have control over the ‘seas’ and ‘dams’ of vice prevalent around us. But what we DO have control of is the ‘pool’ at home. We cannot change the world due to our limitations. But we can change ourselves and the environment of our homes. So we need to ensure that the environment within the home is ‘secure’ for our children’s Deen. Similarly, we need to block off potential threats and create an environment of Deeni consciousness. Advice on ‘safety’ will be achieved by constantly carrying out aa’maal and conducting ta’leem in the home.

These were just a few of the safety guidelines for one to safeguard his own imaan as well as the imaan of his near and dear ones.

May Allah Ta‘ala protect our imaan and the imaan of our families, aameen.