I was first exposed to Sufi Islam as a teenager. My mom picked up a copy of a brand new book called The Illuminated Rumi for me because it looked like something I might enjoy. I’m more of a wandering soul than an adherent to anything, but something in Rumi’s work definitely clicked with me. In 2011, my wife and I had a Rumi poem read at our wedding. We own many books of his work and have adorned some of our walls with associated artwork. I’ve never really gotten to know anyone who seriously practices Sufism, but I’d really like to get to know Daud Scott, a Sufi practitioner, a teacher of meditation, mindfulness, and holistic nutrition, a strict vegetarian, and most importantly, a loving father. I’d like to learn a lot more about the work he does and his spiritual journey. At some point, I will probably bother this man for a follow-up interview. And if this project ever turns into a film, I’ve got a good reason to visit sunny LA.
Number of children: 1
Location: Los Angeles, California
Profession: Mindfulness Substance Abuse Counselor and Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner.
1. What are your personal drug and alcohol-free recreational outlets? What are your favorite things to do with your son?
My personal drug and Alcohol free recreational outlets are mainly Meditation and exercise. Since 1999, 30 minutes a day of Meditation has been a part of my daily practice. Although I have a very busy work week schedule, I try to make it to the gym to run and or do some lifting at least 3 to 4 days out of the week. My most favorite things to with my Son is to play basketball with him. He also enjoys going on road trips as a regular pastime of ours.
2. What pieces of art, music, literature, etc., inspire you at this stage in your life?
I have always enjoyed looking at different pieces of Abstract Art; at one point I was going to major in Art, but then went towards Sociology for my degree in College. As far as Music, of course I was (and still am) was influenced by some early to mid 90’s hardcore as well as conscious hip-hop from the golden era even in this stage of life.
3. What does being a good father mean to you?
Being a good father to me means always being as present and mindful towards my son’s feelings in spite of the work load of the day. It also means trying to let him know that he feels safe to be a young boy and learn about the wonders of everyday life in the process.
4. How does your partner feel about your drug-free choices?
My Wife supports me One Hundred percent in my path to remain drug and alcohol free as she too practices the same life choices. Overall my near and extended family also adheres to a drug and alcohol free lifestyle as well.
I was already practicing a Drug and Alcohol free lifestyle (and decided to keep it) before my son was born. I was heavily involved with the Straight Edge hardcore scene and made a commitment to be drug free in 1992, haven’t looked back since.
6. How do your experiences as a son influence your choices as a father when it comes to drugs and alcohol?
They actually influence them a lot. Mainly by watching what some of the same people my age deal with issues related to drugs and alcohol; it was just another reason to keep to the path that I had found.
7. As a son, what is something you would you like your dad (or mom) to know?
I would like my Parents to know that I am thankful for everything that they gave me and the house that I grew up in helped me become the Man that I am today.
8. How do/will you talk to your child about drugs and alcohol? How have/will you address drug and alcohol use among the friends of your child?
I have not exactly put a plan together as to how I plan to address the issues related to drug and alcohol abuse; but just know that I will. Actually my son already knows that our household is drug and alcohol free. But I know there will come a point in his life when he is going to actually have to make that decision for himself to keep it that way for his life and his family.
9. How does religion, political ideology, or other philosophies play a part in your choices as a father?
Religion, political ideologies and Spiritual Philosophies play the biggest parts in my life and in my choices of being a father. I reverted to Islam in 1992 when I was 17 years old and our family practices Sunni Islam as the path of our religion. In 1996 I had started getting interested in Sufism and in 1997 had a Spiritual Experience that let me know that I had to follow (to the best of my ability) the Sufi Path, so in 1999 I received initiation into the Naqshbandi Sufi Order and have continued on this path to the best that I can. There are some things that I feel very political about and then there are some things that I don’t feel very political about at all; my son may never really know my political views. These things although personal, carry over into almost everything that my son and I do as father and son. I choose to eat from a Plant-Based lifestyle, so now even my son actually likes many of the dishes that are prepared in this way. I would have to say that these things play the biggest part in my family dynamic and that guide my choices as a father.
I will let my son know from an early age not to start down a path of using drugs and alcohol. Although I don’t have a history of using drugs and alcohol I have seen what it can do to families and even what it can do to the youth. I am presently working with juveniles who are dealing with some type of substance abuse addiction in one form or another and I will let him know this is something I don’t want to see him go through or have to deal with in life.
11. What pitfalls exist for drug-free fathers? How successful have you felt at overcoming them?
I guess the biggest ‘pitfalls’ that exist out there for drug-free fathers is the stereotype that the father is somehow boring, out of touch or just an overall self-righteous person. Everyone is just free to make their own choices. I think I have been fairly successful in overcoming these stereotypes by just being open and vibing with people of all backgrounds and building with them on their level; just having a real human conversation while not having to prove my own position.
12. What are your greatest hopes for your son?
My greatest hope for my Son is for him to grow up healthy and safe. Also, I would like my son to do better than me financially and spiritually as well.
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