In the Name Of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
First and Foremost, as I write this article educating myself first and hoping others will benefit as always. I am not judging or trying to offend any Muslim, Arab, or friend this is simply an issue that has become of extreme notice and importance to me the past few weeks witnessing things from fellow Teens and hearing stories that truly shocked me and made me question my friends.
This is only Part 1 of this article and currently rushing it because I want feedback and have an assignment for class correlated with this! —Enjoy 🙂
Young Muslims living in America are tempted and exposed to American society that is very different and questionable compared to our own. We Muslims are tempted by everything- from media telling us how to dress, magazine covers telling woman what is fashionable and not, television showing us how to communicate with the other gender properly whether we feel comfortable with it or not from High School years to College and beyond. So many things have affected us teens without us noticing until we look back and truly analyze every detail of our daily routine from morning to night. Maybe waking up to pray one of your daily five prayers gets lost in the American society we live in. You ignore Fajr possible for an action you did the night before-staying up all night partying with friends because they told you it would “fun” whatever that means. Ignoring your prayer because you don’t have time and were partying the night before. Or maybe we just have too much studying to do and no time to pray which is understandable and I completely agree the society we live in isn’t so Muslim Friendly. We have classes from the early morning till late in the evening and it is not like we have a break to go pray and even eat sometimes. Some colleges in America do have prayer rooms and make time to help other cultures and religions live their lives with American times. However, the majority don’t so we as well forget because we can’t just stop something to go and pray- it just isn’t possible all the time so we end up making up the prayer at home in our own safety area and it becomes routine and God-Willing Insha’Allah everyone’s prayer is accepted 🙂
Born and raised in California- I am considered an Arab-American-Palestinian-Muslim; as many are. I am not the only Musim to live in America, nor am I the last. We all go through the temptations of America and can’t avoid them unless we have strong family background and trust in our Religion and know that this life is temporary, Paradise is forever and will be the ultimate goal. But many, ignore this fact, and just get caught up in the American life. I have been blessed to be raised by amazing, intellectual, loving, and understanding parents. I love my Mother and Father so much not once have they every put me down or told me not to chase my dreams and not many can attest to that. I LOVE THEM; anyway lol We are Proud Muslims and have morals and ideals on how to live the upright successful lifestyle that Allah, God, Subhana wa Ta’aala would be Proud of Insha’Allah. I am twenty years old and have attended school in California as well as my beautiful homeland of Palestine. I have heard, seen, witnessed, helped, been a therapist and mentor for many teenagers and friends who have fallen into peer pressure that is so easy to get caught up in. The American society is all about acceptance and popularity. Islam is Perfect, Muslims ARE NOT- we try our best to live up to everything the Quran, Holy Book of Islam, tells us but America does not agree to our morals. So our teenagers and young adults know the good and bad, and what is wrong and right. They hear about it all their life from their parents and learn it not only through their religion but culture as well. We are all born into sin, not only Muslims, but Christians, Jews, and every other human being in the face of this Earth. No one is perfect, not one body, mind or soul. Honestly, sin can’t be ignored it is in our nature to sin and make mistakes and want to be accepted; so you may begin to drink alcohol, become a “Social-drinker” that America has now made a name for to make it sound acceptable, begin to date and have relationships because “Hey everyone else id doing it.” But then you tell your friends and fellow people you attend school with that you are Muslim. How does that make you look? How will your American friends interpret Islam if you are doing and acting as a non-Muslim non-believer? Again, I understand you live in America you want to be accepted and understood. You want to have friends and a crew of people to have fun with and make lasting memories with. But ask yourself, honestly ask yourself this Question: Are friends meant to let friends do harmful things to their bodies and emotionally destroy their personality and pride?
After that one sip of alcohol your friends convinced you to take or drug to inhale or whatever it is kids do these days, for five minutes, in that moment, you are “cool” a part of the team, one of the crowd. Everyone finally accepts you IN THAT MOMENT- okay ten minutes pass and you take yet another shot of whatever it is and you yet again get congratulated by your idiotic friends. Now what? You are one of them- Good Job! You, in that moment, are not a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Believer or anything for that matter. In fact, No one in that room IS- not your friends, not the bartender who is happily and willing you handing you every nasty smelly drink, not anyone touching and looking at the alcohol–no one is living to their morals and beliefs. Temptation has caught up to you and everyone in that room. You are all now intoxicated, not aware and in charge of your brain and actions. You begin lying, and talking shameful things and hurting someone’s feelings. You are now and forever will be judged. That alcohol isn’t just a “drink” it’s temptation and destruction to your whole life and career. You see my point? You live, we live, in a society that wants you to do things your religion does not agree with–THERE IS A REASON!
Islam is perfect, Muslims are NOT! I will be finding a Surah or Hadith that explains this in full detail but until then I will explain from what I have learned why I believe it is not okay in Islam to do any of the things discussed.
Islam doesn’t want you to drink because you become an entirely different person. You harm your mind, body, soul, and shorten your life. You are ten times more at risk to drunk driving and bad behaviour that you can’ even recall of when you wake up the next day Hung Over. You drinking, put you at risk for death and you are never fully in touch with your emotions and body during this time. You can easily go kill someone and not even know you did it— and Islam does not want you doing that! Teens, listen to what your parents tell you as they scream and shout not to go to that party, and stay at your friends house— right now it seems like, “ughh my parents hate me they don’t want me to have fun ever it’s not fair,” but in 10 years when you look back and realize why you wanted to go and why your parents didn’t want you to go you will thank them! This is just one of hundreds of examples that many Muslim Teenagers living in America face daily. Many conform, others have been raised well and have obedience as well as self-control and their goal in this life is to please their parents and most importantly Allah, God, because they know as well as I that this life is temporary and Paradise is forever.
Relationships of the opposite gender are another very hot topic in Islam and American society today. Attending High School and College we all interact with the opposite sex. It’s normal, it’s mandatory we can’t prevent it- but we can do it wisely and only for school and educational purposes. In class, a teacher will tell you to partner up with a group of five people and work on projects in and out of class or else you will fail. It’s how we learn and are meant to interact all through our educational years. So we do, we begin to laugh and joke, share our thoughts with woman and men and exchange e-mails to discuss the issues more in depth. That’s all fine and okay because it is for school no harm at all. Until you realize that this person is attractive because your friend pointed it out or made a comment to spark your attention. Then your American friend tells you, “Oh my Gosh, you guys would be so cute together!” —Yes it has happened to you I know. Or you yourself have thoughts of wanting to have a relationship with the opposite gender and can’t get it out of your head it’s fine until you act upon those thoughts. You in that moment laugh and think nothing of it because your American friend doesn’t know your parents or religion. You know that would never happen because A) it’s haram and B) you will probably get back handed and killed by your parents– not literally but you know what I mean! You know why, you get lectured about it since the day you are born that dating is haram- it isn’t what we MUSLIMS do. It is unacceptable because you are giving your emotion and time to a person that isn’t and may not be serious. You may get hurt emotionally or physically in the process and you aren’t guaranteed a happy ending you think you will get. Dating Fatma and that Yousef you can’t call and text girls and boys – and no we don’t do that- are are Muslimeen ok, unless you want to get Married to Khadija she is eighteen you wan to? Yes, I am referring to some skits done by Yousef Erakat also known as “FouseyTube” on YouTube. He put our lives on display to show and prove how we are human and make mistakes but still are like any other person even if we have different culture and religion.
It’s all life children– it is life– as you get older and go far away in college and eventually get married everything your parents have told you all your life will make sense. You then will one day be telling your own children not to do what your parents told you not to do! The irony and reality of dating is a tough topic to discuss and I will be posting more on this.
We live in a society where dating, drinking alcohol and doing drugs, and haram acts is acceptable but a Relgion and culture that has completely different thoughts. It is life and we live and learn and I hope to have brought enlightenment to someone reading this.
To be continued—–
- Misoon S. Ghareeb