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Muslim Youth

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Muslim Youth

Post by Aysha Bash on Wed 02 Mar 2016, 3:39 pm

Why should you, a young Muslim, be
helping to bring your friends closer to
Allah?
After all, you've got your own struggles to
deal with: trying to explain why you pray to
hostile teachers, Hijab discrimination,
standing up in class when the professor
attacks Islam, dealing with parents who
think you've gone nuts because you're
growing a beard, or all the other difficulties
faced by a number of practicing Muslim
youth?
Islam was never meant to be an
individualistic faith, reserved for the
"chosen few". Muslims have a duty to
spread the Deen, and practicing Muslim
youth, whether beginners, activists or
leaders have a crucial role to play.
"Allah has put them in a position that
perhaps no one else is in," notes Sheema
Khan, former Muslim Youth of North
America (MYNA) advisor for eastern
Canada. "They have the means to
communicate with their peers, they have an
understanding of what they're going
through plus they have the guidance of
Islam."
Who is your childhood friend, who would
rather spend Fridays at MacDonald's than
the Masjid, or your classmate who is
Muslim in name and only knows that
"Muslims don't eat pork" going to listen to:
the nice Imam of the Masjid who would
freak out if he saw the way they were
dressed and talked or you who may have
grown up with them, joked with them, or
see them everyday in school?
The answer is obvious: you.
Don't panic. Here are some tips and advice
which can help from other Muslims, many
of whom have been there and done that:
Tip #1: Make your intention sincere
All work we do should ideally be for the
sake of Allah. That includes the task of
bringing someone closer to Allah. That of
course means this should not be connected
to arrogance, thinking you're the teacher
and everyone else should be lucky you've
embarked on a crusade to save them.
Guidance is from Allah. Make Dua and
make sincere efforts and remember Allah
can also misguide you if He wills (we seek
refuge in Allah from that).
Tip #2: Practice what you preach
Not practicing what you preach is wrong
and you will lose the confidence of anyone,
young or old, once they figure you out.
Don't do it.
Tip #3: Use the Qur'an and Seerah
(biography of the Prophet) as Dawa
guides
Read and understand those chapters of the
Qur'an which talk about how the Prophets
presented the message of Islam to their
people. Read the Seerah (for some good
Seerah books) to see especially how the
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
be upon him) brought Islam to so many
different people, including young people.
As well, talk to Dawa workers, and check
out books that have been written on
introducing dawa to non Muslims
Tip #4: Talk to people as if you really
don't know them
Don't assume you know someone just by
looking at them. You don't know that the
Muslim girl in your homeroom who walks
through the school's hallways as if they
were fashion show catwalks is not someone
you can talk to about Allah because she
looks like a snob. Or that the Muslim guy
who you've never seen at Jumah at your
university is a "bad Muslim". Maybe he was
never really taught Islam and has no idea
what importance Friday prayers have in
Islam, especially for Muslim men.
Tip #5: Smile
Did you know the Prophet was big on
smiling? But many "practicing" Muslims
seem to have "their faces on upside down"
as one speaker once said-frowning and
serious.
Smiling, being polite and kind are all part of
the manners of the Prophet, which we must
exercise in our daily lives. If we want to
approach others with Islam, we have to
make ourselves approachable. Smiling is
key to this.
But note that being approachable does not
mean being flirtations with the other
gender. There are Islamic rules for how
men and women should deal with each
other which have to be respected. Dawa is
no excuse to have long and private
conversations and meetings with the other
sex, for example. Set up a system where
someone expressing an interest in Islam is
referred to someone of the same sex.
Tip #6: Take the initiative and hang out
with them
Take the first step and invite someone you
may have spoken to a couple of times to sit
at lunch together, to check out a hockey
game or invite them over for Iftar in
Ramadan. Also, share difficulties, sorrows
and frustrations. Help with homework, be a
shoulder to cry on when depression hits, or
just plain listen when your friend is upset,
discuss common problems and KEEP THEIR
SECRETS. There are few things as annoying
as a snitch and backstabber. But an
important note: if the problem is of a
serious nature, (i.e. your friend is thinking
of committing suicide or is taking drugs),
notify and consult an adult immediately.
Tip #7: Show them Islam is relevant
today, right here, right now
Young people may think Islam is too "old
fashioned" and not in tune with the
modern age. Prove this wrong. Show how
Islam is really about relating to Allah, which
any human being can do, anywhere,
anytime. Allah is always closer to you than
your jugular vein and He hears and knows
everything. Encourage friends to ask Allah's
help during tests, exams, and in dealing
with problems at home with parents and
siblings. Also point out how Islam relates to
teenagers: Islam gives you focus and an
understanding of who you are and where
you are going, which most of "teen culture"
does not.
Tip #8: Get them involved in volunteer
work with you
If you are already involved in the
community, get your friend to help out. Ask
them to make a flyer for one of your youth
group's events or brainstorm for ideas
about activities to hold this school year.
This involvement makes them feel part of
the Muslim community and deepens your
friendship, since you are now working
together on something beneficial for both
of you. Make sure you thank them for their
contribution.
Tip #9: Ask them 4 fundamental
questions
As your friendship develops, you will notice
the topics you discuss may become more
serious. You may be discussing, for
instance, future goals and plans. Khan
recommends four questions to ask that can
steer the topic to Allah and Islam:
a. Where am I going in life and what would
make me really happy deep down inside?
b. What do I believe?
c. Who should I be grateful to?
d. Did I get to where I am today without the
help of anyone?
Tip #10: Emphasize praying five times a
day before any other aspect of Islam
A person's main connection with Allah, on
a daily basis, is through the prayer five
times a day. Don't emphasize any other
aspect of Islam until your friend starts
making a real effort to pray five times a
day. Emphasize the direct connection one
has with Allah in prayer. If they are facing a
problem, tell them to pray, and to ask Allah
for help in Salah and outside this time.
When possible, make it a point to pray
together during your "hang out time". If
your friend begins to pray, that is the first
step to other aspects of Islam like giving up
swearing, treating parents with respect or
dressing Islamically.
Tip# 11: Help instil confidence in adults
Adults, like Bart Simpson's dad Homer, are
considered bumbling idiots in the eyes of
"teen culture". Your job as a young Muslim
is to help turn the tables on this false and
unIslamic belief. All you have to do is this:
when a Muslim adult does something good
(i.e. saving someone's life, donating money
to a worthy cause, the Imam gives a good
speech, taking good care of his/her family)
bring it up in the course of your
conversations with your friend and praise
the adult in question. Doing this regularly
may not only change your friend's
perspective, but could lead to them seeing
their own parents in a more respectful way.
Tip #12: Support them even when they
become more practicing
Remember, just because a person starts
practicing Islam more regularly, this does
not mean everything will be okay from this
point onwards. There will still be hard
times, difficulties. There may be times when
your friend may have doubts about his or
her newfound practice of Islam. Be there to
reassure them.

Aysha Bash
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Re: Muslim Youth

Post by Admin on Wed 02 Mar 2016, 4:50 pm

Yeah, nice information, thank you Very Happy Smile
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