Confused Muslim Teenagers In America

By wael | July 27, 2002
July 2002

Confused Muslim Teenagers In America

by J.K.S.

Muslim teenagers in America are confused. They live in two worlds: one of Islam and one of their un-Islamic, or at least non-Muslim surroundings. In these two worlds, clashes are inevitable. It can be difficult to maintain an Islamic identity as a teenager in America because of many surrounding factors that prevent us from practicing our Deen.

Some factors come from the American educational system. In my high school, during physical education classes, students are required to participate in activities that include swimming and square dancing. Swimming requires students to wear bathing suits, which forces our Muslim sisters to dress in an immodest way. Square dancing includes activities such as swinging, in which the boy and the girl are close together and touching in inappropriate and immodest ways, prohibited by our Deen. Students who do not wish to participate risk a failing grade.

The media also causes clashes between Islam and our surroundings. The media portrays the teen in a world where not only boyfriend-girlfriend relations are permissible, but also pre-marital sex (usually not showing sad effects such as teen pregnancy which can lead to dropping out of high school). Soap operas such as Friends and Alley McBeal and teen magazines are corrupting our brothers and sisters. The media, through advertising, portrays teens with the latest revealing fashions, making other teens believe that in order to be “popular”, they need to purchase and wear such Islamically detested clothing.

A huge cause of culture clash is peer pressure. The friends we attend school with! All of them are going to the next dance! Everyone wearing the latest fashion! He or she is asking us out! Going to (alcohol) drinking parties! Our fellow classmates engage in such activities, most of the time allowed by their own parents, that are Islamically detested. In such an environment where most adults are giving the green light for these activities, we Muslim teenagers can’t help becoming confused.

Sadly Muslim teens are being corrupted into conforming to non-Muslim ways. We as Muslim teenagers should try to teach our Muslim friends not to blindly imitate those around us.

Unfortunately, some Muslim parents give the green light for these activities in the name of “modernization”. Muslim parents need to become friends to their children and explain to them the path that Allah (S.W.T.) has chosen for us and the teachings of our Holy Prophet Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be Showered Upon Him). Muslim parents and educators should not leave the Muslim teen ever confused. They should allow them to consult their elders and not follow them blindly. Confusion must be ended in the youth. Otherwise, our American Muslim community may disappear in the next generation as it had in earlier times.

13 Responses to “Confused Muslim Teenagers In America”

  1. MOna Says:
    December 10th, 2008 at 8:20 am

    The problem can be solved by not allowing our children to attend school with Kaafirs. It is not permissable to allow our children to attend scholl with the disbelivers, the Scholars have ruled on this matter.

  2. Kevin in Manila Says:
    February 8th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Some of these issues are not only problems for Muslims, but Christians as well.

  3. Abdulmujeeb Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 2:41 am

    It’s not easy 2 become a STRANGER, & trust me as a muslim youth in any environment especially a country dat is not Islamic,it’s not only in America.u’re sure going 2 be a Stranger but remember ‘GLAD TIDINGS TO THE STRANGERS’. Try and keep company wit oda stranges cos as d cliché goes ‘UNITED WE STAND & DIVIDED WE FALL’May Allah strengthen u

  4. Leena Says:
    July 17th, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Nothing is corrupting us! And were rlly not confused…

  5. Anon Says:
    July 20th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    The youth seems to be confused everywhere now and not just in America. The children are just trying to fit in with the disbelievers and going to extremes to emulate them. They’re too busy chasing the duniya to realise their actual purpose in life. They don’t understand that their life here is just temporary. Truth be told, you can’t actually blame them because parents aren’t fulfilling their roles either. May Allah guide us all. Allah knows best.

  6. Naz Says:
    August 10th, 2011 at 2:32 am

    I’m a teenage Muslimah in America, and I think that the situation is being exaggerated in this article. Yes, I am happy that there is someone sympathizing with us, as I’ve had a hard time growing up in America. But I live in an area where there are no Muslims at all, I’m the only Muslim in my entire school. I have many non-Muslim friends who are wonderful people. Yet I wear hijab and I do not feel tempted to conform into American ways. Give us teenagers time. We will understand Allah and our identity on our own. Have some faith in us. We are not stupid. Allah knows best, and He always guides his believers.

  7. Henry Says:
    September 25th, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I believe we as Muslims should modernize and evolve our religion like the Christians. We should be able to hang out with non believers. We should also marry people of other faiths, as long as they except me for me being a Muslim. I love rock music and Hollywood. I have many Jew friends and they are very nice, many support Palestinians. One day we will live be able to live together in peace in Palestine. I have had a few white girlfriends in the past, but I never told my parents. I am dating an American girl from Columbia now. But one day I would like to marry a Muslim girl, but I would like the freedom to marry anyone else. If my sister wanted to marry a Christian or Jew, I would be happy for her. I want her to be happy and choose for herself. I just think we should be more accepting of other people, and they will eventually accept us, and we can live in peace together. I love this life in America and I want to live it to the fullest, but I don’t want to forget my background. I am also considering joining the Marine Corps when I turn 18. I want to show them, I can defend America’s freedom. Allah will protect me.

  8. wael Says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Henry, we Muslims do indeed respect people of all cultures and faiths; but that doesn’t mean we should marry them. When choosing a marriage partner, we need to choose someone who will help us achieve success in this life and the next. Someone who will help us grow closer to Allah, increase in faith, do our prayers, fast in Ramadan, perform Hajj with us, and help us raise good Muslim children.

    I think you really need to re-examine your values and ask yourself what the purpose of your life is. Allah created you and gave you the gift of Islam. How are you repaying that gift? How do you show gratitude? Disobedience and sin do not show gratitude.

    I also believe that joining the Marine Corps is a mistake. You will most likely find yourself in a position where you must kill Muslims, including civilians (in any conflict, civilians suffer as much as combatants). How will you answer to Allah for killing your brothers and sisters? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have nothing to do with defending America’s freedom. The Iraq war has never been about anything except greed for resources, and defending Israel’s interests. It’s impossible to justify participating in such an unjust fiasco.

  9. Aqila Says:
    October 24th, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Henry….you need to read (and understand) your Qur’an. If you are a Muslim, you should love Allah AZZAH WA JAAL first and foremost before even your mother and father and submit yourself to Him Al Khaliq and never the creation. Your professed love for this life in america sounds like shirk which is a guaranteed way to the hellfire. Allahualem. May Al’Afuww forgive your sins, increase your imaan, grant you discernment and protect you from the whispers of shaytaan Ameen thuma ameen!

  10. Solus Says:
    October 29th, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Why do adults say Muslim teens are confused just because they want to live a life with freedom and immerse ourselves into another country’s culture? Is that so bad?

    Look, Im a Muslim teen (in my parents eyes I still am…) living in Canada and there’re aren’t many other Muslim teens at my school. My parents aren’t very religious but still follow the rules. I don’t wear a hijab nor cover myself from wrist to ankle because I don’t like it. And No one is criticizing me for it. I want to live a life where I can do what I feel is right for me and go by what my parents have taught me and make right decisions and not be binded by the rules of Islam.
    I’m pretty sure that I am not confused. I feel like I am an intelligent person and have an open mind.

  11. wael Says:
    October 29th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    The rules of Islam do not bind, they guide. They are actually freeing. So I would say that you are indeed confused, because you don’t understand what freedom is. Many people in the West think “freedom” means the freedom to expose their bodies, drink alcohol, gamble, commit zinaa, and engage in lives of pointless consumerism. That’s not freedom. It’s loss, confusion, and a waste of spirit.

  12. Solus Says:
    October 31st, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    No, you are very wrong. I’m not confused. I am a 17 years old girl, I do not expose my body, I have never tasted alcohol, never gambled and I’m saving my virginity for marriage. Before judging other people’s lifestyles you should get to know them first. If the rules of Islam do not bind, then why do I feel like it does? Because of these laws I can’t hang out with my best friend who has been helping me with my depression just because he is a boy.

    We are not confused. You just need to stop being so paranoid!

  13. CTherp Says:
    February 9th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    So what do Muslim parents do when their teen aged daughter is starting to conform and wants to be at parties like her “American” friends? After all, SHE is American, she was born and raised here, goes to public school, is exposed to American ways and culture. Is it fair to submerge her in “American” teen age culture but then expect her to not want what everyone around her has and experiences? Does the Muslim community have support groups for Muslim parnts struggling to have their kids follow their values? What about support groups for the teenagers? This is so hard for all of them.

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