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How Can I Become a Man?

Questioner

Z (45-female-UK)

Reply Date

Oct 06, 2017

Question

Dear counselors, my son is a 18-year-old medical student. He is a normal child, friendly, kind though he is a little bit childish. A week ago, he asked me "Mum, what is my role in the life at this age? What should I do? How can I build my personality for the future? How can I become a man, a wise person, not a child anymore, a respected person, a person who can take responsibility, etc.?" I need help. What should I tell him?

Counselor

Answer


Man

In this counseling answer:

“As Muslim males, we must rededicate ourselves to being positive role models for all of the children and youth whom we come in contact with in our daily lives. I encourage you to motivate your son to seek meaningful experiences and find a teacher who can help him along the path of manhood.”


As-salamu `alaykum,

Young adulthood is the time to acquire knowledge and experiences for personal growth that your son will need once he is ready to marry and start a family. He should use the time he has now to acquire knowledge, travel, seek the company of the wise and learned, explore and try new things, discover his true self!

If we do not engage in this work at an early age, preferably in our teens and early adulthood, when it comes time to marry, we will remain with a void inside of ourselves and will only be disappointed and frustrated when we realize that another human being cannot fill that void, for it can only be filled by the One Whom the heavens and the earth cannot contain; only the heart of humble and faithful servant is expansive enough to contain Him.

As it is a time for growth and experience, it would be best if your son had a teacher, coach, or trusted elder who could help him navigate these years, as well as a group or community of like-minded friends: Teacher, Truth, and Community — the three elements for spiritual learning and development. Though we always want our children to make good decisions that will keep them safe in both this life and the hereafter, they also are at an age where exploration and experiential learning are a must (at least for most).

This, however, can be a dangerous road if there is no guidance and wisdom from those who have already experienced the world and engaged in serious work toward self- and God-realization. Furthermore, this individual should be able to help your son reflect and learn from his time and experiences and help him to internalize what he must in order for him to become a responsible, balanced, God-fearing Muslim man.

Too many young men around the world are growing up and passing through their critical years without responsible fathers, teachers, or other male adults in their lives. We as Muslim men have in many ways abandoned what it means to be a Muslim man. We have lost our sense of purpose and mission and have forgotten our Source (Allah).

As Muslim males, we must rededicate ourselves to being positive role models for all of the children and youth whom we come in contact with in our daily lives. I encourage you to motivate your son to seek meaningful experiences and find a teacher who can help him along the path of manhood.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 

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About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah

Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.

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