Muslim Teens: Tips on How to Fit in with Your Peers and Still Keep Your Muslim Identity!

07 October, 2019
Q Recently, I've been hearing people/students talk behind my back about my religious behaviour. I even heard some students say I'm only being religious because I want to be viewed as a good person. It is so hard being a religious person at my school if the students at the school are so judgemental (I go to a catholic school) even though I'm only doing my best to serve Allah and I swear to Allah that I've been trying my best to have a good behavior and not speak foul language like the other students do. I'm a boy and I know I should easily shrug this off. but I don't feel comfortable hearing false accusations at me. The students at the school are all flashy and like to speak foul words (though some of them are very nice to me) and I feel I'm not fitting in with the society.....is there any way I could fit in at my school and still be a good Muslim?

Answer

Short Answer: You have to cling to Allah and adhere to His laws, turn to Him and pray always to Him to protect you from sin and help you to adhere to your religion. Always make Dua to Allah to keep your heart firm in Eman. As you mentioned there are people that are nice to you. Try and stay with the people who are nice, and if you can find Muslim friends that would be even better. If not, at least there are other people around who are nice, surround yourself with those people. Also when you are with them show them the character of a good Muslim as actions speak far louder than words. Who knows you may be a source of their guidance.

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Walaikumassalam warahmatullah wabarakatahu. Jazakallahu khair for approaching us with your concern.

Society

Allah has made the earth and has placed us humans upon it to be his vicegerent. The world is filled with differences everywhere whether it be a political opinion, religious, or just having a different perspective on life. The one who sticks to the truth has fulfilled the meaning of his being on Earth. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

The Shaytaan has some hold over the son of Adam and the angel has some hold over the son of Adam. As for the hold of the shaytaan, it is reminding him of evil and disbelieving the truth. As for the hold of the angel, it is reminding him of goodness and believing the truth. Whoever finds the latter, let him know that it is from Allah, so let him praise Allah. Whoever finds the former, let him seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytaan. Then he recited (interpretation of the meaning): Shaytaan (Satan) threatens you with poverty and orders you to commit Fahsha (evil deeds, illegal sexual intercourse, sins); whereas Allaah promises you forgiveness from Himself and bounty [al-Baqarah 2:268]. (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2914)

Battle Between Right And Wrong

There will always be conflicts on earth, till the end of time. Humans have within themselves many weaknesses. There are those around you who are name-calling you, also wrongfully accusing you of being a hypocrite. This feeling hurts a lot, especially when you are trying to live by doing what is correct. However, pause for a moment and travel back in time, more accurately to the time of Prophet Muhammad.

Prophet Muhammad, who was respected and loved by the people around him, when he stood with the truth, what happened? Except for a number of people, everyone around him became hostile towards him. Their opinions about the Prophet changed, they began to not only call him indecent phrases but actually tried to harm him physically!

His own relatives became his enemy. Imagine the feeling he went through. Even if you were to try and think about it tears will flood your eyes, but the Prophet Muhammad lived through it! He made it with hope in Allah’s mercy and patience. In the end, victory was for the believers.

It is the Sunnah of Allah to test the believers through trials and hardship. It is like polishing a jewel so that its inner beauty sparkles and leaves others in awe. Do not pay attention and worry about there being so many lost souls around you, do not let these crowds of disbelievers who are drowning in the sea of their reckless desires and sins distract you from the purpose for which you were created. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path (Quran 6:116)

Stay Firm

From what you have intimidated it seems as if you’re surrounded by a negative atmosphere filled with so many non-Muslims and Muslims who do not adhere to their religion and who may not know anything about Islam other than its name. No doubt you may be faced with many trials and temptations, to stick to the right and be firm in it.

You have to cling to Allah and adhere to His laws, turn to Him and pray always to Him to protect you from sin and help you to adhere to your religion. There is a famous Hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad mentions your situation. Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

“A time of patience will come to people in which adhering to one’s religion is like grasping a hot coal.”(Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2260)

Good Vibes

As you mentioned there are people that are nice to you. Try and stay with the people who are nice, and if you can find Muslim friends that would be even better. If not, at least there are other people around who are nice, surround yourself with those people. Also when you are with them show them the character of a good Muslim as actions speak far louder than words. Who knows you may be a source of their guidance.

Lastly, always make Dua to Allah to keep your heart firm in Eman. Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) narrated from her husband, your Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),

that he used to recite this duaa (Yaa muqallib al-quloob thabbit qalbi ala deenak) frequently. She asked, O Messenger of Allah, we believe in you and in what you have brought. Do you fear for us? He said, Yes, for people’s hearts are between the fingers of Allah and He turns them as He wills. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2066. He said, this is a hasan hadeeth).

And Allah knows best

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

How Can Muslim Youth Balance Between Faith and Modernity?

Muslim Youth: Speak Up! How Can We Help?

How Can I Deal with Non-Muslim Mates?