I haven't made any friends at all and I am feeling very lonely. There are very few Muslims in my community or they don't live around where I am or maybe I haven't met that many.
So I was wondering what is your advice? (I try to do extra activities and stuff but still I feel I would like some friends to talk to as I used to have in my original country.
I came to the states because my dad works here and I wanted to finish my education in the states.
In this counseling answer:
•Please be flexible with the kinds of people you meet. You might be tempted to compare the new friends with those you have back home. Try to avoid doing that.
• Try to search for a masjid or Islamic center in your area.
•It might be better for you to only have one or two friends who are good for your faith than to have many friends who are a bad influence on you.
Being uprooted from one’s family and friends is not easy, especially for teenagers. May Allah (SWT) make it easy on you.
First, you should try to search for a masjid or Islamic center in your area. If you are attending a private school, it is quite possible that other Muslim children are attending public schools in your area or even an Islamic school.
One good way to know more about the local Muslim community is to start at the masjid or Islamic center.
If you are not sure where to find one, use the local telephone books. Your father may also be of help as he may know other Muslim families in the community.
For example, where does your father attend the Friday prayer? That might be another starting point to know more about the Muslims in your area.
Second, it is not easy to develop friendships like the one’s in your country of origin. Friendships take time to develop, but you must get started soon.
Please be flexible with the kinds of people you meet. You might be tempted to compare the new friends with those you have back home.
Try to avoid doing that. Accept the new friends as they are and try finding in them some quality which you like.
Third, you can always use your extra-curricular activities as a place to meet new people and develop friendships.
Although they might find it difficult to approach you first, you should try to approach people yourself. Be confident about who you are.
Do not be afraid that you have an accent or that you do not speak English like they do. Ask questions and try to learn more about your new friends. Remember, the goal is to understand them and not to judge them.
The ideal situation would be for you to take only Muslims as your friends. But if that is not possible because there are not that many Muslims, then, please make sure you are selective in who you choose as your friends. Let your parents meet them.
In some cases, it might be better for you to only have one or two friends who are good for your faith than to have many friends who are a bad influence on you.
Make du’aa to Allah (SWT) to guide you towards young people who will help you in your religion! Keep in touch.
And Allah (SWT) knows best.
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