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School Struggles: How Can I Balance Deen and Dunya?

09 July, 2024
Q Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh I am a high-school student. Alhamdulillah follow Islam as much as I can but I have a problem in praying salah five times a day. I cannot pray the zuhr prayer because my school is not allowing me to pray and it's a non-Muslim school. They said other students can use this as a reason to skip the class so they said no. Now I have to pray the zuhr prayer after coming home combining it with Asr prayer and when I say this to my family because I cannot change another school by my own, my family is not agreeing with me and I am having problems with this.

By this reason I am losing interest in school studies and I am showing more interest in Islamic Studies which I love to learn and I never get tired but in school studies I get bored very often and I hate it. So, my family is scolding me to concentrate on school studies first and then go to Islamic Studies. They say "we can study Islam whenever we want even if we get old. but School studies are not like that! we can only study it when we are young" and I want to have Muslim friends who would guide me and make me close the Allah I don't find like that I only have non-Muslim friends...I want to talk about deen more but I cannot because I am studying in a non-Muslim school. So, they talk are all about wasteful things and studies only. I want to talk about Islam more and I want to study in an Islamic school where I can learn deen and also dunya... but I cannot!

How can I balance the deen and the Duniya correctly? and I don't want to drown and be concentrated only on school studies I want learn and talk more about Islam. And I feel a sense of loneliness and emptiness after having a conversation without the mention of Allah…what can I do in this situation? Can I give importance to my deen first and study it because of my interests in it and put dunya at the second? And how can I pray on time?


In this counseling answer:

  • You may think that an Islamic school is the only solution, but maybe there are other options too.
  • Seek out and join a group or a course, either online or not, where you may meet those with whom you would like to talk about Islam. Find an Islamic course or extracurricular activity after school or on the weekend.
  • If you do not find friends in the school, you may find them in the mosque, in youth gatherings, or in the Quranic school. Look around and to make dua for righteous friends.

Salam alaikom, dear sister,

Thank you for sharing your struggle with prayers in the non-Muslim school and with balancing between deen and dunya.

Masallah! It is very commandable to know what your priorities are in this life as a Muslim. Islam is a way of life; it is ideally our basis and our principal perspective. You are still young, but you are blessed to realize that. May Allah preserve your outlook and attitude, ameen.

Possible reasons

I understand that you would like to find an Islamic school, but maybe your parents have some reasons why that is not a valid option for you right now. It can be finances, logistics, or even the reputation of the closest Islamic school in your area, among other reasons.

I am sure that your parents love you and want the best for you when they try to emphasize the importance of studies that are not about Islam. They may think about your future in the dunya and would like to equip you with the best possibilities to ensure your stability.

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And there are many parents who think the same way, and they also take care of the Islamic upbringing of their kids.

Other alternatives

You may think that an Islamic school is the only solution, but maybe there are other options too, so let’s explore some alternatives. Alhmadulillah, nowadays there are numerous possibilities that can work.

What about talking to your parents and asking them to support you with these plans and your interest in learning about the deen or being with good Muslims around? You may talk about the importance of having good Muslim friends and remind them kindly of their role in facilitating Islamic studies and the environment for you.

I advise you to seek out and join a group or a course, either online or not, where you may meet those with whom you would like to talk about Islam as much as you do. You can seek knowledge by finding an Islamic course or extracurricular activity after school or on the weekend.

You do not need to change school, but you can find these activities after that or during the weekends. When you are in school, you fulfill your duties while also having time and space to deal with what you love and are interested in. You may promise your parents that you will not neglect your studies either.

This is also how we balance deen and dunya: we take responsibility for our wordly matters and try our best to excel in them, while we have to do it with taqwa and the right mindset and priorities.

Actually, this is what Allah says in the Quran:

Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant. But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. Do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.” (Quran 28:77)

You can use your time in the non-Muslim school to spread Islam with your good manners, your social activism, your helpful attitude, and your good deeds. If you have the right intention, you can turn even your learning into an act of worship, alhamdulillah.

Prayer at school

You say that your school does not allow you to pray with the excuse that other students may skip the class for this reason.

I am not sure whether you have a break around the time of Dhur and whether you can pray then or not. That can be an option. Even if that is after the exact time of the adhan, but within the time frame of dhur prayer.

If that’s not feasible and the only option is to combine it, as you do, I advise you to keep doing it that way. Know that Allah is very well aware of your good intentions and also of your obstacles. He is the All-Forgiving and Most Just.

When you are praying, just try to let go of your concerns. Be fully present, and seek the pleasure of Allah. Allah will know that once you have the opportunity to pray right on time, you will do that, in sha Allah.

Muslim friends

During the teen years, many important changes happen, emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. These issues can occupy your mind and interests. Studies, peers, friendships, etc. That is why, at your age, sometimes it can be difficult to find like-minded peers who are spiritually focused and have the deen as their very first priority.

It is difficult but not impossible, alhamdulillah. So, what can you do? If you do not find them in the school, you may find them in the mosque, in youth gatherings, or in the Quranic school. In a non-Muslim majority country, the places are limited. But still, there are Islamic schools, even online Islamic events, groups, etc.

I advise you to look around and to make dua for righteous friends. Sometimes, less is more. Maybe Allah will bring you one or two sisters who share your interests and can talk about the deen.

I hope this helps.

May Allah help you with that.

Read more from Orsolya Ilham O.:


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

About Orsolya Ilham O.
Orsolya Ilham has a BA in Communication and Manager in Public Relations, MA, BSC in Psychology. She studied Islamic sciences and obtained certificates in Islamic counseling, Islamic marriage counseling, and in the jurisprudence (fiqh) of counseling and psychology. Previously she worked in a client-centered atmosphere; currently, as a translator, counselor, and content creator related to Islam, counseling, and psychology.