Pursuing a college degree poses a unique challenge when you are Muslim. Whether it is due to stress, an unpredictable schedule, long class times, and for many students, working while going to school, many Muslim students would admits that college is making it difficult for them to practice their faith.
But, college is an opportunity to prove to yourself that you can maintain (at least) the minimum that makes you a true Muslim.
Your faith will wax and wane during the stress of your studies, but the blessing of an education has only come to us because of Allah’s generosity. Here are some tips to show your gratefulness.
1. Join Your MSA!
If you are not familiar, MSA stands for Muslim Student Association. Ideally, the MSA is the student organization that serves the needs of the Muslim community. MSAs host on-campus jummah, educational opportunities, community service projects and social events for their members.
Whether you apply to be on the board, volunteer, or become a general body member, joining your MSA can be a wonderful way to find your circle of friends on campus.
I recommend this only if the MSA operates as an Islamic organization and not just a social club. Check your university or college’s list of student organizations for more information.
2. Don’t Schedule Classes During Jummah!
This piece of advice is for both male and female students, but especially for the men considering attending Jummah prayer is fardh (obligatory).
Do your due diligence to work your classes around Jummah time. Treat that time as sacred and as a break from the stress of school.
Think about it: you won’t find college students at school on Sunday when church is happening. Extend that same respect to your holy day as much as possible.
Ideally, your MSA should have on campus Jummah to make it easy on students. If your school doesn’t have an MSA, then be the person who makes it happen and register as a student organization!
3. Try to Find a Muslim Roomate
For the majority of on-campus residents, this is the first time they are living alone. If you are Muslim, this may be the first time you are solely accountable for habits like waking up to pray on time.
Do the best you can to find a Muslim roommate so that you have someone who can be understanding and whom you can feel encouraged by (or vice versa).
If you put in the effort, but couldn’t find a Muslim roommate, then explain to your non-Muslim roommate about Islam and what practicing Muslims do.
4. Decorate Your Dorm
If you’re living on campus, be sure to Islamify your dorm or apartment as much as you can. Bring a prayer mat, a mus-haf (Quran), prayer clothes and even decor that reminds you of Allah.
If you struggle to uphold your daily habits, having these items on display are important for visual association. I recommend having the prayer mat laid open in a designated area
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