The thoughts of an American Muslim and mother of four raising her children in small town USA with her Egyptian husband.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Why can't we learn from them?
OK, so I was all set to rant about why don't we Muslims have youth groups and things that would help us entice our children to learn more about the deen and befriend other Muslims from their generation... When I found this Muslim youth group in southern California. Bravo. Masha'Allah. So, I hope this is the beginning of a trend... Insha'Allah there will be youth groups all over the place when my kids are older... Well, there will be... Right?
I have struggled since I converted with the tendency of the Muslim community to adapt this attitude of complacency when it comes to teaching the deen. It seems like we just assume that the deen will teach itself. That it will jump out of the pages of the Quran and grab our children and community members in. And while I can't deny that it has happened... I think we owe our communities and families more in the way of teaching the religion. And I don't mean dogma, I mean giving them the tools to reach a deeper level of commitment and understanding of the deen.
Also, I have struggled with the lack of community in Islam. There seems to be these little ethnic groups and everyone else just falls into the cracks. And by everyone I mean second generation immigrants, people from mixed backgrounds and of course converts. I know, I know, people from the mosque are all up in your business in some places... But I rarely see it as constructive, actually it is usually quite the opposite. I have seen communities that seem to specialise in divorcing people... Astagfurallah.
You have to admit that as a fixture in the religious landscape of the USA we are pretty new. There are groups that have been doing this for a long time and maybe they have some ideas that we could adapt for ourselves. I guess what I'm getting at is why can't we learn from other groups that have these things nailed? I look at the Evangelical Christians... Wow, they have got the youth thing going. And I know the LDS folks here where I live have caring for their community down to a science.
Look, ISLAM is perfect... No one said Muslims are. Just something to think about.
I am a mother to four wonderful kids and the wife to one wonderful Egyptian! We live in a small town in the Midwest and work in our small businesses. I am also a Waldorf preschool teacher and childcare provider, a backyard chicken lady, a part time homeschooler, and a generally crunchy mama (think hijabi in birks).