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.

3 comments:

Mona said...

This is really important. Especially in the west, Muslim youth camps and conventions are a way for muslim kids/teens to meet other people like them and know that being muslim is cool. Here in Egypt islam really is taken for granted a lot and it's assumed kids will learn by osmosis.

MYG said...

Salams,

I'm glad you came across our website for our youth group. InshAllah there will be many Muslim Youth groups when your children grow older. We actually have a few youth groups out here in the Los Angeles area. If you are ever in the area, feel free to contact us for anything. :)

-Yasmin

Mona Um Ibrahim said...

Salams, when i was the president of the Masjid youth group, it was really active and we did lots of fun stuff. But speaking about conservative christians, actually i am learning a lot from Steve and Teri Maxwell's series of books and audio CDs. Teri wakes up at 5:30 am and prays, reads and memorizes scripture and keeps a bible journal to reflect on verses. She says this personal time with the Lord is what gives her the energy and patience to go through her day and helps her to teach her children values because she uses bible verses to back up her discipline and rules etc. I was amazed to say the least and i'm really motivated to try to implement her methods.