Tag Archives: identity crises

10 ways to make your Masjid teen-friendly

“Muslim teens, those who we rely on to keep Islam going after the older generation is gone, cannot and will not participate unless we make a strong effort to not only organize programs for them, but really make an effort to make them feel close to the Masjid.”

By Samana Siddiqui| Soundvision.com

Religion is an important aspect of life for a majority of Muslim youth in the United States. According to the Gallup Organization’s 2009 report Muslim Americans: A National Portrait, the percentage of young Muslims who say faith is important (77%) is roughly similar to the proportion of young Protestants (74%).

Yet, walk into most Masajid, whether that’s on a busy Friday or a weekend when classes are being held, and you’ll find Muslims under 10 or over 30. Those in between are usually absent. Especially noticeable is the lack of youth, between the ages of 11 and 19. While they may have attended weekend school classes as children, they have chosen to distance themselves from the Masjid as teens.

It’s an old crisis that requires new strategies and answers. Some Masajid have caught on and are trying to bring the youth back. Others believe it’s a lost cause. Others still, are willfully ignorant or are not willing to be a little flexible to allow Continue reading

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Filed under America, American Muslims, Youth

What do you call a Brown Guy with a Beard? by Umer Sultan

Ever wondered what a Brown guy with a Beard is called? This question arose after an incident that took place. Before anything, I know it is a little long post, so please bear with me because it is a very important issue. Also share it with others so that the discussion gets into the other communities!

So few months back my brother and I came to the realization that it is obligatory wajib (command) on Muslim men to have beard. I know many brothers will jump on me and ask me century old questions, and I will inshallah (God-Willing) address those in some future posts, this one decision changed our outward appearance and taught many different lessons.

Change in our outward appearances resulted in the change of how people perceive us. Different people were asking me questions about why I am not shaving, what does it represent? Is beard the tribal pride or something? Of course there were some Muslim brothers who were supportive of this, many thanks to them for being there and more importantly to Allah Ta’ala for giving me the company of such friends.

I really like when people are eager to learn and they ask me questions. So I was happy that people were asking me questions that they would not ask such questions before but there were some others who resort to passing out judgement.

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Filed under American Muslims, Islam, Islamophobia, Umer Sultan

“American vs Muslim: Is there a clash of Identity” by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi

Sheikh Yasir Qadhi answers the mind troubling questions of American Muslim Identity: Can you be a Muslim and be an American at the same time? Is there a clash? Is it permissible for a Muslim to have his/her allegiance to a nation-state. What are you first? An American or a Muslim?

Do Muslims have to live in a Islamic State? Can Muslims live in a Kufr State (non-Islamic or non-Muslim State), use the kufr system to defend themselves in the Kufr State? What is the difference between the concept of Ummah and Qaumiyat (nation or community)?

Muslims residing in the Non-Muslim nation-state, can they be patriotic to their country? Is America a Christian State? What American Muslims should say if some one asks them that why are they in America?

Can American Muslims be loyal to America? Is there a clash of loyalty between Islam and America? Can American Muslims be proud Muslims and patriotic Americans at the same time? And is this permissible in Islam?

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Filed under American Muslims, Islam, Video Posts

“Muslim Girl- The Plight of Sisters” by Awil Jama

Here is another poem by my friend Awil Jama. Many people liked his previous poem that I shared at my blog as a part of the Reviving the Muslim Youth series, which is here “Somali Boy.”

Much of what Awil Jama says here can be equally said about the plight of the Muslim Brother. However, I do hope that he would write another poem only on the Plight of the brothers, inshallah.

Muslim Girl-The Plight of Sisters

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Focusing on the Muslim Youth

The future of the Muslim Ummah needs to be guided and revived so that when they become the elders, they are equipped with the tools to lead. Some nice post coming soon inshallah…

I will be focusing on the Muslim youth this month inshallah. Some nice articles and post will be coming soon, so stay tuned.

Muslim youth is going through the identity crises. Besides identity crises there are going into extremes. Extremes of secularism where they are Muslim by name or by culture and are opposite to the teachings of Islam in every way or form (May Allah guide me and them)- and on the other side some of the youth are going into the other extreme and that is religious and political extremes where some youth due to the conflict of the predominant Anti-Islamic/Secular culture and the Islamic teachings that they notice they become reactionaries.

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Filed under Islam, Umer Sultan, Youth

Somali Boy- A Poem by Awil Jama

Below is the poem written by Brother Awil Jama (with his Note) regarding the condition of the Somali youth. Although Brother Jama wrote this intending for the Somali youth, I feel that this poem in general addresses the issues concerning all Muslim youth- Somali, Pakistani, Arab etc.

Leave your comments below about what do you think of this poem. Thank you.

Somali Boy- A Poem
By Awil Jama,

Walking on a land where the surfaces are bound with desires and obsessions.

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Filed under Islam, Youth

From Ascribed Identities to the world of Self-Identification

Just as modernity altered the way individuals understood their relationship to society at large, so did it fundamentally change the way individuals understood themselves. It used to be that a person’s identity was defined by the society to which he or she belonged. But as society was increasingly deemed to be nothing more than the product of human imagination, so too were social identities cast aside as mere human constructions. After all, if there are numerous alternatives to the present social order, there must also be numerous alternatives to the identities that society ascribes to us. Thus, with the rise of modernity, new collective identities began to arise, constructed not through societal mandates but through conscious self-reflection—not “Who do you say I am?” but “Who do I say I am?” In short, the modern age has ushered a transition from a world in which identities were bestowed to a world in which identities can be gained or lost through deliberate action—from a world of ascribed identities to a world of self-identification.”

[Page 132-133 Chapter Six- Generation E]

Source: Reza Aslan. How to win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization and the end of the War on Terror. Random House, New York, 2009.


Filed under America, Muslim World