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 Tip # 12 : Support Them Even When They Become More Practicing

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Join date : 2011-06-29

PostSubject: Tip # 12 : Support Them Even When They Become More Practicing   Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:01 am

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12 Tips for Muslim Youth

Courtesy of Islamzine

Why should you, a young Muslim, be helping to bring your friends
closer to Allah?

After all, you've got your own struggles to deal with: trying to
explain why you pray to hostile teachers, Hijab discrimination,
standing up in class when the professor attacks Islam, dealing with
parents who think you've gone nuts because you're growing a beard,
or all the other difficulties faced by a number of practicing Muslim

Islam was never meant to be an individualistic faith, reserved for
the "chosen few". Muslims have a duty to spread the Deen, and
practicing Muslim youth, whether beginners, activists or leaders
have a crucial role to play.

"Allah has put them in a position that perhaps no one else is in,"
notes Sheema Khan, former Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA)
advisor for eastern Canada. "They have the means to communicate with
their peers, they have an understanding of what they're going
through plus they have the guidance of Islam."

Who is your childhood friend, who would rather spend Fridays at
MacDonald's than the Masjid, or your classmate who is Muslim in name
and only knows that "Muslims don't eat pork" going to listen to: the
nice Imam of the Masjid who would freak out if he saw the way they
were dressed and talked or you who may have grown up with them,
joked with them, or see them everyday in school?

The answer is obvious: you.

Don't panic. Here are some tips and advice which can help from other
Muslims, many of whom have been there and done that:

Tip # 1 : Make Your Intention Sincere

All work we do should ideally be for the sake of Allah. That
includes the task of bringing someone closer to Allah. That of
course means this should not be connected to arrogance, thinking
you're the teacher and everyone else should be lucky you've embarked
on a crusade to save them. Guidance is from Allah. Make Dua and make
sincere efforts and remember Allah can also misguide you if He wills
(we seek refuge in Allah from that).

Tip # 2 : Practice What YOu Preach

Not practicing what you preach is wrong and you will lose the
confidence of anyone, young or old, once they figure you out. Don't
do it.

Tip # 3 : Use The Quran & Seerah (biography of the Prophet peace be
upon him) As Dawa Guides

Read and understand those chapters of the Quran which talk about how
the Prophets presented the message of Islam to their people. Read
the Seerah (for some good Seerah books)to see especially how the
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) brought Islam to
so many different people, including young people.

As well, talk to Dawa workers, and check out manuals they may have
written, like Yahiya Emerick's How to Tell Others About Islam.

Tip # 4 : Talk To People As If You Really Dont Know Them

Don't assume you know someone just by looking at them. You don't
know that the Muslim girl in your homeroom who walks through the
school's hallways as if they were fashion show catwalks (see Ambe
Rehman's perspective on this) is not someone you can talk to about
Allah because she looks like a snob. Or that the Muslim guy who
you've never seen at Juma at your university is a "bad Muslim".
Maybe he was never really taught Islam and has no idea what
importance Friday prayers have in Islam, especially for Muslim men.

Tip # 5 : Smile

Did you know the Prophet was big on smiling? But many "practicing"
Muslims seem to have "their faces on upside down" as one speaker
once said-frowning and serious.

Smiling, being polite and kind are all part of the manners of the
Prophet, which we must exercise in our daily lives. If we want to
approach others with Islam, we have to make ourselves approachable.
Smiling is key to this.

But note that being approachable does not mean being flirtations
with the other gender. There are Islamic rules for how men and women
should deal with each other which have to be respected. Dawa is no
excuse to have long and private conversations and meetings with the
other sex, for example. Set up a system where someone expressing an
interest in Islam is referred to someone of the same sex.

Tip # 6 : Take The Initiative & Hang Out With Them

Take the first step and invite someone you may have spoken to a
couple of times to sit at lunch together, to check out a hockey game
or invite them over for Iftar in Ramadan. Also, share difficulties,
sorrows and frustrations. Help with homework, be a shoulder to cry
on when depression hits, or just plain listen when your friend is
upset, discuss common problems and KEEP THEIR SECRETS. There are few
things as annoying as a snitch and backstabber. But an important
note: if the problem is of a serious nature,(i.e. your friend is
thinking of committing suicide or is taking drugs), notify and
consult an adult immediately.

Tip # 7 : Show Them Islam Is Relevent Today, Right Here, Right Now

Young people may think Islam is too "old fashioned" and not in tune
with the modern age. Prove this wrong. Show how Islam is really
about relating to Allah, which any human being can do, anywhere,
anytime. Allah is always closer to you than your jugular vein and He
hears and knows everything. Encourage friends to ask Allah's help
during tests, exams, and in dealing with problems at home with
parents and siblings. Also point out how Islam relates to teenagers:
Islam gives you focus and an understanding of who you are and where
you are going, which most of "teen culture" does not.

Tip # 8 : Get Them Involved In Volunteer Work With You

If you are already involved in the community, get your friend to
help out. Ask them to make a flyer for one of your youth group's
events or brainstorm for ideas about activities to hold this school
year. This involvement makes them feel part of the Muslim community
and deepens your friendship, since you are now working together on
something beneficial for both of you. Make sure you thank them for
their contribution.

Tip # 9 : Ask Them 4 Fundamental Questions

As your friendship develops, you will notice the topics you discuss
may become more serious. You may be discussing, for instance, future
goals and plans. Khan recommends four questions to ask that can
steer the topic to Allah and Islam:

a. Where am I going in life and what would make me really happy deep
down inside?
b. What do I believe?
c. Who should I be grateful to?
d. Did I get to where I am today without the help of anyone?

Tip # 10 : Emphasize Praying 5 Times A Day Before Any Other Aspect
Of Islam

A person's main connection with Allah, on a daily basis, is through
the prayer five times a day. Don't emphasize any other aspect of
Islam until your friend starts making a real effort to pray five
times a day. Emphasize the direct connection one has with Allah in
prayer. If they are facing a problem, tell them to pray, and to ask
Allah for help in Salah and outside this time. When possible, make
it a point to pray together during your "hang out time". If your
friend begins to pray, that is the first step to other aspects of
Islam like giving up swearing, treating parents with respect or
dressing Islamically.

Tip # 11 : Help Instill Confidence In Adults

Adults, like Bart Simpson's dad Homer, are considered bumbling
idiots in the eyes of "teen culture". Your job as a young Muslim is
to help turn the tables on this false and unIslamic belief. All you
have to do is this: when a Muslim adult does something good (i.e.
saving someone's life, donating money to a worthy cause, the Imam
gives a good speech, taking good care of his/her family) bring it up
in the course of your conversations with your friend and praise the
adult in question. Doing this regularly may not only change your
friend's perspective, but could lead to them seeing their own
parents in a more respectful way.

Tip # 12 : Support Them Even When They Become More Practicing

Remember, just because a person starts practicing Islam more
regularly, this does not mean everything will be okay from this
point onwards. There will still be hard times, difficulties. There
may be times when your friend may have doubts about his or her
newfound practice of Islam. Be there to reassure them.

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