Summarised podcast notes of the podcast episode : How to help your child be a successful Muslim student. Listen here
My name is Aminah and I live in the UK but both of my parents are from Kosovo. I grew up in an ‘unislamic’ environment, where my parents didn’t place Islam as the main priority in our lives. This is mainly because when they fled war in Kosovo 20 years ago, they wanted to start a new life in a more developed and economically stable country.
Like many parents, they wanted to give the world to their children, and my parents had an even greater reason to want to give that to us. Although they didn’t speak any English, they made sure that my sister and I had the best education, by providing us with all the latest school materials, tutors and anything else that we needed. My parents made sure that we stayed motivated to do our work, by telling us that education and a good career is the main priority in our lives.
Now that I am studying law at university, I didn’t feel like my degree ‘completed’ me, I had a feeling that this couldn’t be the only purpose to my life- good grades and a decent job- surely there has to be more to life than just this. So after many sleepless nights, I decided the best place to start was by attending the Muslim prayer room at my university. Since that day I stepped into that prayer room, it’s been very hard to get me out of there! Hence why my friends thought I should join the Islamic Society committee and I now stand as their Dawah Officer, Alhamdullilah.
After attending many Islamic lectures at my university, the more knowledge I gained the more I fell I love with the religion, and the more I felt sad that Islam hadn’t been there from the beginning of my life. This is why I believe that it is very important for children to be raised in an Islamic environment and develop their taqwa. When an individual is God-conscious, even if they may go astray, they will still come back to Allah, which is the aim in life.
Being God conscious is especially needed at university, as this is where I’ve seen many teenagers believe that they are free to do whatever they wish. It is very common and widespread to see your course mates and flatmates drinking in the kitchen or getting ready to go clubbing with very loud music on all night or even hosting a mini party in their own room. It doesn’t help that the walls are super thin either.
Non-Muslim Student Life
It’s no surprise that we, as humans, can be swayed by these temptations, especially in places like at university where such invitations to do haram are everywhere. Frankly, since students are almost always alone and may feel lonely, it’s also no surprise that these temptations around them make clubbing and drinking seem not so bad… maybe even fun.
“As a Muslim student when you arrive at university you’re immersed in to the world of pub crawl, club night and party promotion. The constant flyering on campus and Facebook notifications for ‘two for one cocktails’ are something which many freshers undoubtedly enjoy and are certainly spoiled for choice. ” Huffingtonpost
One innocent thought leads to an action and if they don’t have a strong Islamic foundation many Muslim teenagers do begin drinking, smoking marijuana, and sleeping around. This is exactly what I see at university and what is worse is that when a Muslim sees another Muslim doing haram things, it almost makes it okay for the former to follow the latter because “the Muslims are doing it too”.
“You can either be one of those stupid Muslim students who gives up their whole religion and starts drinking/clubbing/having sex in the first week of uni because they gave into peer pressure. Or you can stand your ground and refuse to drink alcohol despite how much people will pressure you into trying it. Nobody is stopping you going to club nights without drinking alcohol (I do go to them myself) but be prepared to lose a lot of friends when they all say you’re boring because you don’t drink. Uni students put alcohol above everything else, they don’t know how to enjoy themselves without getting drunk and as a result, no one wants know a person who is sociable but doesn’t drink. That makes it very hard to fit in with people who only cement their friendships through alcohol and stupid behaviour on nights out.” Studentroom
How to raise your child to be strong confident Muslims
Even the most pious and righteous child can get caught into the well-planned trap of the Shaytaan, so to prevent these things from happening is to make sure parents develop their child’s God-conscious from a young age. This can be done by:
- reading them Islamic bedtime stories
- teaching them about the greatest men to have lived
- reading a hadith, a day
- learning about the meanings of the most beautiful names of Allah
- teaching them to be grateful for the minor things they have
- making sure that they are aware of what is happening to the Muslims around the world, so they truly are aware of their blessings.
Little things like this can make the world of a difference for the future of your child, as no matter where they are in life and whatever they may be doing, they will always turn back to their Lord, Allah.