Social life in Islamic Schools: Dating, Drinking and Deen.

I would like to share my views on how we Muslim students in different schools whether in Secondary or university levels should live to save reputation of our beautiful religion Islam. What I have experienced during my online and field research on how we students spend our time in schools, and how we can make good use of this chance of being Muslim students and good example to non Muslim communities. Not all schools in Malawi are under Islamic supervision, or all schools comprise only Muslim students, this mixture leads to multiculturalism which in turn we may end up being affected by other’s culture and way of life, this really poses a challenge to our community as Muslims. My research even reached beyond the borders to students in abroad doing their studies in different countries like; Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Saud Arabia, Turkey and Egypt.
Young people live for the day when they can move out of the house and go to secondary or college and finally be free, freedom from their parents, and restrictions on their lifestyle from everyone telling them what to do. This is why in college you find generations doing what they want. Life is short they say, let’s enjoy ourselves as we can. So it goes for Muslims. In college and secondary schools you find the most amazing things; Muslims don’t pray, Muslims date, go out to parties and drink.

Why is this happening?

For one, when students go off to secondary or university they finally realize that what they believed in was blind. Religion becomes like a fairy story, when they become matured, they know better than to believe in. Most of them have little knowledge about Islam. “Why believe something on faith”, they ask, “after all we cannot see heaven or hell”.

How do we know Islam is right anyway?

Islamic culture to them means marrying someone they never knew. It means arranged marriages and never hanging out or having fun. For girls Islamic culture has even less to offer. It would mean double standards or having to serve a husband the rest of her life. The western alternative to this looks a lot more attractive.

The western and non Muslim culture “love and romance” are supposedly everywhere. Everyone is out looking for love freely, meeting someone going out, seeking pleasure sounds much better. Girls have to aspire to be like the latest supermodels, they have to hold back age. Who’s going out with who, what are my friends thinking, what will happen if I don’t get the right girl or guy, what is my girlfriend or boyfriend thinking, all become important.
Frustration, desperation, and unhappiness become the norm.
Imagine all the heartache youth would save if they followed the Islamic alternative.

In true Islam, unlike culture, there is no game playing. If two people wish to be involved they are both straight with one another. Unlike what goes on today amongst some Muslims, they both meet each other and make a contract to marry. Women are treated with respect; there is no sexual offensive like how it is in western and non Muslim societies. Sex in western and non Muslim culture is also often seen as a vice or a sin of the flesh. But even in religion of Islam, sex is seen as natural as long as it is in the right circumstances, when the two are committed to one another in marriage.

Drinking smoking in secondary/college is also the norm unfortunately. If you don’t drink, smoke or party you’re seen as strange. Drinking is cool and a way for people to socialize, meet and have fun. The one who doesn’t is less of a person and ‘misses out’. Drinking and all the harms that come with it are cut off at the root in Islam, So many problems are avoided, accidents, pregnancy, violence and even rape for example.

In college and in the world, success in life is not seen in terms of religion. It is seen as what other people think, one’s careers, how much money they make. If you are religious you must have failed in life. But why do we have this separation and this blindness in religion?
The Quran tells us again and again not to have blind faith, not to follow the religion of our forefathers.

Yet, we as Muslims have stopped thinking. We may think about what our friends or other people will say, but we avoid thinking about the real issues.
We spend so much time on the opposite sex, thinking about careers, money etc, but we forget to think about death and how much of this we will really be able to take with us?

“Every soul shall have a taste of death and only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense…for the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception”
(Quran 3:185)

Shouldn’t we take time to consider of what will happen to us after we hit the grave? After all, what is the point of life if we are not accountable for our actions? If there is no creator, what is the point of being honest or good? If we really look at our life we see that everything is indefinite, getting a job, even living until tomorrow. In fact we could die anytime, this is a definite, the _only_ dead certain thing in our life. Most of us believe we can make up for our actions later or we can be religious later. I will seal my discussion with a plea to my fellow Muslim students; let’s show good example to other communities, the future of this Ummah lies in our hands. Our concentration should not be on this life only; we should also think of hereafter, enjoyment does not mean one to forget Allah and the purpose of this life, we should not forget that we shall be asked about our childhood how we spent it. It is agreed upon that fearing Allah is the beginning of wisdom. My fellow youth let’s ponder the Hadeeth of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) so that we can be among the seven who will be under the shade of Allah on the Day of Judgment (the child who grew up in the worship of Allah)

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