// Frustrated and Worried
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Nature
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« on: Oct 10, 2012 03:56 AM »


Assalamualaikum,

As you know, I am now in an international school which is devoted to creating understanding and peace and sustainability between peoples. The school is quite liberal-the idea is that the students can discuss and work for whatever they please. This means that we have an Islamic Week, and that one can be religious without a problem, and that the air of respect and mutual learning is amazing-yet we also have gay-rights activists, unreligious people, etc. We're a boarding school, all of us have come here from miles away from our families, people become extremely close and like a huge family.

As you can imagine, while in some ways it's much easier to pray, fast, etc as no one will hate on you, on the flip side I often feel challenged. I feel like I'm doing something wrong-like by simply being in a mixed-gender atmosphere, one where people are not Muslims and do things unIslamic, that I am being a worse Muslim. For example we had a talk by a speaker about privatization of industry, and I realized how much people discuss being in "the left" or "the right". Although this had nothing to do with me compromising MY deen, I simply felt bad for even being there as they discussed giving their loyalty to the left or the right, as my loyalty is to Islam first.

I think that perhaps this is just guilt within me-something which says, "Go home, renounce all this if it worries you, it's not worth it!" Yet I love being here, I love the work I am doing, I feel that at home I could not get these accomplishments and I don't want to leave, to basically yell out to everyone, "guess what, religious Muslims like her just can't get along with the rest of us!" after so many people seem to be learning about Islam from me and saying things like, "I thought Islam oppressed women but here you are, breaking every stereotype, showing that you can observe your religion and still get your education."

I don't have a problem doing the normal stuff that others seem to worry about- I wear hijab, I fast and pray, I'm trying to stop having any physical contact with boys, I don't drink or date, I don't dance in public-so I wonder if my worries are legitimate or if I'm just beating myself up.




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« Reply #1 on: Oct 10, 2012 04:00 AM »

Sometimes I think that all this worry is just utter guilt. Guilt that I'm in a mixed-gender environment, guilt that I talk with boys, guilt that by being here I'm going against Islam. Even asking myself if maybe I'm just asking for advice because I want to hear reassurance rather than someone saying "yes, you're right, go home!" I'm scared both ways.
  Sad Sad  Sad

Please, I really need help. I know that you are all busy people but I would love some words of advice.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 10, 2012 06:41 AM »

Have you made any Muslim friends?

I think you're really over thinking things to be honest, being a Muslim does not mean we are not allowed to have political affiliation or not to learn you know.

If you can't handle it then go home.

But I can't see what you're objecting to, the world is made up of  50% men do you propose staying indoors forever & refusing to go out incase you have to interact with them? We are allowed to interact with the male species, remain professional & businesslike & you'll be fine inshallah.

As for gay rights etc, quite seriously it's not your business leave it well alone. We know what Allah has made permissible for us stick with that.

Please do not try changing the world just yet. You're there to get an amazing education, do that. By behaving with the utmost decorum you're representing Islam. By causing a fuss & getting all foamed at the mouth will lose you the chance of a hard won education at a uni you really wanted to attend & reinforce all the stereotypes everyone has about mozlems.

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 10, 2012 08:22 AM »

When you don't have a lot of muslims around you, it does get a bit overwhelming.

All I'd say is, take it easy, forget that you're being watched and looked up(or down) to. Keep your affairs between you and Allah. In one of Mufti Menk's talks he said whatever you are doing now, try taking it to the next level. For example, if you're praying five times a day, try praying tahajjud, if you're doing that, try reading the Quran everyday...and the list goes on. Just try pleasing Allah as much as you can, all these thoughts will automatically go out of the window. Introspect, and as everyone else in the world, there are so many things you'll find within yourself that are not right, or could be better, try fixing them. Do all that, or whatever you think can help you best to draw closer to Allah and you won't have time to feel guilty or think about whatever you're thinking.

And as you mentioned, your loyalty is to Islam first, keep it that way and try not to get influenced by what other people think. Forget about politics and gay rights for a while, till you get your own thoughts settled. If you have time, watch Shaykh Yasir Qadhi's seerah lectures on youtube, there are so many things that you can learn from it about being a muslim in a non muslim majority, including, that it is okay to have political affiliations as long as it doesn't compromise your deen.

Another thing is that whenever there is something that makes you feel guilty or whatever and you lose a bit of hope, that is pretty much shaytan playing his tricks so seek refuge with Allah every time you feel like that.  

You'll be fine InshaAllah. You only have to chill, a bit Smiley

PS - If you're in two minds about staying, pray Istikharah and decide.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 10, 2012 03:41 PM »

Bro Akhan put it much much more nicely.

I'm sorry if I sounded harsh.

What you need to do sis is concentrate on your own little space, no need to go out and change the world right now. Behave with the utmost decorum and remember to complete all your farad worship, seek out at least one muslimah friend and pray to Allah to always send you good friends in this life ones who will be a help to you in your journey not a hindrance.

Don't get involved in things that don't have anything to do with you...that would be the gay rights things.

Also remember this is a hard won place for you sweetie, you want to show your dad especially that he was well placed to send you away to study inspite of his misgivings, you study like you will never get this opportunity ever again and make us proud Inshallah (I'm kind of rabid when it comes to studying...).

You're in our duas honey.

I apologise for sounding like I was chewing a wasp earlier...I'm sick, but that's no excuse!

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 10, 2012 05:04 PM »

walaikum salam,

The above are really good advice from sr fozia and akhan.

Your school sounds quite nice actually!! The thing to realize is that the world is a mixed-gender environment!! And one day you will have to go out in the world and do things like work, or try to make a difference or even buy groceries. We can't just withdraw from the world right?, we have to learn how to interact and do things in a polite Islamic manner.

Everything we do for Allah is rewarded, so make your intention of becoming educated as something you will use in the future for the sake of Islam. The environment isn't so great but inshaAllah what you learn and the contacts you make and even the support of friendship will help you later on in a good way. In the meantime you should talk to your friends about Islam whenever you get the chance (without being preachy, just be informative) and do pro-active things, like give people gifts on Eid or organize an iftar for everyone, even if they're all non-muslim!

What other people do has to be ignored and you go your own way. When issues come up like the privatization one, find out what Islam has to say about the topic so that you can voice your own opinions on it.

Lastly if the mixed-gender school is something you can't take, see if you can transfer to an all-girls school.

Take care Smiley



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« Reply #6 on: Oct 10, 2012 06:18 PM »

The iftar party that sis J suggested is something that I and my friends did when we were in high school. It's something that muslim high school students here always do when they're a minority. The first year we were 11 muslim students and a teacher and the second year that figure went down to 9, amongst at least 2000-2500 hindus and it was a big hit (and a good excuse to bunk class Wink ) Every year, the moment Ramadan began, we would have hordes of haleem hungry hindus asking for the heavenly hour Cheesy
You can team up with other muslims and do it...good luck Smiley



Trust me, you only have to take it easy and you'll be fine InshaAllah.
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