The Challenges of Muslim Youth in the West
Channel: Bilal Philips
File Size: 44.79MB
hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah Karim. Allah Ali was hobby for many standard Suniti Niomi Deen
All praise is due to Allah and my last peace and blessings be on the last prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and an all those who follow the path of righteousness until the last day
the lecture as was our talk, as was introduced,
called Growing up under the shade
addresses the realities of growing up Muslim in the West.
reality which I have
come to see firsthand,
after spending about eight months here in Canada
I came here back in April, May.
And since that time, I have remained in Canada, in Toronto.
For the last six months, I was imam of Abu Huraira Masjid in Toronto.
And during that period of time,
I had the opportunity to meet many families
and to hear
problems and issues that people were faced with.
I had two days in which I did counseling.
And it became very evident to me from that personal experience
the Muslim community
is suffering very severely.
It has a bleeding wound.
And the blood that is pouring from this wound
is the use
the use of the community
if we were to look around here in the masjid, and this is like most other masters
who would notice that
people are either
or young kids,
those that are in between
early 20s They're not here.
Whether males or females, males more so than females, but
those are the critical years.
And they're missing
we have to ask ourselves, why are they missing?
Why aren't they here?
What happened to our communities?
What is the future what what is the future of this community if
a whole generation
This is the beginning of a trend because the same young children that we see here now.
In another eight years, they will be missing
like the ones that are missing now. Eight years ago, they were here.
Now they're not
and it is something
has to be answered for
They will have to answer.
Those that are missing will have to answer because we know on the day of judgment as Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam informed us
when we are resurrected, we will not be able to move from the position we are in until we answer certain questions.
And one of those questions is our youth
and how we spent it
and how we spent it.
This critical time the use time of use a time where if it is properly spent, it becomes the basis for Paradise.
The youth if they grow up,
make it through that period.
They enter into a special group of people who Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam described as being shaded by the shade of Allah thrown some baton using Allahumma Allahu Yoma lives in the low
Imam an ideal
or sharp Boon Boone, Nashua, Fe a by the tila.
Seven who would be shaded by a loss thrown on the day when there would be no shade except for the shade of his strong.
The just ruler
and the youth who grew up worshipping Allah,
the just ruler,
the scholars said this is not just the head of state.
Yes, it applies first and foremost to the Khalifa
or to the president or the Prime Minister, whatever that leader,
but it is all those who are in that position of leadership. So it goes all the way down to
the head of the family.
That if they fulfill the requirements of being the head of the family, they would also be among those shaded by the Throne of Allah Spandana.
But the youth
who grew up worshipping Allah,
are specially identified by Allah Smita Allah's Messenger Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam
because of the challenge, the challenge that the youth face,
that age group 15 to 25, those 10 years
those are the years of rebellion
people either rebel against what is not good
in society and choose another way. I can say from my own personal experience that some
20 years ago
2122 years ago, when
I was in Saudi Arabia, after the Gulf War
after the Gulf War, when I was in Saudi Arabia, and American troops were being processed out of the country.
I was a part of a team
who focused on carrying the message of Islam to those half a million Americans
to rely on the course of five months,
in the course of five months.
From our center alone, more than 3000, Americans accepted Islam
more than 3000.
were mostly within those same 10 years, I would say about 80% of them, were in those same 10 years, between 15 and 25.
They were able to make choices that adults would have difficulty making.
When you talk to people who are older, later, 20s 30s, and so on, so
they may recognize the truth.
But it's very difficult to make the change, then
you are now accustomed, you're used to that tradition,
way of life that all the people that you know, who know you are familiar with.
So like, I will tell him
though the truth is in front of you as clear as day
you can't follow it.
You can't make that decision.
You're afraid to rebel.
Because of the consequence of embarrassment to family, and all these kinds of things, stops you.
But those youth
from those 3000, and they were more that accepted Islam.
They were prepared to make that choice once the information came to them. Once they understood what Islam really was, then
they could make that choice. They were not afraid the consequences. It didn't matter whether their parents liked it or not, or whatever. It wasn't important to them. They saw this was correct. They had misinformation, they now knew what the truth was, and they accepted it.
They're prepared to do it.
So on one hand, it's very positive, it says there's a positive element to that time that youth.
But on the other hand, for our communities, this is an evil time.
This is the time when we lose most of our youth.
A night ago,
I sat discussing with
a young lady from that same period of time she was 22 years old,
from a Muslim family,
a practicing Muslim family here.
And she was raising questions.
I'm sure are the same questions that arise in the minds of the youth who grow up here.
And who ended up losing their way? Same questions. They're the questions that are the natural consequence and product of
an educational system
which is secular, the secular educational system
which basically challenges the belief in God.
It seeks to nullify, or to neutralize the belief in God.
another few days back in Toronto,
he came up and asked me this question. He said, Listen, you know, what do I say to my teacher?
keeps asking me? In World Religions class?
There's a class called World Religions grade 11 taught, keeps asking me world religions class, how do I know that there is a God?
Now world religions class is supposed to be teaching about the various world religions, doing it to enlighten the students to understand what the other religions are their other religions around the world to respect these other people with their other systems of beliefs, etc, etc. That's what it's supposed to be on the outside.
But on the inside,
it is raising that question. And it is posing that question, how do you know there is a God?
At the earlier stage, that same question is raised for children in primary school,
when the teacher teaches them about
What is a myth?
And what is true?
dragons are myths. How do you know dragons are myths? Well, because we never seen one out there. It's in the movies, cartoons, whatever, the dragons. But we never see one, we cannot find one in a zoo.
So you can't see them. You can't touch them. You can smell them. Census tells you as a kid that dragons are myths.
And then the teacher mentions, when he's asking, mentioning or she's asking about the different myths. Is this a myth? Or is this a true truth? Myth, searchers. Eventually, the teacher will drop it on the child one way or another. God.
The children have learned that we know that things are not real when you can't see them, touch them, smell them.
You can't prove they exist. They're just things that people talk about. They're not real.
And eventually, they will put that mug in the air that thought in the mind of the child's God is a myth.
This is what's happening.
This is what the secular system seeks to create doubts about the very existence of God.
Or even if you do believe that there is a God,
a higher power, they like to use that instead, a higher power
So many, how do you know which one's true? How can you insist that anyone is true? Truth is relative. What you see as being true somebody else sees as being false.
One man's meat is another man's poison. It's all relative.
So for you to insist my religion is the true religion. That's like being you know, extreme that's being very biased. That's being
That's not the way we're supposed to be.
All religions are equal.
We should respect all of them equally.
So then what? Then it means really, these religions are what man made. Men made them up. Human beings made them up. That's why you feel that Islam is the right religion. But somebody else feels that Christianity is the right religion. Who's to say that you're right and he's wrong or he's wrong?
And he's right and you're wrong or whatever, was to say that it's just an opinion.
So that system seeks to raise doubts in the minds of the children.
So that, like this young lady who I spoke to last night, she had huge doubts.
Huge doubts about religion in general.
Yet she had grown up in a Muslim family.
And when I asked her
about her background, you know what happened? What caused this to happen to you? She said, Well, you know,
I was practicing Islam, because my parents told me to do it.
I prayed I fasted.
Because they said, you're a Muslim. As a Muslim, you're supposed to pray.
When I asked them why.
They said, Don't ask why you're Muslim. Muslims pray. So you should pray.
Just Culture. We are Muslims. We pray you are a Muslim, you should pray.
So naturally, with this other information coming at her about myths, and truths
about world religions, different beliefs, different ideas, etc.
How is she going to hold on to Islam? She hasn't understood Islam. She said, I used to go to Quran class. And they made me memorize, you know, verses from the Quran. But I was memorizing this stuff. I didn't even know what it said.
I just did it because my parents say go to Quran class.
I learned how to read these letters in Arabic and these words and sounds, etc. But I didn't know what it meant.
I didn't know what it meant.
Nobody taught the meaning. The understanding because it was just traditional. This is tradition. You learn it. You say it in your prayers. Doesn't matter if you don't know what you're saying.
As long as you say it, that's what you need to do. You're a Muslim, Muslim say these things. They do these things. You don't have to understand why it's not important. Don't ask why.
Just do it.
So what is the consequence?
The consequence is her
by the time she was 13, she stopped praying.
By the time she was 15 she stopped fasted.
She fast sometimes, you know,
a week or two few days
it's just custom.
There's a star coming up this weekend. Okay, fast those couple of days.
and this is what is happening to the youth. So it is no surprise that when they reach that
15 to 25 or 17 to 27.
That critical decade we lose them. I visited the Muslim schools.
One with the best record of the
assessment government assessment of the schools I visited and I looked at the
The great parts passes kindergarten, maxed. Grade One, fall grade 23456
Seven the numbers start to drop. Eight, the numbers have dropped down.
They tried to do grade nine last year, but they weren't enough students. So no grade nine no high school. Similarly here, high schools gone, the building is still there.
Why? What happened? It's those same critical decade,
the same critical decade, the most critical time when the children need to be receiving Islamic instruction, Islam eyes instruction, we have them in the public school.
What's happening? Are we not thinking about what's going on here? Can we learn from what is happened to those who came before?
What is the Quran telling us about the addenda samode and all these people what to learn the lessons of history? What happens when people stray?
But we're not learning these lessons. We're just doomed to repeat the mistakes of the decade before and the decade before that.
It is sad saddening.
But we have to stop this.
Because we will be asked
Allah will hold us responsible, because we were not in MA
We were not just rulers, we're not just leaders, we did not fulfill our responsibility to our families.
We put the children in the early grades. Why? Because culture, we want them to know something about our culture, we are Muslim, so we put them in the primary school.
That is those of us that do that. Most of us are not even doing that.
But even those of us who do it, we're doing it for the wrong reason.
And that's why we don't have a problem of pulling them out. When I school comes around. We cannot feel the high school.
This is the problem that we're faced with
we're thinking in terms of preserving only Muslim culture,
preserving only Muslim culture. That's why this young lady, she had this big question in her mind. She said
there are people I know who are Muslims, but they're not good people.
And they're going to paradise. And there are non Muslims who are good people, and they're going to hell this she said, It's not fair.
Doesn't seem fair.
And truly doesn't seem fair, because she was taught that Muslims go to Paradise, and non Muslims go to hell.
And in her mind, even Muslims were a new religion, which started after Christianity and Judaism.
That's what she understood. I mean, this is what's being taught in
world religions class. Yes, they're called the three monotheistic faiths. The first of them was Judaism. The second was Christianity, and the third was Islam.
This is a lie.
an opinion. But for us as Muslims, this is a lie.
There is no religion called Judaism.
There is no religion called Christianity
that came from the prophets of God.
There is a religion called Judaism by people, but not from the prophets of God. There was only one religion that came from God and that is Islam. So in her mind, it didn't make sense that these people who are called Muslims who just showed up
the last of these three monotheistic faiths that they should all be going to paradise and all the people who are non Muslims we're going to help
that's what she understood
and she comes from a religious family
mother wears a job father prays five times a day
but she's going to public school
so they're teaching her religion what religion really is
the opinion of some people
and who's at fault?
Who's to blame?
Where do we point the finger who will hold accountable on the Day of Judgment
it's the family
it goes back to the family and the head of the family more so
this is the reality
we have to change this we have to stop this now. Otherwise, we'll all end up answering for what's happening to this decade the decade the little ones that are coming up now we will have to answer for them
each and every one of them very few of them will make it through
very few of them
we know that's real
because we can see right in front of us here right now we can see the missing decade we're living it
and for everyone from that decade that we see here there's 1020 30 that are not here
but we're busy building mosques.
mosques which will be filled on Fridays
on occasions like this and the rest of the time they're empty
we have to rethink
Allah has given us intelligence to reflect
half Allah taka lune will they not reflect
the Koran for us
has become a
Something which we use for protection
from that same family, one of the family members was asking me he had a
smartphone and he had these verses in the smartphone. He said I had these verses here for protection. Now when I go to the bathroom is it okay for me to carry my phone with me?
This was this question. Fair question, right?
Is it okay? If you have these verses, you know, in your smartphone for protection
and you keep it in your pocket and you're going to bathroom the toilet
I said brother the problem is not going into the bathroom with this. The problem is believing that these verses are gonna protect you. This is where the problem is
and he was got into this discussion. No
there is some Hadith which it said that if you even believe in a rock God will protect you through that rock as a mother I never heard of this hadith
What I know is oh my god no haha when he was making throw off and he pointed to the black stone he told the people
I know this is only a stone
it can neither benefit me nor harm me. And this is the most important rock in Islam.
And the only reason why I kiss you is because Rasul allah sallallahu wasallam kissed you.
But of course today, Muslims that they're fighting to get to that rock
there's not even content just to kiss it and go, they have to rub your face in there, somebody will pass this baby along and then rub the baby in there and
Wipe it, wipe it on ourselves and everything, you know, all this belief misbelief
so this was the problem
that though the family may have been Muslim, etc. There were issues there were problems there. They didn't really understand Islam.
And that's what they inherited.
We've got these verses on our walls in our homes, those of us that
tried to practice Islam, we put these verses on the walls AYATUL kursi.
But I feel corsi is written in calligraphy, which is so deep, so complex, you can't read it.
It's not for reading.
It is put there in the belief that simply hanging it on your wall, it is going to protect your home.
We say Brother, Where did this come from?
don't know of any Sahaba doing this, the tabby. We don't have them doing this. This was not their method. When the Prophet SAW Selim told us about AYATUL kursi. He said, You know whoever recites it,
not plays a DVD.
hangs it on a wall, keeps it on a locket wears it around his neck.
This is not the way
this is not what Rasul Allah for miles.
Why Allah describe, through His Messenger AYATUL kursi as the greatest verse in the Quran,
relative to human beings.
When he asked to bathe and cop, this question, what is the greatest verse in the Quran, relative to human beings?
He added this point relative to human beings, because to Allah, it's all the same.
But to us, that was the greatest verse.
Why? Because this verse AYATUL kursi,
is a summary of Islamic belief in Allah subhanho wa taala. It is describing Allah from A to Z the most important
elements or characteristics, which describe Allah subhanaw taala are there and AYATUL kursi.
So it is reading it to corsi and understanding what AYATUL kursi is saying.
Because Allah smart Allah himself said in the prime of Elia today, Brunon Quran, Allah, Lubin a follower, will they not reflect on the meanings of the Quran? Or are their hearts locked up?
What has happened is that the generation of Muslims today hearts are locked up relative to the Quran. So I feel cool to see becomes like for the non Muslims. Abracadabra
abracadabra when I was growing up, that was the big word right? Abracadabra.
It's like a magical word.
Anything to happen? You say Abracadabra.
So that's what I took courses because you just
say it does matter. You know, it's just like nobody knows what abracadabra means.
There's no meaning to it. So like that I too could see. Just say it. It's kind
happened for you.
But that's not
what the Quran was revealed for the Sahaba didn't use the Quran like that.
This is a result of ignorance,
distancing ourselves from the Quran that we have turned the Quran into magical amulets and talismans, hung on walls, printed on rings.
So naturally, it's not surprising to find that our youth in that critical decade questioning these things
for this this
for this is really mean.
They naturally we rebel against it, because it doesn't make sense.
Because well, it doesn't make sense.
The older generation have accepted it, it was handed down to them this way that way. And, you know, that's what the folks did. They've always been doing that. So we do it.
But that younger generation,
they have been raised in an educational system, which calls them to critical thinking,
calls them to critical thinking, you think critically analyze,
is this truth? Or is it a myth.
And the consequences, that they will reject it, they will rebel.
And for them, most of them, there's no other alternatives. So when they rebel and they break away, they end up in drugs.
I hear it, homes were that critical. Decade kids are coming home high
on alcohol, or marijuana, some coming and smoking in the homes.
And we can't even fill our high schools with Muslim kids.
We've got schools, and we can't even fill them in the most critical years.
This brothers sisters, this is
a major sin,
a major sin on our part
that we do not provide proper Islamic education. Islam is education for our children, so that they could grow up in the shade of Allah thrown.
We have put them on a path to hell.
Baron saying, well, we given them the basic basics. And whether we put them in cron school, we put them in weekend school or after school, we've given them the basics, they'll come back. So some people say they'll come back. Yeah, they're off now. But they'll come back. I came back.
Okay, brother, you came back. But how many of your good friends never made it back? This is the point.
Simply because you managed to get back. There's no guarantee that your child is going to make it back.
And reality is that they're not. We have so many of them out gone. Not coming back.
So when are we going to wake up? This is the question. When are we going to wake up to this reality and do our duty for our children?
Make the school
which Muslims have provided sacrifice put money together and built a school
and we don't put our children there.
And it's not just about while it's too expensive. No, it's more than that.
We need to take our children out of the
Problem school and fill this high school here. This junior high school here we need to fill the school there should be a waiting list
we should have our homeschooling programs for those who can't get in there's not enough room the other schools so they're studying at home.
We have to save our children are used we have to save them.
the message has been given.
This is the message that I came to share with you tonight. A message which addresses the reality, the future of our own mayor in Vancouver.
I hope that each and every one of you will reflect
and then act
to fill this school and the other Muslim schools
and build more schools. Not more empty masjids but more schools, schools that can be used from us chips.
We don't need masjids that can't be used for schools.
The Masjid of the prophets Allah Salah was a school
this is critical.
The youth can only be saved if we provide a means and a place for them to be able to feel comfortable to come be together to learn to benefit
place where there is
room for sports etc and things which attract them which are halaal.
We have to think in terms of what we're doing here with our money.
Yes it is true. Prophet Muhammad SAW Salah did say
man BANA Masjid Allah when Allah will obey transgender
whoever builds a mosque for the sake of Allah Allah will build it home for him in practice.
But we have to think Multi Purpose mosque because if we're just thinking musk
in this society
we have not done we have not used our wealth wisely.
We have done something which an answer is bad
but we have not used our wealth wisely.
So as was announced the beginning after the Salah inshallah we'll have an open q&a, hopefully focusing on this topic, the topic of our youth and how to save them and how to break this cycle and open a new page for the future of the OMA here in Vancouver. Subhanak alone hamburger shadow and stop food have gone to blank