Dearest Readers in Islam,
Cool or Fool? Choosing The Right Friends
“You can do it!” “I have faith in you!”; “Come on don’t be a stupid”; "Here, try one”; “If you say no, people will think you’re weird”; “Don’t hang out with those boring, ‘religious’ guys!”
Whether you are in school, college, university, these are the voices of many of the people you interact with. In our teenage culture, which exaggerates the idea of personal freedom and excessive entertainment, you are exposed to Peer Pressure. You know You are a Victim of Peer Pressure
when…. Most teenagers fall into flirting, clubbing, smoking, cursing, cheating, stealing, bullying, gambling, drinking, drugs, pornography and other immoral practices due to negative peer pressure. You know you are a victim of this pressure when you: are curious to try something new because "everyone's doing it"; want to be liked, to fit in, to look cool; worry that others will think you are weird or a coward if you resist; say and do things in the group which you would not do on your own; wish your parents should stay out of your ‘social life’; do something without questioning the outcome. Beat the Pressure:
Tips to Try!
A) Before the Pressure Strikes
• Know your values, beliefs and limits
Ask yourself 'What are my boundaries?'’ before anything happens. Know what pleases and offends Allah. He is the One who created you, sustains you, and helps you. Study your faith and clarify your limits of ‘fun’ so you can resist the pressure with confidence.
• Prepare your Strategy
Plan ahead of time what you can say and do in difficult situations.
• Steer Clear of Potential Trouble
Watch out for places where gender-mixing takes place including cinemas, discotheques…
• Choose who you Hang Out with
You become like those you hang out with. As the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said, “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look (carefully) whom you choose to befriend.” [Ahmad]
- Choose your friends based on character, not popularity or status.
- Friends who are not sincere and do not love you for your principles, will gradually lure you into an artificial world of false hopes. Either help these friends change gently, or abandon their company before it’s too late!
• Participate in the Community!
There are immense benefits of getting involved with library, Mosque, Muslim youth group, or any other project that helps society. For instance, you avoid wasting time just ‘hanging out’ with your friends; enhance your skills and talents; meet people who share the same values and enjoy the same activities; gain confidence to influence others through positive peer pressure; earn rewards from Allah!
• Don’t Kill your Eyes:
Watch less TV! Yes, it’s tough to escape peer pressure, especially when your friends keep talking about the clothes, the music and the stars they watch on TV. Today, TV defines teen culture. TV, with its barrage of alluring ads and captivating shows, tells you how to dress and act, what is cool and sexy, and what is ‘in’ and ‘out’. Let Islam, not TV, decide your dress code, morals, and values.
• Make Dua!
Ask Allah to help you resist the pressures around you.
B) When Facing the Pressure
• Think about the consequences of every action. Use wisdom, not emotion.
• Say ‘No’ with courage. Make it clear how you feel about the situation. Explain why. It may be an opportunity to invite your friends to the Islamic way of life.
• Use Humour. Throw out a funny line to ease the tension and show how you feel! “I don’t drink. I can’t afford to kill my brain cells. Unfortunately, I only have a few left as it is!”
• Remember Allah, your best Friend! He is there to help you. The Prophet told his close companion: “By Allah! Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will replace it with something better than it!”
Allah knows best and hop Insha Allah this humble thought will help...