Came across this article at islamonline.net. The thoughts and experience of a social worker for youths from USA.
I had an unfortunate(hm, maybe fortunate though) experience of meeting SOME(not all uh) muslims "youth" social workers back home whose thoughts were something like this,"Boy girl relationships are so common nowadays, so we must adapt to the changing trend and leave it as it is...what we should do is keep reminding them not to stray to pre-marital sex"
I heard this during an usrah.. I tried to say," yes reminding not to stray to pre-marital sex is good but we must keep working to remind them what is from the al-Quran and sunnah..there is no such thing as pre-marital relationships..BGR relationships is the cause for pre-marital sex.. we must promote healthy marital reationships!" However, the former comments were more supported rather than the latter at that point of time.
Well hopefully those "some" people read this...I pray and hope that they realise somehow. Article is from islamonline.netLink here!.
If Only I Could Go Back
By Fatin Khairallah
"I wish I could, I wish I could. If only I could go back in time and rethink before committing that terrible act. I have sinned. What have I done! No one will ever accept me again."
This is what repeats itself over and over in the mind of youths who have indulged in the faded pleasure of having a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. As much as we warn youths about what these relationships will lead to, the only whispers they seem to hear are those of Satan glamorizing and beautifying the sinful acts. Little do they know that committing these acts will later destroy their peace of mind and perhaps their lives.
Many youths seem to live in total darkness of the fact that Allah Almighty made this kind of relationship haram for our own good and protection. However, unfortunately, our souls sometimes cling to desires and chase after the pleasures of this worldly life, leaving us with unclear vision and susceptible to being led astray.
Why do we allow this to happen? Why is it hard to understand that Satan is in control of our soul only by complete permission from us? It would save us from so much pain and turmoil if we could only think of the consequences of sinful behavior. If only we took the time to think, we would steer a course to success. We should not forget the reminders that Allah the Almighty gives us, and that He is always watching. We should also remember that the outcome of sinful behavior is always destructive.
Pregnancies outside of marriage are on the rise within our very own Muslim communities. Yet many Muslims prefer to live in denial, overlooking these tragedies that are consuming the lives of our youth. Many feel that this could never happen to Muslims because, according to them, the mere label of being Muslim is protection enough.
This is the heart of the problem. What leads our youth to fall prey to their desires and find themselves involved in dating relationships just to be known as "cool"? Where are the parents and community members to provide them with halal alternatives or to show them the beauty of the Islamic lifestyle for people their age? We need a solution.
Yes, we can keep saying to ourselves "this could have been avoided, why did it have to happen?" But now what do we do for those who have already got involved in this kind of relationship? Do we shut them in the dark, shun them from society, allow them to linger and mope in their sorrow? From my experience as a social worker, I see that most imams and Muslim community leaders today do not even want to be bothered with these situations. We social workers have even been advised not to handle these issues because they fall under Islamic jurisprudence and we should stay away. Even though people say this, they offer no temporary or final solutions. So where do we turn and to whom?
This is another tragedy and hardship for teens, especially for those who want to get help. They long for an avenue toward healing, toward repentance and acceptance in society. However, when their Muslim brothers and sisters do not even want to speak to them or about them, they feel rejected and this may be the very thing that forces them to delve into greater sin.
Allah Almighty's mercy is endless, so we have to remember that we will be held accountable for keeping these youths in the dark by failing to remind them that the door of repentance is open. Are we that hard-hearted that we cannot even find it in our hearts to show some compassion and mercy toward them when we know our Lord Whose names include Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim? Many of these youths were unaware, having never been given the proper upbringing to take responsibility for their actions and to beware of the sinful paths surrounding them.
Now that they know, now that they have learned the hard way, it is our job to help bring them back to Allah Almighty: to teach them about repentance and provide them with information about Islam; to show them the path no one ever showed or even offered them — the path of worship of Allah Almighty and life lived in accordance with the Qur'an and Sunnah.
In sha' Allah, they will taste the sweetness of faith that their hearts longed for so much earlier in life. However, for this we need parents, teachers, and especially Muslim community members to fully support social services and Islamic education for these youths. These resources are now openly available for our youth. There are even social services just for Muslim teens.
Most importantly, we must educate our youth and our parents about the realities that surround us. Without awareness, there can be no prevention. Through Islamic education — increasing awareness of the problematic lifestyles of today's average youth, learning about solutions and alternatives choices — we can protect and strengthen ourselves.
May Allah Almighty protect all our youth from sins and the whispers of Satan, and may He raise our youth to be righteous leaders of our Ummah as guides to the straight path. Ameen.
Fatin Khairallah is a social worker for Muslim Youth Social Services (MYSS), which is located in northern and central New Jersey, USA. MYSS is an organization to assist youth from 13 to 25 years of age in all challenges. MYSS has a youth helpline staffed by trained volunteers, to offer spiritual, social, and psychological counseling, and referrals to those who may need them, as well as to lend an ear to those who simply want to talk. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.