Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari
Question: I’m 16 and I converted to Islam a couple months ago. When high school started it became harder for me to be a “good” Muslim. I’m having difficulty lowering my gaze because girls wear revealing outfits at my school, all my friends who are guys curse, look at girls, listen to haram music, and I know a couple who use drugs.
They also party a lot and it looks really fun and sometimes I think I’m missing out. I find myself slipping up, looking at things I’m not suppose to, saying things I’m not suppose to say. It’s getting difficult for me to be a Muslim in a environment that is not Muslim. Is there any advice you can give me?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
Thank you for your question.
Staying strong in the high school environment is going to be a challenge. If you don’t have the option of finishing your program at home, say through a virtual academy (some states in the U.S. offer this option leading to a fully accredited high school diploma), then resolve to get through school while keeping your faith intact. First, you need to avoid people who swear, disrespect women, and use drugs. If you can’t influence them for the better, then stay away. Second, you need better friends. Are there no Muslims at the school?
If not, then please have a connection with your local mosque’s youth group. If there is none, petition to start one. Third, understand that being Muslim is a process. We are all susceptible to negative influences, no matter how long we’ve practiced this faith. That’s why it’s important to shore up your faith with good company, constant recitation of the Qur’an, and remembrance of Allah. Don’t lose sight of your ultimate purpose which is to find Allah.