This is the fourth in the Muslim Nation within Education series of posts written by a group of younger NYM iNK sisters who are currently in high school. This series focuses on their personal lived experiences as Muslimahs in the main stream high school system.
There have been things in your life that you thought you would never do. There have been things in my life that I thought I would never do. One of them is praying at high school. I never thought that I’d have the courage to be able to tell my teachers and classmates that it is my prayer time and that I need to go pray. But I was able to do it. And yes, there were teachers who did not believe me. They questioned whether or not I “really had to.” And maybe it seemed like something weird to them; this girl who doesn’t where hijab leaving class for ten minutes to say she needs to pray because she is Muslim. I struggled for a very long time to try and identify myself to other people as a Muslimah.
I’ve had people ask me if members of my family are terrorists. I’ve had people call me a suicide bomber. I’ve had people make jokes about me bombing my high school. There is and there may never be an end.
But I think that made me stronger.
And regardless of what people said, I still got up and went to go pray because Allah (SWT)’s opinion of me is more important than any teacher’s, or any classmate’s.
And the negativity made me want to identify myself as Muslim every chance I got. Of course though, speaking to my teachers about praying at school was still a bit challenging. Some are more supportive than others. Some teachers are more than happy to let me leave to pray and even tell some of us that we don’t even need to ask. While some will not be so supportive and they will stand in the way.
There will always be obstacles, things that will get in the way of you and your deen and your duties to Allah (SWT). There will always be something new that you will hear about yourself and your brothers and sisters in Islam, something that is not true. The media will always be there to try and tear you apart and try to rip Islam away from you. Use that. Use all the negativity as fuel. Fuel yourself and not for you, for Allah. Channel all the frustration you hold for everything that tries its hardest to break down the Ummah and change it into love for Allah (SWT). Use it to strengthen your deen and your Muslim identity. The world will never stop trying to hurt you, but you need to remember that even if you are hurt in this dunya, there will always be something so much bigger and better waiting for you; Jannah.