>> Friday, March 18, 2011
Guest writer, Heba Ahmed, shares with us the story of a group of girls who wanted to help out their fellow Muslimahs through their journey of discovering themselves and their religion. This is the inspiring story behind "Daughters of Eve", a group by young Muslimahs, for young Muslimahs, just like YOU....
Fighting for Our Youth: A Case Study of a Muslim Youth Group
First published in Muslim Matters and reprinted here with permission.
Our objectives are:
- To build confidence as Muslim women
- To increase God consciousness in every aspect of life
- To educate about the rights and responsibilities as Muslim women
- To develop skills to cope with peer pressure from non-Muslims
- To instill courage to speak about Islam to non-Muslims
- To effectively communicate with parents in resolving issues
- To create an Islamic social environment and increase sisterhood
We began by developing a simple formula for our activities. We would have a once a month “peer event” that was topic-specific. The events would last 3 hours and the format would include an ice breaker, free food, a physical activity, and a discussion period in which the girls would participate in defining the topic and discussing the problems they were facing. We would then explain the Islamic perspective on the topic, collectively explore solutions, and offer support to each other.
- “The Velvet Underground: A Discussion on the Drug Subculture”, complete with biryani, dodgeball and an obstacle course with vision impairment goggles to mimic drunk driving (borrowed from the state’s Dept of Transportation). The girls were then divided into groups, read articles, and presented posters on the various effects and statistics of different social drugs. The use of a strobe light, disco ball, and glow-in-the-dark sticks set the mood.
- “American Idol: Role Models in Islam”, asking the girls to identify their role models, discussing the effects disbelieving role models such as actresses and athletes can have on one’s deen, and understanding the consequences of posting certain words and images on Facebook and other public websites. Frito Pie and kickball complemented the event.
- “Lean on Me: Sisterhood in Islam”, in which we confronted backbiting, the rights Muslims have on each other, and bullying.
- “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Love and Relationships in Islam”, working with the girls in coming up with ways to deal with inappropriate situations such as being asked out and ways to deal with the sexual feelings Allah created us with. We also discussed the concept of so-called “platonic relationships”.
- “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.: How to give it and get it from parents”, in which we discussed the complicated relationship between a girl and her parents, and how to evolve that relationship into one of mutual respect and open communication. We talked about the Islamic rights children and their parents have on each other, how to treat parents during a conflict, and the power of dua (prayer).