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sarah2008
 
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Quote sarah2008 Replybullet Topic: Muslim Youth Groups
    Posted: 28 September 2008 at 9:45pm
I am in the planning stages of forming a youth group for the young girls at my Masjid. I am wanting to know if anyone out there has a youth group in your Masjid that can help me in organizing this group. I am not wanting another class for the young girls where they are being lectured to, they get enough of that. I am wanting to form a group where the girls will be able to get together and talk about issues they face in living lives as young muslims in the West. I am wanting it to be a fun and safe forum for girls 11-17 years in my community. There has been some interest expressed; but, also some resistance. If anyone has a youth group at your Masjid, please give me some advise.

Thank you!
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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 29 September 2008 at 2:48am
Asalam Alaikum,
 
Welcome to the Forum. Smile
I know in the masjid I've been to they formulated a youth halaka group for al lthe teens to meet. And they did Friday evenings but would play sports etc. It was for boysand girls though separate..
 
I think that what is important is to have it listed the goals and stated purpose. Sometimes parents don't see the real need to the Muslim young people to have a space where they can make friends with other Muslims their ages. They may come to the masjids with their families for for classes but they don't make friends per say with the their peers. And thus during those volatile teenage years they are more apt to loose focus.
 
And many parents do not really understand the powerful lure the western culture can have on our young folks. The kids hide it from their parents, and often the parents don't ask, or are too busy to pay attention.
 
Write up a description of the program for folks.
 
I would also suggest that you bring the young people in as to creating the atmosphere of the group. As you said, you don't want it to just be another lecture. Also I think it would be good that you do things beyond  just "discussing the issues." Part of what is not strong in the Muslim community is how to bring people together in a "not so heavy" way. Play some sports, do an Islamic art project together, do a communityservice together. DO something not just talk. Just "talking" can be an awkward thing for many folks. And when you DO something together you as the adult advisor, can see how they interact. See what ARE the kids talking about.. is it really Islam or boys and rock stars?
 
And if they feel it is fun and inviting they will come back.  You can do something like, the group can vote for 2 either activities or topics and you or the leader choose two. This way THEY feel empowered. Of course you areguiding them, so no you won't be going to see the Jonas Brothers. (I never heard of them until I wasat the masjid with thr yung people...lol)
 
Friady nights are a good night as they don't have school and often fRiday nights is a "loose" night for teens and they are looking for something to do.
 
And they are American, and if there parents are more recent immigrants they don't understand the struggles their kids face. I'd say it would be talking to parents and explaining it to them. And the value of having a MUslim space, and most will see the value of having a place for their Muslim children to go to that had Islamic values.
 
Strart with who comes and is interested and build from there. Once kids know about it they'll want to come. 
 
May Allah reward you for you efforts.
 
 
I"ll stop here..
 
 
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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sarah2008
 
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Quote sarah2008 Replybullet Posted: 29 September 2008 at 8:40pm
Hayfa,

Thank you for your input. It sounds very much what I am wanting to establish.My main concern is getting the approval of the parents as well as funding. I am wanting this to be a self sufficient group. I would like for the group to conduct bake sells, have a Friday night babysitting club at the masjid, maybe a car wash in warmer weather, etc... I want the girls to learn Zakat, so a percentage will go back to the masjid and the rest into the youth fund. I am, Inshallah, getting the proposal together tonight and tomorrow morning to present at Isha tomorrow night. I would like to see this start after Eid, especially since that is when the youth stop coming to the masjid.
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 01 October 2008 at 12:09pm
Salaams,
 
Keep us posted.
 
Eid Mubarek
 
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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sarah2008
 
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Quote sarah2008 Replybullet Posted: 01 October 2008 at 12:14pm
Inshallah, we will have our first meeting on October 18th. Visit the website I am in the process of building: www.mygbelleville.weebly.com. As soon as I am finished building the website I will host it to take out the "weebly;" but, for now, I think it is okay. Please give me any suggestions you might have. Thank you.
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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 02 October 2008 at 2:01pm
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sarah2008
 
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Quote sarah2008 Replybullet Posted: 13 October 2008 at 4:42pm
At Isha prayer last night I was told that it is not a good idea for me to have the youth group. The men at the Masjid are concerned because the men will be there the same time the youth group is meeting. The Imam has volunteered his home for us to meet; however, I am not sure that this is what I envisioned. I just don't believe that the girls will come if the meetings are always at the Imam's house. I just don't think that this is a youth group. I could use any advise. Please point me to any hadith you know of that encourages women and youth to gather at the Masjid.

Thank you!
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 13 October 2008 at 9:25pm
Asalam Alaikum,
 
It seems like you  are facing thechallenges that many Muslims in the US face.. how to be Muslims in a nonMuslim society.. many people from the "old country" do not see the need for such groups as their whole cultures are Muslim. And so teens don't face the issues that Muslim youth in America face. .yes there are some similarities but it is still different.
 
Do you have sort of a "center" with the actual prayer area? Are their classrooms etc.? What else happens at the masjid? The masjid I attended was a big facility with classrooms, community hall etc. So it was seen as a place for Muslims to gather and meet.
 
I fear that many Muslims in the US cannot see these differences and the real importance for Muslims to meet.. become friends socialize with other Muslims. Yes the masjid is for prayer.. and ot also depends upon what other facilites are present..
 
 
if it just girls then why not meet at someone's house under your leadership and no men present? Its a gatering of women.. .when I was in Pakistan the women all got together at peoples'  houses.. is it any different.. I see this as a viable option if the masjid does not have community facilities.
 
Ina secualr world Muslims need not only a "house of God" but a space for Muslims to gather and grow, and learn together.. and to build the bonds of  community. More communities are recognizing it. But not all..
 
Do women not attend the masjid there??
 
Why not meet at your house?? Or someone else's. It might be more relaxing for the girls anyways..
 
I am glad te Imam offered his house.. shows he "gets it."Smile Either bring the youth in, get them involved or they will find other things to involve themselves in. Some not so productive. 
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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