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پیرپریشر – Learning to Be An Unapologetic Muslim In an Unwelcoming World

We live in a weird society. One that calls itself a Muslim society to the core but is often extremely intolerant and unwelcoming of Islam and people practising it in its truest sense. 

You no longer have to live in the West to feel like an outcast for practising your religion. Weird glances, unwarranted labels, and rejections, you can become a target for all of this just because you choose to make sure your iman (faith) reflects in your a’amaal (actions) and that you practise Islam, not just in your heart but through your deeds as well. 

How do you resist the inevitable peer pressure and be an unapologetic Muslim? 

The Peer Pressure

“Shadi mein bhi hijab pehno gi” (you’ll wear this hijab even at the wedding?), “Can you wear something that’s a little more fitted and a little less loose this time”, and “bro trip pe aaye hue hein, yahan kon namaz parhta hai, chill kar” (bro we are on a trip. Who prays when they are out? Just chill!) are all common phrases we might hear frequently when trying to practise our faith in public. 

These and all similar comments add some serious peer pressure on practising Muslims, especially if they are new to it. 

Seeing so many people being averse to something can make you feel like you are doing something wrong, despite being on the right track. Such comments, glances, and feeling like a cast out can make you think you are flawed, as if you lack the characteristics that make everyone else a deserving citizen of the society, and hence apologetic for your Muslim outlook, beliefs, and deeds. 

But do we give in to peer pressure and cave? 

Be An Unapologetic Muslim: How to Resist Peer Pressure? 

Allah SWT says in the Quran:

“Surely they will be of no avail to you against Allah. Indeed the wrong-doers are friends of each other, whereas Allah is the friend of the God-fearing.” [45:19]

So, we know giving in to peer pressure and compromising our religious values is not an option. The best approach then is to learn how to resist peer pressure and become an unapologetic Muslim. 

Read on for some tips on how you can get on with your journey toward being unapologetically Muslim in a world that judges you for practising your religion. 

Learn About Islam

We have been told certain things are right and other things are wrong. And many times, we do the right things and avoid the wrong ones without ever knowing who said it and why. This makes practising a good habit or deed difficult. 

Therefore, it is important to dive deeper and understand the reason behind whatever deed you are doing. Knowing where the command comes from and the value that abiding by a certain ruling can add to your life, in this world and the next, can help make practising it and resisting peer pressure easier. 

Feeling apologetic about the hijab? Learn why Muslim women need to do it. 

Feeling bad leaving a gathering for prayers? Learn about the virtues of prayers and the troubles you can get into for intentionally leaving a Salah. 

People give you a hard time for sticking to what is Haq (the truth), learn about how our beloved Prophet SAW, his companions RA, and the pious predecessors stuck to the truth, no matter how hard the situation got for them. 

Change Your Mindset

This one may be easier said than done. However, it is important that you change your perspective towards whatever actions you are doing.

Knowing why you need to do certain actions can help. But you will have to actively work on your mindset to transform your perspective towards your own self. 

Tell yourself you are not an outcast or any less than any other individual for practising Islam. If you dress modestly, cover yourself, and prioritise prayers over gupshup (chitchat), you are not flawed. People who make you feel bad for doing these things may be wrong but assure yourself you are on the right track as long as you do it for the sake of Allah SWT. 

Having this perspective will help you crush the fear of prioritising your religious obligations over society’s whims and make you more unapologetic with the way you choose to live your life. 

Be Confident

Similar to changing your mindset, you will have to work on fostering enough self-confidence to carry yourself unapologetically and with grace in a society that may not be very welcoming of your religious duties. 

Crush the fear of being rejected or judged. Know that Allah SWT acknowledges your efforts and let that thought infuse a sense of confidence within you. 

Do it for Allah’s sake and tell yourself He SWT sees you and may as well be proud of you. 

Strengthen Your Connection with Allah SWT

You know this life is way too harsh for us to get by without Allah SWT’s help, right? And the need for divine help increases when we decide we gotta abide by Islamic rulings, which sometimes requires us to swim against the tide. 

Therefore, as you work on perfecting your deeds make sure you also maintain a solid connection with Allah SWT so you can reach out to Him SWT for help whenever the going gets tough. 

Remember, taqwa (God Consciousness) is a key to earning Allah SWT’s Help. So, maintain taqwa and make dua. The Help will soon be on the way. 

Stay Humble

Being unapologetic does not mean you become obnoxious. Learn and maintain the difference between unapologetic and rude. Be the former. Avoid the latter. 

As you change your mindset and understand that you are not flawed for practising your deen, also know that you are not perfect in your practice and always hope for Allah SWT to forgive your shortcomings. 

Never be proud of practising and look down upon others for not doing the same. Remember, it was Allah’s Mercy that you found the right path. And if Allah SWT wills, those around you may come join you soon. 

Being too proud can lead you off the right track and on to a very dangerous one. Remember how Iblees was? 

So, don’t leave your humility behind as you tread the tracks to be an unapologetic Muslim. 

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