Social Pressure

Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. My dear brothers and sisters as-Salaam alaykum jami'an, wa Rahmatullahi Wa barakatuh. In our journey as Muslims, as the servants of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, through this transient life and eventually ending up in the permanent afterlife in the abode of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, we face many difficult times, challenges, and indeed forces in our daily life that are going to shape who we are as individuals, not only from a physical perspective, but from an emotional and from a spiritual perspective as well.

Many a times those forces that shape who we are, that change the way we behave our overt, we can see them coming. We know their effects on us. Sometimes we can feel the tangible responses of our body with seconds or within minutes of being exposed to that factor, to that force that is in our life. Yet there are times when we are not aware, when the forces that surround our lives, the various things that are moving in front of us, behind us, around us are unknown to us.

Why? Because they are subtle, because they are latent and because they are hidden. As such, when we live in society, particularly one that is secular, we find ourselves having to navigate through the norms and the practices of that society. And a devout Muslim is constantly looking for the means by which he or she can strengthen their resolve, their journey to Allah and their adherence to the code of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. And as an opposition to that sometimes is the general trend of the society or the pressure one feels due to the peers or companions or people they are surrounded by, whether that is in school or at work or in any other environment you find yourself in.

Hence, peer pressure or social pressure becomes a very important component of how we develop. And God forbid it becomes a hindrance in our development as Muslims, as servants of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. And the greatest thing that we must focus on is to preserve our faith and to preserve our Muslim identity and do so, recognizing the fact that when we protect this important aspect of our being, we will ensure that our journey through a life will be the one that is correctly ascribed by Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, and such, we want to be able to hang on to those elements of life that are valuable and that have not been influenced by the factors that transiently come and go.

My dear brothers and sisters, Islam is the same religion it was thousands of years ago as it is now, and it will remain that way for the rest of time. Societies will change, cultures will change, the practices of people will change. Yet Allah's religion is for all time, for all people, for all circumstances.

Hence, we need a way to deal with social pressures, peer pressure, and to be able to maintain who we are in light of that pressure, in light of the feeling that I must conform to whatever the society is doing or what the people around me are doing and not feel this negative aspect in my life, which indeed can affect us psychologically, mentally, spiritually and in some cases, God forbid, cause depression and anxiety and loneliness. And so we must come up with a way of finding strength and adherence and resiliency in particular.

So we have come up with a small little scheme that could help us a little guide for how Muslims can deal with social pressures. It is comprised of four important components and you can see them here. We know that one of the important steps by which a Muslim can be aware of social pressures and deal with social pressures is to begin by identifying those forces that both positively and negatively influence us in our lives.

Number 2, we must maintain our Muslim identity. We must ensure that who we are projected both outwardly and what we know to be the truth inwardly is the Muslim identity. And that is what comes first. Everything after that is secondary. What country we come from, our nationality, our cultural identification, etc..

Number 3, we must make sure to act. But to be a Muslim is not to just theoretically believe in a set of principles. It means to act and to implement in our lives not only the worship that is incumbent upon us to do, but also the morality, the ethics and the characteristics that we have learned from our Holy Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam.

And number 4, we must never compromise. We must never give in to the standards of other systems over the standard of Islam. As long as we are adhering to the standards of Islam and maintaining the limits that Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, has created for us, then everything else is a secondary addition to the life of this world and how we live in this world. If we can consider these four aspects, our Iman will indeed grow and our Iman will flourish and it will remain protected from the forces that surround our lives.

Please reach out to us with questions, with concerns. Listen to the webinar that we recently posted on this concept. Go to YouTube and find those videos, subscribe to our channel and engage in the discussion on how we can improve the life that we live in such a society and become stronger in our adherence to our religion and our identity as Muslims. With this, I wish you well. Wa assalamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatuh.