Why Are Young Muslims Disengaged with Mosques?07 Feb 2022
In the name of Allah,
Many young Muslims today don’t even think of attending mosques, let alone actually attending or even taking part in Islamic activities. This reality has left us with a serious question: why are young Muslims disengaged from our mosques?
In an attempt to understand the reasons behind this phenomena, we need to understand the different challenges young Muslims are facing.
If we were to ask young Muslims why don’t you attend the mosque, they will say that their current challenges are not being addressed. Some might say that they are going through a lot of problems in their life, hence the reason why they feel overwhelmed with their day to day tasks. What we understand from this is that some young Muslims feel that mosques aren’t actually helping them in their lives – practically speaking.
Unfortunately, there are parents who think that taking their sons and daughters to mosque should take place when the kid turns 14 or 15, when in reality it should start at a younger age so they can get in the habit of attending their local mosque. Many parents ask Muslim scholars “what is the solution for my son or daughter who doesnt believe in God anymore?” Or “I used to teach them when they were younger on how to pray salat and wear a hijab but now they don’t follow these rules anymore.” I think it’s important to address the issue of child upbringing here.
In Arabic we use the word “Tarbiyah” which means upbringing. “Tarbiyah” doesn’t mean just to teach your children about how to pray, fast, etc. It’s more about building a relationship with your children. So if some parents say: “I taught my children to pray and forced my daughter to wear a hijab but look at them today.” The actual problem is that some parents do not have a close affinity with their children. That manifests in befriending our children and keeping a healthy relationship with them. How we communicate with our children reflects on their behaviour in the future.
All families must be socialising and discussing topics around “how to deal with the main problems of their children”. Creating small Whatsapp groups for example would be a great idea to communicate with each other and talk about how to find practical solutions for their children.
Tarbiyah is not as easy as you think. It requires a lot of patience and constant teachings and relationships. Unfortunately some parents may not have time for their children sometimes, but they must try to take them to mosques, get to know other youngsters who are in the mosque. They can also take them to Islamic schools when they are young to get a chance to build up friendships and relationships with the Islamic places and mosques
Why don’t young people attend mosques?
1) So the reason why youths are not attending mosques, there are so many islamic lectures, and teachings of the holy prophet Mohammed (saw) and it must stay alive, but we do need to open courses and workshops too, because your typical islamic lectures are more like talking down to the youth but the reality is that the youth want more interactive discussions such as courses, workshops and other forms of engagement. They need to express themselves and talk about how they feel in university or college. In conclusion: They need a safe haven where they can be themselves without anyone judging them, and unfortunately this is not the case with the majority of mosques nowadays.
2) We have to give feedback to the muslim scholars and to our islamic communties about what the youth wants and what type of challenges they are facing. Scholars have to give lectures about what the youth is going through and we need them to be able to interact with these kinds of lectures, not just lectures, even through other interactive programs for our young people.
This empowerment is at its most important.
Amongst the many challenges that some youth are facing is the identity crisis, struggles to find marriage partners, drugs, and crime.
All these challenges must be addressed to the Muslim communities and the imams for when they see the young muslims in the mosques or in an Islamic course they can talk about it and help deal with these challenges. So we must see all of the young people with great potential and make them engage with the imams and encourage them to socialise more with other mosqued young people.
And all praise be to Allah.