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The struggles of a young Muslim 

The struggles of a young Muslim 

Salam Alaikum,

I am a 16-year-old guy who has spent his life surrounded by so many kinds of people of so many kinds of faiths. I went to an all boys’ school and the idea of having to interact with a sister never came across my mind as I had figured I would always be surrounded by brothers until the day I got married. My whole high school life I faced discriminatory comments, bullying, or even outright hostility based solely on my religion. This led to a feeling of isolation, and I did not know what to do. I was able to meet my Muslim brothers but only once a month and if that as these events are so sporadic. Additionally, I have been raised lacking a father figure in my life. There have been so many times in my life that I have felt so lost.

Trying to balance everything without it all collapsing. And in the year of my GCSE exams, I gave up trying. I felt like I needed somewhere to let my problems reside and I did not want to burden anyone with this, so I spoke to a therapist. Alhamdulillah, he helped, and I was able to form some peace of me being without my father. After these events occurred, I began attending my sixth form. It is a small sixth form with a large diverse group filled with many different people and is also mixed. Yet again I was the only Muslim in the sixth form. I have always been taught to defend my religion and if someone attacks me for my beliefs in whatever way I defend it. And in doing that I befriended a brother who I believed would stick with me even after my A-levels.

However, I was proven wrong. And he began to take an interest in creating friendships with sisters and I had not talked to more than one sister as a friend before. However, it was all so normal with him. I did not question his intentions and I did not want to lose him as a friend. The entire friend group balance was tipped when he invited 4 girls, the friend circle dynamics went from just three boys to two guys and four girls. I had decided to try to be friends, however one of the sisters had gotten the wrong idea and she had thought that our friendship was more than just a friendship. We spent a few months being friends until I realised just what was happening and cut my ties with her exclaiming how I was under the pretense we were just friends. However, the whole friend group had taken this as a hostile action and began to bring a close friend of mine (a sister who I had met at a volunteering event 3 years ago) that I was behind her back doing unmentionable things.

I did not know what to do. I tried to explain the situation as the sister who was a friend of 3 years I had an idea of wanting to commit my future to. And it was all burnt down over a single phone call. So, I have spent the past week repenting for what I did and reflecting. And now I understand that even if the intentions are pure a brother and sister can never be ‘friends’ without feelings getting involved. There are so many more problems that brothers face nowadays and the whole belief that to be a man you should shoulder problems on your own and deal with it but I tried and failed drastically teaching me the importance of trust and having people you can share your problems with, trusted people, my family.

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