[BLOG] 8 Questions Your Muslim Teens Are Asking
Published: August 18, 2022 • Edited: September 30, 2022
Authors: Yaqeen Institute
Our students and children are naturally inquisitive. Out of their curiosity, they often ask questions about our beliefs and the things we do. Sometimes, even as teachers, we ourselves don’t know how to articulate a proper answer. Although life experiences may have given us certainty in our faith, we’re not always equipped to answer their questions directly.
1. “Is God real? How do we know God exists?"
The golden word: proof. Our current world emphasizes the need for evidence to believe anything. “Proving” God exists against modern objections, however, may leave you flustered. Rest assured, our tradition has multiple ways of establishing the existence of God. Find how to help your child or student answer this question by checking out our curriculum unit on “The case for Allah’s existence.”
2. “Why does God let bad things happen?”
In an unfortunate circumstance, say another school shooting occurs. We must be the voice of comfort to our children and students. When they see the news unfold, from shootings to wars, they may ask us how all of this evil can exist if Allah is ar-Rahman, the Most Merciful. In these moments, we need to explain the nature of a merciful God despite all the suffering we see around us. You can navigate this conversation with the aid of our unit, “How can evil coexist with a merciful God?”
3. “Are prophets real? How do we know?”
We don’t live in a time of prophets. Nor does our current society welcome the idea of messengers being sent from God. It’s no surprise then that our youth might question someone’s claim to prophethood. But even during their lifetime, prophets still had to prove to their people that they were indeed sent from Allah. Our curriculum unit, “The proofs of prophethood,” delves into this exact topic.
4. "How is the Qur’an a miracle?"
For many of us, understanding the miraculous nature of the Qur’an can be challenging. This is even more so the case for young Muslims who cannot access its language and magnitude. We know in our hearts that this book is the divine speech of Allah, but how do we explain it with evidence? And how can we prove that it was not the Prophet ﷺ who authored it himself? Introduce your students to the historical accuracy of the Qur’an and its literary miracles with our unit, “Qur’an: The living literary miracle.”
5. "What does Islam say about taking care of the environment? Why should I care?”
Climate change, global warming, and green initiatives have dominated public debates on the environment in recent years. While a lot of our youth have voiced concerns over these issues, few realize that Islam has a lot to say about protecting and caring for the environment. Students who know this can be empowered to root their activism in Islam. Discover more details by going through our unit, “When the earth speaks against us: environmental ethics in Islam.”
6. "If Allah knows everything that’s going to happen, how do I have free will?"
Explaining the relationship between divine decree and free will is often one of the hardest questions we have to answer as parents and teachers. At face value, it may not make sense. “What’s the point of trying,” your students ask, “if Allah already decreed that I’m going to fail?” In our unit, “Conscious or coerced: divine decree in Islam,” we explore the ways we can reconcile the fact that even though Allah knows everything, we are still morally responsible for our actions.
7. "Why is Islam so difficult? Why do I have to give up so much as a Muslim?"
As Muslims, it sometimes feels like we have to do a lot. We give up food in order to fast, time to pray, and money to donate. But completing these ritualistic acts doesn’t always have to feel burdensome. In fact, these acts of sacrifice don’t just help build a connection with Allah. They build our character, our lives, and our communities. Help your students reimagine what it means to give things up for Allah in our unit, “Winning through sacrifice: a rewarding means of worship.”
8. "I sometimes feel anxiety or feel overwhelmed by emotions. How can I control my emotions and thoughts?"
Today, we are drowning in noise and distraction. Our students are always on their phones or laptops, leaving their senses constantly stimulated. It’s no wonder that, without any quiet time, they begin to lose control of their emotions, and anxieties run high. Train your students to regain control over their negative thoughts by taking time to practice prophetic mindfulness with our unit, “Clear mind, connected soul: Islamic mindfulness.”