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Sunday, March 20, 2005

7 tips for muslim students

As a Muslim student, you should try to set the best example that you can. Always be friendly, generous, helpful and open-minded yet firm about your beliefs. Living in a multiracial and multireligion community one cannot help but to encounter some misunderstandings of some sort especially at school.
Don't worry dearest friends. Take them as challenges and tests from Allah. Be strong and face them wholeheartedly for it means that Allah loves you. Still, here are some pointers for you to take in facing those challenges.

First of all, remember that in most cases, blaming the teacher is a big mistake. Teachers are overburdened as they are just trying to teach their students, and they do not determine the contents of textbooks.
Take the approach of a helper or contributor, rather than "challenging" the teacher, and you will be far more successful in making changes.

Do a bit of your research beforehand, this would benefit you a lot as you can gain more knowledge in the process. Evaluate your world history, world cultures, geography, or comparative religions textbooks' coverage of Islam carefully.
If you find an error or inaccuracy in the textbooks,or if during discussion someone makes an incorrect statement, do not hesitate to raise your hand and offer the proper perspective or correct information. You never know the amount of help that you have done in clarifying the data or information.

Whenever you discuss different topics and issues in class, always try to incorporate your own personal experiences into the conversation.
Using a personal approach allows others to see Muslims as human beings, rather than just characters in the media and textbooks. Share what it is like living as a Muslim in the United States, and include both triumphs and difficulties.
For example, you might talk about the importance of daily worship (Salah) or fasting during Ramadan (Sawm) and the difficulties which often arise when Muslims try to perform their religious duties in the course of the day.

When Islam is discussed in the classroom, ask your teacher if you can write or orally present a report on a specialized topic related to Islam and present it in class.
In the report, try to incorporate an Islamic perspective on issues pertinent to your age group, for example gender relations, peer pressure, education, etc.Other important topics might be the importance of fasting in Ramadan, the importance of family in Islam, among others. Offer a presentation on Ramadan, and bring special food and sweets to class to celebrate and share the Eid holidays.
Make it a point to use Islamic sources for your report. Collect information from the Quran, books of Hadith, and other books dealing with your topic. Try to make researching the topic an exciting part of the report.
Interview your parents, friends, and other relatives about the chosen topic as well. If possible, contact the Imam or other knowledgeable person from your local Islamic center or Masjid and obtain their insights and information. Also obtain help from Muslim professors and educators.

Invite your parents, older brothers or sisters, or knowledgeable persons from the community to come to your class and conduct a presentation on Islam.
You might also try to establish a local speakers bureau comprised of community members, to provide speakers on a regular basis to classrooms in your area.

Many videos on Islam and Muslim history have been produced by Muslim organizations, some of which may be suitable for middle and high school audiences. Select an appropriate video and request your teacher to show it in your class as part of the course.
Offer the teacher an opportunity to review the video beforehand. Make sure that the contents do not contain material which might give offence to people of other faiths or traditions.

Come up with additional ideas for sharing information about Islam. Consult a scholar and/or knowledgeable Muslim.


And those who strive in Our (cause),- We will certainly guide them to our Paths(29:69)


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