MV: Aselamulaikum, this post was actually a request from a commenter and its what many Muslim youths are going throughout mostly North America and England, including one of my friend.
Thanks to Ahmer Imam for this post.
Tips for Muslim Teens Sweating About Prom
If you’re a practicing Muslim teen, you then know it’s Haram to go to the Prom, but the temptation can be super hard to resist. Being a Muslim teen is difficult enough, without the peer pressure for events you can’t go to…You must accept this fact, the fact that you won’t be able to go to prom, unless, of course your parents are more moderate or liberal Muslims. It might have took a lot of difficult, sweaty, stressful discussions with the parental units and practicing Muslim friends and there might have been a whole lot of self-searching and mirror talks, but now you know for sure, you’re not going to make it to prom and you’re convincing yourself that that’s okay. It is. Trust us and don’t sweat about it.
But not going to Prom isn’t the end of prom.
Non-Muslim school friends that you have are probably really wishing for your presence at the big dance. Obviously because they don’t understand why you wouldn’twant to be part one of the most important events of your youth and they try to build prom up for you. Even though these same friends know you don’t date, drink, do drugs, etc. they’re still trying to peer pressure you into coming, making you sweat moreabout everything. Below are some suggestions on dealing with these Prom problems and more…
1. You Have to Stay Your Ground and Do Not Budge
“I had to be very firm and have a very forward opinion on it,” says Amber Rehman, 21, about telling her friends she was not going to participate. “If I let myself, I could have been persuaded.”
“You have to keep in perspective that you’re a servant of Allah and Allah has placed great nobility, if you protect yourself from these things,” she adds.
Your strength and clarity about not going will take some time to sink in, but it will eventually give your friends a clear message: nothing they say or do will change your mind, period.
It should also be made clear that this is not a personal insult aimed at them. You are simply trying to maintain your Islamic principles, and you would not be able to do that in a Prom environment, that’s all.
You and they can still play baseball, go fishing, or hiking, but the Prom is just one activity, which you’ll have to skip.
2. Do Something Else on That Fateful Night
“We need to see Islam as a cool alternative, not a loser alternative,” says Shaema Imam, 22.
Once getting over the initial shock and disappointment of not going to the Prom, go to Plan B, check your options and don’t sweat about it.
Get a couple of your Muslim friends together (hopefully they aren’t going either) and plan to do something wild, crazy, and fun. And most importantly, do something memorable together.
And of course, Halal. The possibilities are endless.
“For the brothers if you have hockey they’ll come,” says Ali Shayan, 21, of Ottawa, Canada.
Sports are almost always a favorite for brothers. Think about it: while the guys at the Prom are sweating it out in uncomfortable, expensive tuxedos, and making almost complete fools of themselves on the dance floor, you could be skillfully ice skating in comfortable, cotton, hockey clothes with your non-Prom friends, scoring goals and looking really dignified.
For sisters, you could throw a totally wild and crazy all-sisters party at your place. Ask the men of your house to visit their friends for the night and have a party where you can wear all the make-up you want and be as crazy and insane as you want without having to “impress” the opposite sex in a too-expensive, revealing dress, uncomfortable heels and putting on a fake act.
It’s important to note that these alternatives are not meant to be “celebrations”. They are primarily a way to have Halal fun and to keep away from the Haram.
The sooner you decide not to go to the Prom, the better. This will give you more time to plan what you will be doing instead of prom. Plan something fun and memorable.
If a small party in your basement is way too simple to satisfy the Prom urge, plan a really fancy one with the works: fancy hotel, lush carpets, nice dresses, etc. Except this will be only a mother-daughter affair. Or a father-son affair.
It could be a family affair, but the sisters who observe Hijab won’t get to really have fun then, like wear make-up, style their hair, etc.
You can get those older rich brothers and sisters in the community to help you out with the funding. After all, you would be doing their kids (if they have any in their teens) a favor too.
If you’re living in a small community with few Muslims, planning in advance will give you the time to get in touch with a nearby Muslim community a few miles away. This way you can still spend Prom night with fellow Muslims, even if you’re community is small or apathetic.
4. Get in Touch with the Muslim Students’ Association
Muslim Students’ Associations (MSAs) play a very important role.
They should be one of key institutions in the community organizing activities. And since they are made up of young people, they should be involved with organizing a Muslim youth awards ceremony, for instance.
The advantage of hooking up with the MSAs is that you have better access to funds and spaces to hold activities.
As well, you would have the guidance of brothers and sisters who may have, in most cases if they grew up in North America, gone through the Prom experience themselves.
5. Think About Hanging Out with Your Family
It may sound strange to do this when the Prom is about being with your friends. But think about it.
For many, this could be one of the last happy occasions you have with your family before moving away to another city or state or province for college or university.
Prom night isn’t just about you finishing high school. It should also be a tribute to your parents for helping you through the experience, whether it was by taking care of your basic necessities, helping you with homework, or paying for expenses.
Use the money you were going to spend on a limousine, dress/tuxedo, or tickets to the Prom and spend it on your family, just to spend time with them.
While the Prom may seem hard to beat, there are alternatives out there. It requires creativity and intelligence.
If we start to see Islam’s rules about Halal and Haram as challenges instead of obstacles in our lives, we can surely find ways of having “good, clean, fun” without feeling left out or having to sacrifice our Islamic principles.
6. Do Not Play “Sour Grapes”
While it does require strength for many Muslim teens to say no to the peer pressure to go to prom and similar events, this is no excuse to look down on those who do not have that strength yet.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: A Muslim is a Muslim’s brother, he should not cheat him, nor tell him a lie, nor humiliate him. Everything owned by a Muslim is forbidden for another Muslim to take his property and his blood. Righteousness is an attribute of the heart. It is sufficient evil for a man even to look down on his Muslim brother with disdain (Tirmidhi).
It is by Allah’s Will and Mercy that you were able to resist going. Pray that your brothers and sisters are able to do the same.
7. Encourage Who You Can, Not To Go
By doing this, not only will you be enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. You can have more people in on the planning for a Muslim youth award’ ceremony at the end of the year, for instance.
Do this even after someone has gone to the Prom. Often times, people realize something is wrong after the fact. Discuss the issue with sincerity, wisdom and kindness.
It’s difficult to grow up different, but remember, there’s nothing to sweat about as everybody is the same on the inside, we all have the same desires and conflicts, keep that in mind when making difficult choices.