Shield Of Honour: Our Youth And The Crisis Of Faith

Nouman Ali Khan

I wanted to dedicate this one session to what I feel is one of the most pressing issues in the lives of Muslim youth and one that I have come to experience myself personally at one point in my life. As I’ve had the opportunity to travel more recently and interact with many young people across the country, I’m noticing it’s not a problem localized to one community or limited to one specific kind of person, but rather it’s happening pretty much almost universally. I guess I want to term it a crisis of faith, and a crisis of confidence in the religion.

Alhamdulillah, many of you that are sitting here are Muslims that are eager to learn something more about their religion and they want to advance further. Insha’Allahu ta’ala you guys are the hope for becoming the ambassadors of religion not just to non-Muslims but even to your struggling Muslims friends and family that are Muslim but they’re barely holding onto their faith. They’re barely holding on to any semblance of Islam in their lives and you are, at this point, the only connection Allah has provided for them to Islam. So the fact that you are here is already speaking volumes for the kind of commitment you have. You might not think very highly of yourselves, but actually, I do, and perhaps Allah (‘azza wa jall) holds you in very high regard. May Allah accept this gathering and gatherings like this one, and make us sincere in them.

#1: “Is this from God?”

Now what I wanted to talk about, this crisis of faith. I’ll share a couple of stories with you and then I’ll talk about it in general. The first story is from a couple of years ago. I gave a khutbah in a city that I don’t want to name. At the end of the khutbah, a father came up to me and said, “I’d really like you to have lunch at our house. I want you to talk to my daughter.” I said “Okay, I guess, I have time”. He took me to his house, which was right next door to the masjid, and said, “If you’re okay with it, my daughter has some questions about Islam, so if you don’t mind, could you help her answer some of them?” His daughter comes out – and by the way, this is a Muslim family, born and raised Muslims, parents are born and raised Muslims, children are raised Muslims – and she has piercings in strange places on her face: on the side of her eye, and like a couple on her forehead. Weird places that you look at and you go “ouch!”. But anyways, she sits down and I’m kind of weirded out at this point, but you know what, let’s have her ask her questions. Continue reading