The Prophet (SAAS) said, "Allah will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His.” One of the seven mentioned are “youth who have been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worships Allah sincerely from childhood)”.
Islam puts heavy emphasis on the upbringing of children, as they are the future and the torch bearers of Islam. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) also emphasized “taking benefit of your youth before your old age.” It is quite apparent that in one’s youth, a significant amount of good work can be accomplished due to good health, abundance of energy, and a sharp mind.
However, teenagers and young adults living in America are faced with many challenges. Most Muslim teens attend public school, spending most of their time in that environment. This makes it difficult to learn Islamic values since the messages they receive on a daily basis are in many cases contradictory to Islamic ideals and values. The “part-time” preaching that youth get today from parents and Islamic Centers is not the complete solution since the guidance given is generally disconnected from the young person’s daily life and not very effective; it is therefore necessary to create programs specifically tailored to address the issues faced by youth today.
There are countless differences between the various age groups and in order to make the right impact, MY DEEN plans to tailor the programs accordingly. The programs will be specifically crafted to address each age group and the main issues faced by that group. MY DEEN plans to break up the Youth programs into the following age categories; Young Adults (ages 18+); Youth (ages 13-17); Junior Youth (ages 8-12). In addition to these categories, MY DEEN will also start its own Boy Scout/Girl Scout chapters (for ages 7-12).
The overarching goal of MY DEEN’s youth programs will be to instill values in our youth that make them productive members of the American Muslim society. In addition, the different age category programs will achieve a hierarchy of role models and leaders which each age group can look up to. In addition, this will provide an infrastructure for a complete program starting from the time when youth start to develop their curiosity to the time they graduate from college. Each of these programs will consist at a minimum of the following elements: Education; Leadership; Team Building; Social; and Community Service.