March 2005: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

Peer Pressure

and the Submitter Youth

Peer pressure isn’t a recent phenomenon that belongs only to our generation. Peer pressure is as old as the creation of human beings. Just the term “peer pressure” has been publicized lately.

As young Submitters (Muslims, in Arabic), we experience peer pressure when our moral values clash with the actions, practices or behavior of other youth who live around us, whether we’re at school or in a neighborhood. Therefore, peer pressure usually comes from non-Submitters (non-Muslims), or from youth who call themselves Muslims but don’t practice any moral values encouraged by the Quran.

To understand why there’s a clash between our values as young Submitters and others’ values, we have to realize that our values come from God in His book, the Quran, which represents the highest moral values of our life. The others’ moral values are derived from other people who have indulged in immoral lifestyles derived from a desire to achieve quick pleasure or impress people. This fame and popularity doesn’t last. These people have usually lost their faith or the trust or understanding of their faith, and they desire temporary world pleasure that has been proven dangerous, sick and demoralizing.

While peer pressure, even in a small circle of friends, happens because the majority agrees on doing something that contradicts the moral value of the minority, it is exactly what the Quran describes.

God reminds us that the majority of the people in this life will not be believers and accordingly would not and cannot follow the great moral values presented in the scripture.

[12:103] Most people, no matter what you do, will not believe.

The Quran even tells us about peer pressure and gives detailed stories of some of the prophets and early believers who suffered from such pressure. But they persevered and held tight to their belief and they ended up being the winners. That peer pressure included ridicule and making fun of the believers for their righteous behavior and choices.

[83:29] The wicked used to laugh at those who believed. When they passed by them, they used to poke fun. When they got together with their people, they used to joke.

[83:34-35] Today, those who believed are laughing at the disbelievers. On luxurious furnishings they watch.

The Quran even explains the reason why some people fall for peer pressure and desert their righteous behavior:

[29:25] He said, “You worship beside GOD powerless idols due to peer pressure, just to preserve some friendship among you in this worldly life. But then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will disown one another, and curse one another. Your destiny is Hell, wherein you cannot help one another.”

Of the many prophets mentioned in the Quran, the story of Noah is a clear example of peer pressure. The people of Noah refused to believe in God, made fun of Noah and ridiculed him and the few believers who believed with him. Their ridicule got even worse when Noah started building the ark in the middle

of nowhere as God ordered him to get ready for the great flood.

[11:38] While he was building the ark, whenever some of his people passed by him they laughed at him. He said, “You may be laughing at us, but we are laughing at you, just as you are laughing.

God, however, assures us again and again that the believers will be the last ones to laugh.

[2:212] This worldly life is adorned in the eyes of the disbelievers, and they ridicule those who believe. However, the righteous will be far above them on the Day of Resurrection. GOD blesses whomever He wills, without limits.

More than once, the pressure to do drugs, smoke, or drink befalls the average teenager, especially Submitters (Muslims). The pressure to fit in and be “cool” always competes with our desire to be righteous. If we are strong, and persevere in the cause of God, we will pull through with the right decision, God willing. Even though you might lose a friend, you will feel the reward once you just say “no.”

Some of the things we encounter everyday and are pressured about are:

  • Smoking
  • Drugs
  • Sex
  • Drinking
  • Making fun of others
  • Fitting in
  • Having intense relationships
  • Shoplifting
  • Swearing
  • Disobeying the dress code to look like everyone else

Cont'd on page 3