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
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
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
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
[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
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
- Making fun of others
- Fitting in
- Having intense relationships
- Disobeying the dress code to look like everyone else
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