What Exactly Does it Mean to Be a Millennial Muslim?

What Exactly Does it Mean to Be a Millennial Muslim?

It can make life a lot harder, but more rewarding at the same time.
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When we were younger, being Muslim was easy. We never questioned why Gabriella could wear miniskirts and we couldn’t, or why Jayden could eat chicken nuggets that were so forbidden to us. It was black and white, yes or no.

Occasionally, we’d get away with wearing a one-piece to the public pool, or eating gummy bears that very obviously had gelatin in them, but that was a different time. Nothing was a big deal. We were never exposed to other alternatives, the other type Muslims that we could be, the ones that brought beef jerky to school for their afternoon snack, who didn’t know how to pray in or read Arabic.

As we got older, we noticed changes in our own friends, whether it be Muslim or Non-Muslim. Appearances mattered more, and so did the opposite sex. Friday nights went from watching Disney Channel reruns to hanging out at the shady food court in the mall, and later, to house parties that always ended with the entire school buzzing about them.

You definitely lost some friends who didn’t want to be associated with someone so “boring.” Your closest friends, the ones who stuck around, never judged you for having a strict dress code, or an even stricter curfew. But, that didn’t mean you stopped feeling left out.

You started feeling like an outsider, and in your worst moments, you blamed it on your religion.

We all had a rebellious phase, whether it lasted weeks, months, or years. We turned away from the religion that had been ‘forced’ on us from such a young age. Why should we suffer for something that was never our decision, never our choice?

Most of us, the lucky ones, found our way back when we realized what being a Muslim truly means. Yes, it entails certain restrictions that aren’t always the most convenient. Yes, it makes you feel left out from time to time. Yes, it interrupts your life in ways you don’t expect. But, it gives you so much more.

It gives you the best morals to help you make the most important life decisions, paired with hope when the situation goes awry, and answers, when the world is being chaotic and confusing. Being a Muslim gives you an identity that you wouldn’t give up for the world. They key is to keep it close to your heart in a world that’s throwing curve balls at you on the daily, whether it be in person, or on social media.

The trick? Find a few good friends with the same halal-haram ratio as you. You’d be surprised how much fun being religious can be when you have the right friends to keep you company.

Cover Image Credit: Personal

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I Wish GCU Cared About Faith As Much As They Cared About Basketball

Students at GCU come and go and it would be a shame if all they got was the hype of a basketball game instead of the hype of the Trinity.

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You see advertisements for them everywhere: Snap Chat, Instagram, posters around campus, billboards even, all telling you to go buy your HAVOCS pass or to make sure you secure your ticket for every single basketball game or for those in the surrounding community to get their season tickets. With countless of t-shirt, GCU swag, Purple Pre-Game Parties, Grand Canyon University spends a lot of time, energy, and money making sure their arena is filled for every single basketball game, but not Chapel.

For a missionary school, GCU lacks in reaching out in ministry to their students. The only time a student hears about Chapel that is not a student leader is the first day of classes and at Chapel itself. For how mundane a basketball game is compared to eternal salvation, GCU is missing what is really important at a Christian University.

Why is there no advertising for Chapel, t-shirts giveaways, or any hype for the event that happens every single Monday? Is not praising the one who delivered us from eternal damnation, who gives us peace in the midst of the chaos, who gives us our identity, who created us, who gives us purpose, not worth the same amount, or even more hype than a basketball season that will always come and go? Is not sharing the good news of the Gospel more important than basketball?

If GCU wants to truly be private, Christian, and affordable, they need to step it up in their spiritual life and give equal attention, if not more, to the amount of attention they give to Basketball. GCU needs to approach Chapel attendance in the same urgency they approach basketball attendance. Make the Instagram stories, make the posters, make the facebook events, make the Snap Chat stories, make more of an effort.

Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with attending a basketball and there is nothing wrong with GCU creating a strong sports-fan community. There is something wrong when a sporting event is placed on a higher priority than a ministry opportunity to reach out to students who may not know the Gospel.

To be fair, this past semester, GCU has attempted to make Chapel more intriguing by having outstanding speakers come and talk to the students like Jodi and Friends, Scott MacIntyre, and so on. However, these guest speakers included more plugs for their mission organizations rather than plugs for how the miraculous power of Christ helped them in their journeys.

For a time that is supposed to be set aside to biblical teaching, plug-ins for organizations are not appropriate for the Chapel hour. Save it for another time GCU. Getting students in the door and teaching the true gospel message is more important than having extravagant guest speakers who are going to put more emphasis on their organization than sharing the good news of Christ in that allotted time.

Do not get me wrong, the organizations that have been mentioned at Chapel are fabulous organizations, that do wonderful work for the continuation of the kingdom. However, Chapel is for biblical teaching, not what organizations do.

GCU needs to rethink in what areas may be overlooking the One above and focusing more on worldly things. Basketball comes and goes, guest speakers and organizations comes and goes, but more importantly, students at GCU come and go and it would be a shame that all they got was the hype of a basketball game instead of the hype of the Trinity.


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From The Christian Girl Who Visited A Mosque And Had Her Perspective Changed

Getting to know your neighbor...

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In today's current political climate, it feels as though it's harder than ever before to understand our neighbors. We often cannot look beyond the headlines we read in the news and actually talk to each other: it is difficult to separate political propaganda from the people we encounter daily.

One group in America that faces particular discrimination is Muslims. Whenever ISIL commits horrific acts, people in the United States suggest extreme measures such as banning all Muslims from entering the country. While I understand the skepticism, I think that it is of the utmost importance that we all recognize that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and ISIL does not represent their beliefs.

The KKK calls itself a Christian group, but they represent the exact opposite of Biblical teachings; the same is true of Muslims and the Quran. ISIL has completely distorted the teachings of Islam and misrepresents Muslims around the world.

I am currently taking a class on the Middle East, Arabs, and Islam. Over the weekend, my class and I visited the local mosque in Waco. The people there were generous enough to let us partake in their breaking of the Ramadan fast along with other Christian churches and members of a Jewish temple. It was a moment where we were all able to come together and see each other as people who simply have different beliefs.

I identify as a Christian, so I obviously do not believe the same things as Muslims. However, I have discovered that many of our beliefs and teachings are similar to those in the Muslim faith. Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, Noah, and even Jesus are all mentioned in the Quran. There are striking differences between Christianity and Islam, but there are also several similarities.

At the end of the breaking of the Ramadan fast, I left with a feeling of peace and reconciliation. I realized that events like this that involve sharing our cultures and religions with each other is a start to ending bias. Our neighbors may not look like us, or even have the same beliefs as us, but we are all people in search of happiness and a better life. In the end, love will always trump hate.

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