”A few days ago, I had youth anonymously write me either 1) questions they would never ask a real shaykh, or 2) criticisms about Islam they could never answer. The typical – though still painful – confessions on dating, doubts about God, and homosexuality, were all there as expected.
I was very happy they opened up, and some even as young as 8yrs confided in me privately afterwards. This taught me many things, like the importance of “non-judgment” spaces for our youth, both at home and in the mosques, and the dire necessity for initiatives like Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. The first will ensure they seek answers before the damage is irreparable, and the second will ensure the availability of compelling answers when they seek them.
This question below was handed to me by a tiny hijabi whose shyness prevented her from speaking it. I failingly faked a smile as I read it, and asked her age. She told me she was 7yrs old. My knees almost gave way, and in a final search for hope, I said without thinking, “Can you tell me what exactly you were watching?” She said, “I watch videos of baby pigs.” 😅
May Allah preserve her innocence, and bring all our youth back who had it stolen from them by society + our oblivion to their struggles.” – Mohammad Elshinawy