American Teenage Muslims Reflect on “Influencer” Prophet Muhammad (saw)

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  • Two 14-year-old Muslim teens discuss what Prophet Muhammad means to them
  • Young people refer to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as an “influencer”

A recent Uber trip from a department store to the mosque took an unusual turn for Alei Sabek and Kareem Ahmed, two 14-year-old high school students in Houston, Texas. What they thought would be a simple ride turned out to be a lesson in perspective – particularly regarding how some non-Muslims view Islam.

“When we told the driver where to bring us we told her it was kind of like a church for Muslims, where you go to pray,” Alei told AboutIslam.net.

“Then about halfway through the drive, she just got really silent and she told me that she was so terrified (to be bringing us to the mosque).”

Alei said the situation made him sad, but the boys, who were relating the story while they talked about what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) means to them, said the irony of the Uber driver’s reaction isn’t lost on them.

“Today is a time when there are more problems than ever, but if the Prophet lived in 2019, everyone would love him,” Alei said. “He was a peacemaker.”

Kareem agreed. “People would adore him because he could unite the whole world. If people met him, so many of them would convert to Islam because they would love him. People could really use the inspiration he would bring.”

For young Muslims, growing up in the United States, knowing the Prophet (peace be upon him) and understanding how he lived his life can serve as a comforting and inspiring influence, especially in the face of those who seek to disparage Islam.

American Teenage Muslims Reflect on “Influencer” Prophet Muhammad (saw) - About Islam

Picture of Yasmin Shakora

Prophet’s Generosity

For Yasmin Shakora, a 15-year-old high school freshman in Houston, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was defined by his generosity.

“He was always generous of people and he always thought about them,” she said, adding she is also inspired by how he didn’t let early adversity stop him from becoming a trusted and respected member of his society.

“When he was young he didn’t have his parents, both of them had passed away, but he didn’t let that hold him back,” Yasmin said.

“He was still able to grow up to be a really great person.”

Like Alei, Yasmin said she’s sad sometimes when people don’t know about the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him), the stories about his life and the impact he left not only on those who lived during his lifetime but to billions of people who have come after him.

“He did so much to make our religion successful,” she said.

“He makes us think about our lives, about our religion and how we live our life here on Earth and was so generous and faithful. Whenever God told him something he didn’t question it, and he left us with that lesson.”

Influencer

All three of the young people referred to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as an “influencer,” a modern-day testament to how much impact he has even on their lives and times which are so far removed from theirs.

“He sacrificed so much for his family. Whenever someone was sick he would be there with them, and he taught us right from wrong,” Kareem said.

“All those simple things he did made him who he was.”

Despite that, he was humble, Kareem said. “If I could have any of his qualities I would take his humbleness. If he was alive today, he’d be famous and everyone would say ‘Watch him!’ but he wouldn’t want that and he would tell us that everyone is equal.”

For Alei, he respects the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) bravery, which he said is in short supply these days.

“Nowadays, people would not go to war (to defend Islam), but he did,” he said. “He was a great leader and a worldwide leader even now.”

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