Finding a reliable source of religious education might be a challenge to some Muslim youths living in the West.
Yet, British Muslim youths are finding their long-sought
target in a new faith community that has been established in London recently.
Founded by three young Muslim men one year ago, Faith offers a community space that facilitates spiritual growth while prioritizing fellowship, openness, accessibility, and relevance.
The spiritual community hub for Muslims offers Qur’an
classes as well as tafsir, or Qur’anic exegesis.
With many youth feeling neglected by their mosques, Faith was set up to foster spiritual and social community growth among millennial Muslims beyond the traditional mosque environment.
“The reality is that there is a disenfranchised kind of feeling people may have, and because of religious trauma or a bad experience, they don’t feel welcome in the masjid or other Muslim spaces,” co-founder Sheikh Hasib Noor explained, Religion News reported.
“People feel like their voices are not being heard, or that
the relevance wasn’t there, or their spiritual needs are not being met. We felt
like we could provide that to people with an environment where the social is
just as important as the spiritual.”
Organizers say Faith is particularly aimed at offering a
nonjudgmental and welcoming environment for those who may feel uncomfortable at
their local mosque.
Faith’s tagline, quoted in countless social media posts
alongside emojis of brown-skinned prayer hands, drives the message home: “Come
as you are, to faith as it is.”
In that way, co-founders Imam Shabbir Hassan said he hopes
to build young British Muslims a bridge back to traditional Islamic spaces.
“We hope we can connect with the masajid that are already
out there, and start gently pushing people toward the mosque,” he said.
“Because obviously there’s a disconnect, and we want to
bridge that gap. We want to get people to a level where they’re comfortable
going to a mosque and continue coming to us.”
The Masjid is a place of worship for Muslims but it also
serves as a social gathering spot for the community.
During the time of Prophet (PBUH), the Masjid served as a place to workshop, socialize, feed the
poor, cure the wounded, and conduct town hall meetings. The Masjid has always
served as the central hub for community affairs and this includes the affairs
of our youth.
However, many Muslim youths have been complaining that mosques do not accommodate them, fail to offer programs interesting to them, and give traditional sermons that are no longer related to their age and time.
For interesting advice on how to encourage youth into
mosques, check this: