This Group Bonds Muslim Youth in America

For a young Muslim growing up in the US, the weekly meeting of Muslim youth inside Masjid Quba in Brooklyn is very important to connect Muslim youth together and teach them about their faith, Bklyner reported.

“I went to an Islamic school. I know that a lot of people don’t have that privilege. They don’t have that Islamic influence on a daily basis,” said Ahmad Sleiman, 20, the Brooklyn NeighborNet’s coordinator.

“So I was like, let me try to give back a bit. Let me try to inform them of things that I might know and they might not.”

Sleiman, who is in his last year at Brooklyn College and is majoring in Finance, got involved with Young Muslims (YM) group about two years ago.

The youth organization that started in the early 90s has two wings: one for men and one for women, further divided into local groups called NeighborNets.

This Group Bonds Muslim Youth in America - About Islam

Ahmad Sleiman (left) and Muhammad Zeb. (Photo: Zainab Iqbal/Bklyner)

As the NeighborNet coordinator, Sleiman works on structuring activities that builds bonds among the Muslim youth.

His 18-year-old friend Muhammad Zeb gives Sleiman different perspectives on how to interact with the other guys.

“It’s a sense of belonging for me,” he said. “I get to learn a lot of things about Islam from YM. It’s improving me as a person and as a Muslim.”

The group is not only about learning faith or bonding together as the YM members are keen on helping the larger community. For example, they volunteered at the Borough Hall iftar and the Gaza 5k run in Prospect Park.

“It’s not just so much as attending halaqah and chilling with your guys. It’s also about being a vital part of your community,” Sleiman said.

“If non-Muslims see Muslims participating in these types of things, if they have a negative perception of Muslims, it might change through action.

“We are imperfect Muslim individuals that are aware we are imperfect and despite that imperfectness, we’re making an effort to help our community,” he said. “We’re just trying to help other imperfect individuals without judging each other.”

Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to an estimated Muslim minority of six to eight million.

Young Muslims (YM) is a pioneering national youth organization that has been on the youth scene since the early 90’s.

The goal of Young Muslims, according to their website, is to seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT) by educating, training, and developing the Muslim youth to be Islamic workers for the establishment of Islam in the United States.

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