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5 Prom Tips for Teens:
Samana Siddiqui


Okay, okay, you know it's Haram to go to the Prom. You've resigned yourself to the fact. It took a lot of heated discussion with your parents and practicing Muslim friends, self-searching and emotional wrestling, but you've finally made that decision: you're not going.

If only it were that easy.

Now, your non-Muslim school friends are having a fit, and can't understand why in the world you wouldn't want to be part of the biggest, best, and wildest bash of the century (at least that's what your friend on the Prom committee said it's going to be).

Even though they know you don't date, drink, do drugs, etc. they are still trying to push you to come.

Below are some tips and suggestions about how to deal with the Prom:

TIP #1: BE FIRM

“I had to be very firm and have a very forward opinion on it,” says Amber Rehman, 20, about telling her friends she was not going to participate. “If I let myself, I could have been persuaded.”

“You have to keep in perspective that you're a servant of Allah and Allah has placed great nobility, if you protect yourself from these things,” she adds.

Your strength and clarity about not going will take some time to sink in, but it will eventually give your friends a clear message: nothing they say or do will change your mind, period.

It should also be made clear that this is not a personal insult aimed at them. You are simply trying to maintain your Islamic principles, and you would not be able to do that in a Prom environment, that's all.

You and they can still play baseball, go fishing, or hiking, but the Prom is just one activity which you'll have to skip.

TIP #2: PLAN AN ALTERNATIVE

“We need to see Islam as a cool alternative, not a loser alternative,” says Shaema Imam, 21.

After getting over the initial shock and disappointment of not going to the Prom, go to Plan B.

Plan B? How can you have a Plan B?

Easy.

Get a couple of your Muslim friends together (hopefully they aren't going either, reluctantly or not) and plan to do something wild, crazy, fun.

And of course, Halal.

The possibilities are endless.

“For the brothers if you have hockey they'll come,” says Ali Shayan, 20, of the Muslim brothers in his community in Montreal, Canada.

Sports are almost always a favorite for brothers. Think about it: while the guys at the Prom are sweating it out in uncomfortable, expensive tuxedos, and making almost complete fools of themselves on the dance floor, you could be skillfully ice skating in comfortable, cotton, hockey clothes with your non-Prom friends, scoring goals and looking really dignified.

For sisters, you could throw a totally wild and crazy all-sisters party at your place. Kick out the men of your house (nicely, of course, maybe request they visit their friends for the night) and have a party where you can wear all the make-up you want and be as crazy and insane as you want without having to “impress” the opposite sex in a too-expensive, revealing dress, uncomfortable heels and putting on a fake act .

It's important to note that these alternatives are not meant to be “celebrations” technically. They are primarily a way to have Halal fun and to keep away from the Haram.

TIP #3: PLAN FOR ALTERNATIVES EARLY

The sooner you decide not to go to the Prom, the better. This will give you more time to plan your alternative.

If a small party in your basement is way too simple to satisfy the Prom urge, plan a really fancy one
with the works: fancy hotel, lush carpets, nice dresses, etc. Except this will be only a mother-daughter affair. Or a father-son affair.

It could be a family affair, but the sisters who wear Hijab won't get to really have fun then, like wear make-up, style their hair, etc.

You can get those older rich brothers and sisters in the community to help you out with the funding. After all, you would be doing their kids (if they have any in their teens) a favor too.

If you're living in a small community with few Muslims, planning in advance will give you the time to get in touch with a nearby Muslim community a few miles away. This way you can still spend Prom night with fellow Muslims, even if you're community is small or apathetic.

TIP #4: HOOK UP WITH THE MSAs

Muslim Students' Associations (MSAs) play a very important role.

They should be one of key institutions in the community organizing activities. And since they are made up of young people, they should be involved with organizing something for the Prom.

The advantage of hooking up with the MSAs is that you have better access to funds and spaces to hold activities.

As well, you would have the guidance of brothers and sisters who may have, in most cases if they grew up in North America, gone through the Prom experience themselves. They should be sympathetic to the idea of youth carving out a Halal alternative to Prom night.

TIP #5: HANG OUT WITH YOUR FAMILY

Yes. Hang out with your family.

It may sound strange to do this when the Prom is about being with your friends. But think about it.

For many, this could be one of the last happy occasions you have with your family before moving away to another city or state or province for college or university.

Prom night isn't just about you finishing high school.

It should also be a tribute to your parents for helping you through the experience, whether it was by taking care of your basic necessities, helping you with homework, or paying for expenses.

Use the money you were going to spend on a limo, dress/tuxedo, or tickets to the Prom and spend it on your family, just to spend time with them.

While the Prom may seem hard to beat, there are alternatives out there. It requires creativity and intelligence.

If we start to see Islam's rules about Halal and Haram as challenges instead of obstacles in our lives, we can surely find ways of having “good, clean, fun” without feeling left out or having to sacrifice our Islamic principles.

[PROM TALK: DISCUSS SOLUTIONS]

Your Comments

Zara, London - wrote on 7/13/2011 3:33:22 PM
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Comment: its so hard the temptation because i will be leaving in six months time and everyone is talking about what dress they are going to wear and hair etc and how amazing its going to be and its so hard to reply and say i cant go so i say i dont know if i go to the prom(just not to look like loser) i am a good muslima pray 5times a day fast read quran but am finding this hard about this prom subject i feel left out and scred ppl will think am a freak even though im friends and ill be left out the convo what can i do to make me stronger and resist sinning? and how i can not sweat over pearpressure and what they think ? thanks :) jaza alllah kerr.


Zara, London - wrote on 7/13/2011 3:32:57 PM
Rating: Rating

Comment: its so hard the temptation because i will be leaving in six months time and everyone is talking about what dress they are going to wear and hair etc and how amazing its going to be and its so hard to reply and say i cant go so i say i dont know if i go to the prom(just not to look like loser) i am a good muslima pray 5times a day fast read quran but am finding this hard about this prom subject i feel left out and scred ppl will think am a freak even though im friends and ill be left out the convo what can i do to make me stronger and resist sinning? and how i can not sweat over pearpressure and what they think ? thanks :) jaza alllah kerr.


Danial, Karachi,Pakistan - wrote on 5/7/2011 7:56:15 AM
Rating: Rating

Comment: I agree with all the brothers and sisters here. Prom is haram. The Prophet(P.B.U.H) forbade us to go to a place where there will be unislamic activities going on.(singing,dance etc) Dancing on disco songs with people of the opposite sex, even listening to such lovey dovey songs is totally unacceptable in Islam. Being a Muslim u have to be firm in your Iman and believe in Allah.May Allah protect us all from this evil and strengthen our Iman. Btw all of us should try to offer as much prayers as possible. it helps in keeping us close to Allah. Lastly alternatives is a good choice. U have passed the highschool and u have a right to have fun BUT under Islamic laws and principles.


Danial, Karachi,Pakistan - wrote on 5/7/2011 7:55:40 AM
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Comment: I agree with all the brothers and sisters here. Prom is haram. The Prophet(P.B.U.H) forbade us to go to a place where there will be unislamic activities going on.(singing,dance etc) Dancing on disco songs with people of the opposite sex, even listening to such lovey dovey songs is totally unacceptable in Islam. Being a Muslim u have to be firm in your Iman and believe in Allah.May Allah protect us all from this evil and strengthen our Iman. Btw all of us should try to offer as much prayers as possible. it helps in keeping us close to Allah. Lastly alternatives is a good choice. U have passed the highschool and u have a right to have fun BUT under Islamic laws and principles.


Muslimah, Minneapolis - wrote on 4/16/2011 7:56:52 PM
Rating: Rating

Comment: Sabz: the issue with the prom is not that non-Muslims are attending. The issue is that there is mixed dancing between young men and women, as well as drinking. Very often, after the school organized parties, graduates often get together at hotels to lose their virginity if they already haven't and engage in various other behaviors that are contrary to Islamic principles. There are a number of non-Muslims, both youth and parents, who oppose the prom because of this. While not all of those who attend the prom will have sex, drink or do drugs, a number of them will. In Islam, we are asked to avoid being in situations where we could be pressured to do wrong things. That is why going to the prom is not a good idea. This site offers alternatives that Muslim youth can try to celebrate their prom in a more Islamically acceptable way. I would suggest you check them out.


sabz , london - wrote on 3/23/2011 10:08:54 AM
Rating: Rating

Comment: i totally agree with, hussain and shams and rowaida (second point). prom is not forbidden in the quran, i dont understand how its haram. just because people are non muslim doesnt mean they are bad people, does it?


sabz , london - wrote on 3/23/2011 10:08:27 AM
Rating: Rating

Comment: i totally agree with, hussain and shams and rowaida (second point). prom is not forbidden in the quran, i dont understand how its haram. just because people are non muslim doesnt mean they are bad people, does it?


rowaida, - wrote on 11/4/2005 4:47:39 PM
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Comment: whether its haram or not the prom isn't everythimg in life(well maybe it is)...but maybe you could do the following 1. make your own prom...for girls in a house or rent a place...before the prom try to make some money by working a bit hard and borrowing some from your family and give in some of yours too!! alot of parents are good cooks , they could cook something up and most important a dj or just simply bring in a few good cds... 2. just go normally with full covered but dont dance or anything and enjoy yourself 3. get few friends over & do something wild...wheither your a male or female


Nunya Biz, USA - wrote on 6/19/2004 9:54:41 PM
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Comment: I think the prom is haram....many people dance nasty and perverted.....and watch others doing these acts as well. The prom also encourages the opposite sex to associate with each other making it harder for our young children to take a proper choice concearning their hormones. I do how ever like the idea of an all female party with closed doors or an all male sport frenzy...... I dont think Islam is a closed door to fun.....but an open window for learning


hussain, usa - wrote on 2/6/2004 2:40:55 AM
Rating: Rating

Comment: A lot of haram things happen amongst highschoolers long before the prom. I went to mine a few years ago and it was a good, clean time, since it was a well supervised school event. The important thing is not to get drawn into the parties later that night! Go home and get your rest or engage in some halal activities.


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