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June 12, 2004
Interview With Kareem

by Justoju

Question: How long have you been Muslim?
Answer: I have been Muslim my entire life. I am a 15-year-old boy straight out the ghettoes of Paramus, son!

Question: How do you feel about being Muslim?
Answer: I feel great! I feel like I got good connections with God. But also I feel harassed because of 9/11 and those damn corrupt Moslems who blew up the towers.

Question: Have you read the Quran?
Answer: You are correct. I have read it once, entirely when… (Yells out “DAD! How old was I when I finished the Quran?” Dad answers “you were 9”) …You are correct. I was 9.

Question: Have you read it in English?
Answer: No, and I understood absolutely nothing that I had been saying.

Question: What does the Quran mean to you?
Answer: It is a Holy Book that is guidance for my life.

Question: Do you believe that it is unchanged?
Answer: Yes. You are correct. I believe it was passed down to the Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Jibreel and then was written down in a book called the Quran.

Question: If the Holy Quran is the guidance for your life, then HOW do you get guidance from it?
Answer: It tells me the daily rules that I should follow. You know things like uhhhhh prayers and uhhhh family respect and how I should treat myself well and live a balanced life.

Question: But you said that you don’t understand a word of it?
Answer: But, even though I didn’t understand a word of it, I have still been taught by my father who has told me what most of those things mean. So I got a basic understanding of what it all means.

Question: Do you pray?
Answer: Actually I pray about three times a month.

Question: Why?
Answer: Because I have a lot to do.

Question: Like what?
Answer: School, hanging with friends, and sports.

Question: What do you believe a god is?
Answer: I believe that God is a deity that grants some wishes, created everything, and builds you some homes in Heaven. Ya know, your number one homie. He’s everything. He’s like your homie G.

Question: What do you believe God demands from you? Why did He create you?
Answer: He wants total obedience. He wants us to be good people in heart and not fight and cause war and mayhem throughout the world. Complete peace. I don’t know why he created me but I do believe that he wants me to make a difference in the lives of those around me.

Question: Does He want obedience from you?
Answer: Yes.

Question: What do you think Allah means when He tells us not to take any false gods?
Answer: He means not to obey any other thing or person other than Him.

Question: What is the biggest sin in Islam?
Answer: I have no idea

Question: Its shirk, or taking on false gods. What do you think a false god might be in your life?
Answer: A false god might be animals or idols or maybe even people.

Question: Is there anything that you obey more than Allah?
Answer: No

Question: Then why don’t you pray?
Answer: Because most of the time that I have to pray it’s because I am forced to and I don’t like to do things when I am forced, I like to do them from my heart.

Question: You know that in Islam, a false god is ANYTHING that you give more importance to than Allah’s rules and ANYTHING that prevents you from following them. How do you feel about that?
Answer: I feel that there should be none of that around. I don’t like them and I hope that I will not fall into that path.

Question: You mentioned before that school, hanging out with friends, and sports prevent you from praying? Are they your false gods?
Answer: No they are not.

Question: Explain how they aren’t?
Answer: (holds his head in his hands and thinks) Because while I am in school I have no chance to pray. Then right after school I have to go for sports which last until around 6:30 and when I get home I am pooped and can’t do anything.

Question: But you said you only pray 3 times a month. Even if you only prayed your Fajr, Maghrib, and Isha, you would still be getting in around 90 prayers a month. So explain that?
Answer: Can we leave this part out of the interview? (Gets a no) No time for anything.

Question: So you are saying that the things that occupy your time take up ALL of your time and keep you from following the command of your Master?
Answer: (Snaps fingers) You are correct.

Question: So would you say that is false idolization?
Answer: (snaps fingers) once again, that is incorrect

Question: But according to your OWN definition of what false idolization is, wouldn’t you think you have false idols in your life that are the root cause behind your disobedience?
Answer: (Throws hands up in the air) OHHH now I get what the point of this is! You are trying to make people feel bad and realize that what they are doing is wrong! And follow the correct path which they might think they are following, like me, but really aren’t!

Question: You didn’t answer my question.
Answer: Yes, now I believe that I do.

Question: What is the biggest sin in Islam that Allah doesn’t forgive?
Answer: False idolization. OK, forget this, I am getting frustrated, making me feel bad. Talk about something else.

Question: Ok, so how do you feel about hadith? Why?
Answer: I feel they are not that important because how could we have kept track of something from so long ago.

Question: Because people wrote them down right away and hadith analysis is one of the biggest faculties of the Islamic sciences. We methodically verified every hadith that is considered “sahih” and can rest assured that it is authentic. To deny them would be to take you out of Islam. How do you feel about this?
Answer: I believe that I need to read up on them and do research.

Question: Hey, it’s getting late son, what time it be?
Answer: I don’t know but my head hurts. Time to reeeelaxxx…

Kareem then stops talking to himself, tells himself he will pray tomorrow, and goes to his room to watch his fresh DVD of the last Lord of the Rings…

of and relating to...
Wajahat Gilani said

that was hilarious

on June 12, 2004 7:13 PM
Justoju said

This is what happens when I am sleep-deprived at an attempted vacation in the Poconos, have 30 minutes to write an article, and allow myself to listen to someone whose chief purpose in life is to drive me insane.

My apologies to Hidaya. Just skip this and go read "Wedding at Wayne Manor" again...

on June 13, 2004 12:22 AM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

As Salaamu Alaikum

Actually it was quite an unusual and interesting piece-a critical look into the mind of an ordinary muslim kid.Funny but quite sad though-mAy ALLAH make us all TRUE muslims.Ameen.

Was Salaam

on June 13, 2004 5:20 AM
Saima said

i know someone who gave these type of answers.

brilliant justoju :) MashaAllah

on June 14, 2004 1:30 AM
ayan said

yooo you got that 15 year old good!

on June 14, 2004 1:50 PM
Moe said

At least the kid does attempt to pray at some times during the month, which I suspect are on Fridays. Heck, I know Muslim adults that only pray on Friday and many others who dont pray at all. I asked one of them why he doesnt pray and he said, "Well, Im tow up. I just hope Allah forgives me." So I give Kareem some credit. Once this kid turns 18 or 19, I think he will leave this semi-jahillia period and become a better Muslim. I think you broadened his horizons. Good job Justoju.

on June 15, 2004 4:17 PM
Jannah said

"Once this kid turns 18 or 19, I think he will leave this semi-jahillia period and become a better Muslim."

OR he can get totally caught up in the dunya, go off to college or start working and becoming even 'busier'.

It can go both ways...its really scary how easily we can lose a whole generation, its happened before. What makes us think it won't happen with todays youth?

on June 17, 2004 12:43 PM
Justoju said

The generations that exist within periods of transition are the most susceptible to extremes. In a search for identification and clarity, they tend to either become very religious (mashaAllah), or very unreligious (aoodhobillah). But there is always a stratification that undeniably occurs which leaves very few people in between, straddling both sides.

on June 17, 2004 2:09 PM
ms.b said

that was really great...think it makes a lot of teens think about where they're at...

on October 10, 2005 2:35 PM
Amatullah said

At least there's 1 good thing about these spammers! I wouldn't have read this article otherwise....

great job, sums up the topsy-turvy ,insensible mentality most of us youth have today about Islam and our lives...Islam hasn't become a way of life for most. This increases the trauma in the identity-crisis stage of teenage years ( in fact if only we make Islam our way of life I believe the teenage years will not be fraught with so much of heartache and confusion - things would become much simpler for the Muslim youth)

Nowadays sadly we follow the 'religion' of the West whose motto is ' if you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space'...We forget that Allah is watching and that the Day of Reckoning awaits and blindly follow our base desires...may Allah save the youth from falling into the pit of the dunya.May He bring us out of darkness and into light.Ameen

on February 2, 2006 11:07 AM
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