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1. I have been experiencing extreme doubts whilst performing ghusl, and would perform it a minimum of 4 times in a row, spending hours in the shower trying to make sure I do it right. I would be too concerned with touching things, making them najis then this devoid my ghusl. For example the shower walls, the shower head (its detachable so I take it off the wall when washing my body and neck during ghusl), etc. Eventually I'm satisfied. 2. But then doubts kick in later again, when im finally out and done, for example I feel some sort of movement feeling in my private part, I check to look for any discharge, there is none, not even a drop, except the moisture which is found within the urethra. I still get a tissue, put it inside to dry that moisture off. Now I am left thinking if its necessary to perform ghusl again, despite having it done it numerous times, hours and hours in the shower on the same day. Does no.2 require me to perform ghusl again? I'm too afraid to pass it off as nothing. I'm genuinely worried I'm developing OCD disorder and it's making me physically and emotionally drained, I could cry right now.. I don't know what to do, and I'm constantly trying to wash the impurities off of me, my hands even when there's nothing to wash off. Kind regards A troubled youth..
There has been a lot of talk about confessing of sins in my life experience so far. I'm not going to do that here since we aren't supposed to, but allow me to give a little background on my specific situation in regard to confession. Coming from the Christian tradition, the idea of not confessing ones' sins sounds very alien & almost as some sort of a cop-out to not have to face up to the wrong you have done. Whether it is the Catholic form of confession to a priest (either face to face or hidden behind a curtain) or the protestant scene's insistence that we confess to as many members of our local church as possible-- We who were raised in Christianity had the idea of confession pounded into our heads like a post into dry, hard earth since at least the earliest we can remember. Our every moral failing, character flaw, and vice must be shared with the wider Christian community for the purposes of "accountability"-- the idea being that by talking about our sins, we will feel shame and not commit them anymore (Catholic) & that confessing these negative thoughts/behaviors can help other Christians to encourage us in our spiritual journey. Normally, this doesn't work out this way and you as the individual Christian become the object of gossip in your congregation... which we understand to be sinful in and of itself. The idea of "covering up" your sins is treated as if you were voluntarily refusing to use the toilet to eliminate waste from your body. While I do see some value in confessing sins, I do not now and have never seen much value in confessing them to more than your parish priest/congregational pastor & any parties who might have been directly wronged by your actions; and certainly see no benefit to confessing to the entire church. People have their own vices, failings, and flaws; thus they usually aren't in a great position to counsel others on modifying their behavior and perfecting their spiritual practice. Of course, this has been argued to me by many a well-meaning church lady as "Think of it that you aren't confessing for your own benefit, but for the benefit of others who have their own sins that they need to repent of, but feel too much fear of judgment to do so". As referenced above, this normally doesn't work out in that way. My general rule now is that if you absolutely must "come clean" about sins, that the better practice would be to confess this to your spiritual mentor/religious leader (ideally one you have a close relationship with). Initially, I had assumed that this Christian practice of reconciliation would also apply to Islam, so at the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I will "confess" that I have done this prior to being clued-in as to why Islam doesn't have a reconciliation ritual practice. However, the logic was something that took me a little while to make sense of, as it has to do with "honor culture". "Honor culture" is something that we do not really have as American cultural Christians. Bearing that in mind and my continuing to work through the Christian dogma of original sin, I have to remind myself frequently on SC to NOT approach others as an "open book". Think of it in the same way as oversharing on social media: not everyone needs to (or even wants to) know about my sins & failures. This is not for my benefit, as I do not have a concept of "honor" aside from keeping my word to others (we are taught that the actions of others have no bearing on us as individuals). I have chosen to modify the Christian motivation of "responsibility to the church" that would encourage confession, to a view that does NOT encourage it for the sake of sparing others discomfort-- to not break a taboo that may make my brothers and sisters feel awkward or "put them on the spot" with a false, pharisaic piety that may make them feel lead to open up about shameful things from their own life, as well as not propagating the concept that "sin is OK provided you confess publicly". I am a guest here and I am no longer among my own culture, after all. To borrow a term from the Gospels, I don't want to place a "stumbling block" in the path of my brothers and sisters. It's much better to not speak of my sins to anyone aside from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) , as he is the ONLY one who can forgive our sins. I'll admit that having to completely relearn everything I was so certain of in regard to faith & spirituality can, like any training or exercising of mind or muscle, be uncomfortable at the outset. However, we take these journeys and diverge from the walk of our native culture and our parents because the peace that comes with finding truth wherever it objectively lies is greater than providing ourselves a momentary balm for our troubled souls that something that is not necessarily beneficial can bring (like using a substance when we are emotionally hurting). Insha'allah, this week and from here on, I will work extra hard to remain mindful and not overshare, offer forth Too Much Information, and thus protect both my honor and that of my brothers and sisters who have lived this deen from birth or at least prior to my pursuit of universal truth & perfect submission to my awesome and all-powerful creator.
As-salamunalaikum, I was wondering what people think about the moral traits, behaviour, akhlaq, of a person (male and female) towards other people in general life, IN THIS GENERATION. How do you think one should be with other people (Muslim and non-Muslim)? What moral traits and characteristics do you think are a MUST in this generation towards other people, and why? What kind of a person are you when you are alone, and what kind of a person are you when you are around other people? If there is a difference, then why is that so? How do you react when people judge you based on your traits? What traits and lessons have you adopted from the teachings of Islam and the Ahlulbayt? What do you do when you see someone constantly scared from judgement from others? How would you help them? How would you help a depressed person? - OR - How do you deal with your own depression? How do you deal with anxiety and nervousness? Especially, when around other people? What keeps you grounded to your roots? What is your idea of tawakkul? What is your idea of a happy and satisfying life? What are things that give you happiness? What satisfies you? What advice would you give to your fellow people about these traits and life in general? I'm really hoping to get some answers for these questions, since I think they'll be beneficial for others as much as for me. So kindly try your best to answer at least a few or all of them, if possible. Jazakallah Khair Wa-assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullah
Extended Adolescence: When 25 Is the New 18 It is a common grumble that children grow up too fast. No more. Teens are in no hurry to embrace the putative joys of adulthood By Bret Stetka on September 19, 2017 Especially now, with society’s deepest depravities freely available online, youngsters seem to grow up quickly: barreling toward adulthood, iPhone in hand, while they Snap Chat racy photos along the way. But new research suggests otherwise. An analysis by researchers at San Diego State University and Bryn Mawr College reports that today’s teenagers are less likely to engage in adult activities like having sex and drinking alcohol than teens from older generations. ADVERTISEMENT The review, published today in the journal Child Development, looked at data from seven national surveys conducted between 1976 and 2016, including those issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Together, the surveys included over eight million 13- to 19-year-olds from varying racial, economic and regional backgrounds. Participants were asked a variety of questions about how the they spent their time outside of school and responses were tracked over time. Beyond just a drop in alcohol use and sexual activity, the study authors found that since around 2000, teens have become considerably less likely to drive, have an after-school job and date. By the early 2010s, it also appeared that 12th graders were going out far less frequently than 8th graders did in the 1990s. In 1991 54 percent of high schoolers reported having had sex at least once; in 2015 the number was down to 41 percent. What’s more, the decline in adult activity was consistent across all populations, and not influenced by race, gender or location. “I’ve seen so many articles in which experts said they didn’t know why the teen pregnancy rate was going down or opining that teens were behaving in a more virtuous way…or that they were lazy because fewer were working,” recalls Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State and the lead author on the study. “Our results show that it’s probably not that today’s teens are more virtuous, or more lazy—it’s just that they’re less likely to do adult things.” She adds that in terms of adult behaviors, 18-year-olds now look like 15-year-olds of the past. Twenge and her co-author, Heejung Park, assistant professor of psychology at Bryn Mawr College, initially thought the findings meant teens today are doing more homework or engaged in more extracurricular activities. Yet their data suggest the frequency of these activities has been stable for years, if not on a slight decline. The fact teens (not unlike many adults) are glued to their computers and smartphones for much of the day may have contributed to the results the authors suggest. Perhaps their socializing and more salacious interests have simply gone digital via texting, sexting and online pornography. (Today’s teens watch more porn than their predecessors.) Yet virtual vice isn’t the whole story because the dip in adult activities began before internet usage became common. The more likely explanation for this new extended adolescence its relationship to affluence. The analysis found adolescents were more likely to take part in adult activities if they came from larger families or those with lower incomes. This mirrors so-called “life history theory,” the idea exposure to an unpredictable, impoverished environment as a kid leads to faster development whereas children who grow up in a stable environment with more resources tend to have a slower developmental course. ADVERTISEMENT In families with means there is often more anticipation of years of schooling and career before one necessarily has to “grow up”—there’s plenty of time for that later. As Twenge and Park conclude, despite growing income disparities, a significant percentage of the U.S. population has on average become more affluent over the past few decades and are living longer. As a result, people are waiting longer to get married and have children. We’re also seeing a higher parental investment in fewer children—or, in the parlance of our times, more “helicopter parenting.” This concept of extended adolescence is not new. It was first made famous by psychologist Erik Erikson, who in his theory on the different stages of human development termed this stage a “psychosocial moratorium.” Yet many child psychologists believe today’s children seem to be idling in this hiatus period more so than ever before. “I'm keenly aware of the shift, as I often see adolescents presenting with some of the same complaints as college graduates,” says Columbia University psychologist Mirjana Domakonda, who was not involved in the new study. “Twenty-five is the new 18, and delayed adolescence is no longer a theory, but a reality. In some ways, we’re all in a ‘psychosocial moratorium,’ experimenting with a society where swipes constitute dating and likes are the equivalent of conversation.” Some experts caution against reading too much into the new findings, because asking a bunch of teenagers to accurately recount their behavior has its obvious statistical flaws. “The new work highlights how vital it is to do careful, methodologically rigorous research,” says Robert Findling, director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medicine who also did not take part in the new research. “Working from impressions, opinions or individual experiences can lead to spurious conclusions.” But presuming some degree of truth to the new findings, what might postponing adulthood mean for society? Are we headed toward a culture of helpless, coddled teenagers unwilling to work? Or given that we’re living so much longer than past generations, maybe there’s nothing wrong with a few extra years of innocence? Twenge sees both upsides and downsides: “It's great to protect young teens, but parents should realize that older teens need some experience with independence before they go to college or start working.” Domakonda adds that although parents can play a role in indulging extended youth, they are not the root cause. “Most are responding to their own anxieties about the new norm,” she says. “They recognize that now, in order for their children to succeed, they can’t simply get a job at the local factory, but may be faced with 10-plus years of postgraduate education and crippling student debt.” ADVERTISEMENT She feels that instead of pushing young adults to mature faster, we should embrace the cultural shift and develop ways to both meet the psychological needs of modern teens while also setting them up for future success. Domakonda suggests one such strategy might be expanding mental health services for adolescents, particularly because 75 percent of major mental illnesses emerge by the mid-20s. She also feels we should stop arbitrarily defining 18 as the age of adulthood and recognize that psychosocial development occurs differently in different people. “Researchers need to recognize that emerging adults are a unique developmental cohort and stop lumping them in the 18- to 65-year-old category for studies of adults,” she says. “That will help us learn about their specific needs so we may develop targeted prevention and treatment strategies [for mental illness] Time will tell how extended adolescence influences American culture and character. But in the words of basketball legend Charles Barkley, there is one clear upside: “Kids are great. It’s a shame they have to grow up to be regular people and come to the games and call you names.” Rights & Permissions ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S) Bret Stetka Bret Stetka is a writer based in New York City and an editorial director at Medscape (a subsidiary of WebMD). His work has appeared in Wired, NPR and the Atlantic. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2005.
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