The Scout is Reverent

Islam is not a religion that you can practice only inside the Masjid or at home, to be able to practice Islam, and not just part of it, you need to go out. What is my proof? It is from the Quran: { Say, [O Muhammad], “Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah , over all things, is competent.” } – Ankabūt:20

A photo from one of our hikes “Ramadan Moon Sighting – Stone Mountain – 2015”

In Boy Scouts, learning about the compass, looking into the sky can be more than just a way to know directions or to earn a badge, it can open the boy’s eyes wide on how beautiful our world is and how Allah created everything perfectly, “It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out its (their) stages, that you might know the number of years and the reckoning. Allah did not create this but in truth. He explains the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail for people who have knowledge.” – Yunus:5

Personally, I feel the meaning of “Subhan Allah” or “Glory (be) to God” in our outings in the mountains or beside a running river or while watching a bird, a deer or a bear – Yes in one of our camps we saw a mommy bear with her cubs that appeared to make sure we were having fun!

The Boy Scout program puts emphasis on religion, starting from the Scout Oath to the Scout Law which is reflected clearly in the scouting program for the boy to advance from a rank to another. The spiritual growth in the child’s development is key in the scouting program. And this is another reason why you should join or send your child to scouting. Scouting is the perfect environment to reach out to non-Muslims and create a lifelong friendship where respecting and appreciating each other’s religion is a must.

In one of my training courses and during one of the interfaith activities, I was handed a flyer that mentioned something in common in different religions: The Golden Rule

  • Buddhism: Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
  • Christianity: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law and the prophets.
  • Hinduism: This is the sum of duty (Dharma): do not to others what would cause pain if done to you.
  • Islam: Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
  • Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah: all the rest is commentary.
  • Sikh Faith: I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.

Here they are not trying to say that all religions are identical, but to practically show how to love for your brother scout what you love for yourself by showing something in common and equal between us all.

In another camp, during the camp fire program, a game was played where a verse from the Torah, Bible or Quran was mentioned and the audience had to guess from which Holy Book this verse was from. It was amazing how most of the audience were not able to figure out the source of the verse. As Muslims we believe that the three books are from the same source, Allah, and this little game just proved that to everyone without a single word to this fact.

Another thing I want to mention is that, as a Muslim, I always find full accommodations whenever I go to scouting activities organized by non-Muslims which is very generous of them, starting from preparing special meals for us as individuals or as a group, these special meals can be vegetarian, fish or even Zabeha. Moreover, they try to put breaks or extend their lengths to match our prayer times based on our preferences. We mostly pray Fajr before the start of any morning activities, Zuhur and Asr together in the middle of the day, and Maghrib and Isha together before we go to sleep, so I don’t think it is hard to accommodate but still highly appreciated.

If you want your child to develop spiritually in a diverse and safe environment to learn how to understand others and get himself understood, guide him to your nearest Cub Scout or Boy Scout unit. If this unit is chartered by a church, a masjid, or any other faith based organization, ask the unit leaders to do joint activities with other units that have boys from different faiths. “O mankind, WE have created you from a male and a female; And WE have made you tribes and sub-tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware” – Al-Hujraat:13

My son from Pack 12 in the middle between boys from another pack in one of the joint campouts

Ask your unit leader when the first outing to the mountains or the nature center is, join it, and remind yourself of this verse:

“Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” – Ali Imran:191

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About Osama Mourad: Started scouting as a Cub Scout at The Holy Family School in Egypt in the 5th grade, stayed in scouting until he became the Assistant Crew Leader. Now, the father of 2 Cub Scouts, he is a Cubmaster for Pack 12 and the Advancements Coordinator for Troop 12, he is also Assistant Den Leader of pack 135 in the Roswell area.