All my friends are non-Muslim, so I feel awkward having to leave them to pray when I am hanging out with them and I often miss prayers. They ask me questions about Islam and I don’t know how to answer. How do I respond to them?

Thank you for your question! Many young Muslims face similar issues, as many of our neighbours, work colleagues and classmates do not share our faith. While we are encouraged to contribute socially and learn through cultural exchange, it should not be to the detriment of your faith. The ritual of prayer can be a test at certain stages of our lives but its important to keep in mind it is for our benefit. Perhaps re-consider the times you schedule your hang-outs or ask your friends to join you and sit nearby as you offer your prayers. The fact that they are asking questions is a sign that they really care about you and seek to understand one of the most beautiful aspects of our faith. If you’re not sure how to respond to questions being asked; do some investigating, ask an expert or visit your local library, if you feel the urge to google please consult a secondary authentic source of information. In a pinch, our operating hours are Monday-Friday 6:00-9:00 pm, give us a call or reach out to our counsellors by email. Allah is giving you an opportunity with your friends, make the most of it inshaAllah !