Friday, May 27, 2011

The importance of Youth in Islam

The current world is full of crisis and one can not but comtemplate the current situation and search for potential solutions. Looking at world around us, we notice how young people are changing their lives and changing the life of others. Revolutions in the Middle East started with ambitious young men and women who decided to stand up for freedom and dignity. Many youth in the west come up with innovative solutions that are changing the whole civilization. You can look at the google guys and the facebook guy and in addition to others.

What motivated me to speak about the issue of youth today is not only this but also the authentic hadeeth of our prophet (SA) In a Hadith, the Messenger of Allah لا تزول قدم عبد يوم القيامة حتى يسأل عن أربع ..... ـــ ذكر منها ــــ وعن شبابه فيما أبلاه ..) Out of these four questions, one question asked will be regarding how one spent his time as a youth.

In another Hadith, the Messenger of Allah
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : " سبعة يظلهم الله في ظله يوم لا ظل إلا ظله ، إمام عادل وشاب نشأ في عبادة الله ، ورجل قلبه معلق بالمساجد ، ورجلان تحابا في الله اجتمعا عليه وتفرقا عليه ، ورجل دعته امرأة ذات منصب وجمال فقال إني أخاف الله . ورجل تصدق بصدقة فأخفاها حتى لا تعلم شماله ما تنفق يمينه ، ورجل ذكر الله خالياً ففاضت عيناه " متفق عليه
It is stated in Bukhari that on the Day of Judgement there will be no shade except for Allah's shade. And from amongst these groups, one group will be those youth who spent their youth in the worship of Allah.

The prophet (SA) allcoates so much importance to this period because the period of youth is a time when a person goes through many changes and experiences; he undergoes and partake many new things which he has never experienced before. The youth begins to feel as though he has control over the whole world, and that he can do whatever he wishes. His desires are increasing day by day becoming attached to the opposite sex, he enjoys lustfully gazing and flirting with them..

This age period is a golden opportunity for the muslim and muslimah and a lot of us do not recognize its importance until it is gone. Unfortunately, lost days do not come back again.
The prophet (SA) was always looking forward for the energetic youth who are the pioneers of change and constructive move.
The prophet (SA) was always talking about the youth who are the source of energy and the leaders of civilization and the builders of the state.
The prophet (SA) was raising brave young men who deffend the religion, sacrifice for Islam and spend their richest hours in the path of Allah.

For all of these reasons, Islam needed capable men who are on the path of Ibrahim (SA). Ibrahim was a nation by himself (إن إبراهيم كان أمة). As a teenager he stand up against all his tribe and told them that they are worshipping idols that can not speak or eat.

{51} وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ رُشْدَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا بِهِ عَالِمِينَ  {52} إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا هَذِهِ التَّمَاثِيلُ الَّتِي أَنْتُمْ لَهَا عَاكِفُونَ {53} قَالُوا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءَنَا لَهَا عَابِدِينَ {54} قَالَ لَقَدْ كُنْتُمْ أَنْتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ {55} قَالُوا أَجِئْتَنَا بِالْحَقِّ أَمْ أَنْتَ مِنَ اللَّاعِبِينَ {56} قَالَ بَل رَبُّكُمْ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الَّذِي فَطَرَهُنَّ وَأَنَا عَلَى ذَلِكُمْ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ {57} وَتَاللَّهِ لَأَكِيدَنَّ أَصْنَامَكُمْ بَعْدَ أَنْ تُوَلُّوا مُدْبِرِينَ {58} فَجَعَلَهُمْ جُذَاذًا إِلَّا كَبِيرًا لَهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ يَرْجِعُونَ {59} قَالُوا مَنْ فَعَلَ هَذَا بِآلِهَتِنَا إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ {60} قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا فَتًى يَذْكُرُهُمْ يُقَالُ لَهُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ
{61} قَالُوا فَأْتُوا بِهِ عَلَى أَعْيُنِ النَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْهَدُونَ {62} قَالُوا أَأَنْتَ فَعَلْتَ هَذَا بِآلِهَتِنَا يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ {63} قَالَ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَذَا فَاسْأَلُوهُمْ إِنْ كَانُوا يَنْطِقُونَ {64} فَرَجَعُوا إِلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ فَقَالُوا إِنَّكُمْ أَنْتُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
{65} ثُمَّ نُكِسُوا عَلَى رُءُوسِهِمْ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا هَؤُلَاءِ يَنْطِقُونَ {66} قَالَ أَفَتَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنْفَعُكُمْ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَضُرُّكُمْ {67} أُفٍّ لَكُمْ وَلِمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ {68} قَالُوا حَرِّقُوهُ وَانْصُرُوا آلِهَتَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ فَاعِلِينَ {69} قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ

We bestowed aforetime on Ibrahim his rectitude of conduct, and well were We acquainted with him. Behold! he said to his father and his people, "What are these images, to which ye are (so assiduously) devoted?" They said, "We found our fathers worshipping them." He said, "Indeed ye have been in manifest error - ye and your fathers." They said, "Have you brought us the Truth, or are you one of those who jest?" "And by Allah, I have a plan for your idols - after ye go away and turn your backs".. So he broke them to pieces (all) but the biggest of them, that they might turn (and address themselves) to it. They said, "Who has done this to our gods? He must indeed be some man of impiety!" They said, "We heard a youth talk of them: he is called Ibrahim." They said, "Then bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may bear witness." They said, "Art thou the one that did this with our gods, O Ibrahim?" So they turned to themselves and said, "Surely ye are the ones in the wrong!" Then were they confounded with shame: (they said) "Thou knowest full well that these (idols) do not speak!" (Ibrahim) said, "Do ye then worship, besides Allah, things that can neither be of any good to you nor do you harm? "Fie upon you, and upon the things that ye worship besides Allah! Have ye no sense?"... They said, "Burn him and protect your gods, if ye do (anything at all)!" We said, "O Fire! be thou cool. and (a means of) safety for Ibrahim!"

This is how Allah tried Ibrahim and he succeed and changed the history of humanity. This simple young man was the father of all the messengers. He has a strong vision and a keen inclination to look for guidance.

We need such youth who have extremely high ambition and who refuse anything but the fore front. Leaders are born to change and trained to be consistent.

Our ummah needs youth whose hearts are attached to Allah, who follow our beloved prophet footsteps and who seek the best of knowledge they can in order to acquire all potential strengths that our ummah needs.

However, the major question is how to acquire this power? There are several steps in fact to build the real islamic personality. I will mention few of the first substantial steps:

First of all. My dear brothers and sisters. We have to go back to Allah and repent from all our previous mistake and sins. There is no sinless human. However, Allah loves those who repent after every sin they commit. There is no way for success without repentance.
This is the time now. Go back to Allah and prepare yourself for the achivements.  عسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُكَفِّرَ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ.... الآية " .

Second, we have to follow the steps of our beloved prophet (SA). Where is his love in our hearts? Are we able to identify his love out of all the lust we have in our hearts? Should not we love him the most? Isn’t he the one who has lead us to all goods and warned us against all evils? Isn’t he the granted blessings for us and the eternal guidance?  
We should admit that we are forgetting a lot of his traditions and we are not learning all what he wanted us to learn.
يا مدعي حب طه لا تخالفه ...... الخُلفُ يحرم في دين المحبينا
أراك تأخذ شيئاً من شريعته ...... وتترك البعض تدويناً وتهوينا
خذها جميعاً تجد خيراً تفز به ..... أو فاطّرحها وخذ رجس الشياطينا
In order to learn, we have to read. We are the ummah of Iqra. This religion stared with a command to read by the illeterate prohphet (SA). This knowledge is the best source of power in this ear of knowledge based power and knowledge based economy.

Third, we have to read the biographies of the great men of Islam to learn from their experiences and how they used their youth and limited years to reach those high degrees. They have spent their lives in the path of Allah who has granted them their hours and days. They have taken care of their times to read the Quran, learh the hadeeth, attend the knowledge circles and follow the pious men.
I can name thousands of bright engraved names even millions. However, we need the legacy and not the numbers. Ali bin Abi Taleb (RA) was the youngest to convert to Islam yet he became one of the most prominent leaders of this nation. Mo3az bin Jabal is the most knowledgeable of this nation in halal and haram. He will lead all the scholars on the day of judgement and he was the first ambassador of Isalm. Yet he died at 32 years old only? Al-Imam Al-Safi3i was able to memorize the whole Quran at his seventh year only. He started making the fatwa at his late teen years.  Where are we from those great ancestors? Those are the ones who have built the pride of this Umman.

Fourth, we have to remmeber the bounties of Allah. He is the one who has granted us the time, the health and the energy. He has granted us the mind and the intellect. He is the one who has given us from his unlimited resources. At this period of our age we can do a lot. Our memory is at the peak and our patience is very high. Now iti s the time of making the nawafil and the extra worshipping. Now is the time of getting up at night to ask Allah forgiveness and show our gratitude for our Lord. Now it is the time of training our souls to give without worrying about the future. In the years to come, we might not be able to fast other than Ramadan. We might be able to stand up to pray or to make soujoud. In the years to come, we might have the patience to read a book or learn something new. This is the time to excel in worshipping and hastening in the path of goods.
If you do not do it now, then when?
Fifth, be aware of the devil games and how he uses our lusts to drive us away of the paradise path. At this period, our lusts are at the max and we have to pay extra efforts to lower our gaze and protect our soul from committing the sins. A young man can be a role model for others by abstaining from all wicked deeds. A young woman can be a great guidance for all others to follow by respecting the order of Allah so she can be the best within her environment.

Last but not least, Use your spare time or previous time to help your brothers and sisters all across the world. Give them your time, your money, your dou3a2 and your commitment. A sincere simple prayer at the last third of the night is much stronger than anything we can give. Our brothers are suffering in several areas around the world. Now we have added Syria and Libya to the classical list of unfortunate countries. They are suffering the oppression and the injustices and they need the freedom that we enjoy. Please try your best to help them and feel with them. At least, let us make a sincere intention to help them when we can.

My dear brothers and sisters. Please realize your value and recognize the importance of your contribution for the future of the Ummah. You should know that your parents and your nation are waiting for you. Do not let them down.

May Allah guide and protect us all on the day of judgement when nothing can help except a sound heart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mashallah very emotional topic, I really liked it and inshaAllah would implement those nice advices on my self...wasalam Hamid-Afghanistan