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How can Muslim youth transform society?

Eman Sakina

The image of youth in Islam is very dynamic, positive, and active. Prophets Ibrahim, his son Isma`il, Yusuf, Yahya, Maryam, the Ashab Al-Kahf or the People of the Cave (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them) were great examples of youths mentioned in the Quran.

The Quran also tells us the story of the Ashab Al-Kahf, the People of the Cave, they were not Prophets or Messengers, but they were righteous youths. They believed in their Lord. They refused the pressure of evil rulers who wanted to turn them away from the path of righteousness.

Allah says about them: We relate to you their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance. We gave strength to their hearts: behold, they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than Him: if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity!  (Al-Kahf 18:13-14)

In Islam, youth present the image of faith, purity of life, courage, sincerity, courtesy, kindness, bravery, and altruism.

Upon establishing ourselves as individuals, we can then direct our attention toward making an impact on the community around us. Islam greatly emphasizes social responsibility for those around us. We often think that merely by praying and fasting we will earn God’s pleasure, when frequently it is our actions towards others that hold more value.

Young Muslims can support Islam by offering their time, talent, and money. They should seek to make Islam the dominant religion over all other ways of life and should play a significant role in bringing about beneficial social change. When a person is young, they should learn all they can about Islam and use the time and abilities that Allah has given them wisely.

Every journey does start with a single step, but if those early steps are taken in the incorrect direction, the rest of our lives will follow that road, making it very difficult to find the proper way. Some young people believe that now is the time to have fun and that once they graduate from college they will get back on the correct track, but they are unaware of how difficult it will be to get back on the right road.

Prophet Muhammad has listed seven kinds of people who will be sheltered under the shade of God on the Day of Judgment. They are:

1. A just ruler

2. A young man who passed his youth in the worship and service of God

3. One whose heart is attached to the mosque

4. Two people who love each other for the sake of God

5. A man who is invited to sin but declines, saying ‘I fear God

6. One who spends his charity in secret, without making a show, and

7. One who remembers God in solitude so that his eyes overflow with tears.

(Source: Riyadh-us-Saliheen, Hadith 376)

From this hadith we can easily understand the importance given to youth by Prophet Muhammad. This is the stage when Satan easily gains control over the person and leads him to the wrong path. So, in this stage, the person should be over-consciousof the various activities done by him. We just must give Satan an inch and he will rule over us.

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib said: “There are two things which people do not recognize the greatness of until they lose them: their youth and good health.”

This is the age where we do not have complete control over our desires and we get attracted and addicted to things that are disliked and prohibited in Islam. It might give us material pleasure for some time but they are harmful in the hereafter. Today’s youth should be the “Youth with a mission” – a mission to contribute to Islam. Youth can contribute to Islam by giving their time, talent, and money. Youth should also play an important role to bring about a drastic change in society.

The youth should work with the objective of making Islam prevalent over all the other ways of life. The youth is the stage of life when the individual should grasp good knowledge about Islam and make effective utilization of the time and talent given by Allah.

Muslim youth will be the next generation of Islamic leaders, so it is crucial that they receive a correct understanding of Islam from the Qur’an and the reliable Sunnah, as well as an understanding of the true meaning of life.

The formative years of our lives are when we either succeed or fail. May Allah guide Muslim youngsters to total adherence to Islam.

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