By Fadia Bint Ismail
The Youth of the backbone of every community and the future rests with the youth. If we look back at the history of Islam and Muslims we see many panorama events. Many of these make us feel happy, but in today’s time many events sadden us and if we look at what our community is built on, it is our Youth who are shaping our community and it is our Youth that are the future leaders, fathers and mothers and that is why it is important to focus on what exactly the challenges are that they are facing in today’s time. This way Inshallah we can better ourselves and make our communities and this world a better place.
The first challenge is our Islamic identity. Our communities start with certain values that have been built up through the generations. From these values emerge certain norms, then follow certain principals and then emerge certain laws and finally under these laws emerge definite rules, regulations and practices. There are different institutions within our communities that serve these purposes and our youth fail to comprehend and fail to understand what these institutes represent. The reason for this is that our youth have forgotten what values are. In light of this i need to mention today’s youth are so confused that they have built up new ideologies where Islam is concerned, this is very disturbing because what happens to the history of the past that have been built through the ages. Simple example perhaps previous generations have done certain Islamic duties, like Moulood and Thikr a certain way and it worked very well but today the new youth and their new ideologies have opposed those very values and Islamic duties and it has left doubt in the minds of many. It is because of their inability to comprehend that they are facing such problems.
Mankind is supposed to become progressive and not backward.
Allah (SWT) said in the Quran: “You are the best ideological group established for the service of mankind and your functions are to common the establishment of all that which is good in the entire humanity and to eradicate every type of evil and to have firm belief in Allah Almighty” (S3 V110)
Although the youth of facing challenges we should also try to figure out where it stems from. This is where the older generation have fallen short because if they could have ensured that the youth were well informed of Islam from before they could enter the stage of being youth then perhaps critical questions about the youth could have been avoided today. First and foremost Shahadah is very important. First principal is absolute truthfulness in thought, word and deed the second principal is absolute trustworthiness. A person who is not truthful and not trustworthy, what relationship can his heart have with Allah. The Youth today are living in their own imaginations where they are unable to recognize themselves and their obligations and their Islamic identity.
The second challenge is peer pressure. We must remember positive peer pressure is the influence of good Muslim friends who help us strengthen our Emaan and protect us from committing sins. Then there is negative peer pressure which aid in destroying our Emaan.
A Muslim’s Emaan is strong as long as he seeks the pleasure of Allah in everything he does.
Dealing with peer pressure is not easy, that is why you need to sit and reflect on the people you have surrounded yourself with, and do you feel uncomfortable because of their habits? Their character? What is the level of influence they have upon you? The preservation of your Emaan should guide your choice of friends.
You should also keep in mind that if you don’t give into peer pressure it doesn’t mean your life is boring. Study the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW), learn what behaviour is pleasing to Allah and what is discouraged in Islam. Arm yourself with the knowledge of Islam and Inshallah you will not fall prey to peer pressure. It is only through knowledge that you will be able to fully understand Islam and through righteous and pious peers will you be able to strengthen your Emaan.
The obligation of the Youth is much greater than those who have already passed the age of youth. The youth are the leaders of tomorrow. The only way you as youth can be effective and succeed in anything you do is to follow and study the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of Nabi (SAW).
As a young youth myself that this will be a reminder first and foremost to myself and make dua that our youth today protect themselves against this fast moving world, protect themselves with the Quran and the Sunnah and Inshallah all will be a success in their lives.
May Allah accept everything that has been said here, Inshallah.