What is Youth?
Youth is the prime time of one’s life. Youth is the time when a human is no more a child but an adult (time of puberty and maximum strength). It is full of passion, power, drive, desire and energy. Islam takes extra special care of youths as they are the power of the nation, the future leaders of Ummah (nation) and the ones who struggle the most to stay on the righteous path.
Importance of Youth:
Despite the young age and inexperience of youth, it is the time when a human experiences the most trials and temptations but at the same time he is expected to show the most courage, stamina, resilience and should also play an important role to bring about positive change in his or her community. Most importantly, it is the time when a Muslim starts his accountability before Allah for his every thought, feeling and deed because now he or she is an adult.
Now imagine, a student going to an exam. He opens his exam paper and finds the questions on one side and he finds the answers to the questions on the other side. Now, after having the exam, if this student still fails one would think that he is the dumbest of people.
Well, Allah has given people the questions they’ll be asked on the Day of Judgment and their answers, some of the people who knew the questions and answers would still fail! Youth is the opportune time to wake up as it is the beginning of “The Exam” before one proves himself to be the dumbest of people.
Youth in Islam:
Young people have many desires, so whosoever goes against his desires, controls himself in this delicate time of his life, obeys the commands of Allah, and tries his best to follow the Islamic Shariah, in such a time of his life when his desires are at its peak, then Allah will give him great rewards in this life and the one after.
Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) had said: ”Seven are (people) whom Allah would give protection with His Shade on the Day when there would be no shade but that of Him:
1. A just ruler.
2. A youth who grew up with the worship of Allah.
3. A person whose heart is attached to the mosques.
4. Two persons who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah.
5. A man whom a beautiful woman of high rank seduces (for illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer by saying):” I fear Allah”
6. A person who gives charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that his right hand does not know what his left has given.
7. A person who remembered Allah in privacy and his eyes shed tears” (Sahih Muslim, Eng Trasnlation, Bk 5, #2248)
In another Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said that the feet of the son of Adam will not be able to move until he is questioned regarding four things. One of those four questions asked will be regarding how one spent his time as a youth (doing good or bad deeds).
A Muslim family ideally provides youths with:
- Proper religious upbringing and sound guidance.
- Proper sound education that enables them in the world of today.
- Positive home environment to ensure a healthy upbringing (psychological).
- Healthy life style for strong body.
- Quran and Sunnah education for strong sole.
- Proper powerful role models in the Prophet’s biography and His Companions.
A Youth in Return Has Duties:
- Learning as much and as good as he or she can.
- Giving his or her best effort in each task and striving to become the best they can.
- Abiding by Islamic teachings and leading a righteous life with true values and high morals as previously discussed.
- Giving back to their families and communities as they eventually will be the force of the future, the providers and the care givers to the elders.
- Keeping good company and choosing friends. This is something that the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad have emphasized on.
“Friends on that Day (the Day of Judgment) will be foes except al–Muttaqoon (the pious).” (Quran.com/43/67)
- It is the right of parents that their children should treat them with kindness, obedience, respect and honor. In case of parents becoming of old age it is the duty of their children to take care and look after them the best way they can (swipe of roles). Allah has decreed that it is the duty of the children to take care of their parents in their old age and there is a great bounty for those who obey.
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor.” (Quran.com/17/23)
A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim).