Youth – A Blessed time

By Kainat Zehra

Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as) said: “Surely, the heart of the youth is like the uncultivated ground, it will accept whatever you throw upon it [and that is what will grow from it].[1]

It’s of course more then just a temporal fact. It’s a lifestyle. Better yet, it’s life. We cannot fail to reckon personalities, and there are those fads which are moderately a preamble to what’s next. It seems like nothing else is appealing enough in comparison to the western culture. A greater amazement is that, the youth are the quarry. A ‘youth’ could automatically be linked to ‘juvenile’. The west isn’t a life-destroying factor, a specific percentage of Muslims, have decreed it, but if a youth has appropriate upbringing from his parents, the place doesn’t have much impact on his/her life. Nonetheless, the youths of today are convolved around the West and its culture, including the youths of Islam. The guidelines, by which they should be living, have been blended with modernism.

That’s quite a stereo-typical thought, you must be thinking, and I agree, it is. Nevertheless, it’s the truth. A statistic has shown that youth are the age group which could be easily persuaded into any erratic acts, leading with an overwhelming 79%. The case is different, when a youth with stability in faith and religion is beckoned toward temptations. In this situation, fear of God, and awareness of self is sufficient. It’s a fact rather then an ideology that even Islam’s youth is a part of the west. They play a prominent role in it. They’ve became a majoring character to unknowingly give they’re consent. The rules and morals our religion has given are a lot to restrict them from evil, yet for them, it’s not enough. Islam has specified the morals and manners; one should lead his/her life by. It’s not a matter of difficulty but of apathetic behaviour.

The Western culture has been composed of diversion of different beliefs and practices. The very same acts fade over a specific period of time and introduce the upcoming of new ones. Specific fads seem to be shaping one’s personality. The life of a youth is the time of moulding one’s character, attain the contentment of their Lord, and the acknowledgment of whether they’re following the path of Ahlul-Bayt (as) or not. The hadith mentioned previously, is undoubtedly in relation to today’s conditions. When a child of three years or so, is taught lessons and morals, it’s so that when the time comes for his/her teen years, he has the basics in mind, and what one has learned all those years, would finally come into practice when she or he is a part of the youth. But, this is the condition for a child. Youth however, is the period for adolescence and of preparing to face the challenges of later years. Imam Ali (as) stated the hadith because frankly saying, when a youth is learning certain things, his/her character automatically takes it in, and keeps it in mind. There then comes a time in they’re life, where they put the knowledge into practice.

Seeing they’re character like an uncultivated ground, you can say nothing will grow unless the base is provided with what it needs. Similarly, if a youth doesn’t provide their mind and soul with spiritual knowledge, they won’t easily succeed, because they rely on themselves more than Allah (swt). Possessing knowledge of Allah’s (swt) religion is what makes one capable of standing in front of Him on the day of reckoning, without a regretful face. The years a youth has is something to value, so when years past one doesn’t remorse over unwise decisions of the past. We all here, adults saying once a while “I wish I hadn’t done that when I was your age.” One wouldn’t need to take support of this phrase if they knew how crucial the days of being a youth are. Regret and learning isn’t a wrong thing, quite the contrary actually, but it’s wrong when it’s felt by those who make mistakes in situations where it was their ignorance leading. Today a youth has knowledge and realization of all the things, which in no way will link them to Allah (swt). Other then that, we possess all the knowledge of the world. From the birth dates and hobbies of celebrities, to the top 10 songs in charts. Of course, there is also times when a singer undergoes crisis, our world shakes, as if we personally went through that calamitous situation. All these factors hint towards the fact that we have a feeble mind. The times when one sets out to memorize notes for exam, and ends up with reciting the lyrics to a song, popular amongst their friends also dictates our inadequate personality. If our mind is capable of restoring all these useless materialistic knowledge, then it’s quite impossible that it’s powerless to attain knowledge of their religion. “Whatever we sow, we shall reap.” This can’t be ever forgotten, everyone’s aware of this message. The moments we spend to do good, will also result to good happening to us, and being showered with the mercy of Allah (swt). Faith is a factor which won’t unbalance itself, unless it’s made to. Obstacles will inevitably arrive, but faith and the ma’rifah of Allah (swt) will vanquish everything.

Imam Musa Al-Khadim (as) has said: “If I was to find a youth amongst my shi’a, not gaining a deep knowledge and understanding, I would surely strike him with a sword.”[2]  

These words make the recognition manifest. If we do declare ourselves as being true shi’as, then our actions should instantly become a reflection of this claim. The hadith shows how imperative it is to gain knowledge of one’s religion. We shouldn’t become a source of embarrassment to Ahlul-Bayt (as) our paucity of knowledge should be able to make us successful in this life and the next, not something which deteriorates over time. The role of the youth in today’s society is to bring the teachings of Ahlul-Bayt (as) into domain. This could be done by sculpturing the character and adhering to the commands of their Lord.  In the sight of Allah (swt) it isn’t the rich or the beautiful which are supreme, but the ones who spent their time doing good deeds.

Numerous times it’s been mentioned that Allah (swt) surely, loves the worship preformed by the youth. Reason behind this is pretty logical. The sacrifice a youth does is what pleases our Lord. Having the opportunity and advantage of spending the time he has, doing something wrong or of wastage, he decides to devote it to His Lord. These minor decisions are looked upon with mercy, hence why many people find peace when they make decisions similar to this.

Time doesn’t wait for anyone; it’s the biggest usage and the biggest wastage. We should acquire the knowledge which will cause prosperity for self. The purpose of youth, is unequivocal, this could be reasoned by the circumstances of today. Youth, you could say is the age group which empowers every other age. Is it because they have more will or freedom? For the time being that is true, Youth Activism Organizations have declared that, youth is the time where one is” free”. When they enter adulthood, they are encumbered with duties and responsibilities. 

The present time for all the youth should be lived wisely, there should come no contrition in their life. Keeping all the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and His Holy Progeny (as), we should start to ameliorate our behavioural characteristics. We shouldn’t surrender to Allah (swt) but submit. The difference between surrender and submit, quite a lot. To surrender means to have no other option to choose from and reluctantly give in. However, to submit means to knowingly and willingly give in. What we are doing is surrendering to Allah (swt). The day we learn to submit to Him, we will attain success. Youth can value this very simply. All they are in need to do is to evaluate their own selves and conclude to what they have to amend. The youth could be described in several terms. They can at some point be the wisest and at times, be the most insubstantial. The life of a youth changes immediately when they become adults. Responsibility dawns unto them, duties become necessary to fulfill and succession of self becomes an impending occurrence.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The period of the youth is from the stages of obsession.[3]                 

It’s quite factual, that the days lived by a youth, are solely a time where addiction and obsessive behaviour takes place. Finding it laborious to give up on certain practices we attach ourselves to company of people who have the same perspective on specific issues. The days lived are capable of complicating one’s life because they have cogent voices of their peers whispering into their ears. Laconically, teenagers are able to achieve what they desire at their consummate level.

Sadly, their desires are nothing but wrongful wants. What’s left is the ability to formulate teachings and morals, to something indecent. The habitat of a youth should be circulating around the awareness and love of Allah (swt), so they may easily benefit from the atmosphere, and thereof, teach the next generations. Unfortunately, the present generation of youth is attached deeply to a materialistic life and there is no doubt that they’ll teach the upcoming generations similar guidance. It is also the role of the parents as well to recognize their children, because one main reason why youth are disconcerted today is that the parents have vaguely or completely relinquished them.

Everyone has to play their role. Youth, though should become more unyielding in their belief, The gaining of knowledge will definitely prevail, and the outcome of such efforts, wouldn’t exclusively be only for the hereafter but for the life in this world as well, which we seem to work up everything for. All the youth have to do, is attain knowledge and devotion to their religion, so, they may be successful in more then one way. Ergo, we should pray to Allah (swt) to grant us the will to do good and become amongst his true servants and true Shi’as of Ahlul-Bayt (as).

Also, so that when the final day arrives, we don’t have to look at our life with pity but with satisfaction of living a life as such, especially the days of our youth.

[1] Tuhaful Uqul, pg 70
[2] Fiqhul Riza, pg 337
[3] Al-Ikhtisas, pg 343