The Dynamic Youth of Today

Young people around the globe today are growing up with ideals, expectations, ambitions and talents which are unprecedented, often unheard of by earlier generations. Much of this is driven by advances in technology, affluence and the effects of globalisation. For a nation to succeed, it needs to invest in its young people (their skills and capabilities) such that they act as advocates and change agents to assist society to meet new challenges in the future.

A Muslim is required to dedicate all his endeavours to Allah the Almighty in all his actions and words; remembrance and thinking, sleep and waking, worship and daily living, love and hatred, giving and withholding. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Say, Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.” (6:162)

A Muslim has only one vision, to seek the pleasure of Allah through which Allah will grant him or her success in the hereafter. We must acknowledge that our actions alone are insufficient to earn the lofty prize of the afterlife but hope that we can attain it through the mercy of Allah, the Almighty. A Muslim is a true global citizen and this can be proven by searching through history. Muslims were a superpower that lead humanity for over 1000 years under which nations and civilizations coexisted side by side in peace and harmony. Muslims are people of values, we have a very broad and rich set of values that are timeless and fit for all people irrespective of race, colour or gender. From this set of values, I would say there are 3 top values that youth should focus on in this modern era. So, what are these values?

  • To be just – We are not extremists. We are a middle nation. We don’t oppress and we don’t like oppressors. We are a people of moderation. Our youth need to be just.
  • To have tolerance – Muslims are law abiding citizens who care about humanity and have respect and tolerance towards other people and faiths. Islam is a religion for all peoples and races. Our youth must have tolerance.
  • To spread peace – Muslims are peaceful people and it’s a religion of peace. Islam is a way of life that satisfies an individual intellectually and spiritually. Islam fosters peace within oneself and peace with others in society. Our youth need to spread peace.

Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“There are seven persons whom Allah will shade on a day when there is no shade but his. They are a just ruler, a young person who grew up in the worship of Allah, a person whose heart is attached to the mosques, two persons who love each other and who meet and depart from each other for the sake of Allah, a man whom a beautiful woman of high status seduces but he rejects her by saying I fear Allah, a person who spends in charity and conceals it such that his right hand does not know what his left hand has given, and a person who remembered Allah in private and he wept.”

Referring to the hadith above, we can see that a person in his youth is faced by temptations/trials. With this note in mind, it is very important to build the faith of the youth from an early age. If our youths’ beliefs are strong then they are better able to protect their religion when interacting in the real world. Youth are young, vulnerable, impressionable and often foolish! Youth everywhere have similar needs/wants and many of them are driven by their desires. In a capitalist society, individuals are very materialistic and focus on themselves whilst ignoring others.

We need to have youth leaders that carry a strong vision, leaders who can stimulate others to make it their vision too. A youth leader can rally other youths to think big and help the community flourish. We should remind ourselves of a beautiful quote from the greatest of all leaders, our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as reported in Sahih Muslim, he said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer”.

The strong believer is the one who is strong in his iman, body and actions. Therefore, the strong believer is productive and accomplishes more things for the Muslims hence he or she is truly an asset to his friends, family and the wider community. Muslims have high standards, we should aim for the best and reach the top. We are people of quality, sincerity and direction. Our youth need to be people with such characteristics.

According to an article publish in November 2016 by Bloomberg, it stated that Nigeria’s population reached 182 million with more than half its people under 30 years of age. It further adds, “Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is witnessing a growing youth bulge, with those under 14 years accounting for more than 40% of its citizens”.

The youth are assets, they’re the future of a country. We need to know how to plan for their transition from youths to the next category. Thousands of young people face acute difficulties in making the transition to adulthood. We Muslims must concentrate on making this transition smooth and successful. Parents, educators and elders in society can help make this transition possible in many different ways. I would like to remind you of 3 important things to help with this transition.

The youth of today need to be instilled with the following 3 key qualities:

  1. Self respect – Youth need to understand their own worth and value themselves. They need to be proud of who they are, especially as Muslims (Allah has honored the children of Adam).
  2. Emotional resilience – Youth must have the ability to cope with shocks, knock downs and deal with unfamiliar circumstances. Muslim youth need to understand that Allah is the best of planners and things happened due to His command and wisdom.
  3. Patience – Youth need to have reserves of patience. Without patience, it is very difficult to keep oneself on the straight path, away from evil, motivate or inspire others. Also, let’s not forget that Allah the Almighty tells us that those who are patient will have the best of rewards in the Hereafter, Insha’Allah.

We ask Allah the Most High to guide the youth all around the world such that they lead meaningful lives that contribute to the well-being of mankind. By them doing this, it is hoped that they are always striving to seek the pleasure of Allah which can lead them to success in this world and the hereafter.

By Dr Yusuf Abdul Jobbar

Have you updated your Next of Kin information?

Can you please check if any of the names below are your next of kin:

Maryam age 13
Sarah age 17
Fatima age 14
Jawad age 18
Haitham age 13
AbduRahman age 15
Omar age 17

Are these children related to you? If yes, continue reading. If the answer is no then continue reading too because in fact they ARE related to you ALL! Yes, they are!
Brothers and sisters these are the youth of our Ummah, these are the shining lights of glad tidings for the nation of our beloved prophet Muhammed PBUH! The youth who we have sadly neglected, ignored and often blamed for being a nuisance, lazy and irresponsible Subhan’Allah! However, have you ever thought seeing things through THEIR eyes, walking in THEIR shoes? This Dunya is a test for us all and even gets the best of us, let alone our youth who are still in much needed guidance and motivation to learn how to hold on to the hot coals in these ever more challenging times!

We need to make time for our children, show and teach them our deen and nurture in them the love for Islam, Allah SWT and the prophet Muhammed PBUH so that we can grow a generation of motivated, passionate and strong young men and women who are confident in their identity as a young Muslim in the 21st century.

Let’s do it together with these 3 basic steps!

• NURTURE them in the masjid, visit the masjid regularly for it brings calm, brings the heart closer to Allah and a physical reminder that you belong to an Ummah! Get them engaged in dawah and charity work. Let them feel the sense of achievement and brotherhood when working together with others for a common goal which will help build confidence and leadership skills for our ummah.

• TALK to your children, even when they are teenagers! Seems obvious right? But I can tell you many of our youth lack in basic conversation in the household with their parents, turn off those tellies, put down your phones and speak over a meal or tea, you may just learn something new about your own child! The Prophet PBUH was the greatest leader and example for mankind and even He discussed big decisions and took opinions of young companions to motivate them and keep their hearts firm with emaan such as in the battle of Badr!

• Lastly, CRITICISE! but constructively, yes mama and baba no need for the long lectures every day before bedtime, motivate and encourage your child by giving them examples from our beautiful deen and reminding them that Allah is most forgiving and merciful. Let them know that mistakes are an experience we learn from and that when one door closes, another one opens and that ONE day they will too be responsible for not just one child, but an Ummah as a whole!

With this advice, I leave you in peace and do check out the Al Fitrah outreach programmes which we host to nurture our youth.

Wa Salaamualaikum 😉

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