Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Youth and Dawah- part 1

This is the first part on the issue of the Muslim youth and dawah.
It just struck me how important the battle for saving the youth from the modern problems is. The youth are the key to the future and to change them is to change the future.

The youth problems currently are many and those who are observing the trends in the youth, note a number of problems, throughout the Muslim world. These problems are:
1) the loss of manners and adab
2) the spread and common practice of lying, backbiting, swearing
3) involvement in gangs and violence
4) extreme sexualisation
5) becoming slaves of the opposite gender, and commiting fornication
6) loss of religiosity
7) lack of motivation
8) succumbing to desires, greed and the dunya/world
9) laziness
10) involvement in useless activities or wasting time
And so on
Without halting or reversing these trends, the future of the Muslim world (and even large parts of the rest of the world) looks bleak.

If we do not help stop the above problems, it will create a bad environment for us and our families and children in the future, since they will have to live amongst them and they will have to look after us when we're old.

For example, if society is individualistic and selfish, then they will want us to die early and not look after us when we are weak and old. They will rarely visit us, and make us feel lonely, and send us to an old home (if they can be bothered to pay), letting us die alone. Would we want that?

Or consider another perspective. If the youth have a lot of problems, as the above list shows, then they will lead to the future world having more conflicts and wars, since they are lacking in the truly human characteristics of patience, adab, and discipline. Thus the chances of us dying early are also increased.

When you see the Prophetic dawah (or dakwah), it brought people from all stratas/sections of society to Islam. This meant that Islam, and the reformation of people can be spread in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

Many of the earliest Muslims were from backgrounds that were considered weak by Arab society, such as women (Sayyida Khadija), the youth (Sayyidina Ali) and a slave (Sayyidina Zayd), and yet they had such a large affect upon Islam, and were important in reforming society, through their sincerity and strong determination (they did not care about what people thought about them, and not being from the upper echelons of society means that reputation is not a hindrance to the truth). Thus we should not neglect any section of society, even the weak, or the youth.

From modern times we see the example of Malcom X, he was a druggy, a criminal and from a poor background, yet see how he reformed himself and society! He helped bring many people out of the life of crime and instead channeled their energies to positive things, and inspired many Muslims and non-Muslims. If Muslims neglected him because of his past, then many people would not have converted to Islam, and the Muslim rights movement would probably be even weaker!

If we are able to bring just a few Malcom X's from today's youth, we can potentially have a large positive impact upon the future Muslim society.

The youth need guidance and a vehicle or method to channel their energy into. They are very creative, have many ideas, are discovering the world, and have a lot of energy. If they don't get the right vehicle, then they'll get involved into the wrong things.

We need to divert their energy into helping people, improving society and into Islam,. They also have the most amount of time in their hands, so can be one of the most effective ways of improving society

Insha'Allah the next part will look into how to change the youth.

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