In the Name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful
Nation building and role of Muslim youth
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidden Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.” Q :3 v104.
Quality of freshness, vitality or vigor and condition of being young which form the cardinal descriptive characteristics of youths, is definitely an asset or liability depending on how young people get programmed.
Undoubtedly, if youths of any nation are rightly guided such nation has surely taken the path of achieving great things and leaving behind magnificent footprints for later generations.
There is no single Muslim, who has cling a deal with basic knowledge of Islamic history, that would deny the fact that Islam thrived through contribution of youth best gone generation- generation of companion(Sahaba) of the Prophet(BPUH). . The knowledgeable ones would agree that the youth of that generation, according to history, were so programmed by Allah, that their major drive in life was to establish a society whose foundation will be based on God’s consciousness, equity, justice, sanity, honesty, sincerity, modesty and moderation; but later generation youth could not sustain this legacy and the result is a retrogression from the norm.
Once, an American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remarked it so beautifully that: “Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.” If we are to go by his submission, then we have to energize the youth with a positive passion for them to identify their purpose of life and their responsibility towards nation building. We have to develop positive habits because they make (all) the difference.
According to a statistics presented by the United Nations world report in 2007, approximately 1.2 billion youth form part of the world’s population and imagine this population standing up for the truth, the world would have been a different place to live in.
When talking of the role of the Muslim youths in nation building as a topic, it will be wise to know what percentage of the world’s population makes up the Muslim youths. A statistics presented by Pew Research Centre’s Forum on Religion and Public Life in 2010 has it that, Muslim youth make up about 60% of the total population of Muslim-majority countries and about 29.1% of world youth and young adult population.
Of what benefit will the percentage be if it contributes only to the rapid decadence of societies across all tiers of life? Allah says it so perfectly in the Glorious Qur’an that; “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidden Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.” Q :3 v104.
The youths of today are victims of negative norms passed on to them by the older generation. Our psychology is being abused by (what) the sight of unfortunate acts our elderly ones indulge in. But if the Muslim youth can study the life of As’hab Al-khaf (The companions of the cave) who were sons of the Kings and leaders of Byzantium (according to several earlier and later scholars of Tafseer as related in Tafseer of Ibn Katheer), who saw the negativity around them and chose to be different in oder to build a positive nation, then we will move forward.
As youths, the society need a total ethical re-orientation. Firstly, Muslim parents have to really see themselves as part of the problem. Then go back to our history books and adopt the methodology of earlier generations.
Secondly, there is need for Muslims to be sincere in their dealings and constantly have to remind themselves that for everything they do there’s a record kept with Allah for accountability.
As Muslim youths, there is need to affirm that Allah has written sustenance even before He created us. If youth can achieve that in their hearts, then blind love for material acquisition will naturally die which they all know is the cause of our present appalling situation.
Youth have to inculcate within their bosoms, the spirit of change and that they are that change they advocate for.
People talk about nation building but easily give in to corrupt practices; If the youth can stop admiring the bad people in our society, there is a large guess that nobody will involve himself and herself in corrupt practices to impress others.
The Youth have to be very vocal and vociferous and define what principles they uphold so that they can always speak and stand for the truth where ever they found themselves; and people will dare not approach them with any corrupt mindset which in essence will provide a buffer zone between them and corrupt people. In the Sunan of Ibn Majah on the strength of Abu Saeed Al-Khudri (RA), the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Behold! Fear from people should not prevent one from saying the truth if he knows it”
There is always something for the youth to do in order to make the desired difference. Corrupt minds often criticize simply because there is no equal opportunities and for them, as are there for those they are criticizing, this act of insincerity had tamed the likelihood of building a positive nation.
The Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said; “Character is contagious”, be very careful where you contact your character from. Identify with people of like minds and come up with a strategic plan on how to move this nation forward. Remember that we are solely responsible for the decisions we make in choosing which group to fall in to.
An often remark I always make that no matter how rich we are, no matter how many degrees we have bagged, no matter how many feathers we have in our cap, if we don’t value our Islam, we are not more than a zero behind THE decimal point.
The writer is Arc Abdullah Musa Abdul, an Architect by profession; he is an Islamic spiritual writer that propagates Islam through articles and public speaking.
This article was originally written 3rd of May, 2012 and later edited on 19th of June 2015.