AL-MAHDI INSTITUTE

Page 12

Is Youth the Problem?
A short discussion on duty and attitudes
By
Sayyid Ali Raza Naqvi.

Sayyid Ali is a lecturer in Arabic at the Institute and was formerly the headmaster of the Muhammadi Madrassah, Birmingham.  He is a graduate of the Madrassah Syed al-Khoei, London.

A tradition from Imam Ali (a.s) states that, 'groom your child in (to suit) his time.'
By this we mean that the children of today should not, necessarily, be expected to rigidly follow a system of different cultures and beliefs as they existed 50 years ago, whether or not these temporal practices are right or wrong. The only exception here being the divine principles of Islamic Values and the fundamental Creed of Islam that the Prophet brought 1400 years ago, for these will not undergo change until the day of Judgement. To clarify the point, further - The 3 Principles of Religion - Tawhid (Incorporating Adalat), Nabuwat (Incorporating Imamat), Qiyamat - will remain the same. Similarly the doctrinal branches of Religion, which are 10 in number, namely: Salat, Sawm, Haj, Zakat, Khums, Amr bil Ma'aruf, Nahy anil Munkar, Jihad, Tawalla and Tabarra - will remain the same, but, in the application of these roots and branches things may change in accordance to the demands of the time, for example the methods of Jihad applied 200 years ago would be very different in 2003.  It can also be seen that the 'Five Pillars of Islam' are included in this list of principles and are integrated with the basic ideological framework required of a Muslim.  Having said this, we see in our society that the youth is expected to do much that he would not before have been required to do and we have to take into consideration that Parents do have a major role to play in the upbringing of a child.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) has said: "I counsel you to be good to youths, for they have the softest hearts."

If Parents listened to this advice of the Prophet (saw) today, faith would not have been equated to crisis. Rather we would have a generation of youth who would be hopeful, ambitious, confident, dynamic, constructive, developmental and above all filled with Iman (faith).

Some psychologists view the stage of Youth as one of long personal crisis; they regard youth as a stage, which brings worry, confusion, depression, agitation etc.

Communities talk nothing but Youth; "They are in a crisis!", " They don't behave well!", "They don't talk but in vain!"
But let us ponder on this deeply:
Are they really in a crisis? Are they from another Planet? Are they not our own flesh and blood? Don't we see people who have no children, going to great lengths to have them? Hasn't the Prophet said 'to look at your child with love equals worship?' Then, why do we see youth as a problem?
It is no part of Islamic belief that youth is an oppressive problem; rather the young are the apples of our eyes, the beat of our hearts. So where does the problem lie?

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