How great is our need? We, as Muslims today, living in the lands of Islam and outside the lands of Islam, but especially those who live outside the lands of Islam; how great is our need of a reminder and an exhortation. Because everything that our youth face, our sons and daughters, everything that they see and witness, everything that they hear each day, contradicts and opposes their belief, their religion, and the manners and morals of Islam. There is only the small, occasional exception. This is a natural consequence for anybody, whether by choice or compulsion, who lives outside his own environment and society.
The question is: How do we confront all of this? How do we protect our youth? How do we make our children aware and acquainted with their religion and belief, observing and adhering to its principles? How do we make our children grow into adults that will practise this religion and live according to its rulings, and that they will be distinguished by their belief and their view of life, as they will be distinguished by their Islamic manners and conduct?
The secret is found in one word: education. Our education of these youth; by following the most beneficial ways and methods of modern education, by implanting love of this religion, love of Allah the Almighty, by implanting love of the Messenger, sala Allahu alaihi wa salam. By implanting the principles of this true religion in our youth they will understand this religion and learn it in a clear and sound way, that is free from being confused with customs and traditions. Know that any tradition or custom of a people that opposes or contradicts the Shariah, in its objectives or rulings, must be rejected. Teach them Islam in a way that is built on the foundations and bases of modern education. As for methods of dictation without understanding, compulsion without belief, they will not be of any use to them in the presence of what they will learn in their schools, colleges and universities. Allah says: "Know that there is no god but Allah." (47:19). Imam al-Bukhari included this verse in his chapter entitled: "Knowledge, before Saying or Doing." On the foundations of knowledge of this religion, the understanding of its reality, the comprehension of its objectives, the meaningful grasp of its message, there is learning and education, which leads to sound practice and application.
So make your sons and daughters individuals that believe in this religion and practice it with knowledge, understanding, and complete satisfaction. Make your children advocates and callers to this religion, proud of what they believe in. Don′t make your son or daughter someone who, when they′re with you, do what you want to see them do, but when they′re out of your sight they do what they want to do or what their friends want them to do. They live with a split personality, wandering astray, confused. Then, maybe a day will come when they will declare their apostasy from the religion, renouncing everything they see from it as restrictive, not having any faith at all.
Teach your children that the believing group that carried this religion in the beginning were youths like them, so why should they not be the same? Teach them that those who gathered around the Prophet, peace be upon him, in the beginning of his call in Dar al-Arqam, and who carried the call, the da′wa, on their backs to the rest of mankind, were youths. Ali was an adolescent. So was Abd Allah ibn Mas′ud, Abd Arahman bin Awf, Al-Arqam bin Abi Arqam, Sa′id bin Zaid, Musa′b bin Amir, Amar bin Yasir, and so on, hundreds of youths. It was they who strived day and night, sacrificed and persevered, struggled so that they could spread and implement this religion, its dignity and glory. Overnight the Muslims acquired an empire. Authority and leadership was established for them.
Under the Ummayyad dynasty the area of the Islamic state expanded and spread, as far as the lands of Sind and India in the East, as far as Spain and the borders of France in the West. The leaders of the conquest were youths like Muhammad bin al-Qasim al-Thaqafi, who opened up the land of Sind, ans he was only 17 years old. Muhammad al-Fatih, who opened up Constantinople, was only 23. It is said he must have read the Hadith: �You will open up Constantinople, and the leader will be a great leader, and the army will be a great army.� The heart of this youth, Muhammad al-Fatih, desired to achieve the destiny of this hadith, and Allah gave him what he desired. He was indeed a great leader and ruler. Do our youth have great hopes like these youth? Like Uqba bin Nafi, and Tariq bin Ziad. There is the great example of Osama bin Zaid, the youth who was given command by the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, over an army which included
the great Companions, like Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali. It was if the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, wa indicating that the youth would be the prime force for this religion.
Teach your children that these youth from the Companions, and their children, and those who followed them, did not reach a great and majestic peak except with two things:
1st: They adhered to the religion, in belief and thought, saying and action, implementing and applying.
2nd: They carried the message of Islam to the world with great effort and sacrifice, and the strength of their patience, such that Allah says: "Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah. Some of them have died, and some still wait, but their determination never changed in the least." (33:23)
And Allah says: "By men whom neither trade nor sale can divert them from the Remembrance of Allah, nor from regular prayer, nor from paying Zakat. Their only fear is for the day when hearts and eyes will be turned about." (24:37)
So what prevents our youth today from being men in form, and in reality mountains?
Oh Youth of Islam!
You see the world today groping about in the darkness of materialism, and the gratification of worldly passions, in anarchism and deviation. And with this and that you see oppression, despotism and the seizure of the capabilities of peoples and nations. Your nation is in the midst of this. It is experiencing the greatest share. Your Islam, your religion, is being targeted.
And see and hear the plans and schemes that are being devised to scrutinize and beguile what the people still have from this religion, to suffocate the values and examples and legacy of the Prophets.
So where are you in regard to all this, oh Muslim youth! Do you realize the danger? Do you grasp what is happening?
If not then let every mother, father, and teacher implant in their children these realities. Make them understand these concepts, always, until they become fully aware of their responsibilities to this religion.
And know, oh youth of Islam, that the period of youth has a special reckoning with Allah. All of life in taken into account, but youth is special. In the Hadith: �The feet of the Children of Adam, on the Day of Judgement, will not move from their Lord until being asked 5 things: His life and how it occupied him, his youth and what he did while it lasted, his wealth, how he acquired it and how he spent it, his knowledge and what he did with it.
Oh youth, know that if you are not preoccupied with Truth then you are preoccupied with falsehood. This is a maxim in the science of education. If you do not fill your time with seeking knowledge or effort or work, for the sake of a livelihood, then you allow your time to be filled with that which has no benefit, and you will pull yourself and lead yourself with passions and whims, following Shaitan in disobedience to Allah.
We ask Allah to help us understand our religion, and make our youth from the best of youths, and make them like those who came before them, in faith and action, and that they become like those who Allah describes: " In truth, they were youths who believed in their Lord and we increased them in guidance. We gave strength to their hearts. Behold, they stood up" and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than Him, if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity." (18: 13-14) Wasteful saying is far from the Truth.