The reasons for the digression and the difficulties of the youth are many and varied. Man, during the phase of youths is to a large extent in the process of the development of the body, thought processes and the mind, because this is the phase of growth during which he undergoes rapid changes. In this stage it is of extreme importance that the tools of self-control are prepared for him coupled with wise leadership to steer him towards the straight path.
From amongst the important reasons for this retrogression are the following:
1) Idleness: Idleness is a malady which kills thought processes, the mind and the strength of the body, because the body is always in need of movement and work. Thus when the body is idle thoughts become dull and the mind weakens, body movements weaken and devilish insinuations and evil thoughts form on to the heart. Many times an evil intention is created as a result of this suppression which was a direct consequence of idleness. The cure for this problem is that the teenage should strive in the attaining of work which befits him like reading, business or writing which will then become a barrier between him and his idleness. It is necessary that he becomes a stable member of society, working in his society for himself and for others.
2) Alienation and aloofness between the youth and the elderly members of their families or between the youth and others: We see some elders witnessing deviation in their youth but they hesitate, are disconcerted, helpless to strengthen them and dependent from reforming them. The result of this is hatred is for these youth, estrangement from them and a don�t-care attitude towards their condition, whether their condition is one of piety or corruption. Sometimes they pass judgments concerning all the youth which translates into a blank impression of the youth in general. This splits the community whereby the youth and their elders begin looking at one another with the eyes of contempt. This is amongst the greatest dangers that can encompass human society. The cure for this problem is that the youth and their elders should make an effort to eradicate this alienation between them and trust everyone because the society together with it's youth and elders are like one
body. When one part of it decays, it leads to the decay of the whole body. It is incumbent upon the elders that they give deep thought to their responsibility concerning the reformation of the youth and dispel this contagious despondency from their hearts, because Allaah has power over everything. How may corrupt people did Allaah not guide, after which they became beacons of guidance and callers towards reform? It is necessary for the youths to entertain respect, regard for the opinions and acceptance of the guidance of their seniors who experienced the realities of life which these youth have not. When the wisdom of the seniors will meet with the strength of the youth, the society will attain prosperity with the will of Allaah.
3) Liason with deviated and corrupt people and befriending them. This has a great effect on the mind, the thinking and ways of the youth. For this reason Nabi sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said: "A person is on the Deen (Religion) of his companion, so each one of you should take care in the matter of who he befriends." He sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam also said: "The similitude of an evil companion is like an ironsmith using an oven. Either you will burn your clothes in his company or you will experience an offensive odour." (Hadith) The sure for this problem is that the teenager should choose for his companionship those who are good and intelligent go that he may benefit from their virtue, reformed ways and intelligence. He should weigh up their condition and reputation before befriending them. If they are people of character, virtue, correct Deen and good reputation, then befriend them. If they do not possess these qualities, then it is
incumbent to distance oneself from them so that one is not deceived by sweet talk and beautiful outward appearances. This is deception and misguidance. This path is traversed by evil people to allure the simple-minded in order to increase their multitude and conseal their evil condition. A poet has said it most beautifully: Test men when you intend to befriend them, Scrutinize and study their affairs.
4) Reading of destructive periodicals, booklets and magazines which create doubt in the Deen of a person and in his beliefs. This draws a person towards the abrogation of virtuous character and lands him in Kufr (disbelief) and vice. This is especially true when the teenager does not possess deep Deeni education and acute thinking by means of which he can differentiate between truth and falsehood, benefit and harm The reading of these types of books totally confounds the because they imbibe a false pleasure in the minds and thinking of the youth without reservation. The cure for this problem is that he should keep away from these books and read other books which will plant in his heart the love of Allaah and his Rasool sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and the reality of Eemaan (Belief) and good deeds. No doubt his inner self will entice him greatly towards those books which he loved previously and make him feel discontent with other beneficial woks. This is similar
to the position of that person who lights with his inner self to establish the obedience of Allaah in his life, but his soul rebels and becomes involved in futility and lies. The most important of beneficial books is the book of Allaah and those which the people of knowledge have written by way commentary with correct transmission. In the same way the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, then that which the people of knowledge have written by extracting from these two sources or by way of deep understanding.
5) The impression of some youth that Islaam is a curtailment of freedom and a repression of strength. Thus they tum away from Islaam regarding it as retrogression and a barrier between them and progress. The cure for this problem is that the veil of the reality of Islaam be lifted from these youth who are ignorant of it's reality because of their wrong nations, inadequate knowledge or both. Islaam does not restrict freedom but it is a control and a correct chanelling for it, so much so that the freedom of one person does not clash with the freedom of the next person.
General freedom leads to chaos and eruption. It is for this reason that the injunctions of Deen are called Hudood (limits). If the injunction is one of prohibition Allaah says:
�They are the limits imposed by Allaah, do not approach them.� [2:187]
If it is one of consent, Allaah Ta'ala says,
�These are the limits imposed by Allaah, do not transgress them.� [2:229]
This is the difference between restriction (which is the impression of some) and control and guidance which the most wise, the all-knowing Allaah has decreed for his servants. There is no basis for this problem because systemization is a reality in all domains and man by nature is submissive to this systematic reality. He is submissive to the pressure of hunger and thirst and to the system of his food and drink as far as quantity, quality and type is concerned so that he may safeguard his body and it's health. He is in the same way submissive to the system of his society, holding on to the customs of his city in it's dwellings, garb and modes of transport. If he does not subject himself to this, he will be considered as being abnormal and he will be treated the way extraordinary people are treated. Life is totally a submission to specified limits so that everything progresses according to it's intended aim. This subjugation is for the order of society, eg. submission
which is necessary for the reformation of society and the prevention of anarchy. In the same way submission to the system of the Shari'ah entails that which is necessary for the reformation of the nation so how can some people be annoyed with it and think of it as being a restriction of freedom? Verily this is a great untruth and a baseless, evil presumption. Islaam in the same way is not a suppression of capabilities. It is a wide sphere for all strengths. Islaam calls towards reflection so that man contemplates and his mind and thoughts grow.
Allaah Ta'ala says:
�Say O Muhammad, I advise you of one thing only, that you stand up in two's and singlely and then reflect.� [34:46]
and Allaah says:
�Say O Muhammad, see what is in the heavens and the earth.� [10:101]
Islaam does not confine itself to calling towards contemplation and deep thought but it denounces those who do not think, observe and contemplate. Allaah Ta'ala says:
�Have they not considered the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and what things Allaah has created?� [7:185]
Allaah Ta'ala says:
�Have they not pondered upon themselves? Allaah did not create the heavens and the earth and that which is between them, except with truth.� [30:8]
And Allaah Ta'ala says:
�And he who we give old age. We reverse him in creation (making him go back to weakness after strength), do you not ponder?� [36:68]
The order of observing and pondering opens up the power of the mind and thoughts, so how can some people say; that it restricts capabilities? Dreadful is the word they utter; they only speak a lie. Islaam has legalized for it's people all pleasures in which there is no harm for the individual either physically, mentally or spiritually. Islaam has authorised the eating and drinking of all pure things:
�O believers, eat of the good things from which we have provided you, and render thanks to Allaah.� [2:172]
Allaah Ta'ala says:
''And eat and drink and do not waste. He does not love those who waste.� [7:31]
Islaam has legalised all clothing to the demands of wisdom and nature:
�O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you clothing to conceal your shame, and splendid countenance, but the clothing of piety, that is best.� [7:26]
Allaah Ta'ala says:
�Say O Muhammed, who has forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allaah which He has produced for His servants and the pure things (which He has produced) for sustenance? Say, they are in the life of this world for those who believe, and only for them on the Day of Judgement.'' [7:32]
He has authorised enjoyment of women by legitimate Nikaah (Marriage): Allaah Ta'ala says:
�Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one.� [4:3]
In the domain of economics, Islaam has not suppressed the capabilities of it's people but legalized for them all business dealings which are just and emanate from mutual happiness. Allaah says:
�Allaah has permitted trade and forbidden usury.� [2:276]
And he says:
�lt is he who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse through its tracks and eat of the sustenance which He provides, and He is responsible for the resurrection.� [67:15]
And he says,
�And when the prayer is finished, then disperse through the land, and seek of the bounty of Allaah.� [62:10]
After all this, is the impression or saying of some people correct, that Islaam suppresses capabilities?
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: �All the descendants of Adam are sinners, and the best of sinners are those who repent."
This world is a difficult journey
An obstacle to overcome,
Especially in the place we live in,
Not everyday is bright and fun.
The righteous salaf were as fearful of their good deeds
being squandered, or not being accepted,
as the present generation is certain that their neglect
would be forgiven.
The Sunnah is like The Arc of Noah
Whoever Embarks Upon it Reaches Salvation
And Whoever Refuses is Drowned.
Imaam Malik (Rahimahullah)