The Youth's Role in Supporting Islam

By Salman Ibn Fahd al`Awdah

Muslim Youth Movement on IQRA TV || Musa Adnan & Ali Dawah

The beating of war drums generates worry, tension, and confusion in the hearts. It keeps one from enjoying sleep, food, family, because of being continuously tense and frightened.

But we say to the Muslim youth: Your role did not start just now, but rather started from the beginning of your maturity and awareness. And it will not end by the end of a given event, but rather by your death. So take the initiative and start to perform your role now.

It is neither of sound judgment nor of proper zeal for Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala′s religion to sleep like the People of the Cave and wake up at every crisis that requires a solution, whereupon we ask about our role, and then sleep again until the next one.

These feelings of worry and tension only overwhelm the people of weak faith. In order to overcome such feelings, one has to do the following:

First: Refining and Renewing One′s Faith in the Oneness of Allaah

Almighty Allaah is the Lord and Sustainer of the universe; everything occurs by His Command, and to Him belongs all creation and decisions. "Every day He exerciseth (universal) power" [Ar-Rahman, 29]

Therefore, every Muslim must renew his faith, confidence, and reliance on his Lord, for He is more careful to preserve His religion and His believing servants than anyone else is. "Lo! Allaah defendeth those who believe] [Al-Hajj: 38]

The Muslim should also affirm his absolute faith in divine decree, and in the fact that nothing occurs except by the Will and Predestination of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, whether it be important or insignificant. "No calamity befalleth save by Allaah's leave" [At-Taghabun, 64:11] "Lo! We have created everything by measure: [Al-Qamar 54:49] "Say: Naught befalleth us save that which Allaah hath decreed for us. He is our protecting helper. In Allaah let believers put their trust!" [At-Tawbah: 51]

Second: Repentance. Asking Allaah′s Forgiveness and Glorifying Him

"And had he not been one of those who glorify (Allaah); He would have tarried in its belly till the day when they are raised" [As-Saffat, 143-144]

Al`Abbas and `Ali (radhiallaahu anhum) said, "No calamity occurs except because of a wrongdoing, and no relief after a calamity comes except through repentance."

Third: Worship and Doing Good

Muslim reported in his collection, Saheeh Muslim, Book of Al-Fitan (Afflications) that Ma`qil Ibn Yasar narrated that the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, "Worship during the period of widespread turmoil is like an immigration to me (i.e. in reward)." This hadeeth highlights two important aspects:

The true Muslim should occupy himself with fruitful matters such as the performance of prayer, remembering Allaah often, invoking Allaah fervently, fasting, giving in charity, being keen to call on Allaah, and so on. Such matters are far better for the Muslim than being engaged in meaningless talk and fruitless discussions, which are not likely to lead to anything useful, but rather occupy the mind and worry the soul.

It is essential to regain the peace of one′s soul through those tranquilizing doses of obeying and remembering Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala, so that one may think and behave correctly.

Fourth: Patience

There is no faith without patience. Therefore, we, as Muslims, should never tire of advising one another to be patient, as patience is the cure of many chronic problems. (Hastiness is from Shaytaan and deliberateness is from Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala.)

Patience and deliberateness make him consider his decisions carefully and see to his affairs with understanding and correct vision, which prevent him from acting haphazardly or aimlessly. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported that the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, "The strong person is not the one who overcomes people by his strength, but the strong person is the one who controls himself while in anger." In another narration of the same hadeeth, it is reported that he sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, "The strong person is the one who defeats his anger." This represents the highest form of courage and is a feature of human perfection.

Fifth: Abandonment of Dispute and Dissension

The Almighty says, "and dispute not one with another lest ye falter and your strength departs from you; but be steadfast! Lo! Allaah is with the steadfast" [Al-Anfal, 8:46]

Dispute causes failure, weakness, and dispersal of efforts, and may cause some people to become preoccupied with themselves rather than with their enemies. Almighty Allaah has criticized the People of the Book before us, as well as whoever follows in their footsteps from this nation, because of the disagreements and disputes rampant among them. Allaah says, "Ye think of them as a whole whereas their hearts are divers. That is because they are a folk who have no sense" [Al-Hashr, 59:14]

The true Muslim does his best to reconcile the different sects that make up the Muslim community.

Sixth: Optimism

The Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam used to like a good omen. Anas radhiallaahu anhu said, "The Prophet was the best and the bravest amongst the people. Once the people of Madeenah were terrified at night, so they went in the direction of the sound (that terrified them). The Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam met them (on his way back) after he had found out the truth. He was riding an unsaddled horse belonging to Aboo Talhah and a sword was slung around his neck, and he was saying, "Don't be afraid! Don't be afraid!""

Thus, the feelings of weakness and inability engulfing the hearts of a significant number of Muslims need urgent attention. Although we all agree on the gravity of the events and their serious consequences, we should bear in mind the established facts which prove that this nation shall continue to exist until the end of time. For example, the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam invoked Allaah Almighty not to make his nation entirely perish by famine. This invocation was accepted by Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. Thus, this nation withstood the test of time and survived all disasters and calamities; it may fall ill but will never die.

For these reasons, we wonder at the panic overwhelming some people. Where is the steadfastness of the true believers? Where is the firmness of determined Muslims?

This nation suffered from greater calamities but it never surrendered or gave in. Rather it held on and set great examples of patience and endurance. One should not forget what happened to the Muslims during the days of the Tatar invasion which conquered all the Islamic countries and demolished the capital of the Muslim nation. Anyone who tries to perceive those events and imagine living during that epoch will surely feel that the Last Day has come, that Islam has perished, and that its nation has vanished from existence. However, that did not happen at all. After two centuries only the Muslims conquered Constantinople and reached Vienna . Thus, O people of Islam! Receive glad tidings and have whatever hopes you wish to have. Your nation will never die by a deathblow.

Nevertheless, the legal optimism in Islam is that positive, active, and productive kind which buoys up and motivates one′s spirits. Unfortunately, a group of people resorted to expecting miracles, waiting for the supernatural, and such false dependence which neglects the causes and waits for marvels. We know for sure that miracles ended with the end of the messengers and that we are living in the realm of reality where we should make use of all available means, depending and putting our confidence in Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala. During hardship, the right attitude is to be steadfast, patient, and to deal with events from the viewpoint of the firm content believer, without any feeling of inability or false dependence. Muslims should approach ongoing events with a realistic perception, accounting profit and loss, and preserving interests, and minimizing evils. Also, it should be far from weakness and recklessness. The laws enforced by Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala in the universe are applicable even to prophets; the Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam and the Muslims triumphed in the Battle of Badr, but were defeated in Uhud. They concluded a peace treaty in Hudaybiyah, conquered Mecca and turned away in Hunain. Also we should not be hasty or impatient. Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala says: "´┐Żbut there is an appointed term from which they will find no escape.a" [Al-Kahf: 58]

Seventh: The establishment of Muslim brotherhood in its noblest form

This should be reflected on one's feelings, words, and actions. The following are the features of brotherhood:

Being loyal to the believers and not helping the disbelievers against them. The judgment concerning helping disbelievers against the Muslims is as clear as day. It is explained in various verses in the Qur`aan, like for example, Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala's saying, "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allaah guideth not wrongdoing folk" [Al-Maa'idah: 51] The Almighty also says, "O ye who believe! Choose not My enemy and your enemy for friends" [Al-Mumtahanah: 1]

Allaah Almighty says, "He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them" [Al-Maaidah: 51]

Therefore, Muslims are required to establish brotherhood among them and help one another. The Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam says, "A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor lets him down nor looks down upon him. It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth and his honor." Furthermore, in the Farewell Sermon, he sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said, "Verily! Your blood, property and honor are sacred to one another (i.e. Muslims) like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this city of yours." Thus, our support and affiliation to our Muslim brethren should not be temporary or momentary. Unfortunately, our sense of responsibility to our brethren never awakens except in times of crises, when we hurry to help them and then go back to our sleep after the crisis has subsided.

Among the aspects of this brotherhood is hurrying to relieve the victims of catastrophes, such as children, old people, women, and the homeless. Muslims are supposed to be the first to help their brothers in faith, not the Red Cross Organization, the International Food Program, or any eastern or western country. We know that millions of Afghani people originally live in camps in Pakistan . With the new circumstances, the number of refugees has increased. Their conditions are catastrophic as regards health, food, and livelihood.

Every Muslim should be very cautious not to fall into the snares represented in the stupor of shock or excessive enthusiasm. What we need most in many affairs of our lives is balance and having a base of established facts; we should not let actions and reactions make us lose our required balance. Furthermore, we do not need to exert much effort to realize that many of our mistakes have resulted from a deviation in perception away from the required balance and moderation.

Feelings can be provoked and stirred, but actions should be done in accordance with the guidance of the Qur`aan and the Sunnah as well as the objectives of Islam, taking into consideration the potential advantages and disadvantages which cannot be realized except through consulting prominent pious scholars who do not flatter the public or pursue their personal interests. Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala says, " whereas if they had referred it to the messenger and such of them as are in authority, those among them who are able to think out the matter would have known it" [An-Nisaa: 83]

Thus, the best advice to be given concerning ongoing events is to restrain feelings lest they result in some erroneous judgments, which may cause harm for the Muslims and their interests. Because of their strong passion and their strong liability to be swayed, the youth are especially advised to have insight when handling matters and dealing with grave events that entail serious consequences. Neither should agitation lead us to rashness nor should zeal lead us to recklessness. Youthful enthusiasm can be an active productive energy if directed to the right way. So every youth should not make his enthusiasm a tank of fuel that can be inflamed by any mischievous person. The important thing is not to give vent to one's feelings, but rather to realize interests and prevent evils. In fact, Muslim nations cannot endure more hardship and unrest; therefore, it is our duty to act in a responsible disciplined way in such hard circumstances until the hardship is eased and the nation is relieved.

Indeed, the call to Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala flourishes in the atmosphere of tranquility and stability. That was why Az-Zuhri said after the Al-Hudaybiyah peace treaty, "People trusted each other, so anyone who was convinced with Islam embraced it. Thus, the people who embraced Islam after the peace treaty and before the Conquest of Makkah were many times more than those who embraced Islam before that. The Messenger of Allaah sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam came to conclude the peace treaty accompanied by about one hundred and fourteen men, then he came to conquer Makkah accompanied by more than ten thousand, though the span of time between the two events was short."

We ask Allaah Almighty to ordain for this nation an age of guidance where the people who obey Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta`aala are honored while the people who disobey Him are debased. We ask Him to strengthen Islam, grant Muslims victory, unite them on the truth, and protect them from disasters and calamities. Aameen.