The Muslim Youth (Carpe Diem)
Often the most misunderstood person in society, the Muslim youth. A trying time in one’s life, raging hormones, few responsibilities, doesn’t quite have a clear understanding of the world and yet the very world he/she is trying to live in is trying to beat him/her down.
From an economic perspective, a thriving economy needs a young, educated and enterprising population that can spur innovation and development. This is a key resource that much of the Muslim world has in comparison to the developed economies with the exception of the United States. Yet, it has been systematically underutilised for decades. Developed economies, in particular Japan and most European nations, have an ageing population that will greatly inhibit their ability to reach economic prosperity unless they can reform their immigration system or get more babies (it really is that simple).
So Muslim youth this is our moment. What is holding us back from achieving our dreams? Alcohol? Drugs? A consumerist world that preys on our desires and never ending needs? A lack of ambition or clear goals in life?
It is indeed a difficult time for the Muslim youth with all the misconceptions about Islam constantly pumped up into the minds of the masses by the media. The issue of our identity continually lingers upon us. We won’t be at ease until we make a choice on the kind of life we want to live. Do live materially, striving to go with the flow and live life according to our own rules and what society expects from us? Or we do have a higher calling?
Certainly as Muslims we need to understand our real purpose in this life is to worship Allah. (more on the purpose of creation here). I am in agreement with the mantra “you only live once” (Yolo); but we will be accountable for that life. All the glitz and glamour are ornaments of this life and are only there to test us. We don’t know when we are going to die, we rarely think about death There’s a contemporary song “make the most like we are gonna die young”, the message of the song is party and live life to the maximum, for the Muslim youth it is rather different, we need to ask ourselves if we really were to die young? Would we be in a state Allah would be pleased with us?
Allah reminds us that the prime time to make a difference is in your youth. In the famous hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advises us "Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth, before you become old; and your health, before you fall sick; and your richness, before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life, before your death."”.
In another hadith, there are seven types of people who will be under a shade during the day of judgement; one of these is a “young person who spent most of his youth in the worship of Allah.” The sight of a young Muslim in the mosque is dearer to Allah in comparison to a much older person. Another part of this hadith is a person who rebuffs the sexual advancement of a beautiful person or someone of high status, because of the fear of Allah. We can draw inspiration from Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) who faced a lot of Fitnah at the hands of the Emir’s wife. We only need to ponder how would we react if we were placed in a similar situation?
Let us Carpe Diem (seize the day) O Muslim youth. Let’s shun everything about this world that does not enhance our values or beliefs and take only from the good of this world. Let’s let go of bad company that neither benefits us in this life or the hereafter. Let’s say NO to drugs and intoxicants that may give us temporary enjoyment but in the long term ruin our spiritual, physical and mental health. Let us make a difference in society and benefit the Ummah.
If we are currently off the mark, we should never despair in Allah’s mercy. Allah is most merciful and forgiving. We need to turn back to Him and be the best we can be.