By Bint e Aisha
Seeking the Shade of the Arsh - Guidance for the Youth
Book by Maulana Yunus Patel RA
This book is a revised edition of a compilation of advices that was prepared especially for a three day Youth Programme, hosted by Madrasatus Sawlehaat in Rajab 1431 / June 2010. Alhamdulillah, the first edition comprised of fifteen Malfuzaat, taken from the talks and lessons of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah alayh) and was proof-read and edited by Hazrat Maulana.
This second edition has been prepared with more of Hazrat Maulana's advices and includes standard prescriptions and guidelines towards giving up common weaknesses. Alhamdulillah, Hazrat Maulana (rahmatullahi alayh) had a unique way of presenting different analogies and lessons by which the message and importance of Taqwa and obedience to Allah Ta'ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) were impressed in the heart and mind. These advices offered constant encouragement and motivation. The repetition of some advices is retained due to the diverse angles from which Hazrat Maulana would explain them.
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By Bint e Aisha
Every society is made up of people of different classes, values and ages, and everyone has to play an important, essential and crucial role in the society of today and of future. And it is the duty of every member of society to participate in strengthening the society. And every society is as well made up of different classes of people participating in building and maintaining it.
The youths and young ones are part of this society, but their role is more important than others. They are integral and essential part of a society and a society is incomplete without young blood. Therefore it is said: “Today’s youths are the force, hope and leaders of tomorrow”, because they are the future of society, country and community. Young people are the driving force of change and can encourage governments and authorities to declare their priorities. Young people have important responsibilities towards their society. It is important to learn from the past and to live with a hope for a better future, a future that is appropriate for our children and future generations. Based on this, the following, though not limited to them, should be fundamental responsibilities of the youths in a Muslim society:
1- Knowledge of the basic fundamentals of the teachings of Islam and Allah’s guidance through the right sources. It remains a crystal fact that man is lost and blind if not for the divine guidance of the Creator. And to achieve this guidance, one have to know at the very least the most basic fundamentals of his religious teachings and through the correct sources. This will make the youths know what is good for them in the both worlds; their limitations to things, and more importantly it will instill that God consciousness in anything they may be doing. As such, they realize that building the society towards the right direction is a means to attaining paradise and a positive contribution to the world.
2- True Values and Morals: After the basic knowledge stated above, it becomes imperative that the youths take it a responsibility upon themselves to display and put in practice what they have learnt. The future generation has a duty to be honest, genuine, of good values and to work day and night for the betterment of the society and the country. Young people have a duty to use their skills, strength, creativity and imaginations to serve the country and the nation in the best possible manner. These are the young people who can make the difference, because they are the backbone of a nation and can build a bright future for society based on values and courageous behavior.
3- Sound Education: The world we are today requires a very sound and well modeled education to be abreast of happenings or be able to make positive impact in it. It is necessary that one must build his educational carrier upon a very strong sound religious knowledge. This is one of the best ways, if not the only, that can guarantee a balance in educational and worldly achievements, good morals, honesty and true dedication in one’s endeavours. It is the responsibility of the youths to get all these very well imbibed into them to serve as a foundation upon which they will rely as they face the later challenges of life.
4- Good Home. This is a great pillar to the building of a better society. Youths should get married to spouses who are not just beautiful damsels, but God fearing and righteous. Based on Islamic teachings and the reality on ground, beauty will surely fade off, money can diminish or dwindle away as Allah may wish it, but when the fear of God and righteousness are there, the home will forever be a bliss and the kids brought forth in such a house will also be different and unique. If such is achieved, then the future of our society is brighter. In doing this, it is essential that the elderly who are more experienced in life are consulted and their advice well considered. Marriage should be encouraged for the youths and supported as much as possible morally, psychologically and financially. This will prevent the lots of immoralities we witness in our societies. Here, the role of the parents and guardians is very important.
5- Financial Stability. The youths are to be taught how to get financially stable as early as possible. They will by that get prepared to take so much responsibilities without piling more responsibilities on their parents. This will also give them the self confidence to happily shoulder responsibilities.
6- Support of the Elders and needy. It must be made clear to the youth that they are the golden eyes of the society. They have the physical strength and courage, the time and little responsibilities, the health and less boredom. All these are characteristics they should be able to utilize effectively in supporting their parents, elders and other needy ones. These features are so mind blowing and deceitful. They are not for ever but yet the possessor would think they are until they start diminishing. So please, let the youths realize the huge responsibility upon them to make use of these skills and characteristic for the betterment of the society.
In our modern society, there are very important challenges being faced by the youth, which the elderly generation may not have a good understanding of their impacts and importance in the life of the growing youths. These are challenges no more restricted to any one ethnic or religious group, but affect young people generally. Most discussions on youth have focussed on issues such as drug abuse, crime, violence, sexuality and poverty. This are well spelt out problems already being tackled by the societies, in a view of making the youths realize their responsibilities towards such challenges as a way to building a better collective society. In addition to the just mentioned are issues like:
1. An Identity Crisis: Who am I?
2. Lack of self confidence and low self esteem: I am worthless
3. A sense of hopelessness: Where am I going?
4. Confusion and ambiguity concerning moral issues: What is right and wrong?
5. The negative impact of the electronic media: Entertainment ?
6. Competitiveness in education: the uneven playing field: Excellence by whom? Not Me.
In the Quran and history of Islam, as found in the life of the Prophet (PBUH), we have numerous examples of outstanding youth.
Indeed the image of Abraham (PBUH) in the Quran is one of extreme inspiration, enlightenment and uniqueness. It is the image of a young man rebelling against his people’s decadent traditions, a young man defying the dominant values of his society even in the form of a tyrant king who claims divinity. His son Ismail (PBUH) inherited these qualities of sincerity in worshipping Allah and sacrifice of everything for His sake, as clear in the story of the sacrifice when his father consulted him upon seeing in his dream that he is to sacrifice him, and he answered with determination and certainty to obey Allah’s command “Oh my father, do as you are commanded, you will find me, if Allah so wills, of the patient”.
The mission of Muhammad (PBUH) was also one for the youth as the eldest of those who first believed in the prophet was Abu Bakr As-Siddiq who was only thirty five years old then. Most of them had not reached the age of twenty. In fact, some like Ali bin Abi Talib were as young as ten.
To give more credence to the importance of the youth in bearing their actual responsibilities in the society, it was not surprising that the leader of the Muslim army following the death of the Prophet (PBUH) was Usama Ibn Zayd who was only sixteen years old, and India was later conquered by Mohamed Ibn Al-Qasim who was the same age.
Who is The Ideal Muslim Youth?
One may define the ideal youth as a balanced individual exhibiting a highly spiritual life informed by absolute moral values and whose behaviour demonstrates qualities such as righteousness, honesty, humility and conscientiousness in everything he/she does. He/she does not do things just because it is what was the vogue, but they do things because they are the right things to do. They fear no blame from anyone, as far as they are on the right track of attaining the pleasure of Allah. This is because they are well acquainted with the fact that “A man receives but only that for which he strives; that his endeavors will be judged, and only then will he receive his recompense in full.” (Quran, 53:39-41)