The commencing of the holidays spontaneously brings about concern in the hearts of many a parent with regards to the activities of their youth during the holiday period.
The vitality of youth is indeed a gift from Allah Ta’aala as mentioned in Sura Ar- Rum:
“Allah is the One who created you from weakness, then He gave you strength after weakness, then He gave you weakness and grey hair after strength.” (Surah Ar-Rum: Verse 54).
In this verse reference is made to the helpless period of childhood, the energetic period of youth and the dwindling strength and reduced vitality of old age.
This very exciting period of one’s life which many a grey- haired man would love to return to is punctuated with periods of pleasure and pain, thrills and spills and joy and grief. A period that is characterised with a desire to experiment with anything and everything, dangerous or safe, within the limits and beyond. Not forgetting the inclination to rebel, the will to challenge authority coupled with the excitement of engaging in risky behaviour.
Interests change, values are altered, traditional signposts become blurred and parents no longer occupy the centre stage in the lives of these children who find themselves on the threshold of adulthood. Upon reaching adolescence, the growing child suddenly discovers within himself experiences he never felt before. With this new-found energy and mustered strength, he feels that he can provide instant solutions to age old problems.
When Nabi Kareem Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam advised taking hold of 5 opportunities before 5 conditions render you incapable of doing so, he mentioned life in general and the period of youth in particular. He [SAW] said, “Value five things before five others: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your leisure before your work, and your life before your death.”
Allah Ta’aala values and holds in great esteem that youngster who is obedient to Him during the prime of his youth, to such an extent that He gives him the privilege of being granted shade under His throne on that dreadful Day when there will be no shade except His.
Abu Hurayrah Radiyallaahu anhu reported that the Prophet Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam said: “There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade:
1. A just ruler.
2. A youth who grows up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.
3. A man whose heart is attached to the musjid.
4. Two people who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that.
5. A man who is seduced by a woman of beauty and position, but be says: ‘I fear Allah’.
6. A man who gives charity secretly, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives.
7. A man who remembers Allah in solitude and his eyes shed tears.”
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 660, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1031
In the light of this Hadeeth every young person should make a firm commitment never to leave the worship of Allah Ta’aala and to remain chaste and far from all forms of disobedience to Allah Ta’ala such as Zina, (be it of the eyes, ears, hands or the actual act itself), music and its associated evils, intoxicants and all other vices. Remember, there is no better time in a person’s life to serve Allah Ta’aala than the youthful stage of life. Our youth are tomorrow’s flag bearers of Deen. Its preservation lies in their hands.
The following great personalities are remembered even today for their achievements during their youth: Nabi Ibraheem Alaihis Salaam challenged the ideology of his time, Nabi Yusuf Alaihis Salaam was entrusted with the country’s financial affairs, Hadrat Usama bin Zayd Radiyallaahu anhu was placed at the head of the army and Abdullah bin ‘Abbas Radiyallaahu anhu was considered an authority on Qur’aan and Tafseer at a tender age. Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sind when he was only seventeen while Muhammad al-Faatih liberated Constantinople, and brought an end to the mighty Byzantine empire, when he was barely twenty one.
Let us follow the example of none other than Muhammad Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam. In the prime of his youth he directed his energy in championing the cause of the poor, victims of injustice and oppression and in linking people to Allah Ta’ala, their Creator.
Every Muslim should reflect and ask: “Is there any way that I could secure my place under the shade of Allah Ta’aala, at a time when people would be drowning in their own perspiration?”