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Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Role Of Muslim Youths In Nation Building

The quality of freshness, vitality or vigor and the condition of being young which form the cardinal descriptive characteristics of youths is definitely an asset or liability depending on how the young people get programmed. 


Undoubtedly, if the youths of a nation are rightly guided the nation has surely taken the path of achieving great things and leaving behind magnificent footprints for later generations.

No single Muslim who can cling a deal with the basic knowledge of Islamic history will deny the fact that, Islam thrived at the hands of the youths. They were so programmed by Allah, that their major drive in life was to establish a society whose foundation will be based on God's consciousness, equity, justice, sanity, honesty, sincerity, modesty and moderation. That they did established and here we are destroying every bit of their past legacy.


Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was an American essayist said it so beautifully that: "Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant." If we are to go by his submission, then we have to energize the youth with a positive passion to identify their purpose of life and their responsibility towards nation building. We have to develop positive habits because they make all the difference.


According to a statistics presented by the United Nations world report(2007), approximately 1.2 billion youths form part of the world's population. Imagine this population standing up for the truth, the world would have been a different place to live in. When I talk of the role of the Muslim youths in nation building it will be wise to know what percentage of the world's population makes up the Muslim youths. A statistics presented by Pew Research Centre's Forum on Religion and Public Life in 2010 has it that, Muslim youths make up about 60% of the total population of Muslim-majority countries and about 29.1% of world youth and young adult population.


Of what benefit will this percentage be if we can only contribute to the rapid decadence in our societies at all tiers of life?. Allah says it so perfectly in the Glorious Qur'an that; "Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidden Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful." Q :3 v104.

The youths of today are victims of negative norms passed on to them by the older generation. Our psychology is being abused by what the sight of unfortunate acts our elderly ones indulge in. But if the Muslim youth can study the life of As'hab Al-khaf (The companions of the cave) who were sons of the Kings and leaders of Byzantium (according to several earlier and later scholars of Tafseer as related in Tafseer of Ibn Katheer), who saw the negativity around them and chose to be different in order to build a positive nation, then we will move forward.

As youths, we need a total ethical re-orientation. First we have to really see ourselves as part of the problem. Then go back to our history books and adopt the methodology of earlier generations. 


Secondly, we need to be sincere in our dealings and constantly have to remind ourselves that for everything we do there's a record kept with Allah for accountability.


As Muslim youths, we need to affirm in our hearts that Allah has written our sustenance even before He created us. If we can achieve that in our hearts, then our blind love for material acquisition will natural die which we all know is the cause of our present appalling situation.


We have to inculcate within our bosom the spirit of change and that we are that change we are advocating for. I see people talking about nation building but they are quick to give in to corrupt practices. If only we can stop admiring the bad people in our society, I guess nobody will involve himself in corrupt practices to impress others.


We have to be very vocal and vociferous and define what principles we uphold so that we can always speak and stand for the truth where ever we are and people will dare not approach us with any corrupt mindset which in essence will provide a buffer zone between us and corrupt people. In the Sunan of Ibn Majah on the strength of Abu Saeed Al-Khudri (RA), the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:


"Behold! Fear from people should not prevent one from saying the truth if he knows it"


There's always something for us to do to make the desired difference. If our minds are also corrupt  and we criticize simply because we have no equal opportunities as those we are criticizing, then we will build no positive nation. The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said; "Character is contagious", be very careful where you contact your character from. Identify with people of like minds and come up with a strategic plan on how to move this nation forward. Remember that we are solely responsible for the decisions we make in choosing which group to fall in to.

I always say that no matter how rich we are, no matter how many degrees we have bagged, no matter how many feathers we have in our cap, if we don't value our Islam, we are not more than a zero behind decimal point.

penabdul@yahoo.com and on twitter @amraabdul

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