Every society is made up of people of different classes, values and ages, and everyone play an important, essential and crucial role in strengthening the society of today and of future. And it is the duty of every member of society to participate in this process.
The youth are part of societies, 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 have important responsibilities towards their society. Based on these facts, it is clear that they are also responsible for serving Islam. There is a method which may enable us to benefit from the youth to serve Islam. It has three steps.
- Raising Awareness of Islam
Raising awareness is the first step because people do not struggle for doing something aimless. You cannot take advantage of somebody without by encouraging them or motivating them. How can we raise our youth’s awareness of Islam?
To begin with, Muslim parents should be perfect role-models due to the fact that children’s characters and thoughts are shaped by their parents’ behaviors. Parents need to educate their children with the Quran, Hadith, and the implementation of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). As well as that, they need to encourage their children to attend school and to aim for a higher education for the future.
Secondly, technology can be used in order to raise awareness. Technology and internet are being used by everyone, especially by young people. There are plenty of young people who want to serve Islam and live in that way, but they might not find an organization or get opportunity to do so. Therefore, we can direct them to websites or online platforms which contain Islamic information, videos, articles etc. That may contribute to our aim to be spread.
Finally, we should impress this idea on them: “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)
- Education and Self-improvement
Second step is education and self-improvement because Islam attaches great importance to education. To illustrate, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) referred to the attainment of an education as a duty, not a right or a privilege, for all Muslims. Muslims have the responsibility to pursue both a religious and a formal education. “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” (Tirmidhi, Hadith 74)
After their awareness has been raised; our youth need to educate themselves in order to be able to serve Islam. If our youth want to do so, they must have comprehensive knowledge of Islam because they cannot tell someone the truths without a powerful Islamic knowledge. Furthermore, they need to improve their communication and problem solution skills. When we consider the Muslims all around the world, they are shy or unsocial. However, this may limit serving Islam because while trying to serve Islam, our youth will encounter lots of differences. How can youth overcome those issues if they do not be active in life?
Therefore, we have to improve ourselves in every field of life, which is an obligation for us, as our Prophet told, to achieve our goal.
- Brotherhood and Sisterhood
The third step is providing an effective environment to serve Islam. People can encourage each other in a group which has the same goal. There might be a lot of Muslim brothers and sisters out there who do not find an opportunity to serve Islam or do not trust themselves although they are well equipped individually. This is because they think that they are alone and they are powerless to reach their goals. Yet, being a part of an Islamic group, which will contain brotherhood and sisterhood, may encourage them to serve Islam because our youth will know that they are not alone or powerless in this world and they have brothers or sisters who are trying to serve Islam as well.
What we should do is to set up an Islamic environment. To do so, we might found or support associations in which young people can find an opportunity to become together and do something to serve Islam such as making Islamic organizations, conferences, forums etc.
In conclusion, those steps mentioned above may help us and our youth to serve Islam if they will be applied. I want to finish this article with just a word of advice. Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you. Assalamu Alaikom warahmatu Allahi wa barakatuhu.
‘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.’ (Musnad Imam Ahmad)