- Making use of our youth We would like to thank The Ambition News Paper for publishing this article in their December Issue. Dear friends, if Allah gives us 60Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2004View Source
Making use of our youth
We would like to thank The Ambition News Paper for publishing this article in their December Issue.
Dear friends, if Allah gives us 60 years to live then it comes to around 22,000 days (60x365). All these days Allah gives us to prepare for one day of interview with Allah. That is on the Day of Judgement. On that day, Allah will ask us some questions and He wants some correct answers. Allah is so merciful that He already told us what the questions will be through Quran and Ahadith. His mercy is so great that He even told us the answers to these questions. Now imagine, a student goes to write an exam. He opens his exam paper and finds the questions on one side. Then he finds that the answers to the questions are on the other side. Now after writting the exam, if this student still fails then what would we think of him? We would think that he is the dumbest person around. Well, tell you what, on the Day of Judgement, us people who knew the questions and answers will still fail! That is why, this is the time to wake up before we prove ourselves to be the dumbest of people.
Youth is the prime time of our lives. This is where people make important decisions like what to become in the future. Things you do in this time will most likely affect you throughout the rest of your life. That is why, it is important to bring Islam into your life during these days. Many people have the conception that when they get old then they will start practising Islam. Probably you and me also have this feeling. But look at it this way: If you want to become a famous hockey player then you would start playing right from the youth. As you grow up, you will become better and better. But if you think that you will start playing when you are an old man then the chances of becoming famous is virtually zero. That's the reality. When we become old, we won't have enough energy to even stand up and pray.
Because youth is the prime time of your life, that is why it is very precious to Allah. Allah has prepared a shade on the Day of Judgement for those people who used to worship Allah in their youth. On that Day, there will be no other shade except the shade from the throne of Allah. Imagine standing outside on a very hot day under the sun for hours after hours. You would definately want some shadow to rest under. But what about that Day when the sun will be much nearer to us and the heat will be much more extreme. Wouldn't you want some shade on that day? Ofcourse you would!
You and I are all weak in terms of keeping our duties to Allah and Allah is aware of that. Allah wants that we keep trying to do our best. If a baby falls down while walking he tries to get up again and walk. He doesn't keep sitting down. Then a day comes when he does start to walk. Similarly, we should keep trying our best and not give up. A day will come when, Inshallah, we will be strong enough to obey Allah in every situation. Let us make a small promise to Allah right now that we will start doing the things for which we were sent to this life. Otherwise, we will be like that dumb guy who will fail the test on the Day of Judgement.
May Allah make it easy for us. Ameen.
From: Bint ul Islam Date: Tue Sep 7, 2004 7:41pm Subject: The Muslim Teenager in the Achaotic World
The Muslim Teenager in the Achaotic World
This article is a personal look at the world of the Muslim teenager living in Modernday Britain. It aims to paint a critical picture of the pressures and influences faced by young muslims as they grow up and the importance of Deen in overcoming and dealing with these problems. The article is not aimed at being an inclusive guide to all that Young Muslims need to know in bringing Deen into their lives, but to the contrary I hope it acts as a stimulant for further and more proper steps towards finding out more, i.e. via further reading, consultation with the Ulama and the significance of attending, if possible, an Islamic teaching institution.
Anyone briefly interested in Sociology would know that many theorists argue that - The way we live our lives and grow up is not a personal thing, instead it is decided and shaped by the society we live in. Now as a teenager a number of years ago if somebody said that to me, it wouldn't mean a thing let alone make me bothered or concerned, but what would have been astonishing to hear is that,
I am just another marketing target for people to make money off and that am always fed information about life according to the perspective of people who don't know or don't care anything about my religion, my family life nor my heritage.
The two things mentioned above are commonly to do with: ( a) Capitalism: which basically means to make huge profits (greedy amounts of money) whatever it takes!
( b) The Media: which is the name given to institutions who make money by providing news or entertainment such as Newspapers, Television programme makers, Films and Film makers, Showbiz Magazines and those to do with the Music industry. Capitalism is a very powerful system as almost all countries want to be part of it, simply because they want to become more wealthier and more advanced. In a very simplistic example it is all about competing with others and spending as less money as possible to make massive amounts of profit.
There are countless examples of this dominant behaviour. For instance, many multi-national companies like Nike have been accused of getting their products made in third world countries like Bangladesh where the cost of employing someone is dramatically less than it is in Europe. They then sell them on to us in Britiain for extortionate prices (eg. a hundred pounds for a pair of trainers).
Big companies like Car manufacturers would often agree to fix prices so that the customer is unaware they are paying more - again to make Billions of pounds of profit. In fact, by now you may probably be wondering well where does the Muslim Teenager fit into all this. Well, my dear brothers and sisters Capitalism is a very clever system becuase it never runs out of areas to make money and one of it's biggest places where it makes ridiculous amounts of money is in the Teenage market.
Teenagers in Britain as in all western countries are big buisness, simply becuase unlike in poor countries where young people mostly seek above all a better standard of living, the modern day teenager has become addicted to a life of luxury. Therefore, teenagers via the Media (as will be discussused shortly) are bombarded with expectations to be fashionable, trendy, and be more concerned with image and lifestyle than with leading a good life. The Muslim Teenager is also part of this chaotic world simply because he or she is exposed to this material culture in almost all aspects of their life, whether it's at school, at home, or with friends.
In fact, I do not wish to condem anybody but I would like to use this opportunity to point out to my young brothers and sisters that some will say to you that you are going through a phase and that when you get older you will probably laugh at yourself, but what ever you enjoy, whether it's fashionable clothes or a trendy image you have to bear in mind that Muslims have always been the icon of the rest of the world for their simplistic but yet productive way of life.
Even if the simple and humble way of Islam appears very unattractive to some of my brothers and sisters I would like to ask you to consider some mere ethical questions:1. Think about where and who made your trendy gear? 2. How much does it really costs to make it? i.e. Did it really cost the price on the tag? 3.Who really benefits more: your image or the pockets of fat cat company executives?
The second alarming thing to hear is that what you read, watch and listen to is decided by a very powerful institution called the Media. The Media is not simply one particular person or a group, infact it is the entire system of newspapers, magazines, television programmes and movies by which we get information and entertainment in society. On the outset they seem perfectly harmless but many writers and commentators. mainly non-Muslim will tell you that your lifestyle, choices and ideas are decided by what you pick up from the Media. This may seem harsh to believe but just pick up any media studies text book or watch any news programme to find out more.
The media is held responsible for promoting young people to be thin, attractive and trendy like famous celebrities and seek things which everyone else is supposedly seeking: a perfect partner and poupularity amongst people. It also, for want of a better word, brainwashes you to see things in terms of , what your lead to believe is, the values of the rest of society. So, you find yourself analysing problems acording to knowledge gained from watching soaps like Eastenders and talkshows like The Ricki Lake show and you may even be directly or indirectly influenced by reading agony aunt pages in teenage showbiz magazines. Although, this seems like an extreme version of how teenage Muslims find answers to life's problems, personal inquiries tell me that the magnetic effect of drawing from these types of sources is so powerful that it overshadows other ways of seeing things. For instance, we may question the judgement of our elders and subsequently openly welcome advice given by TV personalities who may sound sympathetic despite not having a clue about our culture and family ties.
Many Sociologists argue that the British Media does not represent adequately the muti-cultural dimension to British life. It is accused of discriminating against people outside London, people from ethnic minority groups and especially
against the belief and views of religious groups such as Muslims. Recently, there has been an increased concern about the 'Islamophobic' attitude of the Media, as Muslims are very unfairly and poorly represented. Examples include the constant hammering of the stereo-type of practising Muslims as terrorists and a danger to public life.
In summary, this article is not intended to uncover a particular conspiracy theory, but to highlight to young Muslims that although the material culture of the west is difficult to escape, it is highly imperitive that Muslim teenagers maintain a slight if not complete awareness of exactly what is going on in this seemingly cosy society of ours.
Being critical does not mean you have to be a monk distant from all your family and friends, but to be a bit more aware that although we live a comfortable life in Britain we should not easily be distracted or exploited by the Media and greedy multi-national companies out to shape our belief s and values as well as rip us off.
Whilst these Satanic institutions aim and try so hard to kep us busy we must bear in mind that Islam gives the young person a very high and rewarding role of being dedicated and active followers of the true Deen. There are countless rewards available for the young person who fights the ills of the temptations of this world in return for the sanctitiy of the hearafter and to those who can see beyond the fake surface of the Media and Capitalism.