The Role of Youth in Islam
29 SEP 2017
Despite the inexperience of youth, it is a time in a Muslim's life when his faith is likely to be tested repeatedly by temptations "of the flesh." It is the duty of young Muslims to overcome these temptations and preserve their Deen (Islamic way of life), share Islam with others and observe the teachings of the holy texts of Islam, such as the Quran and the Hadith. Beyond fulfilling these basic responsibilities, however, young Muslims are expected above all to play an important role in the advancement of Islam.
1 Establish Good Habits
Within the Muslim community, it is believed that youth is the most important period of life. This is the time in which opinions, habits and beliefs are formed, and it is important for the time to be spent in personal development. For example, Muslim youth should develop the habit of praying five times per day, as he or she will do in adulthood; of avoiding the temptations of time alone with the opposite sex and of seeking guidance from older, wiser Muslims. In this way, the Muslim youth will begin adulthood as a spiritually strong individual able to serve as a role model for other young people.
2 Glorify Allah
Ideally, the Muslim youth should do all things with the aim of glorifying, or serving, Allah. Even casually spending time with friends offers the opportunity to share Islam. Young Muslims should also refrain from backbiting, slander, jealousy and envy and focus instead on gaining Islamic knowledge and practicing the Islamic values of forgiveness and forbearance. Even if a Muslim youth has limited understanding of the Quran's complexities, he should endeavor in all situations to behave in a way that would please Allah. In fact, when a Muslim spends his youth in worship and study of Islam, Allah views it as a form of gratefulness for life.
3 Form Healthy Friendships
Friendships formed in youth often form the basis of an adult Muslim's social life. The Prophet Muhammad is quoted as saying, "A person follows the Deen of his close friend; therefore let each of you look carefully at whom he chooses for friends." Young Muslims are encouraged to form friendships with non-Muslims, as it can strengthen their own faith. With fellow Muslims, youth are urged to form a brotherhood of shared faith to be nurtured at all times, not just in crisis. They should be faithful, kind, generous and loving friends.
4 Seek Knowledge
The Prophet Muhammad referred to the attainment of an education as a duty--not a right or a privilege--for all Muslims. In youth, Muslims have the responsibility to pursue both a religious and a formal education. Muslim youth may learn by attending religious services, but they are also encouraged to seek wisdom from parents and other relatives. The Prophet warned against mistreating or belittling the youth for their lack of wisdom and urged the different generations to come together and learn from one another.