“Consider the human self …and how it is imbued with moral failings, as well as the consciousness of Allah- He who causes this (self) to grow in purity shall indeed attain a happy state, and truly lost is he who buries it (in darkness) (Sura 91:7-9)
- Whilst youth is an exciting stage of development characterized by valor, drive, enthusiasm and oozing energy, it is also the most demanding period of development. The trappings of self-assertion, peer pressure, and enticement make it extremely difficult for youth to maintain their adaptive balance… to channel their energies constructively and to navigate their way through the alluring yell of experimentation, indulgence and instant gratification.
- Youth is a time when the lower-self (Nafsul-Ammarah) is most persuasive. The lower-self is a state of compelling desire together with a propensity to venture and rebel. However, the higher-self yearns for purity of thought and action, for sacrifice, commitment, truth, and piety. The struggle against the lower -self is the greater struggle (jihad al akbar) which enables our actions to have an ethical rather than an instinctive basis.
- Unless the lower/carnal-self is brought under the control of the higher-self, the individual in spite of being human will behave like a beast. The Holy Qur’ân states: “Consider the human self …and how it is imbued with moral failings as well as the consciousness of Allah- He who causes this (self) to grow in purity shall indeed attain a happy state, and truly lost is he who buries it (in darkness) (91: 7-9)
The state of darkness makes one unreceptive and impervious to the command of Allah.
- It is precisely because of the natural predisposition of youth towards the lower-self that the Prophet Sallallâhu 'alayhi wasallam has said: "The feet of a servant (of Allah on the Resurrection Day) will not move before being asked about four things: his age (life) and how he spent it, his youth and how he wore it out, his wealth and how he earned it and on what he spent it…"(Bukhari).
- We must however understand that our struggle does not end with our own personal purification; it only begins there. The youth of today have a divine mission that begins with the purification of the self and ends with the development and reform of society.
“A dutiful and devout youth is so honoured by Allâh Subhanahu wa Ta’âla that he is among the seven people who are promised shade on a day when there is no shade but the shade of Allah” (Bukhari and Muslim).
“There are two favours that deceive most people; health and time.”
- We only have one chance to “be young”, only one opportunity to appropriately harness our youthful vigour and vitality. Our life is like a chunk of ice exposed to the midday sun, which is fast turning into water, and which will eventually be lost to the earth. Only the good that we do in this time will endure.
“Work for the life hereafter as if you are going to certainly die tomorrow.”
It is ours to choose which life to live and which path to take!
May Allah protect us from adopting the path of ruin and moral decay.