Cultivate the youth and do not sideline them: Shaikh Fawzān’s guidance to the youth

BISMILLAH

There is no doubt that the youth of the Ummah are foundations of the human building – upon which this Ummah is established. So the youth, they are the younger generation that will carry the responsibility after their fathers. The youth have within them bodily strength and thinking, they have talents and skills and aptitude that are new and modern that are not present in older people.

Important_Guidance_Youth_CoverThe elder folk have wisdom and experience, whilst the youth have strength and preparedness and readiness. So if the youth and the elders were to work together for the advancement of the Ummah, much good would be achieved. However, if the youth go their own way, separate from their elders, the devils from the humans and the Jinn would come in between them (to cause mischief). So the side-lining of youth towards other objectives and aims is harmful to the Ummah.

The Messenger (H) gave real importance to the affair of young people. He said to his cousin, ʻAbdullāh Ibn ʻAbbās (L) (and he was a young boy at the time):

 

يَا غُلاَمُ إِنِّي أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ احْفَظِ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْكَ احْفَظِ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَكَ إِذَا سَأَلْتَ فَاسْأَلِ اللَّهَ وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْتَ فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللَّهِ وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الأُمَّةَ لَوِ اجْتَمَعَتْ عَلَى أَنْ يَنْفَعُوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَنْفَعُوكَ إِلاَّ بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ لَكَ وَلَوِ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَضُرُّوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَضُرُّوكَ إِلاَّ بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ رُفِعَتِ الأَقْلاَمُ وَجَفَّتِ الصُّحُفُ

“O young boy – surely I will teach you some words: Be mindful of Allāh and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allāh and you will find him in front of you. If you ask, then ask of Allāh alone, and if you are in need, then seek assistance from Allāh alone. Know that even if the whole Ummah (nation) were to gather together to benefit you with something, they could not benefit you except with that which Allāh has already written for you. The Pens have been lifted and the Pages have dried.”[1]

In another narration reported in Tirmidhī and also found in Imām An-Nawawī’s ‘Forty Hadīth’, Allāh’s Messenger (H) said:

احْفَظْ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ أمامك، تَعَرَّفْ إلَى اللَّهِ فِي الرَّخَاءِ يَعْرِفُك فِي الشِّدَّةِ، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ مَا أَخْطَأَك لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُصِيبَك، وَمَا أَصَابَك لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُخْطِئَك، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ النَّصْرَ مَعَ الصَّبْرِ، وَأَنَّ الْفَرَجَ مَعَ الْكَرْبِ، وَأَنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا

“Remember Allāh in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of hardship and adversity. And know; that which has passed you by and missed you, was never going to befall you, and whatever has befallen you was never going to miss you. And know that victory comes with patience, relief comes after affliction and ease comes after hardship.”

So this advice and guidance gathers together tremendous directives for young people with respect to their ʻaqīdah, their conduct, their manners, and their utter reliance upon Allāh, and their Īmān in the Pre-decree, that which has taken place and is to take place. So this is a tremendous encompassing advice.

Anas (I) narrated that the Prophet (H)  was upon a riding beast, and behind him was Muʻādh (I), so he (O) said:

 

قَالَ: يَا مُعَاذُ بْنَ جَبَلٍ. قَالَ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَسَعْدَيْكَ.‏ قَالَ:‏ يَا مُعَاذُ. قَالَ لَبَّيْكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَسَعْدَيْكَ.‏ ثَلاَثًا.‏ قَالَ:‏ مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ يَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صِدْقًا مِنْ قَلْبِهِ إِلاَّ حَرَّمَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى النَّارِ. قَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَفَلاَ أُخْبِرُ بِهِ النَّاسَ فَيَسْتَبْشِرُوا قَالَ ‏‏إِذًا يَتَّكِلُوا. وَأَخْبَرَ بِهَا مُعَاذٌ عِنْدَ مَوْتِهِ تَأَثُّمًا

“O Muʻādh!” He responded: “At your service and call O Messenger of Allāh.” Then he called again “O Muʻādh!” He responded: “At your service and call, O Messenger of Allāh.” This occurred three times. Assured that he had Muʻādh’s full attention, he (H) said to him: “There is not a servant who declares that there is none who has the right to be worshipped except Allāh and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh, sincerely from his heart, except that Allāh has made the Hellfire forbidden for him.” Muʻādh said: “O Messenger of Allāh. Should I not inform the people and give them this glad tiding?” He (H) replied: “No, for they will come to rely upon it.” Muʻādh mentioned it at the time of his own death to avoid falling into sin.”[2]

So this is guidance for the youth regarding that which Allāh has obligated upon His creation; that they are to worship Him alone, without partners. This is the purpose of their creation:

 

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

“And I created not the Jinn and humans except they that should worship Me alone.”[3]

So the right of Allāh upon the servants is an obligation, it is mandatory. It is an affair in which there is no choice for them to do it if they wish or to leave it if they wish. No, rather it is something obligated upon them.

As for the right of the servant upon Allāh, then that is a favour from Allāh, as Allāh is otherwise not obligated to owe anyone anything – rather it is a favour, and the right of the favour with Him is:

 

أَنْ لاَ يُعَذِّبَ مَنْ لاَ يُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا

“That He will not punish the one who does not worship anything alongside Him.”[4]

This proves that worshiping Allāh alone without any partners (i.e. Tawhīd) is a guarantee from destruction – either an absolute guarantee with the meaning that a person will never be punished or with the meaning that he will not remain in Hell eternally, even if a person is punished for their sins. Such a person will be removed from the Fire and entered into Paradise as long as they were from Ahlut-Tawhīd (The People of Tawhīd), and they did not associate anyone in worship with Allāh.

It also proves that whoever commits Shiṛk alongside Allāh, then indeed Allāh will punish such a person eternally in Hell having no happiness as Allāh said:

 

إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ

 “Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allāh, then Allāh has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the wrong-doers, there are no helpers.”[5]

And He, The Most High, said,

 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ

“Verily, Allāh forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives lesser than that to whomever He pleases.”[6]

And so the meaning of the Prophet’s (H) saying:

 

أَنْ لاَ يُعَذِّبَ مَنْ لاَ يُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا

“That He does not punish the one who does not worship anything alongside Him.”[7] – is that everything that is taken as a partner alongside the worship of Allāh such as a tree, or a stone, or a dead person or a living person, or a Jinn or a human or idols or angels or Messengers or Prophets, or those who are pious – everything that is associated with Allāh in worship, then Allāh will not forgive that person unless they repent – repent to Allāh, seeking His Forgiveness, and return back to pure monotheism, believing in and worshipping One God; Allāh.

If a person dies upon polytheistic beliefs, then he will remain eternally in Hell. On an occasion, the Prophet (H) spoke to ʻUmar Ibn Abī Salamah (I), and he was a youth living in the house of the Prophet due to the fact that the Prophet married his mother after the death of Abū Salamah. So this youth (I) was nurtured and cultivated at the hands of Allāh’s Messenger (H). So when the food arrived, the Prophet (H) said to the youth,

 

يَا غُلاَمُ سَمِّ اللَّهَ، وَكُلْ بِيَمِينِكَ وَكُلْ مِمَّا يَلِيكَ

“O youth, say Bismillāh, and eat with your right hand, and eat that which is close to you.”[8]

[1] Sunan At-Tirmidhī: 2518

[2] Sahīh Al-Bukhārī: 128 and Sahīh Muslim: 32

[3] Sūrah Adh-Dhāriyāt: 56

[4] Sahīh Al-Bukhārī: 2856

[5] Sūrah Al-Mā’idah: 72

[6] Sūrah An-Nisā’: 48

[7] Sahīh Al-Bukhārī: 2856

[8] Sahīh Al-Bukhārī: 5376

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