All praise is due to Allâh, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allâh be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Allâh created His servants on a sound and balanced nature. He sent Messengers to confirm and perfect that. Young people are fertile and open ground for all that is introduced to them, either good or bad; and they readily accept whichever of the good or false ideologies, and excellent or bad morals that comes their way. The Messenger of Allâh said,
| Every child is naturally born on Islamic Monotheism. It is his parents that makes out of him a Jew, a Christian or a Magian.|
Youths minds are a target for the enemies of Islâm who have different ways of luring young Muslims into their snares through temptations or misconceptions. They do this in order to drag them into the abyss of lusts, whims and forbidden things. Hence, the only way to protect the youths against these wolves is to fortify them with the Islamic knowledge that increases man in light and cognizance and keeps him away from filthy actions. The seeker of knowledge is counted among the great people. Allâh says,
| Allâh will raise those who have believed among you those who were given knowledge, by degrees.
A learned person will behave in a way that will make him live eternally in Paradise. All creatures will be pleased with him and they will ask forgiveness for him. The Angels will love keeping his company. Respecting Islâm and the law of Islâm necessitates respecting the scholars of Islâm, for they are the heirs of the Prophets, as affirmed by the Messenger of Allâh, blessings and peace be upon him. It is our obligation to respect them and honour them. That is the way of our righteous predecessors. Sulaymân bin Rabî said, I would not dare drink water while Imâm Ash-Shâfiî looked at me out of respect for him.
Asking questions from them is knowledge, sitting with them is happiness, keeping their company refines character and protects the youth from going astray, by the will of Allâh. Maymûn bin Mahrân said, I found the refinement of my heart in sitting with the scholars.
The benefit of sitting with the scholars does not end with acquiring knowledge only; it also includes emulating them in their guidance, conduct, high-mindedness and other desirable traits. Youths keeping away from them leads to lack of interest in knowledge, intellectual arrogance and insufficient acts of worship.
The youths must keep away from causes of temptation, misconceptions and lusts. Our Prophet sought protection against temptations and asked his companions to do the same. The Prophet said,
| Whoever seeks for fitnah, he will be overwhelmed by it. (Al-Bukhârî)|
The pure religion of Islâm commands us to adhere to two lights: the Qurân and the Sunnah; and it forbids us from following all that cause corruption to the hearts.
Whenever a doubt or a misconception enters the heart, it would be difficult to remove it. Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah said,
|Whenever a man exposes himself to a calamity, Allâh will leave him to himself.|
Negligence in performing obligations, committing forbidden things, addiction of the youth to satellite channels and his running after objectionable things; each of these is a gateway to moral corruption and perverted ideologies. When the heart is darkened by sins, it becomes difficult for it to carry out good deeds and it becomes easy for it to accept falsehood. Causing doubts in the hearts of young children as regards their educational curricula weaken their aim of achieving knowledge.
Changes and events of our contemporary world and occurrence of crises necessitate that our religious curricula be increased in content. They should be adequately explained and the students should not be burdened with too many unnecessary non-religious subjects. There is a dire need for religious knowledge.
An educational system that is based on religion and practice is the factor that made this country blooming with erudite scholars of Islamic law, who are consulted for religious counseling and have won the confidence of many Muslims in the area of guidance and propagation of Islâm.
By the grace of Allâh, it is in the light of this religious-based educational system that ministers, government advisers, writers, journalists, physicians and economists were nurtured. It is this educational system that produced all those who took part in the development of our cultural and religious values. It is therefore, an act of gratitude to praise an educational system that produced these fruits.
Brethren in faith! Mass media is the window through which the society sees the world. It should pay an adequate attention to the youths through guidance, sincere advice and giving religious counseling. Demeaning the religion or mocking religious people or attacking them only poisons the youths minds against their religion. Praising the youths and guiding them are proper ways of protecting them against the enemies whose aim is to kidnap young people with their sweet talk and rhetoric.
The noble Qurân is the Word of Allâh. Its recitation brings down tranquility, and reflection over its meaning increases faith and removes darkness. Allâh says about the Qurân,
| There has come to you a light and a clear Book.
Abundance of Qurânic memorization classes in the mosques throughout this country and the care that the authorities have for them is a source of pride and gratitude. Allâh has guarded many youths from corruption through these classes and He has protected His religion by them. These classes have done good to many an orphan, blocked many an evil way, and increased many in knowledge and understanding. The Qurân is the foundation of all sciences and the source of all good morals. Directing youths to memorize the Qurân is a protection for them against evils, temptations and perverted ideas.
Having excessive free time is an element of ideological and moral perversion. The unlawful modern games and the satellite channels also play an unenviable role in corrupting the youths ideologically. A wise father would not allow these channels and games into his house in other to avert an avoidable sorrow and distress.
Fellow Muslims! The widened gap between a father and his child is one of the factors that prevent the child from revealing what is in his heart to his father and revealing it to others who do not know how to educate or how guide a young person, and who neither loves him and have affection for him as his father does. Therefore, bringing your children closer to you, speaking with them freely and exchanging views with them, without neglecting fatherly respect is a safety for the children, peace of mind for the parents and a foundation for dutifulness to parents.
Friends also play a vital role in corrupting or reforming an individual. The Messengers of Allâh attached great importance to a good company. Allâh informs us that Prophet Eesâ told his disciples,
| Who are my supporters for Allâh?
Our Prophet Muhammad also appointed a companion who helped him in the cause of his mission. He said, If I had to appoint an intimate friend among my followers, I would have appointed Abû Bakr as my intimate friend. But he is my brother and companion. Âishah said,
|I entered into the age of discretion and found my parents already practicing Islâm. The Messenger of Allâh then used to come to our house every morning and afternoon while he was in Makkah.|
The righteous companion brings you good. He reminds you when you forget, encourages you when you appear negligent, shows you love when you are with him and guard your name when you are absent. The bad companion on the other hand only runs after his passions and whims. Whenever he attains what he wants from you he abandons you. He brings you close to every evil and keeps every good thing away from you. He cannot be trusted on worldly things and on the Day of Resurrection you will regret your companionship with him. Allâh says,
| And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands (in regret), he will say, Oh I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way. Oh woe to me, I wish I had not taken that one as a friend. He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan to man a deserter.
Dear brother! Befriend only the righteous people and take pride in their company. Keep away from those who will harm you in matters of your religion and worldly life.
Brethren in faith! Women have an influential role to play in nurturing and guiding the youth. When the woman abandons her role in the house, neglects her home and frequently goes out, the children will not find the motherly compassion and love that they need and they will not find in the house except the maids, who are not of their race and culture. In this case, the children will lose their mothers compassion and eventually opt for those who will deceive them with sweet talk and future dreams.
Islâm places a great and noble responsibility on the mothers shoulder. The Prophet said,
| The woman is a shepherd in the house of her husband.|
It is from the bosom of the woman that scholars and noble men emerged. There is greater honor and respect for the woman more than the responsibility of home management. It is therefore incumbent on her to shoulder her responsibilities lest she regrets. She should not listen to those who are calling her to abandon her kingdom and neglect her children. Allâh says,
| Whoever is guided is only for the [benefit of] his soul. And whoever errs only errs against it. And no bearer of burden will bear the burden of another. And never would We punish until We sent a Messenger.
Fellow Muslims! Family is a strong foothold in Islâm. It is in the shade of it that souls meet in love and compassion. Allâh swears with the children and fathers to underline the importance of the family. He says in His Glorious Book,
| And [by] the father and that which was born of him.
Taking proper care of the children is the habit of the righteous ones and the childrens uprightness is the source of happiness for the pious fathers and mothers whose invocation is always,
| Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us a leader [i.e., example] for the righteous.
The first thing to implant in the hearts of the children is god-consciousness. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, told Ibn Abbâs while was a young boy,
| O lad! Be conscious of Allâh, He will protect you. Be conscious of Allâh, you will always find Him wherever you face.|
The children are in need of education and knowledge and they need to know how to spend their time in useful things. The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said,
| Be keen on that which benefits you.|
The father should provide his children with things that will benefit them and keep off them those things that are harmful to them. Pious friends should be sought out for them.
Fellow Muslims! Childrens good upbringing depends on their parents adherence to the Islamic injunctions and whenever the parents are upright, the children will emulate them and they are thereby saved from negligence and error.
As for you the son, you should know that your parents hope is to have a good repute and excellent conduct and to be upright in your religion. They also hope that you stay away from humiliating traits and that you do fall prey to moral and ideological perversion and lusts. Do not, therefore, disappoint them in the face of a moments lust. Keep only good friends and keep the company of the scholars and righteous men in order to achieve success in this world and the Hereafter.(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)