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Islām’s Wandering Youth


And the Messenger said, ‘My Lord, my people have deserted this Qur’ān'[1]

Are you a Muslim?  Do you know what this truly means? What following Islām actually involves? Or is Islām for you like it is for many in the West today? Parental pressure, constant cultural chaos, finish the Qur’ān once meaning mosque took forever to finish, remembering Allāh in times of difficulty, distress and death and the remaining time disobeying, deviating from and denying His commands? Ṣalāh – a thing that seems so distant and far?

And [such is man that] when an affliction befalls him, he cries out to Us, reclining and sitting and standing. But no sooner than We have removed his affliction, he passes on as though he had never cried out to Us to remove his affliction. Thus it is that the misdeeds of the transgressors are made fair-seeming to them.[2]

How can such a blessed birth bring about such a boring and burdensome life experience, when being chosen by Allāh to be raised in a Muslim family is an immense blessing, mercy and honour. However is the family Muslim anymore? Do they know the difference between culture and Islām? Do they bow more to the pressure of the community rather than their Lord and Cherisher? Are most Muḥammad by name but would not know a single sentence regarding what the Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said on how to care for children; how to work in the world; how to treat others; how to bath; how to love; how and who to marry; how to really respect; what to read; how to eat; how to prepare for the true life in the Hereafter; how to be successful in this life and the next? In other words, each and every thing you need if you truly believe in one god, Allāh?

So many questions leaving you confused and curious? Well, being confused is the best way to describe the character of Islām’s Lost Generation – the youth of today. Are you ready to admit that you are a part of this?  If you are honest, then the answer is probably yes. If not, then choosing to deny reality makes it impossible to change our problematic position and, more importantly, something we will never get a chance to do until it is too late. Our plans are imperfect, while the decree of Allāh is definite. Does anyone know when Alāh could seal their heart away from Islām because of their forgetting him for so long. Or at what moment death may overtake them, whilst they were one day planning to start to pray yet today they are being prayed upon.

And be not like those who forgot Allāh, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.[3]

For many of us our parents have not been educated and follow Islām according to cultural traditions passed down the ages from people who were also equally as lacking in education as them. Thanks to Allāh we have the capacity, unlike our parents, to look into the true Islām, the one practiced by the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). The only way to do this is by understanding the Qur’ān, the word of Allāh, and the Sunnah, the authentic sayings and practices of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). Of course the Qur’ān is in Arabic and most of us do not understand this language. But due to the manifest mercy of Allāh, learning the Arabic language has not been made Farḍ (compulsory) nor will Allāh question you on the Day of Judgement in Arabic, a language most do not understand.

Allāh intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.[4]

However what is Farḍ (compulsory) is that we read the Qur’ān in the language that we do understand, after all how can we ever know about Allāh, what His commands are, what He wants us to be like, what He likes and what He dislikes, what is correct and what is incorrect in His sight, to whom will He grant the pleasure of paradise and to whom will He command condemnation to hell.

This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allāh.[5]

These are important questions, the true answers to which can only be found in the Qur’ān, the word of Allāh, and the Sunnah which is found in the Saḥīḥ ḥadīths (accurate and authentic sayings of the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam)). Our previous generations can choose to follow what they think Islām is, even though it has heavy influence from culture because most of them are unlearned and consequently are not able to access the true teachings of Islām. On the other hand we who are born and raised in the West have a choice between whether to simply follow our parents’ path even though they may not practice Islām properly or, alternatively, imitate the sad society we live in. But the best option would be the third choice which is to start, slowly but surely, trying to gain the pleasure of Allāh by beginning to learn about the true, beautiful teachings of Islām in order to gain blessings, bliss and peace in this life and, more importantly, in the next.

When it is said to them: ‘Follow what Allāh hath revealed’, They say: ‘Nay! We shall follow the ways of our fathers.’ What! even though their fathers were void of wisdom and guidance?[6]

A great place to start would be to actually know what the Arabic word Islām means. Islām is the total submission of an individual’s will to Allāh in order to achieve true peace. So, in turn, a Muslim is one who follows the teachings of Islām fully and has completely submitted themselves to the commands of Allāh. Now, be honest with yourself and remember we can always deceive others but none can ever deceive Allāh, the All- Knowing, the All- Wise. Would you say that you are genuinely amongst those who have submitted themselves to Allāh by accepting the instructions in the Qur’ān (the word of Allāh) and then subsequently acting according to them in your daily life. Or on the other hand would you admit to not knowing the commands of the Creator clearly?

Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire?[7]

The most special act of this submission to Allāh is a daily one, the Ṣalāh which is Farḍ (compulsory) five times a day upon all those who believe in Allāh.

And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allāh standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.[8]

This verse shows that if, even at times of war, the believer cannot totally abandon prayer, what possible excuse could we have? It is something which is an active and apparent act of appreciation and gratefulness to Allāh for His gifts, but also, internally, it illuminates the heart, protecting it from problems and perils that prevent oneself from engaging in those acts Allāh has prohibited (made ḥarām), due to regularly remembering Allāh and thus being at peace with his will. So much so, that it is mentioned a staggering seven hundred times in the Qur’ān; its importance can never be underestimated or overstated, or ever stressed enough. This is because, for a Muslim, paying Zakāt (compulsory charity) has only to be done once a year, similarly fasting in Ramaḍan is prescribed once a year and the Ḥajj pilgrimage once in a lifetime. Yet Ṣalāh has to be performed five times a day, and as such, it has the status of being the true measure of a Muslim who truly believes in Allāh and then submits to Him. The Ṣaḥābah (companions of the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam)) used to regard anyone who did not pray the Fajr and ʿIsha prayer a hypocrite and not a believer. What do you think they would say about the people of today in terms of how often they pray Ṣalāh?

Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allāh is the greatest [thing in life] without doubt. And Allāh knows the [deeds] that ye do.[9]

Another aspect showing the prayer’s significance is the following verse in the Qur’ān where Allāh says that those who are condemned and sent to hell, when questioned about why they had been sentenced there, they will not answer by saying “we never believed in Allāh”, or “we murdered people”, or “we stole from the orphans” but instead their first reply will be:

“We were not of those who prayed”[10]

Moreover in an authentic ḥadīth the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: “The difference between us (believers) and them (disbelievers) is Salāh.”[11]

If we are honest to ourselves and adopt a humble attitude we would probably admit to our own selves that of course if I am not praying the 5 prayers then how can I consider myself to be pleasing Allāh when I am deliberately disobeying one of his clearest commands?

And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones.[12]

Also Iblīs (Shayṭān) was cursed forever and he was only asked to prostrate (Sujūd) once, and that was to Ādam (ʿalayhi al-Salām), not even Allāh, whereas it is Farḍ (compulsory) for a believer to prostate to Allāh at least 34 times a day. What will be our state for not doing so?

In today’s terrible world, where everything is economically and materialistically motivated; people are miserable; projecting fake faces; possessing hardened hearts; engaging in trivial talk, the chaotic confusion is crystal clear. Everyone thinks it is hard to find a great husband or wife, buy a big house and car, find a good job, and get a PhD. All this seems so hard to achieve due to it being competitive and challenging, and yet, on the other hand, for some strange reason, most Muslims today think that getting into Jannah (paradise) is easy. All I have to do is be born in a Muslim family, have a Muslim name, look slightly Asian or foreign, and believe that there is one God but then after that I do not have to do anything to show I truly believe; just pass life by and when I die the gates of paradise will personally be calling me to enter. As I am sure you can appreciate, this is very far from the reality of what will actually happen. If you think the aforementioned are competitive, consider the following Ḥadīth of the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) very closely to find out how many people will be entering paradise. You will realise then how easy all those goals are when compared to the numbers that will be saved from the fire and be presented with perpetual peace in paradise.

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said that Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) said to Ādam (ʿalayhi al-Salām) – “Send forth [into Hell] ninety-nine out of every hundred [of your descendants]”.[13]

Yes! You read right: one out of each one hundred will go to Paradise.

Those of us looking at further education or already at university, on the way to obtaining a decent degree, will have to read close to one hundred books over the three to five year course. This will involve analysing philosophical, psychological or scientific complexities which will be convoluted and, in the main, have no real underlying purpose as to why they should be comprehended. We are dedicating so much energy in obtaining a certificate when we will not live to see our most important certificate – the Death Certificate. Do you not think Allāh will ask us why we spent so much of our efforts in other things of this transient, earthly life but neglected and forgot Him?

Nay, but their hearts are in ignorance of this [Qur’ān], and they have other works, besides, which they are doing.[14]

So it is of paramount importance we read the Qur’ān and ḥadīths in English so we understand the purpose of our life and can truly follow the way, and lead the life, that Allāh wants for us. Ask yourself: If I die today in the state I am in will I meet my Lord on the Day of Resurrection in a state of submission?

Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object [of Life]: For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.[15]


Practical Pointers

– Start reading your Qur’ān copy daily. The two best English translations are by Saḥīḥ International or Muḥsin Khan. Read what you are comfortable with even if it is only one page a day, but stick to the amount that you agree to at the beginning

And We made the Qur’ān easy to learn. Do any of you wish to learn?[16]

– The next day reflect on what you read the previous day. Even if you remember one or two points; that is great. Remember no one remembers exactly every word they have read. This is the beauty of the Qur’ān, you could read it thousands of time and every time you will get something different from it.

It is such that We clarify the revelations to a people who think.[17]

– Also try to listen to the Qur’ān with English translation being recited in Makkah on YouTube. This will also help in attaching your heart to the book of Allāh.

They only are the [true] believers whose hearts feel fear when Allāh is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited unto them they increase their faith, and who trust in their Lord.[18]

– In terms of ḥadīths, Saḥīḥ Bukhāri and Saḥīḥ Muslim are available as mobile apps, alternatively is a good website which contains these two ḥadīth books.[19] Stick to these two as all the ḥadīths they contain are agreed upon by all scholars as being accurate and authentic. Read ten a day; each is about a sentence long. Remember the Qur’ān is entirely the word of Allāh and contains nothing of the words of the Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). However the instruction that occurs many times in the Qur’ān is “obey Allāh and the messenger” Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), so it is directing you toward the ḥadīths, which are the words of the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) regarding literally every issue that you will need to know in order to follow a life that is pleasing to Allāh. The beauty of them is they are very short and still cover a broad topic range. They mention issues from eating to emotions, from love to what to do if you find lost property, from marital advice to virtues of the mosque, from the birth of a child to how to have a bath, from dealing with debt to how to bury the dead. As you can see, literally everything. Of course this list contains just a few points and is not exhaustive.

Allāh’s Apostle said, “I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings.”[20]



[1] Al-Qur’ān 25:30

[2] Al-Qur’ān 10:12

[3] Al-Qur’ān 59:19

[4] Al-Qur’ān 2:185

[5] Al-Qur’ān 2:2

[6] Al-Qur’ān 2:170

[7] Al-Qur’ān 25:43

[8] Al-Qur’ān 4:103

[9] Al-Qur’ān 29:45

[10] Al-Qur’ān 74:43

[11] Related by Imām Aḥmad, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasāʿi and Ibn Mājah

[12] Al-Qur’ān 2:45

[13] Bukhāri

[14] Al-Qur’ān 21:63

[15] Al-Qur’ān 3:185

[16] Al-Qur’ān 54:17

[17] Al-Qur’ān 10:24

[18] Al-Qur’ān 8:2


[20] Bukhāri

About Habib Yasin

One comment

  1. Thank you so much for writing this thoughtful and deep article. I will forward it to my friends Inshallah.

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