Surviving in today’s world is a function of self-accountability and awareness.
Society may see you as a youth, but Islam sees you as an adult who is fully accountable for your actions.
While it may seem that you are losing control over your emotions and rational line of thought sometimes, know that Allah Almighty has also put it into your sheer determination to keep temptations in control.
You just have to be the good person who you very much are to unlock those controls.
So with that in mind – and plenty of humility of being a slave of Allah – take it upon yourself to build your own identity, without falling into the trap of blindly following others.
What are your goals in life?
Do you have a plan for your future?
Where do you see yourself in a few years time?
While most of you would probably still be in school, many also have moved on to college or even the job market. Be honest with yourself – what is it you want to do, what would you like to accomplish in, say, the next five years? What about ten?
If a degree is in the pipelines, how have you prepared for that?
If you’re planning to study the deen, do you have an action plan as to how you will survive financially when you leave school?
If you are applying for a job, what are the parameters you’re looking for when it comes to being able to observe your deen while working?
If marriage is on your wish list, what have you done for yourself to deserve that and what are you doing to work towards marriage proposals?
No matter what your goals are, be reminded that your higher purpose in life is to serve Allah unconditionally and be the best follower of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and you have the means to do that because you are young, intelligent and healthy Insha’Allah.
These are the best years in your life to perfect your prayers, help the needy, study hard, and even starting saving up for Hajj. It is even easier to fast during Ramadan before having children.
While it may seem that the surroundings are challenging, you should know that you have it in you to make good things happen to please Allah Almighty.
What fuels your passion?
Leverage on your passions, as long as they fall in the wide realm of halal, Prophet Muhammad reminds to just go ahead and do it, as long as it doesn’t make you feel embarrassed or inadequate.
When you are passionate about something you tend to thrive, you leave laziness behind, you forget most of the temptations, and you become a high achiever. Do this with humility of course, because again, whatever passion is bringing on, the ultimate goal is to please Allah.
What are your strengths?
If you’re not sure about your interests yet, try to identify and leverage upon your strengths. Everyone has something that they are good at. From there on you may find that you’re spinning off on ventures of great heights.
Do you manage and value your money well?
This question may seem weird in it being here, but it’s an important question today, because a lot of self-identity weighs heavily upon materialistic values. While there is so much hype on clothes, movies, gadgets and music, focus on a thought-process of a believing Muslim when it comes to money.
– Money can come from halal and haram sources. Always choose income from halal sources, even if it may seem meager.
– Our income isn’t essentially ours. It comes from Allah as a gift for our survival and enjoyment and we will be held accountable as to how we spend it. Spend it wisely.
– Learn to differentiate between your needs and wants. It may seem obvious, but tend to your needs first. It’s normal to have “wants,” and it’s not wrong to enjoy “rewards,” but keep a look out for excessive tendencies or plain useless buying behavior.
– Give in charity where you can. Lots of humility is found in the giving of alms, as before you look towards settling your own desires, you will see the needs of the less fortunate.
Are you a follower of what?
Lastly, do you consider yourself a follower of trends – music, movies, fashion, technology, automobiles, and the like?
If yes, does it make you less of a follower of Prophet Muhammad?
If yes, do you think it’s time to change your priorities or realign your interests?
Muslim Youth Surviving, Muslim Youth Living
It’s true that there are challenges in today’s society and you feel at ends with practicing your deen. But this generation – your generation – is blessed with numerous resources to learn about Islam (and make it time-efficient), meet like-minded friends, stay in touch with family, and exploit your strengths and interests to build your identity as a strong and confident Muslim youth.
Whenever temptations tempt and haunt you at large, know that Allah and His messenger have special favor for Muslims who maintain their honor and dignity as believers, not while times are “Islamic” and “easy,” but while things are challenging and difficult.
Know that these challenges are tests from Allah to build your confidence as a Muslim who is not afraid of his or her identity and is proud to be a humble Ambassador of Islam.
No doubt that there will be challenges as this is part of the test of humanity, but remember that Allah has given you the tools and strength to succeed in this world and the Hereafter.
(From Reading Islam archives)