Often times, we zoom through life without thinking much about the seconds ticking away to become minutes and then hours and eventually days and years.
You may feel strong and proud to be youthful today, possibly at the peak of your physical health, career and family life.
But for how long will it last – the energy and action? And for what is it really worth?
For the Love of Gifts
We all love gifts – whether they are from loved ones or simple rewards and bonuses from our favorite stores.
The good feeling is doubled when you receive them for special occasions such as graduations and Eid celebrations. Or just simply as a thank gesture.
The appreciation makes you keep them for as long as you can, but the memories linger for a life time. Most times you may think of gifts as material items that can be seen, held and often quantifiable. But this does not apply in many instances.
What about those gifts you cannot hold on to?
Then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His (created) soul and made for you hearing and vision and hearts (i.e., intellect); little are you grateful. (Quran 32:9)
What About the Free Gifts in Nature?
You may not consider them as such, but how else can you view your blessings if not as gifts.
The blessing of life is the greatest, because not every new born makes it past the first year or few years of life.
Then we have the blessing of Islam, a special package from which you better your life with, the more you unwrap it. This gift gets better and more valuable the more you hold on to it.
Again, the blessing of good health cannot be overemphasized. Do you remember the last time you fell ill? How did it feel? There are so many people who are unhealthy – physically or mentally and cannot enjoy what a healthy person does.
These blessings will often become a test for you – especially as a Muslim Youth.
You will be faced with distractions and temptations; and blinded from the true realities of life. As it is so easy to become hopeful for long life and a future to repent and live better.
What if tomorrow never comes?
The Gift of Youth
A prophetic narration tells us:
Take benefit of five before five: your youth before your old age , your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied and your life before your death. (Sahih – Narrated by Ibn Abbas and collected in al-Haakim and others)
This period of life is so remarkable, that we have been enjoined to use it wisely before old age comes knocking.
Psychologists through the years have found the area of human development intriguing and hence dedicated resources to various studies and research in the field.
Why do you think that is so?
It is simply fascinating to watch how man develops from the embryonic stage to old age both physically, psychologically and cognitively.
There are so many things we do in our youth that we may not be able to do in the coming years due to physical or mental decline. Though we take it for granted and feel it is a life long ability.
This gift of youth must then be acknowledged, cherished and utilized wisely.
Opportunities upon opportunities are open to you in youth, from the intellectual to the spiritual and financial. Therefore, let’s reflect and be among those who take benefit.
Making it Matter
Spend time with family members or neighbors 65+ years, whether retired or working actively, and note the life lessons and experiences they relate from which you can learn something new instantly.
One common thing you will find is, they have lived through their 20s and 30s and have only memories to share – whether positive or negative. And it will be interesting to note how their dreams, passion, interests have followed them through the years – in all the changes and choices they faced.
Your youth is very special indeed!
With it’s high and low moments.
Recognize your youth for what it is. And utilize yours wisely. As it’s said, Smile while you still have teeth!
Begin your passion project today, start saving so you can travel for Umrah and Hajj, strengthen those kinship and siblings vibes; and take a step towards building a timeless legacy.
Remember that every day is a gift and the quality of your life is a gift you owe yourself. So sort out your priorities and invest your time in a cultivation that will benefit your soul, as a rewarding gift for each day you live and for the next life as well.
Your youth is a gift, a blessing and a sign – enjoy it!
Enjoy it in gratitude, submission and remembrance.
We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness? (Quran 41:53)
In what ways will you enjoy your gift?