“... they were youths who believed in their lord, and we advanced them in guidance.” – Q 18: 13, Suuratul-Kahf

By: kamoru Sodiq, Osun

Fellow Brethren, please, permit me to say that the youths by nature are the precursors for societal engineering and restructuring. Anywhere in the world, be it Muslim or non Muslim society, the youths are always the custodian of hopes and expectations. It is always they every ideal society look up to and repose their confidence as regards the days to come. And that is why it is commonly said that, any society that wastes her youths can never grow or blow. You don’t need to reason 360 degrees, Nigeria is a disgracing planet where the young minds are lamenting and regretting! On a good note, their plights and ordeals are not hidden or technical to know. It is obvious as there are many debilitating restrictions and plagues on their road to success. I doubt if there is any Nigerian youth including those in the corridor of power today, who is enjoying societal privileges and rights just as we have it in order decent clime?

Needless to say is the fact that youths, for you to live your dream and achieve your set goals, whether economical, political, academic, social or religious objectives and acquire the moniker of “good boy,” a lot of water must have passed across the bridge. It is a battle of life and death. The journey is too rough and tough. The challenges are magnificently incredible. I believe, for any youth to succeed in our realm today, he needs to be strategic and be a goal getter and not merely a goal setter. He must have withered deadly storms, provocations and developed thick skin ready to take on even a tsunami. I cannot over emphasized the horrendous processes and situations the youths are going through everywhere at this particular point in  time in their quest for greatness and survival. The price is heavy and one must be ready to carry his cross with courage the way Jesus carried his own on calvary.

I have gone through this preamble for one major reason, to open the minds of our youths to the road bumps placed at every corners, days and nights all like. Say what you will, the elders have paid their own due price for where they are today. Of course, currency get denominations, but the more you aspire to achieve in life, the heavier you pay and in most times with bonuses and chicken fees. Youths and elders are two Yin and Yong in a community. One cannot do without the other, the society will crash and collapse and everything will continue to be sailing in chaos, unrests and under development. For me, it is not a sign of mental fitness if we cannot accept compelling facts among ourselves and respect everyone for who he is. I want to believe that, we may continue to live in denials and disbeliefs among one another for many decades, it is our choice. Everybody has a right to make choices out of his own volition and no one will hang him for it. We may deceive ourselves and live to regret it, it is no man’s business. But the earlier we realised and retraced our steps, the more and better for our collective benefits and society.

Calling the second hand products its real name and not minding Tokunbo because, every Tokunbo is a second hand. I think it is time to stop dancing around the matter and face the ugly realities as it is, my focus and concern in this write up is on the Muslim youths, particularly, OAU Muslim students to wake up from their deep slumber and challenge the trials of their time. I have never heard of any mainstream or successful revolution in the world that is devoid of youths. Talk of the great French revolution, the industrial revolution in Britain, The black American revolution in America was led by youths. Sure, these are freedom or human struggle which is not actually Islamic or religious in nature. 

Now, coming down into our own Islamic history, Islam, right from the prophetic genesis was built and erected by youths. Take any monumental developments from the time of Prophet Nuhu till today that is without youths? It is gratifying to state that, most of the prophet of Allah were called to prophethood during their youthful days and not old ages. Prophet Ibraheem was a true reformer to the end. He started his reformation with his people. At a time he was called upon to come and answer who destroyed the deities, Quran in Suuratu Ambiyaa said that, his people referred to him as “a youth called Ibraheem” carried out the act. And this is today the father of all faiths. He suffered but successful as a youth who laid the foundation for our religion and the sacred house called “kaabah” in Mekkah.

It is not only prophet Ibraheem that was a youth who reformed his people and humanity in history, there are several youths mentioned in the Quran, the story of the people of Kahf (Ashaabul Kahf) is a shining model for any serious minded youth to tight up his belt and roll off his sleeves for real sacrifice. They are youths like us and they made record that is almost impossible to come by in history anytime, any day. Prophet Musa, prophet Yussuf, Prophet Yahya, Prophet Isa, Prophet Ismail and many more are unparalleled examples of youths in our religion who attained what I will love to call ‘unsurpassable feats’ for humanities and they underwent these tasks and trials as youths. 

This my article will not be complete without mentioning the best of mankind in character, the sealed of the prophets, the delight of the pious, the inspiration of all the righteous and the manual of life and after life, Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullahi (PBUH). As magnanimous and consummate the prophet is, he came under the hammer of trials and tribulations when he was young at his youthful days. The Prophet didn’t dream and present Islam to his people overnights, by fire by force. He went through rains, suns before launching Islam into his immediate environment. He strategized, compromised, battered and tattered by his kins men beyond what his power can contain. The Prophet never abused, disrespected or threw blames around. He went all out armed with humility, sound mind, diplomacy, knowledge and good admonitions to seal his name on the guiness book of record as the all-time most influential mortal ever liveth on the surface of the earth.

The companions and Tabiunn are also source of hope and solace for the youths today, the likes of Muadh Ibn Jabal, the first emissary in Islam to Yemen, Aliy Ibn Abu Tolib, the first person to accept Islam among the youths. Abdullahi Ibn Abass, the young leader of the elderly in Islam. Also, among the Tabiunu, we have Umar Ibn Abdul-Azeez, the fifth caliph and a dodged youth reformer. Following closely, we have Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Qoyyim Al-Jaoziyyah, Imam An-Nawawi, Ibn Mubaraq, Imam Bukhari and hosts of them. In our recent time, the great Martyr and unarguably the reformer of Muslim youths, Sheikh Imam Hassan Al-bana lived and died as a youth. I believe, ours should not be an exception. We must ready to reform and resuscitate our own community as youths in line with the way of our blessed predecessors in faith.

I want to just show us the suffering and sacrifice we will have to endure as youths if we really desire to reform our community and I would like to say I do not envy our present situation on campus as Muslims. Where do we indeed start from? The cross is too heavy.

REMARKS:

Let me swiftly clear a misconception in my previous article “let the youths go and sin no more,” specifically the part some of my people felt indicted about, I’m still reiterating it here, I’m not happy with all the parties concerned in this war of attrition because, they all have their individual blame-share for making our community what it is today. But on the point of being “Disrespectful,” that is the plain truth, nothing but the truth. I owe nobody any apology on that. My sole interest in this whole saga is that, I wish and want our community to flourish and change for better. I’m never interested at all in side-taking, it is counter productive and hypocrisy, or whatever grievances or differences on the part of each parties. Because, I know they all have their discordant arguments and each party is trying to play holy and pretend all is well.

My worry is that we have suffered enough defeats and disgrace under this current war of attrition going on among the so-called Mainstream Mssn, the Splinter Mssn, the Muslim community, the Unifemga and any other parties involved. I’m pleading with trepidation for Allah’s sake that our Babas and brothers should all sheath their swords and embrace one another in the spirit of brotherhood and faith. I think also that some of my friends are not seeing anything wrong in our present affairs on campus as muslims. Perhaps, that is the reason they have refused to shift their goal posts over the years and carry on to fight every real and imaginary enemies. I must say, even if you will take enemy, count me out. We can never be enemy. We are friends of life, the same way I’m to everybody. May Allah give us all the spirit of reconciliation as he gives it to the Aws and Khazraj tribe in Medinah. Nay to enemy!

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