Title: Duties of the Muslim Youth
Author: Shaykh Yusuf Al-qaradawi
Publication: Islamic Institue of Da’wah and Research
Reviewed by: A.S Abd Mokti
In this era of globalization and constant need for human resource in al fields, the youth are the targeted group to bear the brunt of responsibility either in worldly matters or spiritual matters. Not only that, this specific group of people are at their best of times (golden age) in terms of mental, physical and emotional capacity, though most of them are ignorant and reluctant to burst into full performance. This book is intended to address the issue of the duty of Muslim youth, in which Dr Yusuf Qaradawi deals the issues in a very simple yet eloquent manner. Having himself involved in the Call (da’wah) and the pursue of knowledge, Qaradawi highlighted the 4 most important responsibility to Muslim youth in a conference which is then compiled in this treatise and translated into English.
Of the four questions to be asked on the Day of Judgement, 2 are related to the concept of time. Life- what did you spend it? Period of youth- how did you spend it? It is this realization of youth hood immense importance that motivates Muslim youth of the glorious Islamic history that perpetrates martyrdom in their hearts. It was also based on such insight that 17 years –old such as Muhammad Ibn Qasim could conquer the world. It has also been proven that the youth are the backbone of Islam in the early advent of da’wah; such as the Khulafa’ Rasyidun (Rightly-guided sucessors).
The first and the most important duty of Muslim youth is to the need for a correct understanding of Islam. In the age when Muslims are in the period of backwardness, decadence and disorder, to gain a sound understanding is Islam is a challenge that Muslims have to endeavour. Fabricated and week ahadith (sayings of the prophet), interpolation by customs, the mixture of Israeli tradition (Israiliyat) have altered the true message of Islam. Thus, Qardawi emphasized on referring to the Quran and the authentic hadith and understanding of the Salafus Salih, and this can only be done with learning which requires reading. Qaradawi also emphasizes that firm understanding of Islam does not mean neglect in other aspects of Islam; i.e. to excel in studies etc but rather to place along with all other obligations in such a way that one does not undermine the other.
Secondly is the need to practice Islam, in its true form after understanding it. This is the action and behaviour that should characterize each Muslim especially the youth, for knowledge without the action and practice is void and pointless. Hopefully, the elucidation of the wonderful character of true Muslims would contribute to the rectifying the misunderstanding that the world have on Muslim. The lawful and prohibited should constantly be observed in their daily life.
Moreover, showing good example is not enough for a Muslim youth, but rather they have to respond to the Call to Islam (Da’wah) while observing himself. Having prepared with the spiritual, knowledge and passion towards Islam, Muslim youth carry the brunt of duty to invite others to the true path of God. Qaradawi argued that if he/she urges others to the truth, he will try and become a good model for what he calls to and thus making him adhere to the Islamic teachings as well. Steadfastness is the central tenet of da’wah for in this time’s Pharaoh, Namrud and Abu Jahal is more than just an individual, but rather an ideology; be it Communism, Socialism, Fascism etc.
Finally, the 4th duty is be cohesive in Islam. The youth who understand Islam in a correct manner, believe in it wholeheartedly, and urge each other to abide by it and invite others to it, need to assist each other and remain bonded together. He said that no action appears in an individual light, and the individual action does not benefit nor it is sufficient. There would be individualism and vacuum domination on the side of Truth when there is no cohesion. Muslim youth should therefore always bear in the minds of these four duties and be ashamed of the absence of a truly Islamic state which embraces belief (aqidah), shariah (jurisprudence), akhlaq (morals) and hadarah (civilization). Qaradawi also quoted from the quran (Al-rum: 4-6) that the day will arrive when Islam is glorious again the eyes of mankind.