Other View

The youth of New Generation

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Dr. Irfan Ahmad

Our young generation has both good qualities and some weaknesses in them. This generation has a series of understandings and emotions that the previous generations did not possess and therefore, we must always give them the benefit of doubt. At the same time, they also have some corrupt thoughts and unethical traits which must be removed from their character. It is not possible to remove these traits from them without keeping in mind and respecting the good qualities that they possess to guide the youth of new generation.

Traits like good understandings, emotions and their other noble traits. we must show respect to them in this regards. There is no dead end in life. In the previous generations, the thoughts and minds of the people were not as open as the generation of today. These emotions and good qualities frequently were not seen in the past which we find propose in the contemporary youth. Thus we must show respect to the youth for their noble qualities. If we do not wish to pay attention to these issues, it is impossible to think that we will be able to take charge and remove the intellectual perversions and the unethical traits from the future generations.

The method that we have presently taken in the face of this generation is that of making faces at them, criticizing them, and slandering them. The need of this current era is to recognize that our youth continue to struggle with the increasing fragmentation of the learning process as much as the dichotomy of disciplines and contradictions inherent in concepts such as pluralism. They live in an era that subjects them to many and varied ideologies and which demand of them a rational explanation in matters of belief. This awareness can help us to nurture a generation, who in turn will be able to nurture the next generation.

Shaheed Murtaza Mutahhari, (Q.S) the legendary scholar and the epitome inculcating ideals of Iranian Revolutio-1979 says “the dire need to think how we address challenges posed in the present modern era dominated by western-culture and its attendant values.” The little guiding the youth of the new generations, become all the more relevant in this day and age of outsourcing, e-mails, web portals and “blogging” western concepts and values are being adopted around the world with enthusiasm. “This is a continuation of his life-long quest to bridge the gap that seems to separate the traditional language of religion and the language of modernity.”(S.M.M) (Q.S) The consequence of such a gap has given rise to misconceptions which have become ‘concepts’. One such “concept” is called ‘the generation gap’. Having gained currency, this misconception which has now become an accepted concept, and has taken the form of a self-fulfilling prophecy, has actually created a ‘gap’ between generations.

It has given a license and respectability to the younger generation to be ‘different’. To use modern parlance it has become ‘cool’ to dress, behave and act differently. Each generation is responsible for the guidance of the proceeding generation – especially those people who are officially recognized as the leaders of the society – they have a much greater responsibility. The issue of leadership and guidance of this generation differs in its methods and techniques throughout the various time periods and differs according to the groups or people whom we are working with. Thus, we must completely remove the thought from our heads that this new generation must be guided by following the methods used by the previous generations.

Responsibility: In reality “Guiding: The youth of New Generations” is actually related to a common responsibility which applies to all humans in general and specially to those Muslims who hold the position of official religious leadership of the society. There is a principle in Islam which we all know and it states that: within the sacred Din of Islam, responsibilities are shared amongst the people. By this we mean that people are the generations and are responsible for one another and we all share in this responsibility towards each other.

Rather, each generation is the generation and is responsible for another generation. Each generation is responsible for the generation which comes after them and is responsible to ensure that the religion and the guidance which have been given to the previous generations which have been protected and carried from hand to hand and have reached the next generation, can in turn, be given to the future generations. Therefore, each proceeding generation must be ready and equipped to accept the teachings and make the best use of them.

We realize that there is another issue which we are able to understand which is that the best students of the Prophets are the same people who lived at their time and saw them- which is at variance with the best students of the Prophets and the intimate friends of Allah. However, who are the best students of the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.w) are there best students only those people who lived at their time and who lived with them? No, this is not the case!

There is a point which the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.w) himself had alluded to in one of his speeches. “May Allah assist that servant who hears my words, understands them and then conveys them to those who have not been informed of them” (Shaykh Al-Mufid p. 186 Al-Amali). It is not possible that those people who lived at the time did not correctly understand the true meaning of these words.(with the exception of people) However, the person heard there words did not have the ability to understand how deep or profound this sentence was. Nonetheless, he memorized it and then passed it on to the next generation, and the next generation understood it better than he did and this generation too passed it on to the next generation. It is possible that their will continue on until the twentieth generation and they will understand it better there the first, second and third generation, as this twentieth generation will be better equipped to understand it.

“Do not do anything that cause harm to yourself or to others.”

Therefore, as we mentioned- in the way of the Prophets, which person is better at understanding the meanings of this teacher? Just as how in the past we did things, so too we should continue in the same way today. In the past, the way we interacted with our elders and our mothers and fathers. The youth of today too must close their eyes and must go to those same places that we want to end learn and be guided just as we were taught and guided.

What must be done? That which is even more important than charting a program for the leadership of this generation is that we must strengthen the belief in our own minds that the issue of leadership and guidance of this generation is different in its methods and techniques throughout the various time periods, and differs according to the groups or people whom we are working with. Thus, we must completely remove the thought from our heads that this new generation must be guided by following the methods used by the previous generations. First of all, we must fully understand this young generation and comprehend what sorts of peculiarities and distinctions they possess. In relation to this generation, there are two modes of thought that are common, and usually, there are two ways that they can be dealt with. From the point of view of some people, these youth are an insensitive and rude group of people who have been deluded and enraptured by their own lower desires. They are worshippers of the self and possess thousands of (other) deficiencies. These people (who think this of the younger generation) are constantly making faces at them and are always speaking badly of this new generation.

However, the youth see themselves as the complete opposite of this picture. The youth do not see themselves as having any deficiencies. They imagine themselves to be the effigy of intelligence, the effigy of sagacity, the effigy of higher qualities. The older generation thinks that this group have fallen into disbelief and that they are plunged in to sin, while the new generation think that the older generation are simple minded and ignorant.

The older generation tells the newer ones that they have lowered themselves to the worship of their own selves and have become disbelievers, while the new generation tells the older one that they do not know what they are talking about and that they do not understand them! Generally speaking of course, it is possible that one generation may consider the previous generation as being righteous people but it is also possible that they may consider them as being misguided. Due to this fact, in each and every era and while living under different conditions, we must carefully think about this issue and through contemplation, we must see in what way the leadership and governing should take form and what prescription must be given to the society.

“From cradle to one’s grave,

Life seems but an illusion.

The phase of youth so brave,

Tis an ever greater illusion.”      (Abu Faiyyaz)

[email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *