Rafed English


Adopted from the book : "A Glance at the World of Youth" by : "Al-Balagh Foundation"

Surely, idleness is not only an economic problem, but it is also a spiritual, social, security, as well as, political problem. And the youths' generation is a generation of work and production, because it is the generation of power, capability, skillfulness and experience. Consequently, the youth is thinking about the growth of his condition, economically, as well as, socially, by depending on himself through work and production, espcially the able-bodied ones and graduates who spend the most important part of their life in school, as, also, millions of youths are suffering from idleness, because of insufficient capability and lack of sufficient knowledge and experience due to their government or families slackness and carelessness. The statistics show that there are millions of youths, all over the world, who are jobless, and in the end they are suffering from poverty, needs and deprivation, as well as, bad conditions of health or lateness in marriage, and the growth of their family or their inability to sustain their families.

Another scientific statistic shows that idleness has its own bad effect on the surety of spirit due to the effect it has on the body's health. Indeed, large number of unemployed persons showed signs of lost spiritual esteem, feelings of frustration, feeling inferior to others, and it confirms that some of them were overpowered by weariness and that they were deprived, bodily, as well as, intellectually, 24 and, likewise, the statistic showed that idleness obstructed the spiritual growth of youths. It not only found that anxiety and dejection, as well as, gloominess increased among the jobless people, rather these circumstances extended negatively to the relationship with the wife and children, thereby, increasing the family's problems. Another factor which pushes people to the act of taking their own life is trying to escape debt, and it has been found that 69% of those committing suicide are jobless people, where the percentage of crimes, like manslaughter, and aggression increases between the ranks of jobless persons as a result of spiritual tension and strain.

Among the problems of idleness, which has its own negative, as well as, positive effect, is the problem of emigration and leaving the family and the community. The fundamental cause of this problem, between the jobless people, is poverty and lack of life sustenance. Indeed, the crippling of bodily capability due to idleness, especially between the capable and experienced youths who do not have the means to practice it, will force this capability to turn into a disaster for them and, at long last, cause problems for them (and their community). And furthermore, idleness has become a major complication in some countries, and even brings down some governments, due to demonstrations and rebellion toward the rulers and financial administrators whom the jobless term as the causers of idleness and unemployment.

But, surely, Islam has solved the problem of povety and idleness spiritually, as well as, materialistically! It is reported that the holy prophet (s.a.w.) said: "A soul (spirit) becomes steady when it attains its power." 25 And Imam Ja'far Al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: "A soul defiles its owner, if it does not have what it needs to stand on, but if it gains its power becomes steady." 26

These traditions disclose the scientific analysis on the relation between the spiritual side of man and material sufficiency, and its effect, vis-a-vis, steady and spiritual calmness, and that lacking and poverty causes grief, anxiety and unsteadiness, and, health problems like hypertension, digestive tract disease, bodily pain...etc. Therefore, idleness is the major cause of poverty, insufficency and deprivation. It is in view of this that Islam calls people to work and discourages them from idleness and laziness. Rather, it, also, necessitates work in order to sustain life with necessary needs for himself and those under his care.

For controlling idleness, Islam calls for the learning of some professions like business transactions, mechancial works, tailoring services, farming... etc. It is related in a prophetic tradition that: "Allah loves an honest professional." 27 The Holy Qur'an calls on people to work and seek wealth, where it says: "therefore go about in the spacious tracts thereof, and eat of His sustenance, and to Him is the return..." Holy Qur'an (Dominion 67:15)

"But when the prayer is over, then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah's grace..." Holy Qur'an (Friday 62:10)

And the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) regards work as Jihad in Allah's cause. It is reported that he (s.a.w.) said :"A hardworker for sustaining his family's needs is like a mujahid (Islamic warrior) in Allah's cause." 28 It is also reported from Imam Ali (a.s) that he said: "Laziness and impotence merge as things merge, resulting in poverty." 29 For discouraging and warning against idleness and laziness, we quote what is reported from Imam Ridha (a.s.) quoting his father, Imam Musa bin Ja'far al-Kazim (a.s.), who said: "My father cautioned some of his children to be wary of laziness and boredom, because it prevents one from fortune and luck both in this world and the hereafter." 30

And indeed the prophet, the holy Imams and the pious servants have manifested these principles practically, because they used to raise animals, practice farming, transactions, tailoring and carpentary. And Imam Ali bin Musa al-Ridha (a.s.) has disclosed this which has been related from one of his companions that: "I saw Abul-Hasan working on his land, his back wet with sweat, then I said to him: `May I be your ransom, where are the men?' He said: `The holy prophet (s.a.w.), Imam Ali and the rest of my fathers (peace be upon them all) have worked with their hands, and it is the work of prophets, messengers, ministers of state and pious servants.' " 31

Surely, all these give the generation of youths an awareness of the importance of work and the danger of idleness and gives them the material capability, as well as, personal honour and respect and discourages them from idleness and laziness. Consequently, among the major prerequisites of work, in the present world, is knowledge and professional capabilities. Thus, work fills the vaccum and rescues the youths from spiritual impasses, as well as, prepares a way for their success and future growth. And how many times the governmental paratacticals, especially in the capitalist countries and other monopoly corporations, unjustly accuse the youths in the third world of seizing their goods and wealth, as well as, causing problems and crises which causes the death of millions of people. When the wealth of these people is destroyed and they are forced to stay in poverty, idleness and deprivation, it is necessary for us to be politically, as well as, socially conscious and work toward the growth of our wealth and render our services to the present and future generations.

Notes :

24. Mabkol Arjabel, Psychological Bliss, page 76 translated by Dr. Faisl Abdul Qadir Yunus.

25. al-Kulaini, al-Kafi, vol. 5, page 89.

26. Ibid.

27. Ibid.

28. Ibid, vol 5, Kitab-ul Maisha, page 67.

29. Ibid.

30. Ibid, page 76.

31. Ibid, page 74.

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