Rafed English

Qur'an and Responsibility

It is possible to see many examples on the Qur'anic screen and many youthful samples of those who understood their responsibilities and discharge them nicely, and become a source of imitation for other youth in this life.

In the world of the Prophets (peace be upon them all), we can see the young Ibrahim (Abraham), in his adolescence, being confident, ridiculing the idols worshipped by his fathers, to the extent that he neglected his polytheist people and destroyed them with the axe of the idols. This is when he hung the guilt of the axe in the neck of the big idol in order to make him a source of accusation, but the people realized that the case was not like this when he stood in front of them ridiculing them about worshipping something that could not harm them or be a benefit (They said, "We heard a youth talk of them; he is called Abraham") (Holy Qur'an: 21:60).

The chivalry of Ibrahim (a.s.) is utilized to attract attention of his his people to the necissity of worshipping Allah alone, whether in his discussion concerning stars or dialogue with the tyrant Nimrod or in calling his father toward guidance or his patience and struggle in accepting the result of his responsibility; all these draw the picture of the responsible chivalry of Ibrahim, who became a source of imitation for us: (There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him) (Qur'an: 60:4).

Then, there is also the example of Isma'il (a.s.) who drank, from the river of his father Ibrahim (a.s.), the water of chivalry and obeying the Almighty Allah. And how he prepared himself for a great sacrifice with his self, in order to achieve Allah's will, as well as, helping his father in building the Holy Ka'ba.

Based on this chvalry that obeyed the Almighty Allah, which was put in place for piety and devotion that (this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the faith for you; then die not except in the faith of Islam) (Holy Qur'an: 2:132.) And, likewise, the Qur'an tells us about the young Dawud (David) who spent his adolescence fighting the oppressors and surprised them with his spirit of sacrifice for the right path.

Regarding the chivalry of a handsome young man, Yusuf (Joseph), he was responsible for becoming a good example for the youth who considers himself too exalted to fall into bad habits; a youth that called others toward monotheism even when in prison.

The chivalry of Musa (Moses) came into light for his righteousness on faith even though he was brought up in a disbelieving envrronement. In the town of Madyan, he showed his faith and shyness while he was pulling up water for the two young girls, and, likewise, the way he addressed Fir'aun (Pharaoh) with all his arrogant behaviour.

Then, came the face of Isa (Jesus) (a.s.) when he obeyed his mother and was not evil and arrogant. He discharged his duty the moment he came to this world when he preached to his people on worshipping Allah alone.

As for our Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), the Qur'an didn't tell us anything concerning his youthful responsibilities, but we have learned through his pure biography how he disassociated himself from falsehood, superstition and illusion and retired himself in the mountain of 'Hira'. And, likewise, how he brought his personality, based on honesty and truthfulness, to the extent that he became an exemplary figure among the Quraish tribe.

And apart from the circle of the Prophets (a.s.), the Holy Qur'an also tells us about the responsible youth, i.e., 'The chivalry of the People of the Cave' (Ashab al-Kahf), who terms their responsibility in avoiding dealimg with the oppressive ruler and not involving in his corrupt projects. And then came the role of a young woman. The Holy Qur'an tells us about the responsible young girl, Maryam (Mary) daughter of Imran (a.s.), as a model of piety and worshipping, and the sister of Musa, who play a vital role in rescuing her brother from death due to hunger as a result of not getting breastfeeding, as well as, making efforts in order to fulfill Allah's promise to return him safe to his mother.

These are the Qur'anic examples, of responsible youths, that wanted to say:

All Prophets (a.s.) and believers are responsible in their youthfulness. They are examples and patterns of conduct for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day…take, as an example, their youthfulness…from their gifts to your gifts…if you want to know what responsibility is in Islam.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) brought up the Muslim youth, guided them, and charged them with responsibilities, which makes us - as youth- to review in our roles in this present life. And he did it because he saw them as the best way to tackle the life of the youth and help them play their positive role in the society. It is narrated in a Prophetic tradition: "I enjoin you toward the youth, because they represent the quickest way toward every goodness."

Perhaps you have read in the Holy Prophet's biography that one day he sent the young Musa bin Umair, in the first propagative mission of Islam, to Madina. He did so in order to encourage other youth in discharging their role in propagating the faith.

And, likewise, Sa'ad bin Malik was almost in his seventeenth, but he was an Islamic spiral who moved and challenged the olders in his activities of propagating Islam. He spent his youth in bidding good, and he was praised by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companions. Ammar bin Yasir also was a pivot in his youth - as he continued to be so till the end of his life - he was a glittering torch of faith; he utilized all opportunities in increasing good, righteous deeds, and being in the service of Islam and defending it.

And, also, Ali bin Abi-Talib (a.s.), whom the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) described his youth with the saying: "There is no youth except Ali." He was an exemplary figure who spent all the abilities of his youth for the service of Islam; be it in the fields of Jihad or in the fields helping others. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) had appointed Utab bin Usaid, as the governor of Mecca after its conquest while he was twenty-one years old, as a basis for thanking and appreciation toward his capability as a youth.

He, also, appointed Usama bin Zaid as a commander in his war against the Roman Empire; at that time he was only 18 years old. And he ordered the elders of Quraish to follow and obey him.

And this is how he dealt with Mu'ad bin Jabal and Mu'ad bin Amru bin al-Jumuh and other Muslim youths in order to show appreciation toward the role of the youth, in discharging duties and commanding the army or propagating. They are more capable of propagating Islam because of their capability of enduring hardship and defending Islam against its enemy.

Therefore, the young Muslim boys and girls had played vital roles - even after the time of the Prophet - and they are still a vital power in every movement and revolution.

Adapted from the book: "Youth Aspiration Towards Responsibility" by:  "Al Balagh Foundation"

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