Rafed English


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

The word rebellion absolutely gives a negative image or meaning, for it always means disobedience and disapproval if supported. But, in Islamic terminology it means going against the power, laws, ideologies and conducts that are pure and right or going against things which deserve honour and respect. Rebellion is not mere rejection and disapproving of what people like, because there are some laws, ideologies and opinions which are not right and are liable to rebellion and disapproval.

In view of this, the rebellion that occurs in the life of the youths, which are caused by the feeling of power and challenging the need for change, has two opposite outlooks; a negative and harmful outlook and a positive outlook which helps in the community's progress and safeguarding its interests. Certainly, the negative rebellion which occurs in the youths and young children is the most serious and complicated one which faces families and societies.

Likewise, negative rebellion or the rebellion against what deserves respect and honour, like pure ideology and laws, subjective, as well as, objective, have causes which deserve to be studied with consciousness and wisdom. Because rebellion by the youths is a dangerous matter to the family and the community at large, and it starts from the cradles of the family, and by refusing the commands of the parents or the pure cultures and ideologies of the family and going against them, children put themselves in great danger.

Then, there is rebellion against the school laws, which are comprised of coming to school on time and every day, writing class work, respecting the teachers, as well as, fellow students, and at the same time, rebellion against the community's rules and regulations. Statistics conducted in 1970 show that: "20 % of the youths of France who were under 30 years of age and 30 % from the men who were below 40 years of age participated in a demonstration in May of 1968 in France. It was confirmed, by this analysis, that the younger generations of the community, in a short time, could react or participate in any rebellion against the ruling power, however, it was confirmed by another research that it is not possible to generalize this result." 15 Rebellion has its own causes which encourage it, and those which may be the most apparent, are the following:

a. Dictatorial relationship of some parents towards their children, supprssing their wills and insisting on restricting them of things which are not restricted by the Shari'a. The parents do not change their relationship with the youths, continuing to treat them like a child, who is not conscious, by their commands, interfere in their affairs like studies, marriage, work, daily activites and economic matters and even their mode of dress.......which forces some children to rebellion and disapproval and ends up in the showing of no respect for the ideas and commandments of the parents. Thus, problems occur and misunderstandings begin to appear between them, and sometimes end in bad results, disrespect or even leaving the parents' house.

Indeed, Islam has studied carefully these problems so as to bring obedience and respect between both sides. However, Islam differentiates between loyalty to one's parents and submission to them, as it differentiates between guidance, directing and educating, and forcing and dictating their will and desires on the children.

The Islamic jurisprudence necessitates the loyalty and goodness to parents, but, it does not necessitate submission except to Allah, the Almighty, and anything which is not against His laws, for instance, the Islamic Shari'a does not necessitate submission upon a girl or a boy to their parents when the parents want to conduct their marriage against their own choice and wish.

The parents' duty is to guide their children to the right path and protect them against what is harmful to them, starting from the legal responsibility, necessity of enjoining good and forbiding evil, holding any pure means for their living less they fall into crisis and failure in their life, as well as, making them understand that the disapproval of the parents to the choice of their children is just for their own good and they should do so with a cool temper and wisdom. This is the best way to change them and keep them from falling into crisis and calamities. It is a mistake for the parents to force their ideas, thoughts and their own way of life, which is not founded legally, upon their children, but, for mere affinity or intimacy or social custom, which makes them strike against their children's ideas and their modern way of life.

Imam Ali (a.s.) has warned parents against this, in his famous saying:

"Do not force your ethics or customs on your children, because they are created in an era different from yours." 16 Surely, this Islamic analysis on the means of life's progress and what occurs between generations, will shed light on most of the complicated matters between parents and children, which often result in rebellion and disobedence. When Islam studies and analyzes this matter, it calls for thorough investigation, on the matter, as an issue of civilization in the life of a human being based on the fundamentals of good morals. Surely, Islam has warned parents and stops them from bad relationships with their children which may result in rebellion and disobedence.

It is reported in a Prophetic tradition that the prophet said: "Oh Ali! Allah and religion has cursed those who hold their children responsible for their disobedience (because they, themselves, did not train them)." 17 All this is to preserve and safeguard the new generations from negative rebellion which the family, nations and communities face that incline toward the materialistic idea and which contradicts the Islamic perspectives on this matter. Even though the parents take on this responsibility, it is important that they guide and encourage their children to love their parents, respect them, listen to their advice, as well as, refrain from rebelling against them.

Therefore, educating a child, showing him the rights of the parents and how to associate and live with them are among the effective factors in controlling rebellion. Surely, family life, especially a good relationship between the parents and the respect between them, or a bad relationship between them, has a great effect in solving or complicating such problems.

b. School: As the parents' conduct and relationship, toward their children, contributes in creating the spirit of negative rebellion, so, also, the school plays a vital role in this field. The system, and complicated ways of dealing with a student, sometimes makes him feel that it is trespassing against his personality and his studies, or it does not correspond with the realty of his life, thus, it forces him to challenge the school's system, create problems and, later on, his leaving the school. Therefore, it is necessary for the school to adjust its communal conditions and systems to the spirit of the times, and deal with a student by considering the nature of a teenager and his problems in this stage, through good conduct and mercy, and not with pressure and punishment, except if it becomes necessary.

c: The nature of a teenager and his morals and spiritual formations: The spiritual nature, as well as, the state of mind, and the level of education, has its own great contribution in rebellion, disapproval and challenges of a teenager. Because the teenage stage is a stage of pride and emotion and power, it is a stage of self feelings, separation from the parent and freedom, likewise, it is a stage of challenging anything that stands in his way, whether it be the family, government or the community: Thus, negative rebellion occurs and, likewise, the positive one.

Therefore, the solution to negative rebellion is to give much concern to the issue of education and make them understand the problem of that stage, as well as, the shunning of the stimulated atmosphere which surrounds teenagers. Hence, young boys and girls who are conscious and civilized will understand this analysis and the problems, as well as, accept the solutions without rebellion or disapproval, not the same as the uncultured and illiterate youth will deal with it; ignorantly.

d. Conditions and circumstances: Surely, economic, intellectual, social and political conditions and circumstances, as well as, the laws and declarations, have a great effect - both positively and negatively vis-a-vis the government and the laws - on the conduct of the youths and their stance.

Thus, in a condition where the generation of youths are facing poverty and needs, the security of their future activities, through intellectual and political terrorism and racial discrimination, will force them to challenge and rebel against it with all their might, as is happening in some countries of the world. Therefore, intellectual freedom, reforming the economic conditions (and peoples' welfare), and respecting peoples' rights, is the only solution to the problem of negative rebellion and disobedience, not through the use of power and intellectual pressures and terrorism.

Notes :

15. Dr. Faisol Muhammad Ar-Zarrad, The Problems of Youths, page 101-102.

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