Youths and Wars
- :Al-Balagh Foundation
Adopted from the book : "A Glance at the World of Youth" by : "Al-Balagh Foundation"
Among the major problems facing mankind throughout the centuries has been war and bloody conflicts between nations and races. No matter how war occurs, there must be an oppressor or the blame will be on both sides of the war, and how often mankind has suffered from such oppressive wars. Hence, war can be regarded as a destroyer of human capabilities. It is obvious that wars require bodily capability, fighters, sacrificing huge amount of money, mobilization of troops... etc., and the major part of world armies are comprised of youths. Therefore, wherever it occurs, war's major components and victims are the youths, in addition to their being victims of economic destruction and other evil practices, because, they are the target of economic, political, as well as, social standstill of a war.
Consequently, the young man who is recruited for war usually stays long in the army barracks and at the war fronts, is deprived of family life, like marrying, fathering legitimate children, forming a family, providing the economic prerequisites of life, continuing studies or having a profitable job.
Wars also become the source of anxiety, spiritual, as well as, bodily disorder in the youths' generation, who were recruited and driven to the battle fronts by the order of those who want to make money and have hegemony over the deprived nations or safeguarding the rulers without the prior consent of those youths.
Indeed, the Vietnam and Korean wars, the allied forces versus Saddam Hussain in the Gulf war, the Iraq - Iran war, as well as, the two world wars, i.e., the first and second world wars, all these disclose the destructive effects on millions of youths being the victims of depression, racism, suicide and taking of narcotic drugs, as well as, leaving behind millions of orphans, widows and parents who lost their children. Therefore, it is necessary for the youths to be completely alert and conscious of the wars which they were called upon to participate in. But, the just wars, like wars in defence of the right principles, or for safeguarding the interests of the nation, community and human values are holy wars. Thus, this type of war is another example of safeguarding security and peace (of the community) and achieving the human's aim and his interests.
So, Islam, according to its logic and method of understanding life, death and the hereafter, regards `jihad' and matyrdom among the sacred and holliest principles. Allah, the Most High, says:
"And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, the record (of deeds) will be placed (open); the prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward, and judgement shall be given between them with justice, and they will not be wronged (in the least)." Holy Qur'an (The Crowds 39:69) Allah, the Almighty says while exlpaining some aims of holy fighting in Islam says: "And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah and of the weak among the men and women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors..." Holy Qur'an (Women 4:75)
In another place, the Holy Qur'an explains that war should be against unjust rulers who aggress on the security of mankind and its rights and who practice oppression, corruption and enmity. Allah, the Almighty says: "Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of evil..." Holy Qur'an (Women 4:76)
Thus, in the logic of material wars, the youths are the forerunners used in war and are the troops who safeguard the interests of unjust rulers and the victims of the wars. While in Islamic logic, those who can go to jihad are responsible for safeguarding the rights of the oppressed, as well as, fighting oppression, vices, corruption and aggression on the earth. The Qur'anic call for mankind is a message of love and peace, and not a message of wars and enmity. Allah, the Most High says: "But if the enemies incline towards peace, then (also) incline towards it, and keep your trust in Allah..." Holy Qur'an (The Spoils of War 8:61)
Therefore, war in this logic, is to defend the truth, prevent aggression and remove the obstacles of unjust rulers on the way of guidance and peace. How great is this Islamic principle, which the Holy Prophet confirms in his saying: "Religion is nothing but love." 32, while at the same time the principles and outlooks of ignorant materialism are founded on the basis of wars, enmity and aggression.
The capitalist ideology, for instance, which governs the West, is founded on the basis of monopoly and seeking commercial markets and natural resources like crude oil, gold and uranium (in order to have control over them). It builds its system on exploiting the weak, oppressed nations and spoiling its resources. Thus, to achieve this aim, they plan and invent diverse weapons of mass destruction, like nuclear and biological weapons, as well as, drafting its machineries with the aim of capturing the whole world and having supremacy over the oppressed. They ignite the fire of war and conflicts, everywhere, in order to have control over the major resources and businesses (of those countries), as well as, controlling the strategic places and laying groundwork for selling their destructive weapons, as they are presently doing in different locations of the world at this very moment.
Therefore, youths can be divided into two generations; one generation lives under the theory of love and peace, and regard wars as a means of defending the truth, and the other generaton lives under the system which regards wars as a means of oppression, exploitation and an aggression on the oppressed and deprived people (of the world).
32. al-Muhasin, page 409.
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