Advice to the Youth, the Future Generation! From the treatise of Shaikh Al-Fawzaan

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A transcribed sermon delivered by Abu Khadeejah based upon the writings of Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him)*

All Praise is due to Allāh, we praise Him, seek His aid and His Forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allāh from the evils of our souls and the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allāh guides there is none to misguide and whomsoever Allāh misguides there is none to guide. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, alone, without any partners and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

To proceed,

“O you who believe, fear Allāh as He should be feared, and die not except as Muslims.” (3:102)

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (4:1)

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allāh and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allāh and His Messenger he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).” (33:70-71)

To proceed,

The truest speech is the Book of Allāh, and the best way is the way of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The worst of affairs are the newly invented matters, every newly invented matter is an innovation, every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire. To proceed,

My brothers and sisters, I picked up this book not too long ago, and it is entitled: “The treatises of the scholars to the Youth of the Ummah.” It is a compilation of a series of treatises by some of our scholars of our era. The first of those treatises, and inshāʾAllāh, I hope over the next several weeks and months to cover some of the topics that have been explained in these writings that are directed to the youth and the young people of the ummāh. In reality if we were to ponder over these writings, you will find not only is there benefit in them for the youth of the ummāh but also for the elders of the ummāh, due to what they contain of tremendous pieces of advice.

From those rasaa’il (treatises) is one authored by the Scholar, the ‘Aalim, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah), which he has entitled: “Important guidelines for the youth of the ummāh”, and wāllahi when you read some of these sayings of this scholar to the youth, you realise and are reminded of the great insight of the scholars and the ‘Ulamaa – and that which they have with them of the inheritance of Prophethood in terms of their concern and their desire for the rectification of the generation that is growing underneath our wings.

The rectification of the youth of the ummāh is of the utmost importance; those who will become the future leaders of the ummāh (inshaa’allaah): the Imaams of the Mosques, or teachers in our schools, or the khateebs of the Friday sermons, callers to Allaah, scholars, and community leaders – as well as fathers and mothers. It is these young men and women who will propagate that which the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) brought – and carry it into the next generation so long as they are nurtured and cultivated correctly.

Shaykh al-Fawzaan mentioned at the beginning of his treatise (abridged with additional Salafi benefits):

There is no doubt that the youth of the ummāh are the foundation of the human building upon which this ummāh is established. So the youth of this ummāh are the younger generation that will carry the responsibility after their fathers have passed away, and the youth have within them the bodily strength, the thinking, the talents, skills and the attitudes that are new (meaning they are relevant for this era) that are not present in the elder people. The elder folk have wisdom and experience whilst the youth have strength, preparedness and readiness. So if the youth and the elders were to work together for the advancement of the ummāh much good will be achieved. However if the youth went their own separate way (away from their elders), then the devils from the humans and the jinn will come in between them and cause mischief. So the sidelining of the youth towards other less important pastimes and goals is not correct and it is harmful to the ummāh.

The Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) gave true importance to the affair of young people, he said to his cousin, Abdullaah ibn `Abbaas) whilst he was still a youth, “O young boy, surely I will teach you some words” and then he began to teach Abdullaah ibn `Abbaas. He said to him:

“Be mindful of Allāh and he will protect you, be mindful of Allāh and you will find him in-front of you. If you ask than ask of Allāh, and know that if all the people were to gather together to benefit you with something, they could not benefit you except with that which Allāh has already written for you – and if they were to gather together to harm you with anything they would not be able to harm you except with that which Allāh has already written and decreed for you. Indeed the pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” (At-Tirmidhee)

In a similar narration, collected by Imam at-Tirmidhee. He mentions that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“Remember Allāh in times of ease and prosperity and he will remember you in times of hardship and adversity, and know, that which as passed you by was never going to be for you and that which has befallen you was never going to pass you by, and know that victory comes with patience, and relief comes after affliction, and ease comes after hardship.”

These tremendous words of advice from our Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to one of the young men and to one of the great protectors of this religion and one of the greatest narrators of the ahādīth of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). So this advice and guidance gathers together tremendous directives for young people with respect to their `aqeedah, conduct, manners, their utter reliance upon Allāh and their īman in the Qadā and Qadar of Allāh. So this is a tremendous encompassing advice.

Likewise we find from Anas bin Maalik, that he narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was on one occasion upon a riding beast and sitting behind him was the noble companion, Muadh bin Jabal. So he said to Muadh, “O Mu’ādh!” Muadh responded to the Messenger of Allāh, he said, “At your service and your call O Messenger of Allāh”. So again the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “O Mu’ādh!” So Mu’adh responded once more,”At your service and your call O Messenger of Allāh”. Then he said a third time, “O Mu’ādh!” And again Muadh said, “At your service and your call O Messenger of Allāh”. Once he was sure that he had Muadh’s full attention he said to him:

“There is not a servant who declares that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allāh, and he says that sincerely from his heart, except that Allāh has made hellfire forbidden for him.”

So Muadh said to the Messenger of Allāh, “O Messenger of Allāh, should I not inform the people and give them this glad tidings?” So the Messenger of Allāh said, “They will come to rely upon it.” Meaning: withhold, for than they’d come to rely upon it. Then the narrator, Anas bin Maalik mentions: Mu’adh mentioned it upon his deathbed or at the time of his death, to avoid falling into sin. (Collected by Bukhari and Muslim)

So for the youth this is guidance for them from their Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) that they should worship Allāh alone and they should not associate partners with him in worship, and this was the purpose for which they were created. Allāh says (what can be translated as):

“I (Allāh) did not create the jinn nor the mankind except for my worship.”

This is what Allāh has informed His creation. So the right of Allāh upon the servant is an obligation, something mandatory, an affair in which there is no choice such that a person does as he wishes. As for the rights of the servants upon Allāh, then that is a favour from Allāh upon them. Allāh is not obligated to owe anyone anything – rather this right is a favour from Allāh upon them. The Prophet informed Mu’aadh bin Jabal (radiyallaahu `anhu) that: “If one worships Allāh alone then Allāh will not punish him.”

This proves that tawhīd is a guaranteed safety from destruction: either an absolute guarantee with the meaning that a person will never be punished; or with the meaning that he will not remain in the hellfire eternally. So even if a person is punished for some of his sins, then he will eventually be removed from the fire and entered into paradise. So long as he was a person of tahwīd, worshipping Allāh alone and he did not associate any with Allāh in worship.

So this is what Shaykh al-Fawzaan mentions right at the beginning of his advice to the youth. And in the hadeeth of Mu’aadh bin Jabal, when Mu’adh was sitting behind the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) upon the riding beast and he asked Mu’aadh bin Jabal, “O Muadh, do you know the right of Allāh upon the servant and the right of the servant upon Allāh?” Then the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) informed Mu’adh bin Jabal that the right of Allāh upon the servant is that they are not to worship except Allah alone and that they are not to associate partners with him in worship, and the right of the servants upon Allāh (meaning: the right that Allāh bestows upon the servant as a favour, if they were to worship Allāh alone and to abandon all forms of shirk) that Allāh will not punish them with the fire. This hadeeth proves that whomsoever commits shirk with Allāh then indeed Allāh will punish such a person eternally in the hellfire and when they enter the hellfire there will be no happiness for them.

Allāh stated:

“Indeed whomsoever associates partners in worship with Allāh then Allāh has forbidden upon such a person paradise and his abode will be the hellfire, and they will be therein for the wrongdoers (those who associate partners with Allāh in worship) there will be for them no helper.”

Likewise, the statement of Allāh:

“That Allāh does not forgive the one who associate partners with Him (the one who worships others besides Allāh), but He will forgive the sins that are lesser than that, to whomsoever he pleases.”

Also the statement of Allāh’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) that Allāh has promised that he will not punish the one who does not associate partners with Allāh in worship. The one who abandons shirk, Allāh will not punish him, the one who worships Allāh alone and keeps away from the false deities and the worship of them, than Allāh will not punish such people. The meaning of this is, that everything that is taken as a partner in the worship of Allāh such as a tree, or a stone, or a dead person, or a living person, or a jinn, or humans, or idols, or angels, or Messengers, or Prophets, or those who are righteous; everything that is associated with Allāh in worship, giving the right that belongs to Allāh alone of worship, then Allāh will not forgive such a person unless he or she repents to Allāh, seeking His forgiveness and returns back to the tawhīd of Allāh (worshipping Allah alone), believing in Him and worshipping the one true God, Allāh. And if a person was to die upon shirk, then he will eternally remain in the hellfire.

The Prophet said to ‘Umar Ibn Abee Salamah, and he was a youth who was living in an apartment of the Prophet, and that was the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) was married to his mother, Umm Salamah. The Prophet married Umm Salamah after the death of her husband, Abu Salamah. So she was a widow, so this youth was the son of that noble woman, Umm Salamah, the mother of the believers (radiyallaahu `anhaa). So this youth was nurtured and cultivated at the hands of Allāh’s Messenger, so when one day he was sitting with the Messenger of Allāh, some food arrived and the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said to him,

“O young boy, say bismillah (meaning: before you eat), and eat with your right hand, and eat that which is close to you.”

This is from the guidance, directives and advice of the Messenger to this young man, and the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said to the youth in general,

“O gathering of youth, those amongst you who have the ability to marry than get married, for indeed that restrains the eyes and it safeguards from sexual immorality, and whoever is not able to marry then let him take to fasting for indeed it is for him a means of restraining the desires.”

Here Allāh’s Messenger is commanding with protecting oneself from sexual immorality, from fornication and this can be managed/achieved by way of marriage if you are able, and if you are not able then Allāh’s Messenger gave them other ways of controlling the desires such as doing those things that weaken and reduce the passion, i.e. fasting. Fasting out of fear of falling into fitnah, the fitnah of fornication. Lowering the gaze, not exposing your sight and hearing to that which is haraam – not putting yourself in situations that you know will lead to fornication or will open up a door for fornication.

So this is from the serious concern that Allāh’s Messenger had for his nation, and more-so for the youth. So these pieces of advice from the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) to the young people hold validity up until the hour is established and it is obligatory upon our youth, and our young ones, male and female to hold onto these pieces of advice. Allāh’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) also mentioned that from those seven who will be shaded by Allāh’s shade on the day that there will be no other shade except the shade of Allāh, and as some of the narrations mention, the shade of the ‘arsh (throne) of Allāh; so there will be a shade on Day of Resurrection, which will be the shade of Allāh and that will be the shade of the throne of Allāh. The Prophet said that one of those who will be shaded on that day is a youth who was raised upon the worship of Allah.

If a youth, male or female, is raised upon the worship of Allāh and is not taken by the flurry and the impetuousness of youth and the impulsiveness of the youth to disobey. So he overcomes all of that in favour of obedience to Allāh, so he will be shaded by the shade of Allāh. On that severely hot day, on that hot day when the sun is brought close to the heads of those standing and Allāh will shade a group of people with His shade and from them will be the young people who were raised upon the worship of Allāh.

So it is upon our youth, the younger ones, at the time where your impulses are running wild with the flurry of youth and that impetuous nature that is within you; then you must restrain that and control that for Allāh’s sake in return for something that you will be given better than the passions and desires that you may fulfil in this world, and that is that Allāh will shade you as a favour from Himself and enter you into Jannah where you will have whatever you desire. So beware of that Day of Resurrection when the perspiration will rise up up to the jawbones, the necklines, waists, knees and ankles. May Allaah protect us.

They will be drenched in sweat. Yet upon that day because you choose ‘Ibaadah, you chose the worship of Allāh, you chose the obedience of Allāh, then that day Allāh will shade you and you will not grieve, you will not worry and you will not be from those people who will feel the terror of that day because you know that Allāh has shaded you upon that day underneath His Throne. But that requires some striving on your behalf, my young brothers and sisters, it requires striving on your behalf. It requires restraining the soul, it requires your cooperation with your elders, and it requires that the elders not to neglect the young ones, in obedience to Allāh.

May Allāh make us from those who are shaded on that day when there is no shade except for the shade of Allāh. May Allāh make us from them, whether we are old, whether we are young. May Allāh save us from that grievous day.

May Allaah send prayers, peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, his Family and all his Companions.

* Transcribed by Wafa Bint Houssam – may Allaah reward her for this noble effort and place it in her scale of good deeds on the Day of Judgement.

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