The Ummah’s Next Generation
The khatib would like the congregation today to contemplate on the words of Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi in respect of the younger generation:
He said "If we want to see the future faces of the nation, look at the youths of today. If the youths of today are with high morals and sense of righteousness, then our nation’s future shall definitely be peaceful and prosperous "ٌ وَرَ ٌّّب غَفُوْر ٌ ٌ َطيِّبَة ةَدَْبل ,"but if the situation is otherwise, then be prepared to face the consequences.”
These words of wisdom clearly show us that today’s modern generation is the key in determining the future of a nation. It is they who shall also shape the future greatness of the country or otherwise.
This was evident when we consider the role played by young men and women at the time of Rasulullah SAW. In the course of Rasulullah SAW’s migration from Makkah to Madinah, Abdullah Bin Abu Bakar, a young man, was going back and forth between Makkah and Thur Cave. What was he doing? He was given the trust and responsibility to spy on the Non-Believers (Musyrikin) in Makkah, and deliver any information gathered to Rasulullah SAW and Saiyyidina Abu Bakr who were at Thur Cave. Similarly, we must remember the importance of the role assumed by a young woman named Asma, who provided food and transportation during the migration of Rasulullah SAW.
Let us reflect and learn through the story of the Ashabul Kahfi (The People of The Cave) who dared to resist their unjust king to defend their faith, as told through the words of Allah SWT in Surah Al-Kahf, verses 13 to 14:Which means: “We relate to you (O Muhammad), their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance: We gave strength to their hearts: Behold, they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than Him: if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity!”
They are the best example of youths who were firm and steadfast in preserving the religion of Allah SWT, no matter what the situation they faced. Their hearts were tightly tied to the ‘rope’ of Allah SWT. They put religion ahead of other things.
The spirit and soul of Islam embedded within the People of The Cave should be inculcated and sown into the soul of today's modern generation. This will be a most powerful defence in ensuring that the youths of today are not lulled into the uncertainties of modernity. Reflect on a hadith of Rasulullah SAW, as recorded by Imam Ahmad rahimahullah based on a narration by 'Uqbah bin' Amir RA Which means: "Verily, Allah SWT admires the young man who does not follow his desires, namely by being firm in doing good and avoiding evil."
How modern today’s generation is can be seen in how they gather or acquire knowledge. Previously, knowledge was acquired by seeking out and learning from teachers and scholars. Knowledge was sought through studies within small groups (tallaqi), led by a qualified teacher and guided by a certain book in order to attain a certain spiritual status. Questions were asked with utmost humility and courtesy.
However, modernization and technology has made it possible for the acquisition of knowledge to be done through means that do not require face to face interaction with providers of knowledge, and can be accessed anywhere. Armed with only smartphones and the internet, knowledge can be gained without any restriction or filtration of its sources, to the extent that even now, as the khatib is delivering this sermon, there are some among the congregation who have their fingers still stuck on the screen of their smartphones.
Come! Let us on this blessed day spare a moment and reflect. Have we become the modern generation required by Islam? Or, just a generation preoccupied with modernity? Saiyyidina Umar Al-Khattab, when asked by the Companions, about what he wants in life, when others were busy wanting luxuries, being materialistic and acquiring wealth, gave an answer which very much affects the younger generation: "I want a group of youth who are like Abu Ubaidah al-Jarrah, Muadh ibn Jabal, and Salim Maula Abi Hudzaifah to help me uphold the religion.”
Therefore, in our quest to restore the greatness and the glory of the Ummah which was led by the younger generation of the time, such as the distinguished youths during the golden age of Islam, let us reflect and ponder on the following:
First: The modern generation of today is the reflection and the future of the people and of our beloved country Malaysia.
Second: An outstanding generation is a generation that always adheres to the teachings and guidance of the Al-Quran.
Third: The glories of past generations of youths should not only be great reading but should also be an example to be emulated and followed.
Allah SWT declared in Surah At-Tur, verse 21:Which means: “And those who believe and whose families follow them in Faith,- to them shall We join their families: Nor shall We deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their works: (Yet) is each individual in pledge for his deeds.”