So many times have I heard this ‘question’ pop up like a sharp thorn that has been found in ones shoe. The youth are running away from Islam. What do we do? The answer is plain is simple and it does not need to be persistently asked by people.
Once a person reaches maturity we see them turning away from religion then we know one thing has occurred, for definite, we have failed. At this point a child who has grown up going to the masjid is now old enough to leave and how ceremoniously they do. They run from the religion into the arms of the world and they remain there until they get some sort of problem or shock. That's if they are lucky to get that reminder so many do not.
Now, doesn’t anyone think that there is something wrong here? A child has had six or more years of teaching in the masjid or madrasa but once they leave they do not pick up the Quran for many years and involve themselves in the world. Is it just me that thinks that we had the chance to teach them something and failed?
We blame the youth for being naive and for falling into many traps of the world but shouldn’t we have prepared them for life before they left us? So what is the cause of the problem? Where has the system failed? It cannot be with the religion so where is the problem?
The answer is that we have failed to teach them. We have failed to give them the tools to see through the traps of this world and we have driven them out of the masjid. We are the problem not them. But now leaders look at the youth and think its them who are the problem. No its not them it's us! We had a great opportunity to make balanced human beings who are a credit to their societies but instead we taught the children how harsh we can be.
What did we teach them in all those years? Did they ever see us practice Islam correctly? They see people like us as scourges and not people who they want to be like. We have failed to implant the prophetic model in ourselves then how can we implant it in the children? Your child learns from your behavior so whether you teach them or not they are learning. We do not teach them about the beauty of Islam. We teach them that being religious is about being a harsh hearted hypocrite!
We have to wake up and that is not going to be easy because some are perfectly happy being asleep. We have to teach with firmness but not harshness and most of those who teach but not understand Urdu. We need to teach them in a language they understand. You will not get anywhere teaching people something in a language they do not understand.
We need to engage their minds by bringing their hearts to life with the Sirah. Then teaching them stories and making them enjoy their religion. Classes should be no longer than an hour, any more than then it will cause damage to the children. We have learned this the hard way and we really need to be sure that children enjoy learning and we try to make things fun for them.
We need to encourage them and not criticise them as this will hurt them. Encouragement is a great key to help people reach heights quickly.
We try to help them by doing as much we can and supporting them as much as possible. Most of all we must practice what we preach because if we do not then our words are like rocks fallen onto seeds. Don’t be surprised if nothing good grows because children are like gardens if you plant something good in them then good will grow and if you leave then weeds will grow. The weeds are our fault because we missed our opportunity to grow something good.
We need smaller, shorter classes with teachers qualified to teach not an uncle who does not know how to perform Wudu!
I do not think there is a problem with the youth rather the problem is with the elders because they do not know how to reach them except by a clip around the ear. It's another wasted opportunity to build human beings instead we ruin them first before the world gets them. What else would they do in their lives but turn to drink and drugs because we sent them there.
The inhertance of the Prophets (upon them peace) is knowledge and this knowledge is being lost in our time. Great scholars are dying and there is no one is taking their place. We are losing knowledge from all over the place.
Yet, if someone hears about the relics of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) they will travel for miles to see it but who will sit in a class of fiqh or tajweed? This is the real knowledge and this is being lost, as we live in a time in which people follow their passions and they have long since left imiatating the only one worthy of imitation.
While you are on this planet you still have time to change your communites. Read this about the Importance of knowledge.
If you are on masjid committe read this.
If this still does not make sense then read this.
May Allah forgive us all.