Shaik Abu Muhammad Naseem – Founder and Director of Madinah Academy in Sydney, Australia – answers some key questions about Muslim youth, work-life balance in the field of Dawah and addiction to gadgets
Which problems do Muslim youth face in Muslim minority countries? What could be some possible solutions regarding them?
Indeed, the problems our youth face and go through are plenty. Most are major issues that are very scary, disturbing and lamenting. Where to begin with?
✒ Lack of true Islamic knowledge (Ilm Sahih – beneficial knowledge) and Tarbiyah; Dunya over Deen is the priority, unfortunately.
✒ Lack of Iman and Amal Salih.
✒ Huge family crisis: parents constantly in disputes, divided families, harsh language in the home environment, absence of love, lack of time for children. Generally, disconnection from real life and proper human interaction.
✒ Lack of the true ideal Muslim identity and Islamic character (non-productive attitude to life, wastefulness, low self-esteem, jealousy, gossip, and much more).
✒ Huge peer pressure, wrong friendships, and unhealthy environment, which result in mental breakdowns and health crisis. Music, social media, gaming addiction, entertainment culture through gangs, groups, drugs, girlfriend and boyfriend and partying culture. Basically, high involvement in Haram activities. Sinning is done easily.
✒ A major problem of this generation is the distractions parents have given to children (phones, iPads, games) – starting from the age of just 6 months! Where are we heading? Allahu Alam.
✒ Youth’s role models are Hollywood, Bollywood and sports personalities, who mostly are into tattoos, drugs, mental issues, family abuse, womanizing, entertainment, gambling and much more. May Allah (swt) protect us from these personalities.
✒ First and foremost is to return to Allah the Almighty, have Taqwa, be mindful of Allah (swt) and become conscious of Allah (swt).
✒ Strong Islamic education foundation and Tarbiyah from birth.
✒ Greater role and presence (time) of parents with love, compassion, mercy, and tolerance. More active role of scholars, educators, Imams, Duat, community leaders, and teachers in building young generation by playing their role positively and actively. Best method is the prophetic model.
✒ It is imperative for parents to be present in their lives – listen to them and connect with them during their teen years and youth age. Spend more time together attending beneficial programmes, travelling, and retreats. Be more considerate of their concerns, validate their issues and give support or guide them accordingly.
✒ Choose good company, friendship, environment for their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual growth.
✒ Set the priorities right. Simply Deen over Dunya. The Quran speaks about having strong faith in Allah (swt) and obeying Him. It also reminds us of the Akhirah. May Allah (st) grant us Jannatul-Firdaus Al-Ala.
✒ Inspiration from real and great heroes of Islam, like prophets, messengers, the Sahabah, and the early generations, who showed great effort in bringing goodness to humanity through Islam.
✒ Focus on Ilm, Iman, and Amal Salih while guiding the youths about the positive sides of the information technology.
✒ Creating and giving opportunities to them – providing support and network for personality development with the help of the leading government bodies and organizations. Finally, Dua is absolutely a key in every matter.
Nowadays children get easily get absorbed into the world of gaming and the Internet. What is your view on this?
Games are bad for health, if they are not balanced out. Playing all day long without going outside and doing some physical activity will have adverse effect on the human body both physically and emotionally. There is nothing wrong with playing games, provided that they are permissible and do not contain any Haram elements. As we cannot escape this new trend of digital world, parents need to keep an eye on these things for the betterment of their children. I personally encourage kids, teen, youths and even adults to spend more time outdoors and play physical games, as it’s more beneficial and rewarding.
What is your view of the current generation? Should we focus on getting a higher status in society or in front of our Creator? If both, then how?
If my children want to become doctors or engineers, I have no objections. Every child is unique – Allah (swt) has blessed us all with some special talents and knowledge. Islam can be practiced along with the profession one desires. The least I want from my own children is that they can become a Sadqah Jariyah for me, by the grace of Allah, the Almighty. The ultimate goal is that they do things that please Allah (swt) and strive to seek Jannah. They have to learn, understand and live as true servants of Allah (swt), as obedient sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, and responsible fathers or mothers. A parent can do only as much as shaping their good character, giving good Tarbiyah, and establishing the relationships with their Creator and the people around them. Truly, it is only Allah, the Almighty, Who can change a person. We do need to use Taleem, Tarbiyah and Wiqayah in this modern era.
Work in this field of Dawah requires constant activity. How are you managing your time between career and family? Do you get some time for yourself? What would you recommend to people who struggle to strike a balance between all three?
I personally recommend our youth to get married early, grow together to understand each other and establish a family.
Secondly, the best way to manage time is through the five daily Salah – to understand that the call to Salah five times a day “Haya Alas-Salah” (come to Salah) leads to “Haya Alal-Falah” (come to success), which the golden formula.
Deen over Dunya; not Dunya over Deen.
Everything happens due to Allah’s (swt) permission. Alhumdulillah, balancing between family and career is a Tawfeeq from Allah, the Almighty. It is challenging and comes with great pain, effort, and struggles, but the rewards are accordingly as well.
Let the men do their roles and women do their roles; thus, both will find their time well together, Insha’Allah. Every one of us is different, and the nature of our work is different as well. So, part of the life lesson is to arrange your day around the Salah – keep your Salah the highest priority, and Allah (swt) will facilitate things for you. Have faith and trust in your Creator. Know your final destiny is Akhirah. Keep the priorities right.
Sweet message from a Hadeeth in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim about Abu Darda (rtam) and Salman Al-Farsi (rtam): “You have a right upon yourself, your Lord, and your wife, so give each of them their due right.”
That is how we need to manage our time wisely. I cannot comment on women choosing to work, as each country and their circumstances may differ and have different understanding needs. Allah (swt) knows best. May Allah (swt) make our affairs easy and grant us Tawfeeq to please Him. Ameen.
To know more about Shaik Naseem and the work he does, visit madinahacademy.net or follow on social media: @MadinahAcademy (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube)