I was reading the story of a young man who came to Prophet Muhammad, صلىالله عليه وسلم (peace and blessings be upon him) who agreed to abide by all the other Islamic principles, but requested permission to be allowed to practice fornication/adultery even after he embraced Islam, as he was strongly inclined to it, (possibly accustomed to practising it) and couldn't imagine living without it.
At the time, the Prophet was sitting with his Companions who loudly reprimanded the young man and rebuked him for daring to bring up such a brazen appeal.
What did Allah's Messenger صلىالله عليه وسلم do?
He called the young man closer to him and gently enquired: “Would you accept [to see] your mother [being a participant] in committing fornication/adultery?"
The young man replied: "No!" .
Allah's Messengerصلىالله عليه وسلم said:"Similarly, other people dislike to see their mothers indulging in fornication/adultery."
The Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم further asked the young man: "Would you accept [to see] your sister [being a participant] in committing fornication/adultery?"
The young man replied: "No".
The Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم said: "Similarly, other people dislike to see their sisters indulging in fornication/adultery as well".
Allah's Messengerصلىالله عليه وسلم finally asked: "Would you accept [to see] your daughter committing fornication/adultery?"
The young man again replied:"No"
The Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم said: "Similarly, other people dislike to see their daughters indulging in fornication/adultery as well".
Then, Allah's Messengerصلىالله عليه وسلم prayed for the young man saying: "Oh Allah! Purify the heart of this young man, guard his private parts (from unlawful sexual contact), and enable him to lower his gaze".
The young man is later reported to have said:" By Allah! From that moment on, nothing was more hateful to me than seeking unlawful sexual relations ”
Notwithstanding the Prophetic precedent, can a young Muslim man or woman imagine going up to a respected leader of the community or a religious figure and discussing their inclination to sin, with a view to finding a solution?
If the answer is "no", then we are clearly failing to live up to the Prophet's example.
Muslim youth today need counselling, community and peer support and prayer if they are to emerge unscathed from their inclination to sin -- an inclination that threatens their well-being and happiness in this world and the next.
The factors that contribute towards Muslim youth being inclined to sin are numerous -- the means to combat them are pitifully few. Deploring the lack of hayaa/religiosity in "today's kids"; displaying an ostrich-like attitude and simply wishing the problems away; vague admonitions to the youth to "have taqwa" and "lower your gaze" without educating them about the "hows" and "whys" of the process, are proving to be completely inadequate methods.
Labels: Muslim youth, Muslims on Muslims