Young people have always played a massive part in working for Islam historically speaking. Right from the era of the Prophethood of Muhammad PBUH, many of the youth stood with Islam against the oppression the Makkan society practiced. Companions such as Ali Ben Abi Talib, Talha bin Obeidullah, Mu’adh bin Jabal, Abdullah bin Omar, Abdullah bin Abbas Zayd bin Thabit and the Prophet’s PBUH grandsons Hasan and Husain are only a handful of names of the Muslim youth that have shone in Islamic history (May Allah be pleased with them all).
Now it is up to the youth of today to stand up to the oppression and injustices they face around them and to act. We must not be reliant on elders, so much as these problems with 4G warfare are new and the dynamics of our problems are becoming increasingly complex in nature. This is now where we have to implement the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), where he advised;
“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death.” (Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)
Meet now a Birmingham boy called Zakkaria, who wants to make a difference. The video shows an eleven year old who has the passion and the desire to stop the injustices he sees around himself. The fact that he cares about the riots of 2011 and acted upon a solution is indicative that young people are the future and if advised correctly, can be positive influences on society.
The question is now down to the elders; will they fail him? The uncomfortable truth is that many of the elder generation have failed to educate the Muslim youth in how to defend Islam. It has taken an organisation like iERA to start training Muslims in Dawah, to help them be confident in advocating their identity. This is a step to institutional reform and I hope all Muslim organisations prioritise the defence of Islam and Muslims at the forefront of their agendas regardless of what do.
We hope Insha Allah that Zakkaria will grow to be a great advocate of Islam and many other youths follow suit of the example of the companions, who were young and yet, did more than the average youth today.