As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 10


Causes of deviation and problems faced by the youth

Reasons behind the deviation and problems faced by the youth are many as they go through adolescence and experience rapid changes; physical, psychological and intellectual. It is therefore, essential to provide them with the tools of self-restraint coupled with wise guidance in order to bring them closer to the straight path.

The major causes of deviation in the youth are as follows:



Idleness: Idleness is a disease that kills brainpower, rationalism and physical strength because the body requires activity. So, if it is deprived of its movements, sluggishness takes over the thought, intelligence thickens and the body becomes weak. Whispers of the Shaytan and evil thoughts take over the heart because of which sometimes sinful and wrong choices are made.

The cure for idleness is that the youth occupies himself with activities that suit him like, reading, writing, trade, etc. that would become a barrier between him and idleness. It is required for him to become an active member of the society who works for himself and for the sake of others.

Distance and aversion between the youth and the elder family members or other mature individuals. It is seen that despite witnessing deviation in the youth, some elderly people are feeble, confused and hesitant to put aright the affairs of the youth. This stance results in aversion and a careless attitude to their condition - whether of righteousness or corruption. It splits the community whereby the youth and the elders do not respect each other, which is amongst the greatest dangers that threaten the well-being of the society.

The cure for this problem is that both; the young and the elderly members should make an effort to eliminate this aloofness amongst them. Everybody should understand that the community with its youths and elders is like one body - if one part of it corrupts, the whole body will be lead to destruction.
The elders should realize their responsibility towards reformation of the young and dispelling their hopelessness, for Allah has power over everything. How many corrupt people did Allah guide and they became symbols of guidance and callers to reform?
It is required from the youth to hold respect for the opinions of the elders and accept their guidance for they have experience of the realities of life, which the youth lack. Wisdom of the elders along with the strength of the young will together form a happy and prosperous society, Insha'Allah.

Close bonding and friendship with deviated and corrupt people greatly influences the mind, thinking and behavior. Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) is reported to have said, 'Man is on the religion of his companion, so let one of you choose whom he befriends.' [Ahmad, Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhee] and he (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) also said, 'Verily, the example of a good companion in comparison to an evil one is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith's bellow. From the first you would either get a gift of his musk's scent, buy some from him, or enjoy its good smell, while the bellow will either burn your clothes, or give you a bad, nasty smell thereof.' [Agreed upon]

To choose and befriend only those people, who are righteous and of good character, so that he may benefit from their virtue and righteousness. He should first evaluate their reputation and condition; if they do not posses these qualities then it is required to distance oneself from them and not be deceived by their sweet talk and beautiful outward appearances. For, it is deception and misguidance that is used by the evil people to allure the simple-minded in order to increase their number and hide their evil, as the poet correctly said, 'Examine men when you intend to befriend them, analyze and study their affairs.

Reading of destructive materials like books, articles, periodicals, booklets and magazines that shed doubt in one's Deen and Aqeedah. And if the youth does not posses a strong defense of profound understanding of the Deen and acute thinking through which he may be able to differentiate the truth from falsehood and the beneficial from the destructive - such reading material may drag him towards abandoning virtuous character and land him in Kufr and vice. Reading of such material confuses the youths mind and thinking by instilling an illusion of unrestricted and endless pleasure outside the Deen.

One should keep such destructive material at bay and engage himself with revising material that implants the love of Allah and His Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam). He should read material that will encourage living up one's Eeman and performing good deeds with patience and persistence because the soul will surely try to persuade him to go back to those books, which he loved previously, and make him feel discontent with the beneficial books. His situation is like the one who strives hard to establish the obedience of Allah but his soul rebels and is engrossed in desirous acts. The most beneficial book is the Book of Allah and its correct Tafseer, then the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger and then the works of the scholars based on these two sources and their understanding.


The false notion in the minds of the youth, that Islam is a restriction to freedom and subjugation of strength. Thus, they turn away from Islam assuming it to be a barrier between them and progress.

The reality of Islam should be uncovered to those youth, who due to their ignorance and lack of knowledge about Islam have made up this false notion in their minds. They should be made to understand that Islam does not restrict freedom. Rather, it is co-ordination and correct channeling so that the boundless freedom of one person does not clash with that of other people and cause chaos. No person would like that boundless freedom be granted to someone at the expense of the rights of others. It is for this reason that Allah described the injunction of the Deen as Hudood (limitations) in the verse, 'These are the limits imposed by Allah, do not approach them.' [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 187]
There is a difference between what some people have thought to be restriction and the guidance and harmonization, which Allah has prescribed in His Sharee'ah for his slaves. If one takes a look around, he will realize that man is accustomed to such a systemization in all domains of life. For example, man is subservient to the pressure of hunger and thirst and the system of food and drink - he is required to systematize the quantity, quality and type of intake in order to preserve his health and his well-being. Similarly, one is bound to the system and regularity of the society; its type of dwellings, forms of clothing and modes of transport and if he does not accept these - he will be considered abnormal. So, one's whole life is subject to similar systemizations in order for the affairs to be accomplished and the goals to be achieved. The systemization of the society is for reformation, perseverance of peace and prevention of confusion. Likewise, are the regulations of the Sharee'ah. So how can some people be infuriated with it and deem it a restriction of freedom?


In order for us (parents, teachers, etc.) to become the leaders of guidance we have to first strengthen our Nafs (souls) by learning the etiquettes of speech, action, guiding and inviting from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. Then, we have to put these etiquettes into practice based on Eeman (faith), Yaqeen (certainty) and Ikhlas (sincerity). Also, our affair should not be limited unto speech alone for, if the speech is not backed up with actions, its effect will not extend beyond the speaker and will yield a converse effect. 'O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.' [(61): 2-3]

Countries do not prosper except with the help of its citizens and
the religion does not gain strength except with its followers.
'O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allah,
He will help you, and make your foothold firm.'
[Soorah Muhammad (47): 7]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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