Friday, 9 December 2011

Role Models for Muslim Youth


Abdi Salam Adam

the early days of Islam, when Prophet Muhammad (saws) called his
people to embrace Islam, they did not accept it easily. The tribe
of Quraysh, to which the Prophet belonged, was reluctant to leave
the religion of its forefathers, and the unbelievers spared no effort
in trying to eliminate the religion from existence. They resorted
to every conceivable means and method of torture and persecution.
They ridiculed the new converts and subjected them to all kinds
of hardships in order to force them to renounce their faith.

the ill-treatment only made them more determined and firm. Among
the early converts who suffered most were the Yassir family, Bilal
and Khubab. The latter was in fact publicly executed to deter others
from embracing Islam; but nothing could turn the Muslims away from
their faith. This situation continued for thirteen years in Makkah,
while the Muslims were still weak.

Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'laa) instructed His Prophet to migrate from
Makkah to Madinah, then known as Yathrib. This migration marked
a turning point in Islamic history as the Muslims found support
in Madinah. Within a few years, their situation changed from weakness
to strength.

the Hijrah itself was overshadowed by all kinds of dangers. The
Quraysh conspired to kill the Prophet before he left Makkah, and
they contrived a master plan to assassinate him. They agreed that
each clan should select a warrior to represent it, whereby the warriors
would jointly stab the Prophet. The idea behind this plan was to
escape the onus of blood compensation and tribal feuds. In this
manner, all the clans would share the compensation, and at the same
time, the Prophet's clan could not engage in war against the allied

Allah (swt) protected His Prophet from their conspiracy. As the
group selected to carry out the plot gathered outside the Prophet's
home, he asked his cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib, to sleep in his bed.
Then the Prophet left silently under the cover of darkness, as he
recited these verses of the Qur'an: 

We have put in front of them a barrier, and We have covered them
so that they cannot see."

[Qur'an 36:9]

Prophet went to his close companion, Abu Bakr, and they left Makkah
secretly, accompanied by Abu Bakr's servant, Amir ibn Fuhayrah,
and a guide who had good knowledge of the way. The group left in
a direction other than the one usually taken to Madinah so as to
escape the pursuit of their adversaries. The Prophet and Abu Bakr
hid in the cave of Thawr, near Makkah, to wait for the frantic search
of the unbelievers to subside. In fact, The Quarysh placed a reward
of a hundred camels for whoever would capture the Prophet before
he reached Madinah.

is worth noting here the role played by Muslim youth in this crucial
journey, which required much planning, secrecy and courage. Four
young people who stood up to this task were Ali ibn Abi Talib, Amir
ibn Fuhayrah, Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr and Asma' bint Abi Bakr. The
role of Ali on the night of the Prophet's escape from assassination
has already been mentioned. Abdullah sneaked out each night to inform
his father and the Prophet of what was transpiring in Makkah among
the unbelievers, and of the relentless search they were undertaking.

on the other hand, drove his sheep to graze over and wipe out any
footprints leading to the cave where the Prophet and Abu Bakr were
hiding. Asma' took food and water to them. She stood firm in the
face of close scrutiny by the leaders of Quraysh, such that one
of them even hit her hard to extract from her information of the
whereabouts of the Prophet and Abu Bakr. One day, Asma' could not
carry the food and water with her bare hands, so she tore her waist
band into two sashes and used them to tie and carry the provisions
on her shoulders. When she reached the cave and the Prophet saw
what she had done, he said to her, "Surely, Allah has exchanged
your two sashes with two sashes in Paradise."

the story of the circumstances surrounding the Prophet's migration
serves as an inspiration for Muslim youth in all generations. These
young individuals realised the significance of the Message of the
Prophet and importance of his personal safety for the survival of
Islam. They therefore made the decision to contribute to the success
of the Islamic message with all the means at their disposal.

sacrifice each one of them made reveals the love and loyalty that
they had for the Prophet. They also serve as role models for all
Muslims youth to emulate. Youth is the most vigorous and dynamic
stage in an individual's life.

Muslim youth of today should realize their role in Muslim society,
and they should contribute selflessly to the advancement of the
Muslim Ummah. In a hadith, the Prophet said that among the things
for which every person will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment
is his/her youth and how he/she spent it. The Muslim youth should
therefore rise to the occasion and shoulder their responsibilities
to their communities.

must also have the courage and foresight to help shape the future
of the Muslim Ummah.

Manar As-Sabeel magazine

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