Muslim Youth, their Spiritual and Moral Upbringing

Muslim youth and modern challenges (Mohammad Khalid Qasmi*)

Different communities in India, especially Muslims, are displaying a ‘youth bulge’, where more than half their populations are under the age of 25. An increasingly globalized western culture is rapidly eroding ‘traditional’ ideas about society. Rampant materialism is creating a culture of spiritual emptiness in which demoralization and pessimism easily find root. For young Muslims these challenges may be compounded by a growing sense of alienation as they face competing ideologies and divergent lifestyles.

Everything Islamic is challenged and attacked; the perfection of the Qur’anic text, the veracity of the Sunnah, the comprehensiveness of the Shari’ah, and the glories of Muslim achievements with. These attacks aim to inject doubt into the Muslim’s confidence in himself, in his Ummah, and in his faith and ancestors. Due to lack of spiritual stamina necessary for resistance, they sometimes succumb.

Islam and parental duties

With these challenges around, the parents of Muslim youthhave great responsibility to instill confidence in them, raise them on the lines according to Islam and teach them how to live as a Muslim in all aspects of their lives- be it at school, on playground, with parents, siblings, and friends and in all other avenues of life.

It is but proper parenting that will set the youth on the path to success in this world as well as in the Hereafter. Allah (swt) says,“O you who believe, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are appointedangels, harsh and severe”.(Qur’an 66: 6)

Also the  Prophet  (pbuh) has said:  “Each  of  you  is  a  guardian  and  is responsible  for his ward. The  ruler  is a guardian  and  the  man  is a guardian  of  the  members  of  his  household; and  the  woman  is  a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring; and so each of you is a guardian  and is responsible for  his ward….”(Bukhari)

Parent and child communication

The proper upbringing of children requires frequent and meaningful parents-children communication, as it goes a long way to strengthen the relationship between parents and children. Parents should provide children with constant love, support and encouragement, and win the confidence of the children.

Fathers need to spend time with their children. If the head of the household is busied away from his family, lessens his presence at home, and does not spend time with them, he will not be able to teach and guide them.

A review on the impact on fatherhood  by the US National  Institute  of Child  Health  and Human  Development shows  that a child  with an involved  father  has better social skills by the time he reaches  nursery,  performs  better academically, and is less likely  to have  behavioral  problems  in the future.

Education &moral training

Parents are also duty bound toeducatechildren and train themin basic teachings of Islam. They must learn the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs of children from an Islamic perspective. Education plays a vital role raising healthy, knowledgeable, and strong Muslims.

Acquiring knowledge both Islamic and modern is must. However, priority must be given to learning aspects of the religion. A Muslim child should learn the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the Seerah almost on daily basis.All worldly sciences should always be linked to the original sources of Islam, the Qur’an and the Sunnah.  Children must be encouraged to relate all the disciplines they learn to the Qur’anic principles.

Our children, during their educational life, come across non-Islamicideologies. Since they have very little understanding of Islam and their minds are not mature enough to distinguish the truth from falsehood, they yield to non-Islamic ideologies. They do remain attached to Islam. But this attachment, instead of beinga reasoned conviction, is just sentimental.

Muslim students are undoubtedly entitled to master all the modern disciplines. What is needed, however, is that they should equip themselves with the knowledge of fundamental principles of Islam and the precious treasures of the legacy of the ancestors. Every student, regardless of his or her area of specialization, must be taught the Islamic civilization. Every student must be taught that Islam is the comprehensive religion the vision of which is relevant to every human activity and to every endeavor – whether physical, social, economic, political, cultural or spiritual.

Children with good religious education are able to live a more peaceful life, deal with life’s challenges easily and maturely. Such adults are able to fulfill the rights and obligations of all around them. They grow up into better citizens and become an integral part of the overall Muslim Ummah.

Common perception about Islamic education

Generally, parents send their children to some Masjid to learn the Qur’an and some religious things for a couple of hours. Parents feel that they have fulfilled their obligation as regards teaching Islam to their children and giving them Islamic upbringing. What they often ignore is that Islamic atmosphere at home is also necessary. Parents themselves must be pious and practicing Muslims.

Importance of Arabic

Parents should also ensure that their children learn Arabic language, which is the language of the Noble Qur’an, the Hadith.Without Arabic, one cannot understand Islamic teachings properly. While our younger generation is crazy to learn other foreign languages, they pay little attention to Arabic. It is sad.


Inculcating faith and love of Allah

A supreme responsibility and noble task for the parents is to cultivate Imaan and Taqwa in the hearts of their children. A constant approach has to be taken to instill the spirit of religion in them. Children must be taught all rights of Allah. This should never be taken lightly. Muadhbin Jabal(ra) relates that the Prophet (saws) said to him: “O Muadh! Do you know what Allah’s right is over His servants and what their right is over Him?” I said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “Allah’s right over His servants is that they worship Him without associating any partner with Him in worship, and their right over Him is that He does not punish anyone who worships Him without associating any partner with Him in worship.” (Bukhariand Muslim)

There is no denying that children should be taught how to perform certain rituals of worship including the five times obligatory prayers, fasting, charity, Hajj, reciting Qur’an, and so on. But prior to that, a great deal of time ought to be spent on teaching them the Adeedah. What is needed is an understanding of the true meaning of being a Muslim, of being a righteous, a true slave of Almighty Allah.


Beliefs direct practices. Unless children are taught to sincerely submit to Allah with their hearts, with their tongues, and with their deeds, they are not expected to strive to devote all their energies towards pleasing Allah. Their love of Allah should surpass love of any other person or thing in this world. Allah says,“But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.”(Quran 2:165)

Youth ignoring proper methodology of learning

The learning about Islam must be guided by reliable Muslim scholars. It is the scholars who can interpret and explain obscurities, define terms, and point out similarities and the relationships between the parts and the whole. Those who venture into it alone will meet with the same catastrophic results which would certainly befall the unskilled swimmer who dive into deep waters.

Parents must ensure that their children spend time in the company of Ulama, as it will help them understand the Deen in the true sense.


Youth is a period of high energy and great enthusiasm. There are special warnings for the youth and glad tidings for the person who uses this energy wisely. A famous Hadith tells us that on the Day of Judgment no man will be able to move from his place until he answers five questions. “How did he spend his life? How did he utilize his youth? How did he earn his wealth? How did he spend it? And, how did he practice what he learnt?” (Tirmidhi) While the first question asks generally about one’s life pattern, the second especially focuses on the period of youth.

On the other hand, the person who devoted his youth to the worship of Allah will be among the selected seven kinds of people: “There are seven people for whom Allah Ta’ala will provide His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His shade: 1) A just ruler. 2) A youth who grew up in the worship of Allah. 3) A man whose heart is attached to the mosque. 4) Two men who love each other for Allah’s sake; they meet for the sake of Allah and part their ways for His sake. 5) A man who is invited by a woman of beauty and position, but he refuses saying: ‘I fear Allah.’ 6) A man who gives in charity secretly such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives. 7) A man whose eyes shed tears as he remembers Allah in private.”(Bukhari&Muslim).

The responsible in the community must stand and act towards the betterment of the youth and help them become pillars of the Ummah. Since Indian Muslim youth are inextricably linked to their families and this must be taken into account when devising plans of action. Community centers/Masajid must be equipped to offer pertinent advice on career counseling, advantages of technical education, health issues, family counseling, and computer literacy.


*The writer is the Director of American Institute of Modern Studies atTandaBadliRampur and the former Imam at Al-Farooq Masjid of Atlanta, USA. He may be reached






Shams Tabrez Qasmi is the Founder & Chief Editor of Millat Times Group, featuring news stories, ground reports and interviews on YouTube. Host Khabar Dar Khabar and debate show " Desh K Sath". He contributes to several news publications as columnist , Ex Director & Member at Press Club Of India. Email: