Our glorious prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who pulled all humanity from darkness to the light upon his arrival, is an example for all of us with all of his words, actions and behavior. Our Lord stated that His apostle (PBUH) is a guide for all people of any age and class with the following the verse of the Qur’an;
“Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah.” (al-Ahzab: 21)
For, during youth, while the soul of man orders him to commit evil, the potential that he owns gives him the chance to commit evil.
For example, illicit joy, alcohol, gambling, fornication and theft can easily be committed during youth.
Young people rarely think of death since they are leading the most powerful, dynamic and active times of their lives.
However, death does not make a distinction between young and old people. Many young people meet death at the spring of their youth. None has made an agreement with Azrael (A.S) (Death Angel) about “how many years they are going to live”.
Moreover, Allah does not order worship for the old people only. Islam is not a religion of old people but for every age. Thus, a person who started to perform five daily prayers at an old age will not attain salvation immediately on the Judgment Day. He/she will be surely asked about “why he/she did not worship from the time of youth until his/her old age” and if not forgiven, he/she will be tormented.
Allah gives infinite sustenance to everybody and meets their needs. The majority of bounties are given in the period of youth. For this reason, it is the period of “youth” when we should worship Allah most.
While the truth is this, the youths who are covered with dangers might not obey the orders and rules of Allah by having been deceived by their souls and Satan.
So, the prophet (PBUH) warns the youth with this hadith and advises them not to fall into heedlessness and not to be deceived by human and jinni satans.
Is Satan the only enemy of youth?
Satan is not actually the greatest enemy.
For, the glorious prophet (PBUH) warns us about this issue with the following hadith, “The greatest enemy among your enemies is your soul, which is between your two sides” (Kashful Khafa, 1:412)
So, the foremost enemy of man is his soul. That is, it is the feeling that leads man to sins, evil and desires.
The period when the soul is the most powerful and demanding is again the time of youth.
So, the youth must be also careful not to fulfill the evil wishes of their souls.
Some young people may think that they can control their souls since they have already had a calm life far away from sins.
In fact, this is a trick of the soul. A person who thinks like that does not struggle with his soul and loses his sensitivity.
For, the soul is unreliable. Despite being a prophet, Hazrat Yusuf (Joseph) said: “Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human soul) certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Yusuf:53)
Even Hazrat Yusuf (A.S), who is “sinless” like other prophets says so, we must be very careful about the tricks of our soul.
We can summarize the dangers of the youth as follows:
1- To have greed: To have infinite plans as if we are going to live forever by not thinking that we are going to die. This way of thinking immerses man into the transitory life and prevents him from working for his hereafter.
2- Acting upon desires: Since the youth is the healthiest, powerful and sensible period, emotions are in the foreground rather than logic. Transient pleasures, games and joys are attractive. The entertainment places are generally full of youth. In the middle and old age, people cannot act with their emotions due to the weakness of the body, illnesses and responsibilities of life.
3- The youth is more open to sins and bad habits: The period of youth is a time when there is more possibility of falling into sins like alcohol, gambling and fornication.
In the face of these dangers, we should stick to the advice of the glorious Prophet (PBUH) more and more.