Praise to Allah the Exalted and the choicest peace and blessings be upon His Messenger!
Indeed these times try us all, the pious and sinful, the young and the old. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) praised the youth who spent his youth worshipping his Lord as is narrated from Abu Huraira with an agreed upon chain of narrators:
"Seven groups shall be in the shade of Allah on a Day when there will be no other shade: A just ruler, a youth who grew up in the worship of his Lord, a man whose heart was attached to the mosque, two men who for the sake of Allah's love met and separated, a man called to by a woman of beauty and position to commit adultery, a man whose right hands' giving in charity is not noticed by his left hand and a man who remembers Allah in solitude till his eyes water."
None of us are immune to contemporary challenges even those of the widespread use of intoxicants and narcotic drugs whose illicit nature in the eyes of the Sacred Law is not in doubt.
Ibn Hajar in his al-Zawajr 'an iqtiraf al-Khabair has discussed the impermissible nature of such drugs as hashish, opium, henbane, etc., substances which are not ritually impure (najs).
He cites the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) as saying:
"Every intoxicant is prohibited." [Bukhari & Muslim]
And his (Allah bless him & give him peace) saying,
"That which intoxicates in large quantities is prohibited in small quantities." [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and others, with a sound chain of narrators]
So here there is no need to doubt the illicit nature of such modern narcotics like cocaine, heroine, etc. or such soft drugs that are available in the club scenes, places, unfortunately, visited frequently by Muslim youth in the West.
What I would like to draw our attention to though is how we value ourselves. Perhaps when we as Muslims, even sinful Muslims, realize the value that Allah the Exalted has given us, perhaps it will be then that we will value our individual selves: physically and ultimately spiritually.
Allah the Exalted states:
"We have created man in the best of forms, then We have lowered him to the lowest of the low, except for the one who acquires sound faith and does wholesomeness." [Qur'an, 95: 4-6]
Here Allah indicates our unique createdness both physically and spiritually, for the form of man is the composite of his total self, not just the physical frame.
Further Allah the Exalted confers upon certain of the Children of Adam higher status with His statement: "The one whom Allah wants to guide He opens his heart to submission." [Qur'an, 6:125]
Also He the Exalted states:
"Is the one whose heart Allah has opened to submission so that he is upon a light form his Lord (the same as those He describes as) Woe to those whose hearts have hardened to the remembrance of Allah. They are in a manifest effort." [Qur'an, 39:22]
The 'remembrance of Allah' not simply being what we commonly bring to mind as dhikr but ...but the some of the Qu'ranic revelation , its commands and prohibitions.
Allah the Exalted says:
"O you who believe do not follow in Satan's footsteps whoever follows Satan's footsteps should know that he only commands to evil and corruption. Had it not been of the grace of Allah to you and His mercy not one of you would have been purified but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is the seeing, knowing." [Qur'an, 24:21]
Here He warns us as believers to be on guard against our sworn enemy and from his deceptions which lead to evil and corruptions: physically and spiritually, individually and communally.
He the Exalted wishes to purify us while Satan desires the opposite. All this is because of the great concern and care that Allah the Exalted has shown and shows to us. In this concern and care let us rejoice and seek Him, let us console and encourage one another in this divine largesse.
It has been this faqir's experience while working with youth that our and their self worth is often never considered.
Rarely do our elders, whether scholars, teachers or even our parents stress our true value in the sight of the Quranic revelation and the domain of the Prophetic examplar. We must address our youth compassionately, and passionately convey to them their true self value while acknowledging our own.
These are some of the words I wished to share concerning this topic, may they prove beneficial and of practical use. My errors are my own, and the right is only by His grace and guidance.
By Sidi Naeem AbdulWali.