By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
I am appalled as I learn more and more about some of the antics and activities some of our young adults are engaging in. In what seems to be a quest to be â€œcoolâ€ or â€œregularâ€, (or what some have the audacity to call â€œnormalâ€) some of our young people are going too far in emulating the ugly low-life they see in in the streets and the media.
I know that every generation looks at their offspring as crazy young kids. My parents used to shake their heads at me too. But I can honestly say that our values and morals were much higher than the young generation today. Even the way the young people dress (and Iâ€™m particularly talking about the young men. When I was coming up we prided ourselves on being nicely dressed. We made sure we had creases in our pants and our shoes were shinned. We prided ourselves on wearing nice fabrics and taking care of them.
Nowadays the young men seem to see how bad they can dress. They go all day looking like they just got up out of bed and threw on the first thing they could grab. And the irony of it all is they think they are looking good. It bewilders me how someone can wear jeans with holes and tears in them and some hanging down exposing underwear and say it looks good. Something is definitely wrong mentally if something so ugly can be perceived as being hip and cool.
But thatâ€™s not all. The level some of them have sank to would boggle the mind of most civil-minded human beings. There are youngsters (males and females) who use profanity that sounds like it comes out of a sewer. There are some choosing places of ill-repute to party and have fun. There are even cases of homosexuality, (males and females, and it seems to be more females than males), and on top of that it is so widespread that sometimes it doesnâ€™t get a glance.
Some of these Muslim children have grown up in Muslim homes all their life. Some of them have more Qurâ€™an in their little finger than I have in my whole body. They can recite scripture from memory in beautiful rhythmic tones that make you want to cry listening to it. So why this double life?
In the African- American community there were many reverts to Islam that witnessed some of the same negative lifestyles described above â€“ myself included. So this degenerate lifestyle of this society has no attraction for me and others my age. But the youngsters, growing up in an environment where this type of behavior is forbidden or strongly discouraged, feel the pull to experiment (as all youngsters do). But these days are so dangerous because youngsters have access to so much technology that puts virtually anything decrepit within a finger click away.
10 and 11 year olds are watching hard-core pornography, sinister sadistic murders, and glorifying morally loose lifestyles. It has gotten so bad that some people have given up on them and believe straightening them out is a lost cause. But I donâ€™t. I believe we must work even harder pointing out to them the need for them not to stray too far. And we must work even harder to try and be better examples ourselves. Even though that negative media has a strong influence, the strongest influence is you.
I tell you we have a big challenge ahead of us. Some of us have been asleep (including me) but itâ€™s time to wake up and get busy. Let us do more Dawah at the dinner table rather than at the masjid. Letâ€™s start back being parents instead of friends â€“ which really would be the best friend they could have.
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin