Bezel of youth (35)
In this episode, we study some of the most important teachings of the First Infallible Successor to Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), Imam Ali (Peace be upon him), about youths.
It was said that youths are the source of energy, vivaciousness, talent, fervor, and elevation. They maintain a pure spirit, whose most important characteristic traits are honesty and demand for righteousness.
History has witnessed the presence of a prudent youth, who recognized the truth and righteousness at a young age, and was the first one to convert to sacred religion of Islam. Imam Ali (Peace be upon him), was a youth, unique in courage, love, devotion, insight, and knowledge. When he became the leader of his community, he mainly focused on youths and turned into a merited role model on how to live. Youths, in their encounters with Imam Ali, benefited from his vast teachings, which were the true manifestations of ideological, ethical, and practical justice, in addition to an appealing role model.
Focus on the divine, deep-rooted, and elevated views of Imam Ali about youths is a fundamental need, which depicts a bright and promising horizon for us, while familiarizing us with energetic and highly talented youths, and inspiring the young generation in social and civil relations. Imam Ali, in his elaborations on the characteristic traits of youths, spoke of some aspects of youths which can lead to the prosperity and salvation of the young generation, upon the insightful and meticulous consideration of these aspects. The careful and scientific consideration of these parameters by the related experts will highly contribute to truly understanding youths and finding remedies for their difficulties.
Thinkers believe that mankind is usually not grateful for the divine blessings that have been bestowed upon him. He never realizes these countless blessings and assets until he is denied such blessings. It is crystal clear that youth is one of the unique blessings bestowed by God Almighty, which we don’t usually treasure until it is gone. One gradually realizes the importance and significance of a young age, upon growing old. Unfortunately, at that stage, opportunities have been lost. Imam Ali, upon elaboration of this fact, urges us not to be forgetful and neglectful; not to squander the valuable asset of youth; and to make the best of youth for attainment of prosperity.
Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) pointed out there are two assets which mankind doesn’t treasure until their loss. One is youth, and the other is health.
In the view of Imam Ali, one should gain an understanding of the ugly aspects, beauties, and shortcomings of the young age. This is because if youths know themselves, they will never be entrapped by depravities, and will not experience fear, doubts, and anxiety in this phase of their life. Focus on youths and their needs assures a bright horizon for youths, and enables youths to cover the true path of creation.
The approach of Imam Ali in personal encounters, social relations, and governance was such that he reinforced people’s call for spiritual honor and dignity. Spiritual dignity forms the foundation of many values and ethical virtues in mankind. Hence, youths should not submit to carnal desires.
According to Imam Ali, those who maintain spiritual dignity, never dishonor their spirit by commitment of sins. Hence, the youth’s upbringing should be such that he would turn into a responsible, righteous, and dignified individual.
Imam Ali’s teachings encourage acquirement of knowledge, and kindness, and maintain scientific and practical attractions, which are also coupled with Quranic teachings, leading to development of talents and guiding individuals toward salvation.
Imam Ali’s School of Thought is a blend of actual facts and realities, which have been displayed by this infallible Imam in all of his phases of life. Imam Ali valued cooperation with youths, given the youths’ honesty, power of mind, and physical abilities.
Imam Ali always focused on youths. Youth should be a period of development and growth, coupled with constructive and vigilant decisions. It should be a phase of acquisition of knowledge, awareness, and ethical virtues.
Imam Ali (Peace be upon him), who was an epitome of faith in God and ethical virtues, urged youths to protect their dignity and ethical virtues with an appropriate upbringing, and to safeguard the valuable asset of sacred religion of Islam with the power of knowledge.
The dynamic and elevated youths are duty-bound to set Imam Ali as their role model and to benefit from his elevated teachings. God bless and take care.