) أُدْعُ إِلـى سَبِـيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَ الْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَـادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَـبِيلِهِ وَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمهْتَدِينَ (
“Invite others to the path of your Lord through wisdom and good exhortation and argue with them in the best possible manner. Without doubt, your Lord knows best those who have strayed away from His path and He also knows best those who have been correctly guided.”1
In reality, the discussion for this paper which will be covered under the topic of “Guiding the Youth of the New Generation” is actually related to a common responsibility which applies to all Muslims in general and specifically to those Muslims who hold the position of official religious leadership of the society. There is a principle in Islam which we all know and it states that: Within the sacred din of al-Islam, responsibilities are shared amongst the people. By this we mean that people are the guardians and are responsible for one another and we all share in this responsibility towards each other:
کُـلُّکُمْ رٌاعٍ وَ کُـلُّکُمْ مَسْؤُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ
“Each one of you is a shepherd and each one of you is responsible for his flock.”27
Rather, each generation is the guardian and is responsible for another generation. Each generation is responsible for the generation which comes after them and is responsible to ensure that the religion and the guidance which has been given to the previous generations which have been protected and carried from hand to hand and have reached the next generation, can in turn, be given to the future generations. Therefore, each proceeding generation must be ready and equipped to accept the teachings (of the religion) and make the best use of them.
Therefore, the discussion of leadership of the youth is a discussion which also includes responsibilities which all of us are obligated to fulfill.
The thing which we bring forth in this discussion as the unknown agent and which we must carefully think about and try to find a way to improve, can be stated as being the following:
The leadership and guidance of an individual, or even an entire generation does not take shape in the same ways and manners within altered instances and conditions (in different times) – rather, it is different. Thus, the form of leadership must also take different modes and methods. The ways and means used in this leadership also differ, and one general prescription cannot be given which would work for all people and all generations living in different times.
Due to this fact, in each and every era and while living under different conditions, we must carefully think about this issue and through contemplation, we must see in what way the leadership and governing should take form and what prescription must be given to the society.