Khartoum, (Sudanow)- Interview with Professor Abdul Aziz Malik, Lecturer at the University of Oxford, London, Scientific Affairs Secretary, Sudan Scholars Organization, on why youth rebel and the reasons behind the youth nature. He cites scientific, social and psychological reasons, and gives explanation and insight into the mysterious age in human life.
SUDANOW: Would you please explain to us when and why the youths rebel?
Prof. Malik: They rebel when they are disappointed with the elders for not getting from them what they want and for not obtaining the assistance to achieve their goals as the elders deny them all means, taking control of everything. Nobody is immortal and everyone should leave behind a legacy of ethics and experience for others to pursue. The senior generation should keep good company with the younger generation.
Q: How can the youth relationship with the scholars be straightened up?
A: This relationship can be straightened up by tolerance and persuasion on the part of the scholars towards the youths in tactfulness and mildness, without trespassing God’s teachings, and through contacts with the family in a way that makes the youths appreciate the importance of the parents as well as the scholars. The youths appreciate the importance of the elders only if the find in their personalities what they miss in their lives. The youths do not accept such demeaning terms as “stray generation” unintentionally pronounced by the elders who are partially responsible for this stray status.
The Islamic tenet is full of commandments and Koran verses that call protection of the youngsters against going stray and deviation from the right path and instruct the elders and religious scholars to guide the youngsters to pursue good behavior. Any misbehavior comes as a result of failure by the elders to instruct their juniors as part of a strategic planning.
Q; How do you view the youth-family relationship.. is it behind this problem?
A: The families have to reconsider the methods of upbringing the youngsters as methods of upbringing vary according to time and place, though the value remains unchanged. This one point; another one is the importance of companionship with the children of both sexes and conducting with them frank dialogue that leads to good manners.
Q: How can the satellite channels and other modern media be harnessed for benefit of the youths>
A: A family dialogue is required to be conducted with the youths so that they can correctly decide whether to use those channels and advanced media or they can be allowed to learn from the mistakes they experience attempts of their own until they achieve success. These two methods are important in the process of upbringing the youngsters. Tolerance should be observed in their treatment and they should be per5mitted to have some entertainment without breaching God’s teachings and without wasting time in evil behavior and be allowed a chance to exchange productive experience in a way that families interact with the youths.
There should also be an interaction between the families to benefit from each other, especially in cases of the families with a poor educational background who can benefit from the well-experienced and educated families. This is one of the elements of Islamic cooperation as a Koranic verse orders Muslims to “cooperate in benevolence and devoutness” in the form of individual and mass cooperation.
Q: The media message is double-edged weapon, how can the youths benefit from the positive edge?
A: The safe edge is found in the minds of the wise people; but even the incorrect message can teach our children how to avoid danger. This is evident in the case of a person who travels to Europe and becomes more adherent to prayers and other Islamic teachings than when he was at home in a Muslim community. This requires strengthening the faith and linking it to the personal safety; so if you rely on God and heed nothing you will be safer than others. The individual should make us of the positive part of the media message and avoid the negative one by all means.
Q: How can the youths achieve their goals?
A: They must be under a jurisprudent who is productive, nice of an agreeable style of speech, always offering new ideas presented in an acceptable and comprehensive language and in this way the youths will be closely associated with him.
Q: What will the youths do if they do not find a good example?
A: You have a good example in the character of Alla’s Prophet (Mohammad), This is the meaning of a Koranic verse which stresses that the example is a necessity because life becomes perfect only in the presence of an example and a challenge that confronts a person can be overcome only with existence of a good example. If the youths miss an example, they look for its amongst themselves, that is, a youth takes a characteristic from a companion or a friend as an example, another characteristic from another friend and so on. In this way of exchanging good characteristics, the youth can compose a good example to help them in leading their lives.
A reform of the youths depends on their direction by the elders and, as everyone exerts efforts and everyone is liable to be right or erroneous, a zero degree of error in the process of direction must be reached so that the guidance by the elders can be uniformed in a way that the youths will not feel they are on cross-roads.
Q: How can the youths resist the concepts and temptations of the change while upholding their legacy?
A: The concepts of change are not all evil, some them are even virtuous; it depends on the reality of the youths, if they are in a safe situation there is no need for a change or development, although development is a kind of change but for the better without rubbing out the past. The youths have to accept the change and development for their benefit.
Q: How can we have a responsible, ambitious generation?
A: What does the responsible generation term mean? Who defines the responsibility> What is its gist? If it is defined by the previous generation based on its old viewpoint, then it is responsibility; it is merely a wish by the previous generation to be copied. The youths may follow the steps of the predecessors but they should be open to the renewal and development.
The youths can, through the scientific movement, reach their highest ambitions provided that there are wise people who can put them at the starting point to help them utilize their inherent energy properly, instead of wasting that energy by enjoying long hours of evening entertainment or soiree. Such a youth is not brought to discussion by members of his family who only prepare delicious food for him to renew his energy which he does know how to spend or how to save for the future. The care and example-setting in the process of the youth development help in instilling the productive ideas advocated by the outgoing generation and, in this connection, full cooperation in the spheres of benevolence and devoutness with the new generation should be realized.
How can the youths help achieve the ambitions of the nation and uphold its heritage?
A: By means of good companionship with the family and scholars in addition to training the youth on shouldering the responsibility gradually, if they mistake they are corrected and if their ability gets weakened, they are assisted until they get stronger and until each youth be able to move forward with a banner till the end of the road. It is a question of cooperation between generation, rather than a struggle, but we have to realize that a disguised struggle is a kind of cooperation, provided that rational dialogue prevails between the two generations, but if the old generation gets stubborn and the new generation gets mutinous, chaos will prevail. So cooperation between them is a must and the good example is a necessity and is inspiring while the good companionship is important for the youths for future planning.
Q: Do you think the current Islamic education curricula are in agreement with the Sharia requisites and with the goals of the Islamic civilization?
A: The Islamic curricula constitute an integral body, one Koranic verse says the Holy Book has neglected nothing; negligence is in the minds of the scholars, not in the book. It is therefore inevitable to comply and cope with the reality and to adopt modern methods that persuade the youth into accepting the curricula and enable them to manage their own affairs without disdaining the company of the scholars, elders and the curricula they present.
Q: Do you regard the Islamic institutions of different specialties as opponents or supporters of the youths?
A: The Islamic institutions try hard in playing their rolesand they may be right or wrong; this is not strange, but the question lies with the officials in charge. An official responsible for an Islamic institution must accept self-training and must inquire about what he doesn’t know so that he will be capable of coping and setting a good example for the youths to follow; otherwise, the Islamic institutions will be of no value and will even be a disgrace to Islam and Muslims.
We pray to the Most Kind and Most Knowing to bestow upon us the ability to help correct the educational system and reform the state of affairs.
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