‘Youth need strong religious base’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A STRONG foundation for young Muslims to protect themselves from negative influences must be built from early on, said a speaker during a recent Usuluddin education seminar.
“Youth nowadays face different types of challenges and these challenges are on a larger scale, especially in the era of globalisation,” said Mohd Muslihuddin Syah Hj Mustafa.
“Apart from their own internal conflicts, youths need to face challenges such as peer pressure, different religious understanding and (influences) from the mass media,” he added.
To face these challenges, Mohd Muslihuddin Syah said youths must have a strong foundation in their faith in Islam. They had to believe that Allah SWT had the best plan for their lives and those who embraced this were among the achievers.
In his working paper for the third Regional Usuluddin Education Seminar held in conjunction with Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College’s (KUPU SB) third convocation, the speaker outlined the challenges facing young Muslims today.
Peer pressure was among these challenges.
“Al-Quran and Hadith provided the guidelines on how to choose friends. Youths are closer with their friends rather than family members... if they fail to choose the right friends, they can easily swayed by friends with negative influences,” he said.
The lack of a strong foundation can also lead the youth to be easily influenced by ideologies that deviate from the true teaching, Mohd Muslihuddin Syah added. He explained that the youth were easily attracted to concepts such as pluralism, secularism or liberalism, which were against the teachings of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah.
Hence, he said Usuluddin education was very important to prepare the youth to face these challenges.
“Education is important not just to impart knowledge, but also to build up character so that the youth can differentiate between the good and bad, and make decisions based on knowledge,” he said.
The speaker added that parents have the responsibility to ensure that their children have strong foundations in faith to help them build positive Muslim character, which will continue when as they grow up.
“It is clear that we need the cooperation of all parties to ensure that the youth of our future have strong faith, positive characters and leadership skills,” Mohd Muslihuddin Syah said.
“While parents need to ensure that their children have the proper education, especially in Islam, the authority must ensure that the enforcement system is reformed, while the experienced have the responsibility not to widen the gap with the younger generation and are always ready to share experiences (and) give advice and guidance.”
Mohd Muslihuddin Syah explained in his working paper, “Adopting Moral Values in Youth Development” (Penerapan Nilai Akhlak Dalam Menjana Pembangunan Belia) that not educating children and youth as such would have far-ranging consequences.
“Social ills among youths must be contained. If it spirals out of control, it will have negative impact to the country because we will lose our generation and leaders of the future, economic development will be stunted and crime rates will increase,” he said.
Collapse of family institutions and neglected children were also among the smaller scale negative impacts, he added.
It was therefore important for Muslims to remain steadfast in their belief, despite the challenges that they encountered.
The KUPU SB Usuluddin education seminar was held from January 8 to 9.
The Brunei Times