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Youth Muslim Youth

(Al-Kahf 18:13-14)
"We relate to thee their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance: We gave strength to their hearts: Behold, they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than Him: if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity!" 

Attitudes and Actions for Self-Development

Developing Myself and Others
Developing a Self-Development Programme

Inspired by The Young Muslims UK (YMUK)

Attitudes and Actions for Self-Development 
If we are to change anything - our youth group, our community, our society - we have to start with ourselves. What then should be our day to day behaviour, our characteristics and our conduct?

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Accepting our responsibility and developing as individuals is the first step, but we have to take it as seriously as we do everything else. Below are a few ideas about Islamic behaviour and attitudes that we should strive to inculcate. These, insha-Allaah, will aid us in our all round development.


Punctuality in Islamic life and work is as important as the fulfilment of religious and moral duties. This cannot be over emphasised to Muslims the world over, who are notorious in their neglect of this prime Islamic virtue. If you are in the habit of arriving late, advance your watch enough to counter your habit. There is no excuse from your having to break this unworthy habit. In training programmes, as well as in the Islamic movement, every member or worker must be aware of time and must be absolutely serious in his utilisation of it. Whatever the activity, Muslims must be bound to its precise time. Life is purposeful and man is responsible for every moment of time. So, whether the time calls for food or Salaah, you should be there not only on time, but before time. Failure to start your duty on time is failure in your Islamicity, in your very eeman or faith.


Readiness to give aid is an Islamic virtue par excellence. The Muslim is always ready to come to the assistance of other Muslims in need. He does not wait to be asked to extend assistance. He is always on the lookout for the situation where he can actualise his benevolence. As far as doing good (al mar'uf) is concerned, or stopping or prohibiting an evil (al munkar), the Muslim must even be aggressive at times. This readiness to jump into any situation in order to be of service to fellow humans is the highest, the noblest expression of eeman.

Doing Good

In our training programmes, a person's eeman is rightly measured by his active ihsan, his doing of good on all occasions. If he enters a meeting room and finds a table dirty, he wipes it clean. If the chairs are not properly arranged, he arranges them in an orderly fashion. If the blackboard is full of writing, he wipes it and makes it ready for use. In the bathroom, the gym, the dining room, the athletic field, the mosque, walkways, everywhere, the Muslim is the first one to set right that which is not right. If a service calls for volunteers, he is the first to offer his service. The Muslim thus makes himself worthy of his Prophet who said: 'And the beginning of ihsan is removing refuse from the public highway'. (Bayhaqi)


Amiability is a pre-requisite of falaah or success. The Muslim struggles as hard as he can to make himself amiable, loveable, befriendable, and trustworthy. The smile ever present on his face is the index of a tenderness of a heart towards other Muslims. When they talk, he listens; when they cry, he cries with them, when they are in a good mood, he joins in their joyfulness. He is generous, good, and permanently concerned with their welfare. He is also determined by their good, and so inclined towards realising it by his personal efforts that he can never be said to be neutral where questions of good and welfare arise. If he is not neutral, how can he ever be antagonistic, alienated, hateful, contemptuous, unconcerned? The Muslim is responsive to the Creator, the goodness of the All-Mighty, with a similar benevolence toward all creatures and paramountly toward humans.


Optimism is the highest principle of Islamic ethics. Islam implies the conviction that Allaah, is Beneficent and Merciful, Just and willing our welfare. He committed Himself to have mercy on us (6:12,54) to give the mu’minoon or believers victory over their enemies (22:40) and generally to harm no one (4:39,10:44). This world is His theatre. It cannot be evil; nor can its outcome be evil. Certainly, it is an arena for action, for testing our piety and morality. But it is a world in which the good will always preponderate. That is because Allaah is indeed Allaah, and there is none else beside Him.

The potential contribution of Muslim youth in the United Kingdom is a direct relation to their Islamic character. The realisation of the full possibilities of Muslim youth demands an investment in training motivation and preparation of the youth through meaningful activities.

Developing Myself and Others

'Successful indeed is the one who purifies his whole self'. [Ash-Shams 91:9]

'Every one of you is a shepherd and every one is responsible for what he is shepherd of'. (Bukhaari)

Self-development is imperative to the process of becoming a better Muslim. One cannot excel and improve without development. Nor can one gain greater nearness to Allaah without constantly assessing and improving oneself. Developing the self is a responsibility we all shoulder and alongside it comes the need and obligation of helping others.

Developing the self cannot be divorced from the responsibility of developing others. One would be wrong in assuming that one must develop oneself before proceeding to develop others or that development of others is not within your jurisdiction. The two are interdependent, both must proceed together.

'No man is an island,' said John Donne. The self is not alone in this world, you are at the centre of complex social relationships. Soorah AI-'Asr instructs the enjoining of patience and truth upon the self and others. The self cannot be detached from the social structure of familial relationships and therefore, preclude oneself from the development of others. The two are inherently intertwined and each supports the other.

Furthermore, some tasks cannot wait for others. One cannot state that one needs to develop oneself before developing others. This is categorically wrong. There is no point in time when one can proclaim oneself 'developed' and now in a position to develop others. This is not only deceiving oneself, but is an arrogant exclamation. Development of the self is a continual and interactive process. We are all sinners and are all in need of development.

Just as developing the self requires you to assume responsibility for the self, so does the development of others require you to accept responsibility for others. Each of you is a shepherd responsible for his flock and each of you will be questioned as to your trust. If we do not develop ourselves, we shall never attain paradise. Nor shall we attain paradise if we fail to develop others. 'And admonish thy nearest kinsmen and lower thy wing to the believers who follow thee' (6:214-215)

Each and every one of us has a claim on another: husband on wife, wife on husband, child on parent and parent to child. These relationships form the crux of developing the self and others.

Developing a Self-Development Programme 

The primary objective of a self-development programme is to help develop a daily routine of devotions, study and reflection. Try and set aside some periods each day so that you can devote yourself completely to these tasks, and do not allow anything to interfere with them. Spending even a small amount of time each day will bring you a feeling of closeness with Allaah and familiarity with His Deen.

Begin the day with some dhikr (remembrance of Allaah) after Salaatul Fajr, and make the intention that your whole day will be spent in serving Him. Follow up the dhikr with some du`aa’ (supplications), seeking provisions for the day.

"0 you who believe, celebrate the praises of Allaah and do so often; Glorify Him in the morning and the evening" (33:41).

"And when my servants ask you concerning Me, (tell them) I am indeed close to them: I listen to the prayer of every supplicant that calls on Me" (2:186).

After the dhikr and du`aa’ spend some time reciting the Qur`aan and studying the passages you recite. Also, try to do some reading on a regular basis, from the syllabus aiming to progress to the next course:

"Indeed the reading at Fajr is witnessed" (17:78).

If it is not possible to do any study just after your Fajr prayer then you may do it later, but you should make an effort to ensure that no day passes by without at least some reading of the Qur`aan.

As night falls just after the Maghrib prayer, it is recommended to make another round of dhikr, seeking protection for the coming night. And then to complete the day, just before retiring, reflect on what you have accomplished: where you have succeeded and where you have failed. As for your successes thank Allaah that He has enabled you to do whatever you may have accomplished. But for you failures, you must ask for His forgiveness, with humility and sincerity. Close the day with prayers for help and guidance, to overcome your weaknesses and to develop your strengths.

Personal Evaluation

As Muslims and workers of the Deen, we must realise first and foremost, that all of us are going to be accountable for our deeds on the Day of Judgement. It is thus wise that we continuously assess ourselves in this world and make amends before that final judgement by Allaah when we will not be given another opportunity to make up for our misdeeds. The Prophet sall Allaahu`alayhi wa sallam said: 'Everyone starts his day and is a vendor of his soul, either freeing it or bringing about its ruin.' (Muslim). 'Umar ibn al Khattab, in one of his famous sayings said 'Judge yourselves before you are judged, evaluate yourselves before you are evaluated and be ready for the greatest investigation [the Day of Judgement].'

We therefore suggest to all our brothers and sisters, whether beginners, illustrious workers, or responsible leaders, that they should have a daily period put aside for self-evaluation and scrutiny.