Posted on: 01 Apr 2013
If you are studying, especially religious subjects, you should read Imam al-Ghazali’s little book ‘O Youth’ (Ayyuha’l-Walad), in the excellent translation by the British Muslim scholar Tobias Mayer. He shows in very simple language how to study in a way that yields light, sincerity and blessing. My recent book Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions also tries to be uplifting for young people, dealing with modern political and intellectual questions in a hundred short sound bites. Other advice: don’t forget anything you have memorized of the Holy Qur’an, because that is to lose light after gaining it, and the presence of the Book of Allah in your heart will influence and strengthen everything you do, if you have a good intention. Try to empathise with others, and see their situation from their point of view, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Treat everyone with the respect due to all descendents of our first father Adam (AS). Do not hate unbelievers, feel sorry for them, because in most cases their unbelief is the result of an ignorance which may be our fault as much as theirs. Know that the world is Allah’s gift, and that He needs nothing in return, and that your worship and gratitude are part of His gift to you. And if you realize how much He gives, and how little you deserve or do, you will never stop praising Him. He is the infinitely lovable, the overlooker of faults; the Gifter of all beauty, so we are surrounded by a banquet! The only rule is: have good table manners, and do not spoil your enjoyment by overindulgence! Muslims are here to party, giving hamd and shukr, and we remember that the Sahaba had the most beautiful smiles.
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