How to Advise Young Muslims Who Are Living Unislamically

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I recently got acquainted with Muslim college freshman. My friend knows him well. In my conversations with my friend and with this college freshman, I gathered that he is quite removed from Islam. He and those around him commit many major sins. My friend said the last time he tried talking to him about these issues, they had a huge fight, so he is hesitant to bring it up now.
I knew of a good Islamic lecture that I thought would be good for him.  I offered to give him a ride, but when my friend and I reached his apartment to pick him up, he was drunk and smoking, with loud music playing, and he had a girl with him.  
How can one deal with such youth? I am really looking forward to some advice. I make du’a that he is guided to the straight path.
I am quite worried because this could perhaps be just one such case that I am aware of among countless high school and college going Muslims. Equally worrying is the fact that if I get married and have kids, I may be tested by Allah with something like this because of my inaction.
Please, give me some advice and pray for us.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
The best thing that you can do for them is to pray for them.
Your worry and concern for them is enough of a proof in your favor. Yet the truth of such concern would be manifest in assisting them when you are reasonably able to do so.
Use tact, wisdom, and mercy to bring them closer to religion. Sounding preachy may put them off, particularly if they are seemingly “distant.” And let them be. People need time to change. In reality, it is Allah who will change their hearts, not you or I. Consult local reliable scholars of knowledge and wisdom about the specifics of what you can do to assist them. But with that, be careful not to project your personal religious positions or understanding and culture onto them. This religion is vast, despite what some may have us believe.
Knowledge is key, as is righteous company.
Allah Most High says, “And whoever places their trust in Allah, then Allah is their sufficiency.” [65.3]
Please see: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani