Answered by Habib Umar bin Hafiz
Question: Assalam aleykum
Many youths are beguiled by the appearances of the world and its luxuries. Their hearts become attached to what they see on TV and other media. And they come to believe that happiness and progress is in this. And they begin to have doubts in their religion, especially when they live in a society which gives precedence to the world.
What is the cure for this?
Answer: [Assalam alaykum]
It is necessary for such a person to have concern for and to take the means of strengthening the foundation of his faith, the recognition of the All-Merciful, the wisdom behind creation and existence, and understanding of the prophetic message and its goals. One must also improve his bond with the Messenger.
Then he must reflect and ponder abundantly upon the hereafter, the inevitable destination of humanity, and how one’s state will be there. One should also reflect on the states of past nations, with their armies, their dominions, their ministries, their temporality and their final disappearance.
One must strive to strengthen and to deepen all of these foundations. And one will not be able to accomplish this without fulfilling the obligatory acts with excellence and taking a share of optional acts while also abandoning sins and taking a share of avoiding doubtful and disapproved matters.
All of this must be done while keeping the company of righteous scholars and brothers in Allah who are willing to assist one. And there is no way beyond this.
Furthermore one should know that engaging with these appearances will bring nothing but harm, of various types and upon various levels. And this harm may corrupt one’s religion if one has not strengthened its foundation in the way we have mentioned.
He is like one who throws himself into deep water without knowing how to swim. And “swimming” here refers to those matters we have mentioned of strengthening the realities of faith in Allah Most High, His prophet and messengers, and reports of the final end and the hereafter and the histories of past nations and what befell them; all of this being accompanied by fulfillment of the obligatory duties and avoiding prohibited things, and taking a share of optional devotions and avoiding doubtful and disliked matters, while also keeping excellent company. Without these foundations one cannot swim, and exposes oneself to the danger of drowning in any water which one enters.
As for attaching oneself to these adornments, and promoting them, one has thereby become a servant to two evils without knowing it. For one has lost one’s foundation thereby. And this is a manifestation of “drowning”- that one become a servant or a promoter of things which are lowly and trifling in the sight of Allah. Or one may become a caller to the doors of deviation. This is also a form of “drowning.”
One does not live in such a deviated society except for the fact that one surrenders himself to them. And if one knows the meaning of devotion to Allah and fortifies it by strengthening the foundations as we have mentioned earlier, then one night of Ramadan will be sufficient to cut off all of these illusions. And one will see oneself as being able to choose and to be above allowing oneself to be a prisoner of imagination, or to deem oneself excused while one is in reality, deluded.
Translated by Fazil Ahmed Munir
Habib Umar bin Hafiz is a descendant of the Prophet (upon him be Allah’s peace and blessings). Born into a family of scholars, Habib Umar, pursued the sacred sciences from a young age, including Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, ‘Aqeedah, Arabic, and Spirituality. In 1994, he established Dar al-Mustafa, an educational institute in Tarim, Yemem.