Today we live in a time when the values of yesteryears have almost disappeared. No more respect for the elders! For example, in the past, teachers were invaluable to their students (the latter had great respect for them), but nowadays this value is lost. Parents are unable to control their children despite religious preaching, the work of NGOs, and the advice of psychologists. Despite all efforts, the situation is not improving. We live in a changing society. With globalization, we are carried away by the current of modernization that takes us away from our values of yesteryears.
The new generation is just following the evolution of society. In the past, schools, Madrasas, as well as parents played their role perfectly to maintain a balance between moral values and the detrimental effects of modernization. But nowadays, parents have lost their authority over their children. Most children do not obey their parents anymore.
Why are our young people devoid of moral values? Could this be due to a loophole in our education system? Are we robotizing our young people through high technology? Politeness and courtesy are almost non-existent among young people. Where are the greetings of yesteryears that flowed from the bottom of our hearts, full of love and friendship?
So who is to blame? We should not play the blame game because all parties are to blame. The parents, the central core of the family have lost their connection with their children. Today, everything is allowed for children. There are no restrictions. Both father and mother are working and the children are left to their own devices without guidance and a good discipline. Now, in a highly technological world, the old-fashioned logic of family unity has given way to a global connection of people of all kinds. Although technology brings some benefits, but unfortunately we are dealing nowadays with its multiple disadvantages as well, those that ruin the physical, moral and spiritual health of children.
In the past, despite the disadvantages of poverty, the agreement between family members was always cordial. In the evening we sat around one table for dinner. The kerosene lamp was an essential element for maintaining unity within the family. Unfortunately nowadays, this unity is almost non-existent. Communication between parents and children has become laconic or even non-existent. And even if there is, there is not enough!
Violent robbery, atrocious crimes, alcoholism and drugs have taken the lion's share of our daily lives, taking our present society hostage. Formerly despite poverty, we lived in harmony within the community. Mutual respect among neighbours helped to create a healthy and peaceful environment. The leaders of the cultural associations were honest people and true role models.
As the saying goes (in French/ Creole): the example must come from above. [i.e. We should have people who set good examples at the top, and we follow suit]. But the situation is complex and difficult today. Corruption gangrenes our society. The thirst for money pushes people to look for such jobs that could improve their cost/ way of living, but unfortunately, it is the children who pay the price. The emotional abandonment of parents, as well as the absence of their time and guidance, drag the children into dark avenues, such as the synthetic drug that is ravaging their lives.
Is it still possible to instill good manners, respect and good behaviour among young people today? Communication between parents and children about the way of life of old could at least teach young people a lesson in terms of mutual respect. Insha-Allah, and this must be accompanied by a good spiritual education too, which will strengthen the moral and spiritual value of children and give them the aptitude and love to seek their God, the Almighty through prayer, good behaviour and the fulfilment of good deeds.
The Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) put much emphasis on good behaviour. Thus, good behaviour will weigh heavily in our scale on the day of Judgement. He even said, “The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.” (Bukhari). It is also related in another Hadith: “Verily, the most complete of believers in faith are those with the best character and who are most kind to their families.” (Tirmidhi).
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was sent to perfect the best behaviour. So, let us be responsible and follow the footsteps of our prophet, because it is by practicing his Sunnah and encouraging our children to do the same that the current society will find its balance. Insha- Allah.
---Friday Sermon of 28 December 2018 ~20 Rabi’ul Aakhir 1440 AH delivered by Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.