One of the greatest challenges before young people today is bridging the generational gap. There seems to be a gap between the old who are presently at the helms of affairs and the youth who are expected to take over from them. This gap puts the youth at a disadvantaged position since they must ride on the shoulders of the elders- through education and mentorship- on their way to leadership.
This, by extension, is also the case between the youth and their younger counterparts. Naturally, these kids will eventually grow to become the youth of tomorrow. Therefore, they need motivation and inspiration (from the youth) to become great leaders in future. So if you’re wondering how you can inspire the younger generation to greatness in line with the Qur’an and Sunnah, here’s how.
Kids possess a sound learning ability. Their minds and intellects are like fertile lands used for growing seedlings. Whatever is deposited in them today of high moral standards and good characters will produce righteous men; capable of leading the society in future. But if they’re neglected, they will be misled by society’s negative influences. There is no gainsaying that educating the younger generation is the only way to progress for every society. This is an obligation on the older generation, which must never be neglected.
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) is a perfect example when it comes to educating the younger generation. One day, Abdullah bn Abbas was riding a mount with Rasulullah (S.A.W) when he (S.A.W) said to him; “Young man, I shall teach you some words…” and he (S.A.W) taught Abdullah bn Abbas that famous hadith No. 19 of An-Nawawy.
Look at how he prepared young Abdullah’s mind for learning, and the avenue through which he taught him. How will the young lad ever forget those golden words? The above scenario indicates that teaching is not all the time formal, and that we must seize every opportunity to educate the younger generation, wherever, whenever, and however.
“He is not one of us; he who is not merciful to the young.” This hadith of Prophet Muhammad explains Islam’s position on the kind of relationship that must exist between the young and the old. It is obvious from the hadith that Islam does not subscribe to unnecessary sternness towards kids, neither does it encourage unwarranted isolation of the kids from gatherings of the older generation.