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> The Generation Gap [Part 2 of 5] by
Naseer Ahmad Faruqui Sahib
Articles Section > The Generation Gap [Part 2 of 5] by Naseer Ahmad Faruqui Sahib
Generation Gap -- Part 2 of 5:
2. Children were the first to break out of this jail, take to vagrancy, juvenile delinquency and crime, drug and liquor addiction, and the adoption of hippie-ism as a way of life. What is most heart-breaking is that suicide rate has risen among the American youth between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four by 250 per cent in the last twenty years.
3. Even the parents now make no secret of their feeling that they want only "such children as could get along with them." The same American expert says, "More and more parents are not finding their children a source of joy and pleasure."
4. Experts on this subject throughout the world have failed to find a solution.
5. But there is no cause for despair as Divine guidance is available in the Holy Quran, the only revealed Book to have escaped interpolations, corruption or loss of the original text.
6. In the verse from the Holy Quran quoted in Part I, the first point made was that man must obey humbly his Creator, Who alone knows for what purpose He has created man and by what means man can achieve the purpose of his creation.
7. Allah is invisibly associated with each person for his physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual development. Visibly, the parents are the most important Divine agents for that development.
Hence, after obedience to Allah, obedience to the parents comes next. They can be wrong sometimes but no sane person can question their being the most unselfish well-wishers of their children for whom they are willingly prepared to make every possible sacrifice, even of their lives. And nobody can question that they are more mature and experienced in the ways of life than the children. So who can be better guides than they for the immature and inexperienced teenagers?
It is, however, unfortunate that the present-day teenagers are by and large in open rebellion against their parents. They ill-treat, insult and scold their parents even while living under their roof and sponging upon them for all their needs and extravagances. They break their parents loving and tender hearts and reduce them to tears. The justification for this disgraceful conduct is stated to be lack of harmony and understanding on the part of the parents due to the "generation gap".
Of course, the generation gap has always existed. Then why did parents and children live reasonably amicably in the past? Why not now? The answer lies in the first commandment in the text I quoted from the Holy Quran:
And thy Lord has decreed that you should all obey none but Him [humbly]." (17:23)
Previously, the parents tried to obey God according to their respective religion, and they also taught their children from their infancy to obey God.
Previously, in spite of the generation gap, both the parents and the children believed in, and obeyed God. So the parents were better human beings and a better example to their children. In any case, the children themselves were afraid of offending God and so they obeyed their parents as directed by God in all religious. There was the same generation gap previously, the same difference in age, temperament, and outlook between the parents and their children. But parents were better human beings and better example to their children, as they (the parents) believed in and tried to obey God in their daily lives. And although the children did not like much of what their parents wanted them to do, they still obeyed them willy-nilly as they (the children) also believed in God and were afraid of offending Him.
So the present worldwide rebelliousness of the youth against their parents cannot be remedied unless mankind goes back to the obedience of God. I shudder to say so, but the parents are being punished even in this life for their own behaviour towards God Who is a million times more deserving of obedience and love from the parents than they are from their children.
The polytheistic concept of God, as given to non-Muslims by their religions, could not stand the acid test of reason which mankind began to apply in this age of scientific thought to all problems. No wonder that that concept was rejected in this Age of Reason. Mankind can no longer be asked to "Believe and do not question."
The only concept of God that can appeal to reason is monotheistic. And it is well-known, and admitted even by the critics of Islam, that the Holy Quran presents the strictest and most perfect monotheism of all religious teachings.
Mankind is a single nation. So Allah raised prophets as bearers of good news [for those who believe and do good deeds] and as warners [to those who disbelieve and fall into evil ways]." (2:213) And,
This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour to you and chosen for you Islam as a religion. (5:3)
And this is as it should have been, for the Holy Prophet was to be the last prophet and the Holy Quran the last revealed Book, so that mankind should no longer be divided by the appearance of new prophets or the revelation of new Books.
Since Islam is the only true and complete religion left, God can be found only in this religion, proof of which is that God speaks now only to those who fully practise Islam. Since Islam alone preaches monotheism in its perfection, and the only concept of God acceptable to human nature and reason is monotheistic, faith in God can be revived only when men who have lost that faith accept Islam.
And until that happens, parents who have lost faith, or at least a living faith, in God will not regain it. Nor will they be able to communicate that faith to their children. And the revolt of the parents against God, and of the children against their parents, cannot be put down.
But that may take a long time to come about. In the meanwhile, the problems that have arisen have to be tackled. And I will take them up one by one in the next article Insha Allah and show how the Holy Quran tackles them.