Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) fellow readers,

Friday night marked the launch of our latest IYG program catered to meet the needs and address challenges faced by our teenagers. Tonight we ushered our youth into Vienna Cafe, ordered delicious hot chocolate to warm our cold fingers and toes, and dove into a difficult topic: temptation – it is all around us. The entertainment industry encourages us often to give in to such temptations and forget about the potential consequences that may occur. The reality is we all face temptations and the desire to give in to what our hearts desire, even if it is not good for us; as young Muslims, it is often very hard to resist giving into these temptations. Even Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him), faced such issues as a young man (prior to prophethood). As recorded in a famous narration by Ibn Atheer:

Once I told my fellow-shepherd to take care of my sheep when we were in the upper part of Mecca. I wanted to go down to Mecca and entertain myself as the young men did. I went down to the first house of Mecca where I heard music. I entered and asked: ‘What is this?’ Someone answered: ‘It is a wedding party.’ I sat down and listened but soon went into deep sleep. I was awakened by the heat of the sun. I went back to my fellow-shepherd and told him of what had happened to me. I have never tried it again.” (The Sealed Nectar, Shaykh Safiur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri)

The first lesson for our youth – you are not alone in the challenge of battling against the various temptations surrounding us (drugs, relationships, etc.); in fact each one of us is going through this struggle. The second lesson – Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, is protecting us and our well-being when He encourages us to stay away from getting involved with certain actions/temptations. Though we sometimes struggle to understand the wisdom behind why we are encouraged to stay away from certain actions, the reality is that Allah, our Creator, knows us, His creation, better than even we know ourselves. When we put our trust in Allah and struggle to live our life in a manner that pleases Him (even though it may not be easy!), goodness will find us.