Our Responsibility

You, as a mature young woman, may differ from your mature brother who both reached the stage of responsibility; but, both of you have a certain responsibility - according to the nature of creation of each of you - and have a common responsibility. You are responsible for certain deeds, likewise, he is also responsible for the same deeds. It is possible to find slight differences in your responsibility and his own, but in a general terms, you have a common responsibility that doesn't differ from each of you.

Since when our father Adam and mother Eve (Hawwa') lived in Paradise, as mentioned by the Almighty Allah in His book, they were faced with common responsibilities: (Did I not forbid you) and (and tell you) and (That Satan was an avowed enemy unto you) (Holy Qur'an: 7: 22). The message here is clear; Adam had his responsibility and, likewise, Eve.

Based on this, we will understand that we, as young boys and girls, must take our responsibilities individually. If a young fellow discharges his own responsibility, as required, he will be rewarded with addition, but, if he refuses or does it wrong he will pay for his shortcomings (One day every soul will come up struggling for itself) (Holy Qur'an: 16:111).

Some youth might think wrongly that the responsibility of a young boy is less than that of the young girl, as if the reputation of a young girl is not the same as that of a young boy. No, their responsibility is on one line, as the young girl will be held responsible for her wrong doing; likewise, a young boy who does wrong; even if people's opinion towards them differs.

All Qur'anic calls and injunctions, whether they came in the form of second person plural, or with the word 'people' or 'Oh ye who believe' or 'Oh children of Adam', is an address for both sexes; male and female. And there are some verses that combine both of them, in terms of responsibility, like in this blessed verse:

(For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and reward) (Holy Qur'an: 33:35).

Qur'anic Examples

It is possible to see many examples on the Qur'anic screen and many youthful samples of those who understood their responsibilities and discharge them nicely, and become a source of imitation for other youth in this life.

In the world of the Prophets (peace be upon them all), we can see the young Ibrahim (Abraham), in his adolescence, being confident, ridiculing the idols worshipped by his fathers, to the extent that he neglected his polytheist people and destroyed them with the axe of the idols. This is when he hung the guilt of the axe in the neck of the big idol in order to make him a source of accusation, but the people realized that the case was not like this when he stood in front of them ridiculing them about worshipping something that could not harm them or be a benefit (They said, "We heard a youth talk of them; he is called Abraham") (Holy Qur'an: 21:60).

The chivalry of Ibrahim (a.s.) is utilized to attract attention of his his people to the necissity of worshipping Allah alone, whether in his discussion concerning stars or dialogue with the tyrant Nimrod or in calling his father toward guidance or his patience and struggle in accepting the result of his responsibility; all these draw the picture of the responsible chivalry of Ibrahim, who became a source of imitation for us: (There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him) (Qur'an: 60:4).

Then, there is also the example of Isma'il (a.s.) who drank, from the river of his father Ibrahim (a.s.), the water of chivalry and obeying the Almighty Allah. And how he prepared himself for a great sacrifice with his self, in order to achieve Allah's will, as well as, helping his father in building the Holy Ka'ba.

Based on this chvalry that obeyed the Almighty Allah, which was put in place for piety and devotion that (this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the faith for you; then die not except in the faith of Islam) (Holy Qur'an: 2:132.) And, likewise, the Qur'an tells us about the young Dawud (David) who spent his adolescence fighting the oppressors and surprised them with his spirit of sacrifice for the right path.

Regarding the chivalry of a handsome young man, Yusuf (Joseph), he was responsible for becoming a good example for the youth who considers himself too exalted to fall into bad habits; a youth that called others toward monotheism even when in prison.

The chivalry of Musa (Moses) came into light for his righteousness on faith even though he was brought up in a disbelieving envrronement. In the town of Madyan, he showed his faith and shyness while he was pulling up water for the two young girls, and, likewise, the way he addressed Fir'aun (Pharaoh) with all his arrogant behaviour.

Then, came the face of Isa (Jesus) (a.s.) when he obeyed his mother and was not evil and arrogant. He discharged his duty the moment he came to this world when he preached to his people on worshipping Allah alone.

As for our Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), the Qur'an didn't tell us anything concerning his youthful responsibilities, but we have learned through his pure biography how he disassociated himself from falsehood, superstition and illusion and retired himself in the mountain of 'Hira'. And, likewise, how he brought his personality, based on honesty and truthfulness, to the extent that he became an exemplary figure among the Quraish tribe.

And apart from the circle of the Prophets (a.s.), the Holy Qur'an also tells us about the responsible youth, i.e., 'The chivalry of the People of the Cave' (Ashab al-Kahf), who terms their responsibility in avoiding dealimg with the oppressive ruler and not involving in his corrupt projects. And then came the role of a young woman. The Holy Qur'an tells us about the responsible young girl, Maryam (Mary) daughter of Imran (a.s.), as a model of piety and worshipping, and the sister of Musa, who play a vital role in rescuing her brother from death due to hunger as a result of not getting breastfeeding, as well as, making efforts in order to fulfill Allah's promise to return him safe to his mother.

These are the Qur'anic examples, of responsible youths, that wanted to say:

All Prophets (a.s.) and believers are responsible in their youthfulness. They are examples and patterns of conduct for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day…take, as an example, their youthfulness…from their gifts to your gifts…if you want to know what responsibility is in Islam.