Muslim Teen Chat!

Lesson 8: Direct Obedience (Part I)

The Lessons
Questions & Answers (FAQ)
Reader Contributuions
Message Board

Lesson 8


III) Direct Obedience


All natural laws are God’s decrees, after all God created nature. Instinctively, every human being knows the difference between right and wrong. In Arabic this is called Fitrah. God sheltered himself from man’s excuses for his disobedience by making him aware of what is right and what is wrong. This is what he says about it,

“When your Lord drew forth from the children of Adam from their loins – their descendents and made them testify concerning themselves (saying):


‘Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?’


They said: ‘Yes! We do testify!’ (This) lest you should say on the Day of Judgment: ‘Of this we were never mindful (7:172)’ ‘Or lest you should say: ‘Our fathers before us may have taken false Gods, but we are (their) descendents after them: will you then destroy us because of the deeds of men who were futile (7:173)?”


Children are excused from sinning against God’s laws because before they attain adulthood, they have not attained full awareness of right and wrong. The lunatics are also included in this group and so are people who are sleeping. Don’t think of trying to spend your entire life sleeping just so you don’t have to sin. That never works unless you happen to be in coma. No one can sleep perpetually without some intervals of wakefulness and every time you experience these, your conscience reminds you of your duties, especially salah. Should you miss it after this reminder, then you would have neglected your duty intentionally. Therefore, we commit sins of disobedience to Allah (S.W.A) when we are fully aware of what we are doing. The exclusion does not guarantee children and preteens the right to behave as they please; not at all. Whatever we do as children; more often than not, becomes our way of life when we grow up. It is very rare and difficult to abandon what we practiced since childhood. We can temporarily become lazy, but eventually we will return to what we used to do as children. Therefore if we nurse a life of belief in Allah (S.W.A) as children, that inshahallah, becomes our way of life as adults.


As the above two verses suggest, regardless of who our parents are, or where we were born, or who we are born to be – princes and princesses or kings and queens, poor or rich, we bear a covenant of obedience to Allah (S.W.A) on our shoulders fully and individually. We all know instinctively and we should believe that Allah (S.W.A) is our God, cherisher and sustainer. We agreed to Allah (S.W.A) being our master and us His servants. Therefore, we agreed to obey, serve and worship him and him alone. He is the only God – our God. We cannot put up any excuses if we neglect our duty to him. We can’t say our parents neglected us and didn’t teach us the difference between right and wrong. We can’t say we grew up witnessing evil and when we became adults, we picked it up naturally. We can’t say, “Hey, I was a prince and everyone showered me with love. Is it my fault I got spoilt and didn’t turn out to mind Allah’s duties?”


Allah (S.W.A) foresaw all these excuses and instilled in us the conscience – the little voice within us that warns us, or encourages us depending upon the activities we are engaged in. Always it is after listening to this inner voice that we make our decisions. This is what makes it entirely our burden and a responsibility how we spend our lives. No one has a key to another person’s soul, and no one can make anyone else do anything when that someone did not accept. We all know instinctively the difference between right and wrong and whatever choice we choose comes from us.


Many people in response to discharging their duty to God (knowingly or unknowingly) try their best to help guide us to the right path. These include parents, teachers, community members, governments etc. They are doing us a favor. We should be grateful for their reminders. It is a fallacy many teenagers hold that their behaving responsibly as God would want them to do, is doing a favor to their parents, teachers and etc. This is wrong reasoning, and actually it encourages teenagers to rebel against everything that is natural and decent to punish those who have authority over them. Although those who have authority over us are overjoyed when we show signs of being responsible, we hurt not them, but ourselves when we waste our lives in our youthful follies. A mother, for example, would cry bitterly if her son runs into trouble with the authorities and ends up in prison. She would be disappointed that the son didn’t make it as a gentleman, but it will not be her in prison for her son’s misconduct. It will not be her life wasted in prison doing nothing.


My friends let us grow up. In Islam, everyone who reaches the age of 15 years of age is an adult. For women, the moment one starts to menstruate, she becomes an adult – whichever comes first, being 15 or menstruating. All adults are responsible for their actions completely if they are sane. Let us consciously begin to carry out our covenanted duty of obeying Allah (S.W.A). In fact we should love those who take their time to remind us about prayers, being kind and helpful, working hard to secure a steady future, etc. These are our responsibilities, and not theirs. Our actions, good or bad, directly affect our lives. Let us use the natural abilities Allah (S.W.A) gave us to do his bidding. Should we fail in this, we will certainly end up like these people Allah (S.W.A) describes here,


“Many are the jins and men we have made for hell: they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle – nay more misguided: For they are heedless (7:179).”