By Hasna Farrukh, age 13
“Identity Crisis.” When it first came to my knowledge that this was the theme for the Youth Conference 2008 organized by YM Brothers, YM Sisters and MSA National, I was utterly excited.

Maybe it was because I’m going to public school for the first time in my life come September, InshaAllah. Maybe I was afraid and felt the need to learn more about my deen in a way that would sooth my nerves. I wanted to sincerely be proud to exist as a Muslim. MUSLIM- scary word to those who do not know, right? But is it their fault? Are they ignorant? Maybe not; maybe we need to show them. Our duty is to call people to Islam. But how can we do that if we ourselves do not understand?
This year’s Youth Conference truly helped me. It helped me understand that this life is temporary, that there are no guarantees about anything, that Shaytaan is very clever and that the temptation of this world is our nafs talking to us. We must learn to fight our nafs! The one who controls their nafs will have paradise. We are ALWAYS in a state where sabr is needed. I really feel that this is true. Sabr is what we all need. “Inna ma’al ‘usri yusra”- “Indeed with every hardship comes ease!”
We are all unique; we each have a different field in which we excel. However, we also have certain fields in which we are weak. THAT is where the special Shaytaan assigned by Iblees attacks us. Shaytaan knows your weakness and these crooked paths are custom made for us to be misguided. Shaytaan attacks you when your guard is down. He takes advantage of your weaknesses.
We must not let people tell us who we are or what to do. People will say cruel and hurtful things and not everyone will love you. But if you love Allah, Allah will love you. If you remember Allah, He will remember you. And who else do you need if you have Allah?! The true losers in this world are those who have lost themselves! Let’s not change the eternal for the temporary. We must be firm in our belief! The Qur’an is what guides us through and helps us remain on Siratul Mustaqeem. It is our duty as Muslims to call others, the creation, to the way of Allah, their Creator. Without Him, none of us would be here. We must connect people to their fitrah (hidden unknown human nature). It is because of this fitrah that we all know our Islam without needing proof. We were ALL born Muslim! Every SINGLE child is born with fitrah. The way we act portrays what Islam is. So we have to be like true Muslims! Islam itself is PERFECT, the Muslims are not. I’m sorry to say that I’m not very proud of Muslims, though I’m proud of Islam as a whole.
The real purpose of the conference was what people took back with them. I can say whole-heartedly that the Youth Conference 2008 was a TOTAL SUCCESS, Alhamdulillah! I absolutely loved this year’s ICNA-MAS convention! Don’t get me wrong, I loved each one that I attended in the past years and yes, it wasn’t perfect; a lot of things were missing but the Youth Conference was the best of the best.
One of the major things that were missing was our beloved late Brother Mohammed Younis and his family who is currently visiting their relatives in Pakistan. It was as if everywhere I turned I saw him and his family. They played a major role in registration in the past ICNA-MAS Conventions. I truly missed them a great deal during this convention. Even if the bazaar wasn’t that great and many people couldn’t make it, the Youth Conference was AMAZING! I was really looking forward to the YM sessions more than anything else. And I am equally excited for next year’s Youth Conference as well, Insha’Allah. And it wasn’t all lectures, it was really fun. The entertainment sessions were remarkable!! Most of what I’m mentioning in this piece are things I’ve learned from these YM Sessions. I’m not perfect myself and this is a reminder for me as well. I pray to Allah to help me and others to attain the true understanding of Islam.
This conference really helped me abolish some of my bad habits, and I’m trying to eliminate the rest as well. This is all from my heart and writing is my way of getting things off my chest. I really felt a sense of unity during the convention. I miss the fact that so many Muslims were at ONE place together but whether or not the intentions were the same/ good, I do not know. You know how in public, we stand out because of the way we look? Well, at the convention it was like the people who weren’t wearing modest clothes stood out in the crowd of people wearing modest clothing. It was simply amazing. This convention really made me realize that we shouldn’t be so attached with our lives and duniya, because we will all eventually leave it like we left the convention center with heavy hearts (sad to leave, but excited for next year). The ride to the convention center felt long, like when we are being born and the time we spent at the convention center was like our life, short and full of choices. The hotels were like our home, and the ride back seemed fast, like death. The feeling I felt was as if I was leaving something I love, something I look forward to throughout the year every year.
We should dedicate ourselves to Allah and help ourselves and others achieve Jannah Insha’Allah. I CAN NOT STRESS THE POINT OF DA’WAH ENOUGH! What percentage of time do we spend doing Da’wah? We don’t have to say anything; it’s between us and our Allah. Nevertheless, our actions speak louder than words. The key to Da’wah is the heart and desire to invite people to Islam. Do we have that key? If not, how can we achieve it? Easy. LEARN YOUR DEEN. “YA AYYUHALLADHINA AMANU WA ‘AMILUSSALIHAT”! There is no way you can resist. The peace and happiness you feel when you believe in God is indescribable. And if you say you have this key, then get up and do something! If we don’t have goals, how can we be successful? If we don’t plan what we will do, how will we ever get anything done? What are we doing to become better? We think we can live forever, but what if we die today?
Because of what Rasulullah (SallallAllahu ‘Alayhi Wassallam) did, we are Muslims now! People become Muslim through the front door, but some leave through the back. Right when people are about to go to Jannah, they go astray. Maybe they left because they weren’t practicing or they were part-time. Brothers and sisters, you can NOT call yourself “Muslim” if you are part time! You are just giving Muslims and Islam a bad name, which is not helping anyone! The torch of Islam is being lit today and we must continue to prevent it from dying out and revive it forever! But who are the revivers? WE ARE THE REVIVERS; WE as in us, like you and me and our fellow brothers and sisters in Islam. We know this society inside out. We must engage in our community and become leaders! We have the ability to make a difference. Where is our determination? We all make mistakes, but we must NEVER give up!
WAKE UP MUSLIMS!!! Keep chilling and you’re going to thaw in the Hell fire! There are two types of fear. Either you fear the creation, or you fear the CREATOR Himself! We are not only the future of society, but the present as well. We are the generation that will take over. We are the ambassadors of this deen. Unless we do something, nothing will happen. We have to help each other to close that “back door”. We need a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood. We need to build bonds that will last a lifetime. Surround yourself with Islam lovers. Reach each, and teach!

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