Najaf, also known as Ghariyy, can be considered a capital not only for Shia Hawzas of Iraq but also for various Shia hawzas across the globe. The unique academic nature of this city dates back to its establishment in 450 A.H.
Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s advice to the youth as he states in his written letter is divided into eight parts.
The first part talks about the importance of having certainty in your religion, and belief in Allah. This can be achieved by acquiring the means to increase this conviction in the hearts of our youth. All that we pass through here is a test for us, and remembering this will keep our faith in Allah strong. Whether it be through seeking knowledge, being in the company of those who bring you closer to God, any action that will allow us to strive for this “discerning gaze” and “penetrating insight” into the strength of our faith in Allah. This will set the path for the other pieces of advice Ayatollah gives us.
He further goes on to talk about the times when holding on to your faith becomes difficult. As youth, many people experience this lack of strength in their religion, where following daily religious habits can become hard to maintain. For example, keeping up all the daily prayers on time. Despite this, one must never give up. It may be difficult, but our youth should always strive to return to Allah, and remember that He is Merciful and Forgiving. No matter how tough the situation is, we must be faithful, by remembering that Allah is the only One who can truly help us when we have nowhere to turn. This is important, as Sistani mentions, in that it prevents us from treading the path of doubt and uncertainty, where we do not turn to Allah and begin justifying our wrong actions. We should not let ourselves get to that point where we slowly stop turning back to Him. This can be caused by a lack of knowledge and reflection of your faith, being too engaged in worldly matters, and engaging in ideas and habits that are not on the path of truth and good.
Keep the lines of communication open between your soul and Allah. By staying focused on our understanding and certainty in God, through the strength of our conviction in Allah and his system and the relationship we develop with the Almighty, Insha’Allah our youth will succeed. Stay tuned, for the next piece of advice Ayatollah Sistani eloquently discusses the importance of an impeccable character.
Read a short biography of Imam Hasan (as)