If we examine the life of an average human, we come to realize that life consists of four periods. Childhood: This usually lasts for thirteen to fourteen years. The teenage years which usually lasts for six to eight years depending on when he gets married, (The Period of Youth). The third part of his life is from the time he gets married until his old age, which usually lasts for merely twenty to thirty years, and then lastly his old age whose exact time period cannot be said with certainty, depending on when death takes him.
Now out of these four parts of an average human life, the most crucial stage of his life is the period of youth. The period of youth is a time when a person goes through many changes and experiences; he undergoes and partake many new things which he has never experienced before. The youth begins to feel as though he has control over the whole world, and that he can do whatever he wishes. His desires are increasing day by day becoming attached to the opposite sex, he enjoys lustfully gazing and flirting with them..
Now, this is that period of his life that if he was to control his desires a bit, and sacrifice a few of these devilish desires, he can become a future role-model for Muslims. He can become a leader for his community, and the biggest achievement he can gain is success in the hereafter.
As being admitted into paradise, and being saved from the hell fire, is, in reality truly the greatest success a person can gain. Allah has described this as a ‘great success' in the Holy Qur'an.
The reason why this period of human life is so important and crucial is because this period of youth is generally what determines the way in which this period of his life is spent. If he spends this period of his life in an Islamic environment, visiting the Masjid for the five daily prayers, associating with the pious people and the true scholars of Islam, sitting in their gatherings, then, it is greatly hoped that he will spend the rest of his life in the same way.
On the other hand, if the youth stays away from the Masjid and doesn't associate himself with the pious and scholars of Islam, but spends his time visiting the pubs/clubs, associating himself with girls and mischievous people, then it is most likely that the rest of his life will be spent in a similar manner, away from the Masjid and away from Deen, except if Allah wishes otherwise.
Just like everything, life is also a gift from Allah and every aspect of it should be regarded as a gift and a trust from Allah. Allah expects us to spend this youth in His worship and obedience, seeking knowledge of Islam and acting upon it. This in itself is a form of gratefulness.
In a Hadith, the Messenger of Allah said that the feet of the son of Adam will not be able to move until he is questioned regarding four things.
Out of these four questions, one question asked will be regarding how one spent his time as a youth. In another Hadith, the Messenger of Allah has said that on the Day of Judgement, there are seven types of people to whom Allah will give shade to. It is stated in Bukhari that on the Day of Judgement there will be no shade except for Allah's shade. And from amongst these groups, one group will be those youth who spent their youth in the worship of Allah.
The reason being is because a youth has many desires, so whosoever goes against his desires and controls them in this delicate period of youth, and obeys the command of Allah, and tries his best to follow the Islamic Shariah, in such a time of his life when his desires are at their peak, then Allah will give him a great reward.
Once the great Imam Abu Hanifah (rahamtullahe alayhe) was giving advice to his student Imam Abu Yusuf (rahamtullahe alayhe). He said that in your youth you should spend your time in seeking Islamic knowledge, and thereafter seek a job, and when you get enough money then you should get married.
Once a pious servant of Allah saw an old man in great pain. On seeing him in this state, he remarked that the old man did not take care of Allah's rules in his youth.
Similarly, a wise man once said that how many old men are there who repent to Allah. How great would it be to see youngsters repenting to Allah.
Therefore, the period of youth is a very delicate and important period in a Muslim's life. If spent in the right way his time as a youth will benefit not only himself but also others. By visiting the Masjid, attending the gatherings of the scholars of Islam and seeking their advice and knowledge, serving one's parents and trying to carry out Allah Taa'la's orders to the best of ability then it is greatly hoped that one will grow up to become a leader of the Muslim community and become the coolness of one's parents eyes. If wasted by continuously committing sins, disobeying Allah's commands, then it is possible that on the Day of Judgment Allah will reprimand him regarding this.
So dear youngster! Realise your value and importance for the future fate of the Ummah lies in your hands. May Allah guide and protect us all on the day of Judgement. Ameen