The ‘teenager’ image was artificially created in the 1920s by marketing gurus and other social engineers. The aim was to bring into existence an artificial demographic that could be targeted by the commercial sector and to encourage the purchase and consumption of all manner of useless, unnecessary gadgets, fads and fashion items designed to give those between the ages of thirteen and nineteen the impression that:
(a) they were different; and
(b) that they were somehow special.
And so, instead of a child being prepared gradually and carefully by its parents for the arrival of maturity and adulthood, and to start behaving responsibly and constructively (a child has the most zest for life in these very same years), children at the age of thirteen were now encouraged to think of themselves as not quite children and not quite adult: an in-between stage full of (mis)adventure, rebellion, financial semi-autonomy, personal freedom, sexual activity without commitment and a whole new – but totally false – social identity.
The creation of the teenager was, then, not only a commercial ploy but also a classic case of divide and rule, and wasting the energy of the youth in utter frivolity.
It is interesting to note that in the three most important languages spoken by people in the Muslim world – Arabic, Persian and Turkish – there are no words for ‘teenager’.
In Islam one is an adult when he or she reaches the age of puberty.
Some examples of youth from Islamic history and their achievements:
Tariq bin Ziyad (Rahimahullah), 19 years old and married. Commander of the Muslim army courageously conquered Spain and most of western Europe.
Abdul Rahman Al-Nasser (Rahimahullah), 21 years old. He was the most powerful prince of Iberia, his era was the golden time of Andalusia, in which he ended the chaos and raised an unrivaled scientific renaissance, making his state the strongest one in his era, which required the leaders of Europe to seek his acceptance.
Mohammed Al-Fatih (Rahimahullah), 22 years old: He conquered Constantinople, capital city of the Roman/Byzantine empire, that the top commanders at the time couldn’t approach.
Sayyidina Usamah bin Zayd (Rahimahullah), 18 years old, led the army of the Muslims that included the top companions may Allah be pleased with them, like Sayyadina Abu Bakr and Sayyadina ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhum), to face the greatest armies of the earth at the time.
Muhammad Al Qasim (Rahimahullah), 17 years old, married to a princess.: He conquered the Land of Indus, he was one of the top military commanders of his time.
Sayyidina Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas (Radhiyallahu Anhu), 17 years old: He was the first to throw an arrow for the sake of Allah and one of six people of Al Shura. whenever he turned to the Prophet ﷺ . while sitting among his Companions, he was greeted cheerfully by the Prophet ﷺ . saying, “He’s my maternal uncle. let every person show me who his uncle is?”
Sayyidina Al-Arqam bin abi al-Arqam (Radhiyallahu Anhu), 16 years old: He made his house the headquarters for the Prophet ﷺ for 13 continuous years in MAKKAH.
Sayyidina Talhah ibn Ubaydullah, 16 years old: He was the most generous Arab in Islam, pledged an allegiance to the Noble Prophet ﺻﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ in the battle of Uhud, and protected him from the Kuffar and shielded him from the arrows with his own hands until it got paralysed and shielded him with his body.
Sayyidina Al Zubayr ibn al-Awam (Radhiyallahu Anhu), 15 years old: He was the first one to raise a sword for Islam, and he’s known as “the disciple” of the Noble prophet ﷺ.
Sayyidina Amr ibn Kulthum, 15 years old: He was a knight and the leader of the Taghlib tribe, in which it was said that “if it weren’t for islam, the taghlib tribe would have eaten the people”.
Sayyadina Mu’ādh ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Jamūḥ, 13 years old and Mu‘awwidh ibn ‘Afrā’, 14 years old: They fatally wounded Abu Jahl the leader of the polytheists in the battle of Badr.
Sayyidina Zayd bin Thabit (Radhiyallahu Anhu), 13 years old: He was entrusted the important role of writing down the Quranic verses that were sent to the Prophet ﷺ from Allah through Sayyidina Jibreel (Alayhis Salaam). He learned the Syriac and Hebrew languages in 17 nights, memorized the Qur’an and contributed in compiling it, and he was the personal scribe of the Noble Prophet ﷺ.
Sayyidina Attab ibn Asid (Radhiyallahu Anhu) the most Noble Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) appointed him as the governor of Makkah when he was just 18 years old.
MAY ALLAH TA’ALA GRANT DIRECTION TO OUR YOUTH AND MAKE OUR FUTURE BRIGHT THROUGH THEIR UPRIGHT NURTURING AND CORRECT SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY AAMEEN