Answer to the "I am still young. I will become religious when I am old." Deceit
Indifference and apathy, two features that mark today's lifestyle of the societies which are ignorant of religion, influence some people's understanding of religion.. According to a prevalent false understanding based upon people's observations of daily life, Islam is the religion of elderly people who come together every now and then to pray. Therefore, they falsely consider religion to be a means of relief and tranquility when faced with grief and trouble, or when close to death. According to this distorted outlook, adhering to religion while still young and when one can make the most of life is not accepted. Under the influence of such thinking, those who still hold religious beliefs and respect religion should postpone living by it until they are old.
Without a doubt, this understanding is very wrong. First of all, the true Islam described in the Qur'an is not a religion only for elderly people; on the contrary, it is a well-being and salvation for everyone who is able to distinguish right from wrong.
Furthermore, mostly elderly people experience physical weakness and sicknesses. Whereasyouth is one of Allah's greatest blessings. It would be a great display of disrespect to turn away from Him at a time when people are at their mental and physical peaks. If people do not undertake their responsibilities of enjoining good and forbidding evil, communicating Allah's message, and glorifying Him when they are young, strong, and healthy, how can they accomplish such duties when they are old and weak?
In fact, Allah praises the young people of faith who submit to Him wholeheartedly, as the verses below indicate:
During the time of Prophet Musa (Moses) (pbuh), only a small group of young people followed him:
Many of the Prophets undertook this important duty when they were young. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (pbuh), one of these noble men who intellectually struggled against his idolatrous people, earned a reputation among them. Indeed, the prominent people of his tribe said: "We heard a young man mentioning them (our deities). They call him Ibrahim." (Surah al-Anbiya', 60)
According to the Qur'an people are liable for living according to religious morals after they gain consciousness and attain mental maturity. As nothing can guarantee another five minutes of life to a person, how can someone decide to lead a life far from religious morality while young and then fulfill his or her religious obligations when old? Noone has guaranteed that he or she will live so long. As stated in the Qur'an:
The Qur'an describes the grievous end of those who turn a blind ear to Allah's call when they are young, strong, and healthy in the following verses:
Some people hold a superstitious belief that they can make the most of life when young and then repent before death. Clearly, this mistaken idea stems from a lack of knowledge and a lifestyle that is far from religious morality, for it is sheer insincerity toward Allah. Actually, this is the same as saying: "I can commit all forms of sins, engage in any evil, or transgress Allah's limits and then, toward the end of my life, repent and attain the afterlife." But Allah, Who knows what is concealed in hearts, informs us that such an insincere mentality can never succeed and that He will never accept the repentance of such people, for:
Those who are devoid of such wisdom and thus fail to appreciate the extent of Allah's knowledge take it for granted that once they repent, Allah will forgive them and let them enter Paradise. They assume that they can deceive Allah, just as they deceive people in this life. Yet such people only deceive themselves and eventually fall into a desperate situation. At an unexpected time, death will seize them and start them on a journey that has no end. Meanwhile, they still maintain that stealthy mentality. This impudent yet desperate struggle is related in the Qur'an, as follows:
In the Qur'an, Allah provides guidance to believers so that they can avoid such an irreversible and irrecoverable end:
A close look at these verses reveal that the attitude that we have been discussing is not based upon the utter denial of Allah, but upon the failure to appreciate Him with the appreciation due to Him. In other words, those who employ this attitude fail to heed Allah and observe the limits that He has set as one should. People may accept Allah's being; however, being aware of His infinite power, wisdom, knowledge, as well as acknowledging that He controls all affairs at every moment, that no one is guaranteed security against His punishment, is wholly a different thing. Satan has firm faith in Allah's being, yet rebels against Him in heedlessness. The Qur'an refers to those who accept Allah's being and yet fail to appreciate Him with the appreciation due to Him and become rebellious, as follows: