The Spring of Youth

The intelligent person is he who prepares for the after-life, by living his present life as per the commands of Allah (swt). And foolish is he, who follows his desires and yet desires Allah (swt) forgives him.

Life is a full circle, what you do now comes back to you later. And that later is not far away, as the poet, John Milton, says in his sonnet, which goes thus:

“How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of life,
Stolen on his wing my three- and- twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on with full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom show
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth
That I to manhood am arrived so near;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,
That some more timely-happy spirits endu’th.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
Towards which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven:
All is, if I have grace to use it so
As ever in my great Task- Master’s eye.”

The essence of life in its limited time-frame, is to live purposefully. In a way Allah (swt) wants us to use it. Unlike the animals, man possesses a mind and he thinks. Therefore, he is connected to the past, present, and future time of his life span.

Any pain, or pleasure, associated with his past or present, reflects on his future. Animals have no fear or anxiety for the future, whereas man has a responsibility to make a better future with whatever resources bestowed on him.

If life, especially the youth as the materialistic world perceives it, is to be all fun and play, following the desires and lusts, then man is following the animal instinct.

Sadly enough, we find many of our youth doing the same – hanging around in cafes and malls, partying with the friends for every silly occasion, going to the movies and every fun activity they can indulge in. For these young friends of mine, who want to follow the desires of Youth: Know! This spring will definitely pass, and leave you, as it did to those earlier than you. The same Youth which captivated them with its pleasures, bid them farewell. Yet the effects of good or evil, obedience or dis-obedience to God, will linger around to alter the future.

On the other hand, if you want the pleasure, enjoyment, and the zeal of youth to remain with you, reminding you of the pleasant occasions associated with it, then, give life to it through belief or Iman, adorn it by fulfilling the religious duties, and preserve it by abstaining from the sins.

Be thankful to Almighty God for it by putting time, energy, and fascinating ability to love and adore things, to proper use. Infatuation which only chases physical beauty, leads to immodesty and lust. This will add nothing but pain and anxiety to the present, and spoil the future. Instead, focus and ponder on the creation of God, as a source to get closer to Him.


How Physical Exercise Affects the Brain

Syed Ma’az

In a hadith of Sahih Muslim, Prophet Muhammad (saws) said, “A strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah (swt) than a weak believer, though there may be goodness in both.”

Hence, as Muslims, it becomes highly essential for us to maintain our physical health by regular exercise, than for any other person. It is Interesting to note that there are various studies which show that exercise has life-changing benefits associated with the brain –indeed, far more than its effects on the body, as we already know.

Exercise instantaneously triggers the release of hormones like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenalin. These hormones improve mood and cure various depressions, much in the same way that anti-depressant drugs do.

Brain-Derived Neutrophic Factor (BDNF) is a key molecule involved in the remapping of neuronal connections in the brain associated with learning and memory. This means that the more BDNF molecules in your brain, the sharper your memory and focus is.

Studies have shown that exercise is clearly the best way to increase the BDNF count in the brain. Drastic changes in focus and learning abilities are observed when an individual starts exercising and continues to do it over a prolonged period of time.

Exercise is found to produce brand new brain cells in the Hippocampus thereby increasing its volume. This has a direct inclination with long-term memory. It also nourishes the Prefrontal Cortex of the brain, some of whose functions are rational decision-making, attention and focus.

Also, the Hippocampus and the Prefrontal Cortex are the two parts of the brain most susceptible to neurological disorders as we age. Hence, with years of regular exercise and constant nourishment of these brain organs, it will take longer for diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson to attack the Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex.


Equipped with a list of reasons to exercise, you will surely want to include it in your daily routine. Here’s a quick and simple guide for a beginner confused where to start.

  • Employ skipping, jogging, fast walks, burpees or any endurance activity in your day for a duration of thirty minutes to an hour. This builds cardiovascular strength apart from all the benefits mentioned above.
  • To build muscle at home, Calisthenics is good way to start. This includes push-ups, pull-ups, planck, squats, etc.
  • For the ones interested in weight-training and cardio under a certified trainer, the gym is recommended.
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