Why are many Youth attracted to extremism and fall prey to it?
The Prophet predicted that the extremists that will emerge at the end of times will be young in age and weak in intellect.
عَلِيٌّ رضى الله عنه سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ “ يَأْتِي فِي آخِرِ الزَّمَانِ قَوْمٌ حُدَثَاءُ الأَسْنَانِ، سُفَهَاءُ الأَحْلاَمِ، يَقُولُونَ مِنْ خَيْرِ قَوْلِ الْبَرِيَّةِ، يَمْرُقُونَ مِنَ الإِسْلاَمِ كَمَا يَمْرُقُ السَّهْمُ مِنَ الرَّمِيَّةِ”
Narrated `Ali: I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “In the last days (of the world) there will appear young people with foolish thoughts and ideas. They will give good talks, but they will go out of Islam as an arrow goes out of its game..”
[Reported by al-Bukhari no. 5057]
Imam al-’Adheemabaadi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
“young people with foolish thoughts and ideas young in age and weak in intellect. It says in an-Nihaayah [the famous dictionary written by Ibn al-Athir]: (حداثة السن) is a euphemism for youth” [‘Awn al-Ma’bood]
So we learn that typically the extremists are of this description. Their young age means they are inexperienced and not knowledgable. Thus, they are more prone to extreme thinking and actions.
Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin al-’Abbad (may Allah preserve him) said:
“young in age, that is, they are youth. They are described as being young in age meaning they did not reach the age until they experience the affairs [of the world and religion] like those who are older experience it and understand it. Verily, some of the youth [hope] to acquire things fast or are daring/bold towards whose consequences are not praiseworthy. This is because they did not obtain firmness in opinion and firmness upon the truth” [Sharh Sunan Abu Dawood no. 542]
- Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Abu Sulayman