What are the reasons for many young people deviating from the Din (religion of Islam) and becoming alienated from it?”
The Shaykh replied: As you mentioned, many young people are deviating from Islam and becoming alienated from all that is related to the Din, and there are many reasons, among which are:
Their lack of knowledge and ignorance of the reality and merits of Islam; their inattention to the Qur’an; and the lack of educators who have knowledge and ability to explain the reality of Islam and its merits to those young people, its goals, and the good that will be attained through it in the Dunia (this world) and in the Hereafter.
There are also other reasons, such as their environment; the radio; television; traveling abroad; mixing with visitors who have false ‘Aqidahs (creeds) and deviant morals combined with ignorance; and other factors that alienate them from Islam and attract them to atheism and immorality.
All these factors have combined to affect many young people, whose hearts are void of beneficial knowledge and a sound ‘Aqidah. The invasive influx of doubts, suspicious beliefs, misleading propaganda, and seductive desires, have resulted in what you mentioned in your question about their deviation and estrangement from all that is related to Islam. The best words that have been said in this regard are:
Her passion came to me before I knew passion;
it came across an empty heart and so seized it!
More eloquent, truthful, and better than this are Allah’s Words: “Have you (O Muhammad ??? ???? ???? ????) seen him who has taken as his ilâh (god) his own vain desire? Would you then be a Wakîl (a disposer of his affairs or a watcher) over him?” Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle – nay, they are even farther astray from the Path (i.e. even worse than cattle).” [Qur’aan Surah al-Furqan 25:43]
As for remedy, I believe that it varies according to the type of illness. The most important remedies are to dedicate attention to the Qur’an, and to the Sirah (biography) of the Prophet; to provide righteous teachers, directors, and inspectors; the correct Manhaj (methodology); to correct the mass media in Islamic countries, and purify it from inviting people to immorality, non-Islamic manners, and types of atheism and corruption.
Those responsible should be truthful in their efforts of Da‘wah (calling to Islam) and have an honest desire to guide the people and the youth to Islam. This also means that attention should be paid to the environment, to reform and purify it from these epidemics.
The remedy also includes prohibiting travel abroad, except for necessities, paying attention to spreading pure purposeful Islamic awareness by means of the mass media, teachers, Du‘ah (callers to Islam), and preachers.
I ask Allah to grant us this and correct the Muslim’s leaders and guide them to comprehend the Din, adhere to it, and fight those who contradict it, and to do so with honesty, sincerity, and ceaseless efforts! Indeed, He is the All-Hearer, Ever Near!
[Source: Collection of Fatwas of Ibn Baz (rahimahullaah) Part No. 5; Page No. 254)]