Please be aware that not completing your homework, not packing away the dishes or boogying at a club cannot be excused by the caption “YOLO”. You’re embarrassing yourself and the people that have to be connected to you. Spare us, please.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stand for You Only Look Once. A shame, because I happen to think that’s sort of catchy. Beats ‘You Only Live Once’. Yes, that’s what the acronym stands for. And yes, it’s as stupid as it sounds. Of course that isn’t stopping people from lapping it up.
Now, at face value, it makes sense. You do only live once in this world. We’re given this one life to create our life in the Hereafter. You have one opportunity to reserve your castle in Jannah (InShaAllah). One chance to succeed. So why not make the most of it? Rack up those good deeds and kick off those bad ones (Real reason why it was created).
But, naturally, we’re plenty rebellious. So we comprehended it as you only live once so go wild *fake cheer*.
Five young friends lost their lives while drinking and driving. This is a true story, by the way. The driver was tweeting about drinking alcohol in the car, then getting behind the wheel and then speeding, all while using the Hashtag #YOLO. He eventually ran a red light, lost control of the car, hit a wall, and killed everybody in the car. “Shame, let them live their one life”.
There’s no drive for uprightness. The desire for respect is lost. Chastity is replaced by promiscuity. Principle falls to lawlessness. Honour meets humiliation. And obscenity trumps decency.
Alarmingly, Muslims are also misusing this Urban Dictionary citizen. Everybody wants to please their desires. We become distracted by the people and things around us, resulting in us leaving that which makes Allah happy. The world is a distraction that we can’t handle. Oh, you just want to ‘live life to the fullest’? Go sit down quietly in the corner. You want pure joy? Follow the Sunnah. Obey Allah. Practice on your Deen. Understand that our reason for living is to worship Him alone.
Allah states in the Quraan, “The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you…” [At-Takathur]
Thus warning Muslims to not become preoccupied and distracted by the life of this world because it can affect a person’s practice of Islam. We were created to worship Allah and this reality sometimes becomes skewed when we become preoccupied with ‘YOLO’. Better than the “My dog ate my homework” excuse.
See, our Nafs are always there to pull our attention towards the glittery ‘wonders’ of the Dunya. And that’s to be expected. Divert your attention back to Him. Everything that you want to do here, will be better experienced in Jannah. You think you have a fall-back in the form of old age, but where’s your guarantee? Make the most of your life. Your youth.
Those who actually understand the deeper meaning of YOLO? They are those who never skip their Salaah, never forget the teachings of Quraan, never neglect to practice the Sunnah and never forget to make Dhikr. They know that living in this Dunya is a one-time thing. They know that this is our test. And they stay within the boundaries of Islam.
Remember, you take one step towards Allah, Allah takes ten steps towards you.
May Allah protect us all and grant us the ability to overcome our Nafs.
Love and Duas,