ONCE UPON A TIME

"Story! Stoorryy!! Stooo…rrr... yyy!!! Once upon a time, time! Time!". We all like hearing stories about other people. Have we ever wondered how the stories of our lives would be told? When your story is told, will it be for good or for ill? Will it be the story of a faithful life or a life full of sins? At your young age, do care about what you do and the story of your life or are you waiting until you become a full adult before you serve Allah? The following stories should inspire you to make something good out of your lives even as you are young and tender in age.

A Boy of Faith (lman)

Once upon a time in Makkah, a young boy often years, Ali ibn Abu Talib (RA) was living with his cousin, Muhammad ibn Abdullah. One day, young Ali (RA) saw his cousin and his wife Khadijah in a strange devotion and he wondered about it. Muhammad (PBUH) told him that he had become the Messenger of Allah with divine revelation and Islam the only true religion. Ali(RA) immediately accepted the new faith, thus he became the first young Muslim. When the Prophet (PBUH) began preaching openly, he started with his family. Nobody listened to him, except young Ali (RA) who said:' though my eyes are sore, my legs are thin and I am the youngest of all these present here, yet I will stand by you, o Messenger of Allah'. All others present ridiculed the Prophet (PBUH), and laughed at Ali (RA).

On the night of Rasulullah (PBUH)'s migration to Madina, Ali (RA) demonstrated his iman. The Prophet (PBUH)'S house was surrounded by hired killers ready to kill him, yet Ali (RA) volunteered to sleep in Rasul (PBUH)'s bed as a diversion. So at dawn, the killers found brave Ali (RA) in bed instead, but Allah saved him from their harm. Time and time again, at great cost, Ali (RA) proved his words; as he supported Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from beginning till the end. Indeed he is an example "of those who answered the call of Allah and the Messenger, even after being wounded, those who do right and refrain from wrong have a great reward;" (Q3:172). In the end, it was Ali ibn Abu Talib (RA) that had the last laugh! You too can laugh last, by being steadfast with your iman and by standing firmly by the truth of Islam. Certainly you'll triumph, (Q17:81).

The Youngest Imam

Amri bn Salmah (RA), was a member of the Jaram tribe whose village was on the road to Madinah. Hence, they came in contact with Muslims who told them about Muhammad (PBUH) and the religion of Islam. These people recited a few verses of the Qur'an to give the villagers an idea of the faith. Young Amr (RA) immediately committed these verses to memory; such that he knew a good portion of the Qur'an, even though he was not yet a Muslim.

In 632 CE, his tribe accepted Islam and a delegation was sent to the Prophet (PBUH). Rasulullah (PBUH) taught them the basic regulations about salaat and other Islamic practices and told them that: "The person who knows more Qur'an is entitled to lead in salaat". Amr (RA), at the tender age of seven (7) years, knew the Qur'an the most in the village and so the Prophet (PBUH) appointed him as the imam. Thus he became the youngest imam in the history of Islam. Note: (Now because of the widespread knowledge of the Qur'an, children are no longer allowed to lead in salaat when adults are present - Ed). 

Certainly "...Allah will raise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge" (Q58:12) 

Age is not a barrier to knowledge but an asset. Acquire a lot of it now and stand out. Learn the Qur'an and be a leader in the worship of Allah.

"I will Fast Forever…" 

"O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may learn self-restraint" (Q2:183) 

Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al A'as (RA) a young man in his teens heard this command and desired to acquire self-restraint (Taqwa). So he decided: "I will fast every day forever!" When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) learnt of this excessive devotion, he advised: ''Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; ... Your body, members of your family and your visitors have rights over you. And it is sufficient for you to fast 3 days in a month ...so it will be like fasting throughout the year... " (Bukhari)

With youthful high-spirit, Abdullah (RA) pleaded: "I have power more than this, I am still young." Finally, Rasulullah (PBUH) concluded "Fast like the fast of Dawud and do not do more than that!!!" (Bukhari).Prophet Dawud (PBUH) fasted on alternate day, and this is the best type of fast (Bukhari).Gladly, Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibnAlA'as (RA) did this and this brought him closer to Allah. You too should engage in voluntary fasting so that you may achieve self-restraint and chastity.

The Teacher, The Giver 

"...spend out of the bounties We have provided for you ... " (Q2:254)  

Charity also brings a believer closer to Allah. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

"the liberal man is near Allah, near to Paradise, near to the hearts of men ... "{Tirmidhi).

The famous Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA) was liberal with his knowledge. He was the Rasul (PBUH)'s cousin being the son of the Prophet (PBUH)'s uncle Abbas (RA).At puberty, Abdullah (RA) put himself in the service of Rasulullah (PBUH) and so was always with him. Thus he acquired directly the knowledge of Islam. This knowledge of his, he freely gave to other people. One of his students was Ikramah (RA) who later became a famous scholar himself because his full devotion to learning. Whatever you have be it knowledge, money, time, etc. spend it in Sadaqah and Zakaat (charity) so that you'll earn multiple rewards.

Young Muslims were not left out of pilgrimage (Hajj).Aishah bint Abu Bakr (RA) went with her husband, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when she was a teenager. She succeeded despite the difficulties of the journey.

In the Cause of Allah

Jihad, an aspect of Islam, is viewed as an adult-thing. Several examples of young Muslims who fought in the cause of Allah have disproved this view. Usually, when the Muslims were setting out for battle Rasulullah (PBUH) made an inspection. He checked among other things, for those too young to fight. Sometimes, he permitted some young ones to fight after much pleading. Mu'adh ibn Amr ibn Jamuh (RA)and Mu'adh ibn Afan (RA) were two such teenagers that fought in Badr.

At the battle, the sole aim of the two Mu'adhs was to kill Abu Jahl. Abu Jahl was an uncle of the Prophet (PBUH), but also the greatest enemy of Islam at that time. People said of him: 'No one can kill Abu Jahl. He is very well guarded'.

Immediately Abu Jahl was pointed out to them, they set out to work. The boys were on foot, while their target was on horseback. One of the boys hit the leg of the horse and the other hit the leg of Abu Jahl. These caused both the horse and Abu Jahl to fall down, he was unable to get up. In that position, he was finished off. Mu'adh ibn Amr ibn Jamuh (RA) lost one of his arms in this particular encounter, but he gained a high rank with' Allah:

"Those who believe, ... and strive with might and main, in Allah's cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah: they are the people who will achieve (salvation)".(Q9:20)

So, this is how two teenage boys killed the then greatest enemy of Muslims. You too must be determined to strive in the cause of Allah with all you have.

Lastly...

Lastly, when you have acquired all the above qualities, you must show respect to all; both young and old. This is the lesson of the story of Abdullah ibn Umar (RA). One day Abu Bakr (RA),Umar (RA) and his son, Abdullah (RA) were among a group of companions sitting with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who asked them a question. It was only young Abdullah (RA) that knew the answer. But he kept quiet. Later Umar (RA) asked Abdullah (RA) why he didn't answer when he knew the answer.

Umar (RA) as a father would have been very proud of him, for he knew the answer that elders didn't know. Abdullah (RA) replied: 'It would have been a sign of disrespect towards you, for you are my elders.' Umar (RA) was very pleased at his son's reply. Always remember the words of Rasulullah (PBUH)that; "He is not one of us who .does not show affection to our young ones nor respect for our elders". (Tinnidhi). So let’s show respect to who respect is due, i.e. everyone. Now, how would you like your story to be told?

 

 

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited
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