In Remembrance of the Righteous Youth

1 – Allah Said:

{“And when the young men fled for refuge to the Cave, they said: “Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!” So, We covered up their hearing in the Cave for a number of years. Then We raised them up to test which of the two parties was best at calculating the time period that they had tarried. We narrate unto you their story with truth. Truly, they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance. And We made their hearts firm and strong when they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never shall we call upon any deity other than Him. If we did, we would indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.””} [al-Kahf; 10-14]

2 – The Messenger of Allah said:

“There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the Day when there will be no shade but His…(including) a young man who was brought up in the worship of Allah…”

[Reported by al-Bukhari (1423) and Muslim (1031)]

3 – The Messenger of Allah said to Ibn ‘Abbas, when he was a young boy:

“Be mindful of Allah and He will take care of you.”

[Reported by at-Tirmidhi (2516), and it is authentic]

4 – The Messenger of Allah said:

“Verily, your Lord is amazed at a youth who does not incline towards his desires.”

[‘Silsilat al-Ahadith as-Sahihah’; # 2843]

5 – Ibn Rajab said:

“Whoever is mindful of Allah when he is young and strong, Allah will take care of him when he is old and has become weak, and will bless him with good hearing, eyesight, strength and reasoning. One of the scholars who lived beyond the age of one hundred years and enjoyed good strength and reasoning jumped up in a lively manner one day and was asked about that. He said: “I kept these physical faculties from sin when I was young, and Allah has preserved them for me now that I am old.” The opposite also applies. One of the Salaf saw an old man begging from people and said: “This is a weak man who ignored Allah when he was young, so Allah is ignoring him now that he has grown old.””

[‘Jami’ al-‘Ulum wal-Hikam’; 1/186]

6 – ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin ‘Awf narrated:

“While I was standing in the ranks on the day of Badr, I looked to my right and my left and saw two young boys from the Ansar, and I wished I was stronger than they were. One of them called me, saying: “O uncle! Do you know Abu Jahl?” I said: “Yes. What do you want from him, O nephew?” He said: “I have been informed that he insults the Messenger of Allah. By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, if I were to see him, my body will not part from his body until one of us meets his fate.” I was astonished at this statement. Then the other boy called me saying the same as the other had said.

After a while, I saw Abu Jahl walking amongst the people. I said to the boys: “Look! This is the man you asked me about.” So, both of them attacked him with their swords and struck him to death and returned to Allah’s Messenger to inform him of that. The Messenger of Allah asked: “Which of you has killed him?” Each of them said: “I have killed him.” The Prophet asked: “Have you cleaned your swords?” They said: “No. ” He then looked at their swords and said: “No doubt, you both have killed him, and the spoils of the deceased will be given to Mu’adh bin ‘Amr bin al-Jamu’.”

[‘Sahih al-Bukhari’; 1/444 and 2/568]

‘Abd ar-Rahman bin ‘Awf said that the other boy – Mu’awwadh bin ‘Afra’ – was not given the spoils of Abu Jahl because he was himself later killed that day.

[‘Mishkat al-Masabih’; 2/352]

7 – Mu’adh bin ‘Amr bin al-Jamu’ himself narrated:

“I made Abu Jahl my target on the day of Badr. So, when he was finally in my sights, I went for him and struck him, cutting through the middle of his thigh. Suddenly, his son ‘Ikrimah sliced through my shoulder with his sword, leaving my arm hanging from my body by a piece of skin. This left me hindered from fighting for the rest of the day, as I had to drag my arm behind me! Finally, when I could take it no more, I put my foot down on my arm and jerked my body back until my arm came off.”

[‘Tahdhib Mashari’ al-Ashwaq ila Masari’ al-‘Ushaq’; p. 354]

8 – Abu Ja’far al-Warraq narrated:

“I asked Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad bin Isma’il al-Bukhari: “How old were you when you began seeking knowledge of Hadith?”

He replied: “I was inspired to study Hadith while I was still memorizing the Qur’an.”

I asked him: “And how old were you at the time?”

He replied: “Ten years or younger. I finished memorizing it at ten, then I went to ad-Dakhili and others to study Hadith. One day, he said, when he was teaching to the people: “Sufyan narrated to us on the authority of Abu az-Zubayr, who narrated to us on the authority of Ibrahim…” So, I said: “O Abu Fulan! Abu az-Zubayr did not narrate on the authority of Ibrahim!” So, he looked at me annoyingly, and I said to him: “Go back to your books and verify this for yourself, if you have them.” So, he went and looked, then he came out and said: “So, what is the correct chain, boy?” I said: “Rather, it is az-Zubayr bin ‘Udayy who narrated from Ibrahim.” So, he took a pen, corrected his notes, and told me: “You are correct.”

Some of those listening to this story asked al-Bukhari: “How old were you when you corrected him like this?”

He answered: “Eleven. When I reached the age of 16, I had memorized all of the books of Ibn al-Mubarak and Waki’. Afterwards, I went out with my mother and brother to Makkah. When I performed the Hajj, my brother returned, and I stayed with my mother studying Hadith. When I was 18, I began to write a book of the narrations of the Sahabah and Tabi’in (now known as ‘at-Tarikh’).””

[‘Sifat as-Safwah’; 2/345]

9 – It was narrated that Shaykh Sulayman al-‘Alwan had completed memorization of the Qur’an by the time he was 18, and he had memorized the texts of and had studied the explanations of the following: ‘Kitab at-Tawhid,’ ‘al-Wasitiyyah,’ ‘al-Hamawiyyah,’ ‘al-Bayquniyyah,’ ”Umdat al-Ahkam,’ ‘al-Ajrumiyyah,’ ‘Nukhbat al-Fikr,’ ‘ar-Rahbiyyah,’ ‘Bulugh al-Maram,’ ‘al-Usul ath-Thalathah,’ ‘al-Waraqat,’ ‘Mulhat al-I’rab,’ ‘al-Alfiyyah,’ ‘Kashf ash-Shubuhat,’ as well as the six books of hadith of al-Bukhari, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, an-Nisa’i, and Ibn Majah by the time he was in his twenties.

[‘Imatat al-Litham fi Sirat ash-Shaykh Sulayman al-‘Alwan’]

10 – Regarding Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, it was narrated:

“…the Shaykh – may Allah be Pleased with him – when he was still in the midst of his youth, and wanted to walk towards the library, would be stopped in his path by a Jew who lived on the road leading to the library. The Jew would ask him about various issues, and would be insistent with his questioning due to Ibn Taymiyyah’s intelligence and brightness. Ibn Taymiyyah would answer him swiftly, to the point that the Jew became fascinated with him. Eventually, whenever Ibn Taymiyyah would cross his path, he would provide him with bits of information that would confirm the falsehood of what the man was upon. This went on until the man accepted Islam and became a fully practicing Muslim, and this was due to the barakah that the Shaykh had despite his young age.

And since he entered his youth, he spent all of his time engrossed in effort and exertion, and he memorized the entire Qur’an in his youth, and proceeded to study and memorize Hadith, Fiqh, and the Arabic language until he excelled at them all. This was in addition to his strict adherence to attending the circles of knowledge, and his listening to the narration of ahadith and athar

As for the great texts of Islam, such as the ‘Musnad’ of Ahmad, the ‘Sahih’s of al-Bukhari and Muslim, the collections of at-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud as-Sijistani, an-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, and ad-Daraqutni, he – may Allah have Mercy upon him – heard each of them recited to him in their entirety numerous times. The first book that he memorized in Hadith was al-Humaydi’s ‘al-Jam’ Bayn as-Sahihayn.’

There was rarely a book in the sciences of Islam except that he came across it, and Allah had blessed him with an ability to quickly memorize and rarely forget. He would hardly come across or hear something except that it would remain in his memory, either in wording or meaning. It was as if knowledge had become infused in his flesh, blood, and entire body…”

[‘al-A’lam al-‘Aliyyah fi Manaqib Ibn Taymiyyah’; p. 2]

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