The True Fragrance
Teenage is the period in the life of a person that could be called the bridge between childhood and adulthood or maturity. Just like a flower bud blossoms into a colourful flower, in the same manner a child transforms into a teenager over a period of time.
We all know the real beauty of a flower is not in its shape or colour but in the fragrance that it gives out. In the same way the real beauty of a teenager is not in his complexion or in his physical appearance but in the Akhlāq (practice of virtue, morality and manners) that he displays in his character. This quality of Akhlāq is the direct result of the correct tarbiyat (upbringing) by the parents.
The golden pages of Islāmic history are full of examples where Muslim teenagers have displayed in their behavior, their lifestyle and their deeds, the core values of Islām that include the absolute love for our Creator Allāh Subhānahu wa Ta’ālā and His beloved Nabi Muhammad Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam, a very strong and unassailable Imān, true love for the fellow Muslims, a longing to fight in the path of Allāh, a zeal to pursue knowledge and to spread the Deen of Allāh etc.
Given below are some examples of the Muslim teens who have shown these outstanding qualities that made them ‘The Most fragrant Flowers of Islam’. These are just brief outlines. A full research may reveal their detailed narrations.
- Nabi Ismā’eel (‘AlayhisSalām) was the son of Nabi Ibraheem (‘AlayhisSalām). When Ibraheem (‘AlayhisSalām) was asked by Allāh Subhānahu wa Ta’ālā to sacrifice his son Nabi Ismā’eel (‘AlayhisSalām), he asked his son about his opinion. In Qur’ān Majeed Allāh Ta’ālā describes the conversation as follows:
When the child reached the age where he could run about, he said to him, “O my beloved son! Verily, I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So consider your opinion.” He replied, “O my beloved father! Do as you have been commanded. If Allaah wills, you will soon find me to be among the patient ones.” (Surāh 37 āyat 102. Ref: Quraan Made Easy – Mufti Afzal Hoosen Elias)
Just look at the gravity of the question the father asked and the sublimity of the answer the boy gave at such a tender age! It was the result of the most noble upbringing that the young boy received that he was ready to be slaughtered by his own beloved father for the sake of Allāh Subhānahu wa Ta’ālā.
- Hadhrat Ali (Radhiallāhu ‘anhu), the last of the Khulfā-e-Rāshidin, was only nine when he embraced Islam. He was the first one among the youth to accept Islam. He is also one of the Asharah Mubasharah (the ten people to whom Nabi Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave glad tidings that they will be the dwellers of Jannāh).
- ‘Aisha (Radhiallāhu ‘Anha) was only 18 at the time of Rasulullāh Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s demise. Notwithstanding her age, she is responsible for innumerable Āhadith and regulations of Islāmic practices.
- Hasan and Husain (Radhiallāhu ‘anhuma): Grandsons of Rasulullāh Sallāllahu ‘alaihi wasallam. He said, “Hasan and Hussain are leaders of the youths in Paradise.” (Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Tabrani Fil Kabeer, Tabrani Fil Ausat). The meaning of this Hadith is that those people (Mu’meens) who have passed away at a young age will be amongst the youths of Ahlul Jannāh (people of Paradise). Hazrat Hasan and Hussain (Radhiallāhu Ta’ālā Anhuma) will be the leaders of these youths in Jannāh. (ref: Muftisays.com)
- Mus’āb ibn ‘Umair (Radhiallāhu ‘anhu), who was appointed the first envoy of Islām and was sent to Yathrib (Madināh) to prepare the city for the forthcoming Hijrā, embraced Islām when he was a teenager. He was brought up as a highly pampered son of rich parents but at the time of his burial after his shahādāh (martyrdom) he did not have enough clothes to cover his body.
- Talhāh ibn Obaidullāh (Radhiallāhu ‘anhu), he was only 15 when he accepted Islam: He protected Nabi Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam from the Kuffār by shielding him from the arrows with his own hands until one of them got paralyzed and then he shielded him with his body. He is also one of the Asharah Mubasharah.
- Zayed bin Thābit (Radhiallāhu ‘anhu), 13 years old: He memorized the Qurān and contributed in compiling it and was the personal scribe of Nabi Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Nabi Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked him to learn the language of the Jews, which he did in less than a month. Later, when he started sending letters to the various rulers, Rasool Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam asked him to learn Syriac (the language of ancient Syria). Thus he would write his letters and also read out their replies to him.
- Al Arqām bin abi al Arqām (Radhiallāhu ‘anhu), 17 years old: In the fifth year after Nabi Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam’s Nubuwat Al-Arqam’s house was selected as a safe place to meet, pray and learn about the faith because it was located on the east of As-Safa Hill where Rasulullāh Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam was living. It became known as the House of Islām and can be regarded as the first Islāmic School, with Rasulullāh Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam as the teacher and the Sahābā as its students.
- Az-Zubayr ibn al-Awām (Radhiallāhu ‘anhu), 15 years old: He was a horseman and a bold warrior from childhood, to the extent that historians mention that the first sword lifted in Islām was Az-Zubair’s sword. He is also one of the Asharah Mubasharah. Rasool Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam once said that Talhāh and Az-Zubayr would be his neighbours in Jannāh.
- Sheikh Abdul Qādir Jilāni (Rahimāhullāh), In his childhood, his saintly mother had always counseled him to remain truthful, whatever might happen, and like a dutiful son he made his mother’s advice his watchword for life and acted upon it. He was hardly in his teens when once while he was going on a journey, his mother gave him a few gold pieces. The caravan was overtaken by robbers. When they asked him about what valuables he had with him, he showed them the gold pieces. The robbers were taken aback and asked him why he did not try to hide his money. He replied, “I hold the noble advice of my mother dearer than these few pieces of gold.” The robbers were so moved by the noble spirit shown in this answer that they gave back all the property they had taken from him. He left his home at the age of eighteen in the pursuit of Deeni knowledge and he went to Baghdad, the great centre of learning. Later he became a renowned Sufi Sheikh.
Today the scenario is totally different. Leave aside the breathtaking qualities that the past teenagers displayed in their characters, today’s teens are way off the mark even in displaying the characteristics of normal teenagers. The main culprits responsible for such behaviour of our teens are obviously the television, the smart phones and other internet based gadgets. The preoccupation with these gadgets has become an obsession that is taking them away from the Mubārak Deen of Allāh Subhānāhu wa Ta’ālā, from their studies and even from their own families.