Portraits of Youths In Holy Quran and the History of Islam

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Portraits of Youths In Holy Quran and the History of Islam Author:
Translator: Sayyid Akhtar Husain S.H. Rizvi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Islamic Personalities

Portraits of Youths In Holy Quran and the History of Islam

Author: Ayatullah Ali Dawani
Translator: Sayyid Akhtar Husain S.H. Rizvi
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
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Portraits of Youths In Holy Quran and the History of Islam

Portraits of Youths In Holy Quran and the History of Islam

Author:
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
English

www.alhassanain.org/english

PORTRAITS OF YOUTHS:

In Quran and the History of Islam

By: Ayatullah AliDawani

Translated by: Sayyid Athar Husain S.H. Rizvi

Publisher:Ansariyan Publications - Qum

First Edition 1384 - 1426 - 2005

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED AND RECORDED FOR THE PUBLISHER

www.alhassanain.org/english

Notice:

This version is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Ibrahim-Friend of Allah 10

Ismail and the Great Sacrifice: The Young Man Who Offered His Life In The Path Of Truth 16

Yusuf - The Truthful One: Human History’s Matchless Youth Having An Iron Will And A Unique Foresight 20

Musa and daughters of Shuaib: Astonishing Story Of An Exemplary Young Man 26

David and Goliath: A Youth Full Of Faith Encounters An Experienced Warrior 32

Luqman-The Wise Sage: Admonition To The Young Son 36

Yahya - Son of Zakaria: Who Attained Messengership In Childhood 39

Maryam: A Pious Young Lady Who Became The Leader Of All The Women Of The World 42

Jesus Christ: A Child Whose Birth Was Miraculous And Who Made A Revolution In His Youth Against Oppression 45

People of the Cave 50

The Believing Youths And Their Astonishing Life 50

Radiant Faces of the Youths in the History of Islam 54

Muhammad-The Trustworthy 55

The Most Popular Youth Of Mecca Whom Almighty God Appointed As His Last Messenger 55

The Pact of Hilful Fuzul 57

His Marriage with Khadijah 58

Bloodshed avoided 59

Imam Ali (a.s) 62

A Matchless Youth Of Islam 62

It was only Ali who testified to the Messenger of God 64

On the Bed of the Messenger, Ali’s Self-sacrifice 65

The 25 year old hero of the Battle of Badr 66

“There is no brave youth but Ali and there is no sword but Zulfiqar” 68

A courageous attack in the darkness of the night 70

Battle of the Ditch and Ali's Bravery 71

Ali (a.s) and the Jews of Bani Quraiza 73

Test of Ali's Steadfastness and Courage in the presence of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) 73

Ali (a.s) - the conqueror of Khyber 74

Valor of Ali (a.s) 76

Only Ali was entitled to propagate 76

Ali-Soul of the Prophet-Self of the Messenger 77

Ali - The Real Leader of Islam 78

Zahra (a.s) 80

The Prophet’s Young Daughter Who Is The Chief Of All The Women Of The World 80

The Magnificent Marriage 81

Lady of Paradise: Example of Islam 82

The Fateful event of Fadak 83

Zahra (a.s) defended her right herself 84

The Prophet’s Daughter pleads for her right herself 85

The young generation welcomed Islamic Teachings 88

Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib 91

Abdullah Ibn Masud: A Valiant Youth Who Recited The Holy Quran In The Midst Of Polytheists 96

Musab Ibn Umair: The Youthful Missionary Of The Holy Prophet In Medina 98

Itab ibn Usaid: The Young Man Who Was Appointed As The Governor Of Mecca By The Messenger Of Allah 102

Mu’az ibn Jabal: A Knowledgeable Young Man Who Was Appointed As A Judge In Yemen 104

Hanzala Ibn Aamir: He Was Such A Determined Lad That He Exchanged His Bridal Couch For The Bed Of Martyrdom 106

Usamah Ibn Zaid: Commander-In-Chief Of The Largest Army Of Islam 109

Youthful personalities 112

From The Time Of The Holy Imams Till The Occultation Of The Last Imam 112

Guides of Islam 113

Those Who Fulfilled The Responsibility Of Guiding The People When They Were Of Young Age 113

Imam Hasan and imam Husain: Chiefs Of The Youths Of Paradise 115

Youths of Kerbala: Who Became Famed In The History Of Mankind 117

Ali Akbar: The Brilliant Sun Of Youth 119

Qasim Ibn Hasan: The Adolescent Warrior Who Sacrificed His Life In Defense Of Religion 121

Abul Fazl Al-Abbas: The Most Luminous Personality Of The Youths Of Bani Hashim 123

Ali Ibn Husain (a.s): The Most Patient And Steadfast Youth Of Kerbala 125

Imam Jawaad: Our Youngest Imam Who Debated With The Chief Qadi While Yet A Young Child 129

The Universal Reformer of Mankind: Who Would Appear As An Elegant Young Man 132

Fatima Masuma: The Pious Daughter Of The Seventh Imam 135

Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr: A Young Man Who Was An Expert Of Warfare And An Epitome Of Sincerity 138

Hisham Ibn Hikam: The Youthful Missionary Of Shia Islam 142

Rabi-ur-Raay: The Young Teacher Of Aged Students 145

Faces of the youth: Who Lived From The Time Of The Minor Occultation Of Imam Mahdi (A.S) Till The Fourteenth Century Of Hijrah 147

Ibn Sina: The Renowned Philosopher And Physician Of The East 148

Muhammad Ibn Babawayh: An Enlightened Adolescent And A Teacher Of Aged Pupils 151

Sayyid Razi: The Young Scholar Of Great Fame Who Had Just Entered Youth 153

Shaykh Tusi: Such An Intelligent Youth Whose Fame Regarding His Foresight Would Endure Forever 156

Fakhrul Muhaqqiqin: The Son Of Allamah Hilli 158

Amina Begum: The Brilliant Daughter Of Allamah Majlisi 160

Fazil Hindi: A Child Prodigy And An Intelligent Youth 162

Shahabuddin Suhurwardi: A Story Of A Young Philosopher Who Had The World Of Capabilities 163

Youthful Leader of Aged Intellectuals 166

Sibuya : The Iranian Brain Who Later Became The Father Of Arabic Literature 167

Notes 169

Introduction

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s .) says:

Indeed Allah likes that young man or woman spends his/her youth in Allah’s obedience.

When Adam and Eve stepped on this earth for the first time, they were in their youths, handsome young people having a good physique and a beautiful body. In the histories of the world most of the greatest feats were performed by those who were in their youth and according to the heavenly books, most of the prophets when they were appointed to convey divine teachings to the people, were either youths or had recently stepped into their adolescence.

Accomplishments in scientific and technological fields, illumination of historical realities and other important inventions were the results of the enlightened thinking of only the young generation and results of their hard work. Everywhere the faces of youths are prominent.

The people of the world, in these recent times have begun to pay more attention to the young generation, though there was a time when power in various fields was mostly concentrated in the hands of aged people and they used to impose their will on all. However, slowly the world became mindful of the fact that more regard should be paid to the new generation and the young people of the community.

In order to encourage and guide the youths and to prevent them from being misguided, there are various establishments, societies, newspapers and magazines etc. We even have special ministries for youth affairs. All this is so because the life of the youth is most precious. Youth is that time of life when responsibilities of a person increase and these important days pass away very soon, but it is the time when the personality of the youth is shaped. The foundations of a brilliant future are made firm in this period. In these days the youth selects and chalks out a program for his life according to his own choice. This time is so crucial that if a proper program is not selected and a proper path not chosen, one would have to suffer its consequences forever, and the realization would come only when there is no recourse except to face shame and humiliation, while regret is not a cure.

Therefore it is necessary that at this critical and important juncture of life parents, and their adolescent children, in the light of reason and contemplation, choose the correct path. On this juncture, one should not merely consider the transient world but also keep the hereafter in view. Where along with the world, the success of the hereafter is also assured. Though in education of youths today only those fields and subjects are selected in which there are more worldly benefits. The aim of education is the material world and its comforts, and this is repeated so many times before the young people that they form a mindset that the aim of life is only to earn money and obtain material comforts. The effect of it is that the youth instead of becoming a perfect human being becomes a machine for earning money. Then gradually his youth begins to decline and he nears old age. All the parts of that machine of youth deteriorate and become useless. When no

scope remains for rejuvenation, these same people become a burden for the future generations who await their death restlessly.

These days slogans of progress are raised with regard to young people. What progress does it imply? Mostly when the parents of young adolescents speak of progress, they speak only in terms of this material and transient world. Only the shine and luster of the world and efforts to excel each other in obtaining material wealth and desires to fulfill lusts, while the holy teachings of Islam have not made them criteria of progress and success. Otherwise, instead of the prophets, Nimrod, Pharaoh,Qarun and Abu Sufyan would have been considered successful people.

In the light of Islamic teachings, the criteria of progress and success are faith, good deeds, ethics and good character. Those who possess them are the most advanced and their lives, most successful.

Parents are advised to, in addition to providing worldly education to their children, also pay attention to their ethical training that would make them perfect human beings. Because the youth of their children is a divine bounty and it is very important to teach them discipline and restraint. For progress and success of young people proper atmosphere is necessary at home and in the locality as well as at school and college.

The youth of today feels insulted and thinks he has some shortcomings while the parents think that since their child has grown up their respect and control has decreased. The youthful child has become disobedient and rebellious and is a prey to bad habits. He hates good behavior. But the question is that the child who was till yesterday obedient and good, how he became so much disobedient after reaching adolescence? Instead of becoming imbued with good moral behavior why he became a collection of bad habits and vices? This applies to those children who were in their early childhood very much well behaved and obedient. Gradually they became disobedient and did not remain in the control of the parents. Since these changes do not appear all at once but gradually become apparent the youth and their parents do not notice these changes and their demands. The result is seen in the tense atmosphere of the house. Now either the children become absolutely submissive to the parents and themselves form no independent views. They refer to their parents in every matter. They ask their parents regarding the most trivial matter and do not take any decision of their own. But the effect of this is that the personality of the youths is undermined and when their future life of independencebegins they find it difficult to take their own decision.

Sometimes it is also that the youth is so sure of the correctness of his views and opinion that he considers every advice and view of his parents wrong and useless. He opposes them at every step. Not only this, he also begins to make fun of them. Though this type of practice makes the youths independent it takes away their ethical capacities, which are the essence of human perfection.

The divine religion is a moderate and disciplined system of life and at every step Islam has paid due regard to justice and equity. Islam is against extremism in every aspect. Neither it advocates absolute control of the parents nor does it accept disobedience and rebellion of the young

generation. Rather it endorses the independence of the youth but in the shade of the correct guidance of the parents.

This is indicated in the tradition of the Prophet who says: More than the elegance of youth, I like the advice of senior people.[1] That is why we have to admit that being a young man or woman is not something great, but it is great to be a perfect human being. For which in addition to education, moral training is very much necessary.

In the heydays of the youth there is desire for independence, the wish to expressones personality, free atmosphere of college, lack of ethical training in educational syllabi etc. In such an atmosphere who can teach humanity to the new generation? Who can save them from the evils of materialism? Who can enrich them with ethics?

Keeping these points in view we present this book that deals with the role of youth and their status and position.Furthermore there are analyses of the influence exercised by the youths, both male and female in a clear manner. Our respected readers may study about the importance of youth in Quran, and the illuminated History of Islam, and then derive lessons therefrom.

Hujjat -ul-Islam Sayyid Ali Akbar Rizvi Qummi

Ibrahim-Friend of Allah

The earlier times speak to us through history.However it is a different matter that we do not listen to them.

They announce loudly that great historical revolutions have occurred only when a courageous youth had come forward with a strong and unwavering decision to do something important. On the otherhand the weak-hearted, who are unable to make any change in their mode of life can never change the course of history. Worse than that, if timid and selfish people gather around the oppressor ruling class an atmosphere is created wherein common masses submit to every unjust calamity as their destiny and turn superstitious. But when this situation becomes too troublesome to be tolerated any more, Almighty God raises from those masses an epoch-making character who changes the future of his community; who draws his people out of the alleys of misguidance, making them march ahead on the path of truth.

In ancient times, in Iraq, there were two big cities calledKildan and“Babel” which were ruled upon by King Nimrod. He was a merciless and very oppressive ruler who had made his people live very painful life for a long time.

People in his kingdom had no rights whatsoever and were not allowed to make any demand or complaint. This miserable condition had made people so demoralized that they were like walking corpses. Nimrod was becoming more and more merciless day by day and none in his kingdom could do anything but obey him without having any hope of salvation.

King Nimrod, like his people was an idol-worshipper who considered idols worthy of worship; and trustworthy objects; and their temples the holiest and most sacred places. So, Nimrod also was taking every care of those old and worn out idols, knowing well that this idol-worship was the biggest testimony of his people’s ignorance and intellectual poverty.

For quite a long time, Nimrod continued to observe that the residents ofKildan were losing every iota of their intelligence to such an extent that they were considering a pearl a pebble and vice versa: that they were thinking that those lifeless objects were the molders of their destiny. So, Nimrod took undue benefit of his people’s dark ignorance and told them that he himself was ‘God’.

The renegade Nimrod saw that not a single person objected to his claim of divinity. He was all themore glad to see his weak, demoralized andcourageless community prostrating before his pomp, glory and royal grandeur and accepting him as God.

The citizens of Babel were also compelled to, besides worshipping all the idols, to consider Nimrod as possessor of divine powers and one who could give life and take life. With the passage of time this situation subjected them to further fearfulness, mindlessness, restlessness and ever-increasing corruption and demoralization, because they were deifying both, the idols and King Nimrod. Their former gods were dumb while the latter vocal. No family had escaped the tortures and oppression of Nimrod.

In such a dark and fearful atmosphere, Almighty Allah, the most merciful God, commanded His intelligent and wise youthful servant, Ibrahim (a.s ) to

announce hismessengership and prophethood. His father,Tarukh , had expired before Ibrahim was born.So he was nourished and brought up by his maternal grandfather Azar. [2]

Accordingly Ibrahim (a.s ) arose and took steps against King Nimrod and all the misguided unbelievers so that he could propagate the oneness of Only One God, and making them aware of his message, awaken them from their sleep of ignorance.

Ibrahim knew well that he was alone as his community was quitecourageless ; while against him was the powerful army of Nimrod and hence he must very careful.So Ibrahim (a.s ) started his missionary work from his own house, thinking that if his family members agree with him, he would go ahead in his work slowly.

Therefore, addressing his maternal grandfather, Azar very politely, he tried to convince him with his logical arguments and said, ”You are a wise man. Have can you consider these lifeless idols gods? I can see that you are, along with your community, advancing on the path of sheer ignorance.” In this way, Almighty God removed all the curtains which were in front of the nature of Ibrahim so that he could see the angels (forces) in the skies and on the earth and could observe God’s might and His innumerable creations in the unending space and so that Ibrahim’s faith may become solid.[3]

Ever since Ibrahim (a.s ) became intelligent enough and began to recognize the people of his community he used to look abhorrently at the stagnant and lifeless idols and at the throngs of people who rushed to worship them on the basis of their self-imagined attributes. He remained very unhappy at this condition.

In view of all these conditions, he moved forward to remove the difficulties and hindrances, which were likely to confront him first. His maternal grandfather, Azar, who besides being an idol-worshipper was also a well-known idol-maker, became his foremost roadblock.So Ibrahim started the work of hismessengership on him. In order to reform him, he said very politely and affectionately:

O my father! Why do you worship what neither hears nor sees, nor does it avail you in the least?

O my father! Truly the knowledge has come to me, which has not come to you, therefore follow me, I will guide you on a right path.

O my father! Serve not the Satan; surely the Satan is disobedient to the Beneficent God.

O my father!Surely I fear that a punishment from the Beneficent God should afflict you so that you should be a friend of the Satan.[4]

Thereafter Ibrahim went to Azar and addressed the ignorant idol-worshippers as mentioned by God Almighty in this manner:

Andcertainly we gave to Ibrahim his rectitude before and we knew him fully well. When he said to his father and his people: “What are these images to whose worship you cleave? They said: we found our fathers worshipping them. He said:certainly you have been, (both) you and your fathers, in manifest error. They said: have you brought to us the truth, or are you one of the triflers? He said: Nay! Your lord is the lord of the

heavens and the earth, who brought them into existence, and I am of those who bear witness to this. [5]

When Azar and his people heard these strange words from Ibrahim (a.s ) they became extremely angry with his courageous movement. Azar, besides being himself an idol-worshipper, was also afraid that if Nimrod were to hear this and comes to know that Ibrahim (a.s ) was mocking the community and its gods and criticizing them, first of all, he would be asked (by Azar) why did he not took the son of his daughter (Ibrahim) to task and allowed him so much liberty?So he frowned terribly and addressed Ibrahim in these harsh words:

Do you dislike my gods, O Ibrahim? If you do notdesist I will certainly revile you, and leave me for a time. [6]

Though Ibrahim (a.s ) had got up to pull down the palace of idol-worship and superstition, when he observed that both Azar and all his community became so much enraged in the first instance, he thought that it was not advisable to push the matter further for the time being. However, what happened in the first stage of Ibrahim’s call was that the ears, which were unable to hear any good or truthful words, could hear his voice and also a part of the rust on their hearts was erased to some extent.So he left his people in that condition for a while that their anger may cool down and then people may be able to think with a cool heart and mind…

The call of Ibrahim declared the truth, gradually the news reached the residents ofUrr , another city ofKildan . Ibrahim’s message spread speedily all around and some intelligent and wise people agreed with him. They gave up the worship of gods having shapes, bodies and figures. They also began to advise others to abandon the wrong deed. They warned the people about the anger and punishment of the only true God if they disobeyed Him.

The people of his community used to celebrate an annual feast, when all the residents used to go out of the city and make merry in the open. On one such occasion the entire city had become empty of people leaving only Ibrahim there, as he mostly remained aloof and was fed up with the meaningless old rituals of his community and used to laugh at them indignantly. Considering this an opportunity he took yet another step in his missionary work.

Ibrahim was a youth with God-given strength and capability. His arms were strong, chest wide and eyes bright. He took up an axe in his strong hands and moved calmly towards the temple where people of the town worshipped man-made idols. He broke down all idols with his axe and also disfigured all the indecent images drawn on temple walls. He left only the biggest idol untouched with a hope that he might then be able to call his people to worship only one God.

And by Allah! I will certainly do something against your idols after you go away, turning back.So he broke them into pieces, except the chief of them, that haply they may turn to it. [7]

Ibrahim (a.s ) collected the broken limbs etc. of the idols and kept them aside; and when he was satisfied that he had rooted out the mindlessness and ignorance of polytheism, returned home to take some rest. He was awaiting a hue and cry from people after their return from the annual feast. The

people used to cook food articles and gift them to the idols in the temple before going to celebrate. After returning from the feast they brought back the articles home to eat them as sacred benediction. They believed that being pleased by their offer those gods would grant increase in their livelihood.

But this time when they returned from thefeast they witnessed a very strange event; that all the idols were lying broken except the big one. The limbs of all the idols lay in a heap at one place. They were so shocked and spellbound that they could not utter a word for quite some time.Finally when they came out of the shock they began to speak and talk with one another as to who has oppressed their gods so much. Whoever it might be, his offence was definitely intolerable!

Someone mentioned the name of Ibrahim (a.s ) saying that there lived in that town a man called Ibrahim who spoke ill of these idols. He must have done this deed. All agreed on this point and were convinced that only Ibrahim was responsible for this escapade. The people were so enraged that they summoned Ibrahim at once for questioning.

Accordingly a committee of judges was formed which appointed a court to which Ibrahim (a.s ) was summoned. He was charge-sheeted for the said offence of breaking down their idols so mercilessly. All the people of the town gathered at the court. It must have been a scene worth seeing indeed. There was commotion all around. Ibrahim was then produced before this court for committing a crime of idol breaking.

The huge audience was on their toes, eager to see the outcome of the trial. On one side was Ibrahim (a.s ) and on the other, a heap of broken limbs of their gods made of stone and wood. The judges were red hot in anger. At last they shouted, “O Ibrahim! Have you brought this calamity on our gods?” The representative of monotheism replied calmly in a single sentence, which woke the sleeping consciences and he turned the tables calling people to his mission. He said, “This must be the deed of this biggest idol. What happened later may be inquired from him if he is able to speak.”

These words of Ibrahim (a.s ) affected the hearts of people so much that all put their fingers between their teeth. No one was able to respond. The judges spoke to one another: It was our fault that we did not appoint anyone to look after and protect our gods in our absence. All looked down and then said, “When you know that they cannot speak why you ask such a meaningless question?”

Ibrahim was waiting only for this response, so he said fearlessly, “You people call on and worship these gods who can neither give profit nor any loss. Why do you not understand and worship the only one God,Who is Almighty? Why do you not think upon this?”

Those who were seated on the chairs of justice became dumb on hearing these true words from Ibrahim. When they could not reply they became restless and pronounced the judgment: Light up a huge fire and fling Ibrahim in it by means of a big catapult so that he may be burnt to ashes. Help your gods in this way to make them pleased with you.

But the Most Merciful and Beneficent Allah made the fire cool (with His perfect Power) and Ibrahim came out of it safe and sound.

In the words of the Holy Quran:

They said: Who has done this to our gods? Mostsurely he is one of the unjust. They said: We heard a youth called Ibrahim speak of them. Said they: Then bring him before the eyes of the people, perhaps they may bear witness. They said: Have you done this to our gods, O Ibrahim? He said: Surely (some doer) has done it; the chief of them is this, therefore ask them, if they can speak. Then they turned to themselves and said: Surely you yourselves are the unjust; Then they were made to hang down their heads:Certainly you know that they do not speak. He said: What! Do you then serve besides Allah what brings you not any benefit at all, nor does it harm you? Fie on you and on what you serve besides Allah; what! Do you not then understand? They said: Burn him and help your gods, if you are going to do (anything). We said: O fire! Be a comfort and peace to Ibrahim; and they desired a war on him, but We made them the greatest losers. [8]

The story of idol breaking by Ibrahim (a.s ) and defeat of the judges in the court of Nimrod spread in the entire community like wild fire. Ibrahim’s (a.s ) success became the talk of the town. A big group of people sided with Ibrahim (a.s ) and, convinced by his logical arguments began to worship only one God and thus through themessengership of Ibrahim (a.s ) became Muslims.

On the other hand, all those idol-worshippers whose hearts had become crooked and who were eating the bones thrown to them by Nimrod and thus had become his slaves shamelessly and meekly continued to oppose the truth which had become manifest and stuck to their false beliefs.

When Nimrod who was the God of their gods heard about all this he was enraged. He ordered that young Ibrahim (a.s ) should be brought before him so that he could see the one who had dared to perform such a big adventure disregarding his pomp and power. When Ibrahim (a.s ) entered the royal court of Nimrod he found Nimrod sitting on his throne with such pomp that his courtiers could not look at him and were trembling due to his awe. But Ibrahim (a.s ) was the representative of monotheism. He stood straight before Nimrod quite fearlessly. Nimrod looked at him and said, “Why did you do this dangerous deed which created turmoil in the entire town? I am the God of these people and their lord; and their destiny is in my hands. Have they any other God than myself?” Ibrahim (a.s ) replied, “Yes, He is my God Who is the creator of the entire universe. Whenever He wishes he takes back the lives of His creation.” Nimrod retorted, “This is not a thing, which I cannot do. I allow my servants to live freely when I wish and I am able to kill them when I wish to do so and thus their life and death is in my hands.”

When Ibrahim (a.s ) saw that this fellow was boasting too much on the basis of his kingship, he took a step further and said, “I worship the God who raises the sun from the east. If you have any power, let us see whether you can bring it out from the west.” This argument of Ibrahim (a.s ) fell on Nimrod’s head like a big rock and he became speechless, spellbound and defeated:

Have you not considered (Nimrod) who disputed with Ibrahim (a.s ) about his lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom? When Ibrahim

(a.s ) said: my lord is He who gives life and causes to die, he said: I give life and cause death. Ibrahim (a.s ) said: so surely Allah causes the sun to rise from the east, then make it rise from the west:thus he who disbelieved was confused: and Allah does not guide aright the unjust people. [9]

This is the story of a young man whose name was Ibrahim (a.s ), the friend (Khalil) of Allah. God chose him for fetching out people from the darkness of ignorance and misguidance. It was the result of Ibrahim’s rising youthfulness and the accompanying unlimited capabilities that he defeated the material powers and false arguments making the truth manifest and bright.