Signposts of Guidance for Youth who Seek the Truth: Know your worth and limits, know your companions, keep company with Ahlus-Sunnah and seek Allah’s guidance

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Know Your Worth Young People

Al-Baihaqi recorded in al-Madkhal ilas-Sunanil-Kubrā (no.679):

“Abu ‘Āsim said: A youth from the people of knowledge was present at the gathering of Sufyān Ath-Thawree (d. 161H); so the youth put himself forward at the head of the gathering and started talking and boasting with his knowledge in front of those who were older than him.

So Sufyān (rahimahullāh) became angry and said: “The Salaf were not like this! One of them would not claim leadership for himself and he would not sit in the forefront of the gathering until he had sought knowledge for thirty years! And you display arrogance in front of one who is older than you. Get up from me and don’t come near my gathering.”

And Sufyan al-Thawree (died 161H) said: “If you see a youth speaking in the presence of Mashāyikh; even if he has acquired a portion of knowledge, then lose hope in his goodness, for verily he has no shame.”

Ibn Abee Dunyā in As-Samt wa Aadābul-Lisān (586,588), and Al-Khateeb al-Baghdādi in Al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/275) that Ibraheem Al-Ad’ham said: “If a youngster (or newcomer) speaks in front of us in our gathering, then we lose hope in him.”

Ar-Rāmaharmuzi (rahimahullāh) reported that Makhlad Ibn Husain said: “We are more in need of a great portion of manners than a small amount of ‘Ilm.” [Al-Muhaddith Al-Fāsil (559) and Al-Khateeb in Al-Jāmi’ li-Akhlāq Ar-Rāwi (1/80 no.11)]

Know Your Companions

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

‏ الأَرْوَاحُ جُنُودٌ مُجَنَّدَةٌ فَمَا تَعَارَفَ مِنْهَا ائْتَلَفَ وَمَا تَنَاكَرَ مِنْهَا اخْتَلَفَ ‏‏ ‏

“Souls are troops together; those who got along with another [before they were blown into the bodies] have an affinity with each other [in this world] and those that did not get along with one another will be averse to each other [in this world].” [Abu Dawood, no. 4834, Saheeh]

Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said:

“Even if one believer was to enter a masjid and there were in it one hundred people and there was not amongst them except for one believer, he would go towards him until he sits with him. And if a Munaafiq was to enter a masjid and there were a hundred people in it and there were not amongst them except one Munaafiq would head towards him until he sat with him”. [Ar-Radd ‘Alal-Mubtadi’ah of Ibnul-Bannaa]

Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “Make consideration of the lands by way of their names. And make consideration of a person by his close companion.” [Al-Kaamil fid-Dufa’ā’ (2/163) and al-Ibānah (503)]

Al-Awzā’ee (d. 157H) said: “Whoever is able to hide his bid’ah from us is not however able to hide his companionship.” [Al-Ibānah of Ibn Battah]

Keep company with those who love and hate for Allah for they are Ahlul-Iman, Ahlul-Haqq and Ahlus-Sunnah:

The Messenger of Allāh (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:

 من أحبَّ لله، وأبغض لله، وأعطى لله، ومنع لله، فقد استكمل الإيمان

“Whoever loves for Allāh, hates for Allah, gives for Allah, withholds for Allah has indeed perfected Imān.” [Abu Dawood, 4861]

‘Amr b. Qays al-Malā’ī (died 143H, rahimahullāh) stated:

قال عمرو بن قيس الملائي :  إذا رأيت الشاب أول ما ينشأ مع أهل السنة فارجه، وإذا رأيته مع أهل البدع فايئس منه، فإن الشاب على أول نشوئه

“If you see a youth in his initial upbringing keeping company with ahlus-Sunnah, then have hope for him – and if you see him with ahlul-Bid’ah then fear for him, for indeed a youth is upon his initial upbringing.” [al-Ibānah of Ibn Battah, (1/205–206)]

If you love Ahlul-Haqq and bear with them, aid them, then you will be with them on the day of judgment.

Anas ibn Mālik (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: A man asked the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam), “When is the Hour?” The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said, “What have you prepared for it?” He said, “Nothing, but I do love Allāh and His Messenger.” 

The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) said, “Then you will be with those whom you love.” Anas (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: We were not more joyous than we were over the saying of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam), “You will be with those who you love.” Anas bin Mālik continued: “And I love the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam), Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, and I hope I will be with them due to my love of them.” [Bukhāri 3688 and Muslim 2639]

Allāh (the Most High) said:

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُولَٰئِكَ رَفِيقًا

“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger: Those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour from the Prophets, the steadfast affirmers of the truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.” [An-Nisaa:69]

May Allah make us from them.

Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Wāhid.