The Effect of the Behaviour of Parents and Teachers on Young Muslims: Fine Examples for the Youth, Part 3

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The behaviour of parents, educators, teachers, du’āt and sheikhs has a tremendous effect on the tarbiyah (cultivation) of young people. So, they must pay attention and set good examples that affect the hearts of young people. Cultivators and home-builders should be righteous, pious, earnest, kind, generous, humble, avoiding boastful behaviour, and people who seek knowledge and go out of their way to help others. This is rooted in their worship of Allah; because that is the first thing that rectifies the hearts and the limbs. Look at this example set by Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that remained with a young Companion till the day that he died. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbās (رضي الله عنهما) was still a boy and he visited his maternal aunt. He said:

بِتُّ عِنْدَ خَالَتِي مَيْمُونَةَ لَيْلَةً فَقَامَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَلَمَّا كَانَ فِي بَعْضِ اللَّيْلِ قَامَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَتَوَضَّأَ مِنْ شَنٍّ مُعَلَّقٍ وُضُوءًا خَفِيفًا ثُمَّ قَامَ يُصَلِّي فَقُمْتُ فَتَوَضَّأْتُ نَحْوًا مِمَّا تَوَضَّأَ ثُمَّ جِئْتُ فَقُمْتُ عَنْ يَسَارِهِ فَحَوَّلَنِي فَجَعَلَنِي عَنْ يَمِينِهِ ثُمَّ صَلَّى مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ

“I stayed overnight in the house of my aunt, Maimunah. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) slept for a part of the night, and then, late in the night, he got up and performed ablution from a hanging water skin, and it was a light ablution and then he stood up for the prayer. I, too (following him) performed a similar ablution, and then I went and stood on his left. However, he took hold of me and moved me to his right and then prayed as much as Allah willed. After that, he again lay and slept till his breathing could be heard. Later on, the Mu’adhin came to him and informed him that it was time for Prayer…” (Bukhāri, 138; Muslim, 763) Ibn ‘Abbās shared this experience as a young boy with the one whom he loved and respected. He saw the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) get up, make wudoo, and begin praying. So, what did he do? The same thing that every young person does of the one he respects, loves and admires. He watched him, followed him and joined him such that he even said, “I, too performed a similar ablution.”

The importance of setting a good example and avoiding being an evil example in the sight of young people should not be underestimated alongside the immense reward for the one who sets a good example that is followed by others. Take this narration of Jareer ibn Abdillāh (رضي الله عنه) who said: “While we were with the Messenger of Allah in the early hours of the morning, some people came who were barely dressed and barefoot, with their swords hung around their necks. Most of them belonged to the tribe of Mudar. The face of the Messenger of Allah changed when he saw them in such abject poverty.” After the prayer, he stood and addressed the people, so he recited:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ  – الحشر:18

‘O you who believe! Fear Allah and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.’

تَصَدَّقَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ دِينَارِهِ مِنْ دِرْهَمِهِ مِنْ ثَوْبِهِ مِنْ صَاعِ بُرِّهِ مِنْ صَاعِ تَمْرِهِ حَتَّى قَالَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ قَالَ جرير فَجَاءَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ الْأَنْصَارِ بِصُرَّةٍ كَادَتْ كَفُّهُ تَعْجِزُ عَنْهَا بَلْ قَدْ عَجَزَتْ قَالَ ثُمَّ تَتَابَعَ النَّاسُ حَتَّى رَأَيْتُ كَوْمَيْنِ مِنْ طَعَامٍ وَثِيَابٍ حَتَّى رَأَيْتُ وَجْهَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَتَهَلَّلُ كَأَنَّهُ مُذْهَبَةٌ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَنْ سَنَّ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً فَلَهُ أَجْرُهَا وَأَجْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بِهَا بَعْدَهُ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَنْقُصَ مِنْ أُجُورِهِمْ شَيْءٌ وَمَنْ سَنَّ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً كَانَ عَلَيْهِ وِزْرُهَا وَوِزْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بِهَا مِنْ بَعْدِهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَنْقُصَ مِنْ أَوْزَارِهِمْ شَيْءٌ

“Then they gave in charity, some giving a Dinar, others a Dirham, or a garment, or a sā’ (nearly 3kg) of wheat or, a sā of dates, until the Messenger said: ‘Even half a date.’ A man from among the Ansār came with a bag of money which his hands could hardly lift. The people followed one another in giving charity until I saw two heaps of food and clothing, and I saw the face of the Messenger of Allah shining like gold with joy. Then the Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever sets a good precedent in Islam, he will have the reward for that, and the reward of those who acted in accordance with it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest. And whoever sets an evil precedent in Islam, he will have a burden of sin for that, and the burden of those who acted in accordance with it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.’” (An-Nasā’i, 2554; Muslim, 1017)

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