The Prophet and Youth

  September 05, 2021   Read time 3 min
The Prophet and Youth
Being at once a father, leader of a community and prophet and founder of a worldwide religion, the Blessed Prophet could not obviously have been impervious to youth and their welfare.

On the contrary, all that concerns the young, their upbringing, education, duties obligations and rights were of central importance to him as they are of course to Islam as a whole which he was ordained to bring into the world. The Noble Quran and the ljadith are therefore full of references to different questions concerning youth and the SharYah contains numerous injunctions which delineate the duties of parents anc f the community toward the young and also the young towards themselves, their religion, family and the larger social order surrounding them. Moreover, the Sunnah of the Blessed Prophet contains numerous elements pertaining specifically to the young and has helped to mold the traditional attitude of Muslim society towards youth in numerous ways.

The most obvious characteristics of the Blessed Prophet's attitude toward the young is his concern and love for them as reflected so clearly not only in the Hadith but also in his daily practices as accounted by so many of his companions. The Blessed Prophet loved small children and even when he was already a prophet and ruler of a whole segment of the cosmos not to speak of much of Arabia, he used to play, as already mentioned, with his children, J:Iasan and J:Iusayn-upon them be peace-and even allowed them to ride on his back. He always showed respect for his daughter Fatimah-upon her be peace-to the extent of rising before her and greeting her whenever she came before him. According to a well-known saying accounted by none other than '.A'ishah, 'I have seen no one more resembling in manner, guidance and conduct of the Noble Prophet than Fatimah. Whenever she came to him, he used to stand up for her and then take her by the hand, kiss her and make her sit in his seat. And whenever he went to her, she used to stand up for him, take him by the hand, kiss him and make him sit near her seat." He also kissed his children and grandchildren often and enjoined Muslims to do likewise. He ordered them not only to respect their offsprings but to treat them with great kindness including physical caressing and embracing. He emphasized that children were the gift of God to parents and their opt ringing and care was a religious duty and responsibility incumbent upon them. He in fact called children, "the flowers of God."
The Blessed Prophet emphasized especially the care of girls and orphans, two groups of youth most mistreated in the society in which he lived and most likely to be mistreated elsewhere. Because of the very harsh practices against female offsprings in pre-Islamic Arabia, the Blessed Prophet returned again and again in his teachings to the importance of loving one's daughters and treating them well. It seems that God Himself wanted to emphasi�e for the Islan1ic community the significance of the female child by giving Fatimah-upon whom be peace-as daughter to the Blessed Prophet and by having the whole line of genealogy of the progeny of the Blessed Prophet. descend through her. Although without a male heir, he was blessed in the person of Fatimah with an offspring of celestial purity who became the mother of not only the eleventh Shi'ite Imams following 'Ali-upon whom be peace-but of the whole community of the ahl al-bayt who were to play such a central role in Islamic history.