Allama Jalal Uddin Suyuti r.a, a great scholar born in 849 A.H and passed away in 911 A.H, said:
قال الإمام السيوطي: خمس خصال في الاطفال لو كانت في الكبار مع ربهم لكانوا أولياء. لا يهتمون بالرزق. ولا يشكون من خالقهم إذا مرضوا . ويأكلون الطعام مجتمعين. واذا خافوا جرت عيونهم بالدموع. واذا تخاصموا تسارعوا إلى الصلح
He said there are 5 qualities children have which we should embed within ourselves to become awliya of our time. There are many things we can learn from children. The 5 qualities children have that we should adopt, are as follows:
1. لا يهتمون بالرزق
Children are not concerned about when their next meal will come. Allamah Ibn Battal Maliki (RA) used to say, ‘You really are your imaan and your tawwakkul’. Your tawwakul is not complete until you have true faith on the ayah ‘There is no creature on earth whose sustenance is not on Allah’ [11:6]. وَمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ
Allah has control over every single creature and He looks after everyone. Our Imaan and our reliance on this verse is more than the money we have in our pocket. Children do not worry about their next meal, they rely on Allah.
This does not mean, that we should sit at home and rely on Allah rather we must adopt the means like the way you tie a camel, thereafter, have tawakkul in Allah. We should not be overindulged in the dunya where our entire focus is dunya, dunya, dunya whereby we neglect the aakirah.
2. ولا يشكون من خالقهم إذا مرضوا
When children are unwell they do not do not complain about Allah. Qadhi Shurayh (RA) saw an individual complaining to his friend of a headache so the Qadhi said ‘Never complain to anyone else of Allah. I have not been able to see with one eye of mine for the past 15 years. I have not seen a human being with this eye and have not seen a path for the past 15 years but I have never told anyone to this day. I told you only to teach a lesson. So, the second quality we learn is not to complain about Allah.
3. يأكلون الطعام مجتمعين
Children sit down and eat together. Friends normally try to sit and eat together, the sahaba complained to Rasulullah (s.a.w) that ‘Oh Messenger of Allah! We eat but our bellies are not satisfied’ Rasulullah (s.a.w) replied ‘maybe you are eating separately’.1
Nowadays there is no love at home. There was a time when everyone used to sit together and eat from one platter. That time we used to have the bowl of curry in the centre with rice around it and people used to sit and eat from that one platter. Today let alone eating from one plate, even our times of eating is not the same. Our homes have become hotels, everyone checks in at different times and checks out at a different time. Unfortunately, this is why we don’t have the love we used to have in those days. Children are an example of the lesson for us to sit together and eat.
4. واذا خافوا جرت عيونهم بالدموع
When children fear, they tear. Hadrat Mawlana Masehullah Jalalabadi (RA) mentioned to us many years ago when we were there in Jalalabad. He used to tell us ‘try and learn how to cry before Allah and if you cannot cry, at least make the face of a crying individual’ Cry! If you can’t then at least make the face of a crying individual.
Saalih al-Muzani (RA) was reading the Quran in a dream in front of Rasulullah (s.a.w), who said to him ‘Oh Saalih! You are reciting the Quran but where are the eyes that are swelling with tears?’
Rasulullah (s.a.w) told Abdullah ibn Masood (r.a) to read from surah Nisaa and he started reading until he came to the verse of the Quran, فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ, ‘What will happen when we will bring you in front of the entire community and you will be witness over everyone’. He was told to stop and saw Rasulullah (s.a.w) crying.3
This is why it is important we understand the words of the Quran, otherwise, we are reciting about Jahannam and we are smiling because we don’t understand the message. We should take a lesson from children who cry when in fear, we too should cry in front of Allah.
5. واذا تخاصموا تسارعوا إلى الصلح
When children quarrel or get into an argument they reconcile very fast. We should ponder on this. There are people we do not speak to in our life and then we don’t speak to them for years and years. Thereafter it continues to the next generation. We even write a will saying make sure you don’t speak to his family because I didn’t speak to his family. These are few lessons we can learn from children.
[The above is an edited transcript from a lecture by Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Nawab حفظه الله]
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