Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Who is a Youth?

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) once asked the students and companions who had gathered around him: "Who is a `youth?" A person answered, "Someone who is young in age." The Imam (a.s.) said, "Despite the old age of the People of the Cave, on account of the faith which they possessed, God has referred to them as `youths'. In verse 10 of the chapter al-Kahf, He says: When the youths sought refuge in the cave[120]. He then continued[121], "Whoever believes in God and observes piety is a youth."122 Bond of Brotherhood Muhammad Ibn A'jlaan narrates: I was in the company of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) when a man, from a distant city, arrived and greeted the gathering. "How were your brothers when you took leave of them?" the Imam (a.s.) asked him. The man spoke well of them and praised them a great deal. The Imam (a.s.) then questioned, "Do the rich visit the indigent ones when they fall sick?" He said that they seldom did. The Imam (a.s.) carried on, "Do the rich seek to know the condition of the impoverished ones?" "Rarely" answered the man. "Do the affluent ones help out the poor and the needy?" The man responded, "You speak of attributes, which are rare amongst our people." The Imam (a.s.) remarked, "How then do these people consider themselves to be (our) Shiites (when there exists no bond of brotherhood between the affluent and the impoverished ones).

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