Prophetic Wisdom – Generation Gap


"That person is not of us … the elder who has no compassion for the young and the young who has no respect for the elder." – Prophet Muhammad  

The Generation Gap is a continual source of pain and confusion for every successive generation and is often seen as the difficulties and struggles represented in the attitudes and experiences of people of differing ages who share the same time span. 

The Generation Gap occurs when older and younger people do not understand each other. This is brought about because there arises a lack of communication between one generation and another, especially between young people and their parents, who may have different perspectives, tastes, outlook, … 

Prophetic Example of Bridging the Generational Gap:

Our beloved Prophet announced prophet-hood at the age of forty and therefore, it is well-known that a sizable majority of his companions were much younger than him.

Throughout the Prophet’s life, he maintained a most perfect balance between appreciating and respecting the wisdom and the experience of the elder companions such as Khadijah and Abu Bakr as-Siddiq at the same time appreciating and respecting the dynamism and the sharp insights of the younger companions such as Ali ibn Talib, ‘Aishah and Abdullah ibn Abbas.

The beloved Prophet led by example when he kissed his grandchildren at a time in Arabia when such intimacy was not common. We learn from Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) that, Allah’s Apostle kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali while Al-Aqra’ bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, “I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them.” Allah’s Apostle cast a look at him and said, “Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully.”

 

Sadullah Khan is the Director of Islamic Center of Irvine. He has presented lectures on Islamic Civilization at California State University at Dominguez Hills. He is a frequent lecturer for the Academy of Judaic, Christian and Islamic Studies at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). He is also an advisor to the Chancellor’s Committee on Religion Ethics and Values at UCLA and serves as Director of Muslim Affairs at USC (University of Southern California).

You can watch his lectures on Empowerment and Hadith of the Day at IslamiTV

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By: sadullah khan | Source: IslamiCity | Category: Articles, Faith, Featured | Values: wisdom | Views: 11,324 | Comments: 18

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18 Comments

  1. Did We not give you lives long enough,so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it? A Warner came to you. Quran Surah Fatir Ayah 36.Long life enough is sixty years as mentioned by Sayyidina Ibnu Abbas (RA) but majority of scholars say 40 years is long enough even say long life enough is 18 years Allahu A’alam.One thing which we should all remember our lives is melting like an ice when it is brought out from a fridge similarly so our lives.That is why it is said in Hadith an inteligent person is he who controls his desires and prepares for the life after death.This is only a reminder for all of us. 63 years is like the proper Sunnah of Rasulullah as he lived that period of life similarly the average lives of Sayyidina Abubakar and Sayyadinah Umar and many other companions and great scholars such Usman Dan Fodio were 63 years.So any thing above that would be considered as bonus or overtime.May Allah give taufiq.

  2. Generation gap remains as along as communities have kibr and don’t respect each other’s individual and cultural differences. Each generations is of its own culture.

  3. Another pithy and insightful article by Imam Sadullah Khan with important lessons on how we should live our lives.

    Do note that the hyperlink for the Islamic Center Of Irvine website is incorrect… it should be http://www.icoi.net. Do visit and check out a treasury of other articles from Imam Sadullah in the ‘Learning Center’ section.

  4. Prophet Muhammad (saw) left an exemplary life to imitate by muslim and non-muslim alike. He highest human rights activist this world ever produced. Im calling on non-muslims to read about him correctly in order not to be misled by those trying to block them from knowing the reality.

    Ali Abdullahi

    wrotes from Bauchi, Nigeria.

    October 25, 2007.

  5. It is good article helpful in understanding the generations above and below ones own. It is a fact that the Prophet(s)was able to see the generations to come, moving apart the curtain of time.His teachings fit for all generations of all time.

    Unto him we may enrich our swalath

    Unto him we may turn our face in grief

    Unto him we may shower our love,and

    From him the answers for all the quries.

  6. Asalamaleikum,Yes it’s true we should love our kids everyday.

    There’s no pont for scolding we should listen to them and guide

    them the right way and show them what’s wrong and whats right.

    Wasalam Aleikum!

  7. Children are blessing from Allah. Ask couples who do not have children will tell. I believe children look upto parents for guidance and it is the responsibility of the parents themselves to ensure that right from childhood the children have been brought up in the right islamic culture at home. We parents are quick to lay the blame squarely on other third parties without first taking a look the culture/environment that is present in our homes. For example how many parents will ask their children to pick up the Holy Quran and sit with them to ensure that they pray the Holy Quran in the correct way.

    Children will emmulate their parents in very way possible. It is therefore important for us parents to lay a foundation that will nuture our children towards the rightly guided path.

  8. This example by our noble prophet(saw) is a further manifestation that the life of the prophet signifies a complete way of life which is applicable till the ned of the world. Also is a lession for us Muslim to know that the onyl reference/indices for us is the NOBLE QURAN and HADITH.

  9. The mercy, respect, honor and dignity are the essential attributes to have a egalitarian civilization. Our Holy Prophet(PBUH) has set a benchmark in maintaining a remarkable balance among all members of societal setup, with elders, young people and other companions.

    Generation Gap has been a burning issue in modern society, and we can learn lesson from the traditions of Prophet(PBUH)and other Islamic spiritual leaders.

    What is more required is to maintain self-respect, respect for self and respect for others. Give respect to win respect, and if we practiced this, there would not be any issue of Generation Gap or other social problems related to that.

    The article is hallmark and we could benefit a lot from this, with further readings and guiding from other related sources.

    Kindest regards,

    As-salam-o-laikum

  10. It is fact that the life of our Prophet(s.a.w)is the mirror of Islam.there is not any part of life which is not touched by Islam.therefore the article is very good.not only muslims,all persons should make a best communication between their childern to make them a perfect human being.

  11. This is the nice article.The Hadith given in the beginning itself indicates that there should be a generation gap,as the generation gap could be be only the source of retaining the moral values which are perhaps to be manifested in the society to obtain its norms as it was in the Prophetic period.It could be understood that when father treats his son or daughter in a well versed manner the son or daughter is no longer humble to treat his father in the same manner.Similarly these issues could be settled with the family itself rather being the back-bone on which a child grows its teeth.ultimately When a family is in a position to to retreat these moral values as established by our Worthy Prophet(SAW) the society would be once again seen as the society founded by Prophet Muhammad(SAW)himself, i.e. Khayr al_Qarun(The Model of all Societies ever produced in the world)and about which Prophet Muhammad(SAW) has himself said “Khayr al Qaruni Thuma Lazina yallunahum Thumalazina Yallunahum”,which means “The best period id mine and then the period of my companions and then the period of their companions”.

    wasalam!

  12. The article is really good. Parents should treat their child with lovingly. whats the use of scolding. U can set some limits but u have to share a warm and loving relationship with kid. i have two daughters age 6 n 4. when they don,t listen to me i always treat them with respect n love. And i think the article is worth it.

  13. a salaamu aleikum, I rushed to open this article because of the tension i feel between myself and my pre-teen daughter. Disappointed, I found it to be very brief without any indication of the amount of “mercy” to be shown towards the child. If we are to lenient with our children, they can lose respect for us. This is especially the case in single parent households.

    We much show them mercy, but we also must set limits for them and show them the seriousness of setting parameters for acceptable behaviour.

    I came to Islam because of the clear roles and responsibilities it sets out for us. How can I then not encourage my own children (Muslims by birth, not by choice) to adopt such guidelines if I am overly lenient with them.

    It would have been nice to see a more detailed article in this respect.

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