"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