Story No. 411 – Definition of youth according to Islam (Piety and devotion of Emam Sadegh (as))

Emam Sadegh (as) once asked the students and companions who had gathered around him: “Who is a youth?”

A person answered, “Someone who is young in age.”

Emam Sadegh (as) said, “Despite the old age of the People of the Cave, on account of the faith which they possessed, Allah (SWT) has referred to them as ‘youths’. In verse 10 of the chapter al-Kahf (18) in Noble Qur’an, Allah (SWT) says: When the youths sought refuge in the cave. Emam Sadegh (as) then continued, “Whoever believes in Allah (SWT) and observes piety is a youth.”

Emam Sadegh (as) was asked the meaning of Piety, Emam Sadegh (as) Replied:

“Piety is that Allah (SWT) does not miss you in the place where He has commanded you to be, and does not see (find) you where He has forbidden you from.”

Piety and devotion of Emam Sadegh (as)

The piety and abstemiousness is the standard of the man’s value. Noble Qur’an considers all the people as equal, except for those who are decorated with the ornament of piety.

Most of the time Emam Sadegh (as) was clothed in a dress of coarse material or wool, due to which his body was in great discomfort. This woolen dress was also patched. One of his companions was disturbed on seeing him dressed thus. Emam Sadegh (as) said, “Remember, one who has no modesty, has no faith. One who also does not spend according to his income may be involved in financial hardships. One who does not wear old clothes, makes himself prone to pride.”

“When Emam Sadegh (as) went out of the house he used to put on new, clean, valuable and costly dress and climb up a horse. A group of ignorant people thought this act negated the piety and asceticism. Therefore, they would come and object and when they heard the response they would be ashamed.”

Narrator says, “One day I saw Emam Sadegh (as) sitting on bare floor. I said, ‘O son of the Messenger of Allah, where is that floor spread on which you used to sit?’ He said, ‘I saw a person shivering in cold and told him if that spread could save him from cold he may take it. He said it would, so I gave it to him?’ I said, ‘Master! Then for how long could you continue to sit on a bare floor?’ He said, ‘I would not mind even if I have to sit on it all life long. O man, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) often sat on the bare ground with his companions. Why are you surprised if I also sit in the same manner?'”

Malik bin Ans says, “Emam Sadegh (as) was always busy praying to God and considered to be one of the great ascetics and devoted ones.”

Abdul Ala says, on a hot day of summer I saw Emam Sadegh (as) on one of the roads of Madina while he was going for a job. I said, “May I lay my life for you, why have you put yourself into inconvenience in such a hot weather, with all the faith upon God and association with Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw)?” Emam Sadegh (as) said, “I have come out for the job and to earn my livelihood, so that I must not remain needy towards others.

Another one says, “I saw Emam Sadegh (as) wearing rough dress and he was working in a garden like an ordinary labor and perspiring all over.” I said to him “O son of the Messenger of Allah, allow me to work for you.” Emam Sadegh (as) said, “I love working for my livelihood and to taste the hardship of the burning heat of the sun like others.”