P.Diddy, Tupac, Destiny’s Child…

This is the lists of names I usually get when I ask other brothers and sisters who there role models are. There was this one little brother who gave me the response that 50 cent was his role model. I wasn’t really surprised but I still asked him why. “He got shot nine times!” he replied back to me with a look of admiral on his face.

“What is he? A cat with nine lives?” I thought to myself trying not to roll my eyes in sarcasm. Why is it SUCH a big deal that the dude got shot nine times? Ok maybe its a bit unusual but come on!

I looked back and the brother and told him “What about Rasuallah (saw) and his companions? They fought in numerous battles and were probably seriously injured by swords and spears way more than nine times!”

“Hmmm…I never thought of that” he replied, hanging his head in either mere disappointment in himself or embarrassment.

The reality is many of the youth just DON’T KNOW the stories of the youth during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and are lacking Muslim youth role models. They are bombarded by people who openely market nudity, foul language, women, drugs, cars day in and day out. This is what they live, breathe, eat and sadly many times look up to. It’s not suprising to hear a nine-year old say “I wanna be gangster!” “I wanna be a rapper!” Why go to school when you can say a couple rhymes here and there, wear your pants down below your behind, with a half naked woman in your arms and get your cha-chings at the end of the month?

Usamah bin Zaid was the son of Zaid bin Harithah and Barakah. He was always known as a great warrior, so much so that he cried endlessly when he was turned away from fighting at the Battle of Uhud due to his young age. He would stand on his toes trying to make himself look taller, bigger, stronger so that he would be picked. Finally at the age of fifteen was picked to fight. Fifteen years old! Can you imagine what your brother, nephew, son would be doing at this age? Most likely hooked in front of that TV on PS2 or XBOX.

In the 11th year of Hijrah when he was only nineteen, through the appointment of Rasuallah (saw), he led a whole army towards the Syrian frontier with the banner of Islam in his hands.

How many people can you count that led an army at the age of nineteen? You most likely won’t need to continue counting on your toes. But this is much cooler than a rapper who got shot nine times, don’t you think?

Alright fine. Now what about the sisters? How and who can you relate to someone who lived more than a thousand years ago? Someone different from the ones who flood the TV screen in short shorts, colored faces and exposed cleavages.

One story that you may find particularly amusing was between Ayesha and Hafsa (RA). Zainab bint Jashash, one of the wives of Rasuallah (saw), knew he loved honey and would therefore present to him a variety of honey when he came to her. This caused jealousy with Ayesha and Hafsah in fear he would spend majority of his time with her instead of them. They came up with a mischevious plan. When Rasuallah (saw) would come to visit them, each would say that his mouth reeked with an unpleasent odor. The plan was put into action. After hearing this from both of his wives he agreed not to eat the honey from Zaynab.

O Prophet! why do you forbid (yourself) that which Allah has made lawful for you; you seek to please your wives; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Chapter 66; verse 1)

However, after an ayah was revealed reminding him not to do so. Rasuallah (saw) went back to Zaynab’s house and enjoyed the honey like he always had. Why am I mentioning this story? Us, sisters are jealous creatures. That was how we were created and the Prophets wives were no different. Also to show the different, funny side compared to the serious side we always seem to think they were.

Not only was Ayesha (RA) an example for all the Muslim sisters but was very much like us too. Having spent most of her childhood and teenage years with Rasuallah (saw) she became a well-known scholar in the history of Islam and had narrated two thousand hadeeths. She memorized the entire Quran and was known for many good qualities. One of them was her generosity. She kept wealth away from her such as a person who kept dirt away them. Once `Abd Allah bin Zubayr sent her 100,000 dirhams, but by the end of the same day she had given it all away to the people. Before giving away the dirhams, she perfumed it since she believed that it went through the hands of Allah (swt) first.

Leave behind the women who’s main focus is to wake up everyday in full makeup and provocative clothing in order to entertain the lust of men. Instead, study the lives of women who played numerous roles in the history of Islam. Study the greatness of the many warriors and their bravery, the intellectual business mind of the Khulafaa Ar-Rasihdeen, the taqwa and piety that bloomed in their hearts.

So the next time when I ask you “Who is your role model?” I hope you will look me in the eye with a beaming and proud smile and say “Rasulallah (saw) and his beloved companions!”