Prophetic Wisdom: Gen­er­a­tion Gap


T hat 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 en­er­a­tion ap 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 en­er­a­tion ap oc­curs when older and younger peo­ple do not un­der­stand each other. This is brought about be­cause there arises a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be- tween one gen­er­a­tion and an­other, es­pe­cially be­tween young peo­ple and their par­ents, who may have dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, tastes, out­look, ... Prophetic Ex­am­ple of Bridg­ing the en­er­a­tional ap 2ur beloved Prophet an­nounced prophet­hood at the age of forty and there­fore, it is well-known that a si able maMor­ity 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 .hadiMah and Abu Bakr as-Sid­diT at the same time ap­pre­ci­at­ing and re­spect- ing 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-ATra’ bin Habis At-Tamim was sit­ting be­side him. Al-ATra 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.”

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