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The Youth who Achieved Certainty

Ishāq ibn ‘Ammār says, “One morning, Allah’s Prophet (S) had finished praying, along with a number of his companions, when he turned around and looked at a youth who was dosing in the Mosque with his head bent on his chest as though he was in deep thought.

The Noble Prophet (S) addressed him, ‘O young man! How did you sleep last night and how did you wake up this morning?’ The youth answered, ‘I stayed awake all night and saw it turn into morning while I was in a state of certainty.’

The Noble Prophet (S) was amazed by the youth’s answer because it was full of deep meaning. He enquired, ‘There is a sign for every certainty. What is the sign of your certainty?’ The youth answered, ‘O Prophet of Allah, It is because of this certainty that I have become sorrowful and my nights have become sleepless. It is as a result of this certainty that I bear hunger and thirst with fortitude during the heat of the day as I fast, and my soul has become detached from the world and all that is in it. It seems as if I can see the Throne of Allah and the Day of Resurrection with all the people raised to receive their reward and punishment, I being one of them.

I see the dwellers of paradise reclining therein, and enjoying the blessings therein, and courteously conversing with each other, reclining on soft cushions.

I see the dwellers of hell being tortured therein, and hear their loud screams. And, I hear the clamor of the fire of hell ringing in my ears.’

Allah’s Prophet (S) turned and addressed his companions, ‘This youth is one of Allah’s slaves. Allah has enlightened his heart with the light of faith.’ Then, he told the youth, ‘Continue to believe what you now believe.’ The youth said, ‘Make a prayer for me so that I may get martyred while beside you.’ The Noble Prophet (S) made the supplication for him. Soon after this incident he participated in one of the wars. After nine Muslim soldiers, he was the tenth to get martyred.”

While explaining this tradition [hadīth], the late ‘Allāmah Majlisī writes, “There are dark and opaque curtains in the inner souls of people. These dark and opaque curtains do not allow the light of reality and truth to shine therein. When they abstain from idle or nonsensical talk, excessive sleep, food and water, and practice continuous self-control, these curtains get ripped apart and the light of truth appears in them.”1

  • 1. Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 3, p. 92; Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 70, p. 159, hadīth 17.