Prophet Muhammad was known of being very kind and affectionate towards children. He used to carry them, kiss them, and even weep when they died…
Ever since the very beginning of the Islamic call, many children were bright and influential during the lifetime of the Prophet. For example, ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib embraced Islam when he was only ten years old.
Zayd Ibn Thabit was one of the scribes who used to write down the Quran while he was still young. Anas Ibn Malik was the servant who was entrusted him with the secrets of the Prophet although he was just ten years old.
Many children later became caliphs, commanders and scholars thanks to the Prophet’s constant encouragement, care for their talents, and guidance to the straight path.
Ali Ibn Abi Talib
He was the cousin of the Prophet. He was brought up in the Prophet’s house because Ali’s father was poor and he had a large number of children.
The Prophet wanted to alleviate the burdens of life from Abu Talib so he took Ali to live with him. Ali remained in the Prophet’s house until his mission and he was one of the first three people to embrace Islam.
Ever since he was young, Ali was strong and courageous. When the Prophet migrated from Makkah to Madinah, Ali slept in the Prophet’s bed although he knew that the Quraysh fighters were waiting outside the house to kill the Prophet. He also knew that if they were able to enter the house, they would kill him thinking that he was the Prophet.
Ali Ibn Abu Talib participated in the Battle of Uhud and in the Battle of the Trench with the Prophet.
In the Battle of Khaybar, the Prophet gave him the banner, and said:
“I will give the banner to somebody who loves Allah and His Messenger and is loved by Allah and His Messenger. (Ahmad)
Ali was famous for his eloquence, rhetoric and profound knowledge of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet. He was one of the ten people given the glad tidings that they would enter Paradise. He married Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, and she gave birth to Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein who were the reasons for the continuity of the progeny of the Prophet. Ali became caliph after the martyrdom of `Uthman Ibn ‘Affan. ‘Ali’s caliphate lasted for four years after which he died as a martyr in 40 A.H.
Usamah Ibn Zayd
He was born in Makkah in the fourth year following the Prophet’s mission. He was born Muslim and he did not know any other religion except Islam. His father was Zayd Ibn Harithah, who was one of the first people to embrace Islam. Usamah was brought up in the Prophet’s house where his parents lived.
The Prophet loved Usamah as he had loved his father Zayd to the point that he made him and just like one of his family.
He used to say about him and Al-Hassan Ibn Ali:
“O Allah, love them for I love them”. (Al-Bukhari)
Usamah Ibn Zayd died in 54 A.H.
Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab
He embraced Islam along with his father when he was a young boy in the sixth year of the Prophet’s Mission. At that time, he was approximately seven years old. He migrated to Madinah before his father.
Ibn Umar was known for his close following of the Sunnah of the Prophet. He narrated many Prophetic narrations and was one of the companions who narrated the most number of narrations. He died in 73 A.H.
Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas
He was a cousin of the Prophet. He was born in Makkah three years before the migration to Madinah. Along with his father, he migrated to Madinah before the conquest of Makkah in 8 A.H. He accompanied the Prophet for two and a half years and narrated many Prophetic narrations.
Among these narrations is the following famous one:
“One day I was riding behind the Prophet when he said:
“O young boy! I wish to instruct you with some words. Adhere to (the orders of Allah) and safeguard His commandments, Allah will be watchful over you. Safeguard His rights and He will ever be with you. When you beg; beg of Him alone; and if you need assistance; supplicate Allah alone for help. Remember that if all the people desire to benefit you, they will be unable to bestow anything upon you except that which Allah has preordained (for you) and if all of them united to do you harm, they will not be able to afflict you with anything except that which Allah has predestined for you”. (At-Tirmithi)
Since his childhood, Ibn Abbas was very studious in seeking knowledge. His intelligence and good manners attracted people’s attention to him. The Prophet invoked Allah to endow him with religious knowledge and understanding. When the Prophet died, Ibn ‘Abbas was thirteen years old. He started a long journey in order to acquire religious knowledge and jurisprudence at the hands of senior companions. He became a great scholar when he was still young.
‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab used to invite him to attend his meetings with the prominent companions and to consult him in problematic issues that required deep understanding and wise judgment. ‘Umar used to tell him:
“You have indeed acquired deep knowledge that we did not.”
Ibn ‘Abbaas was famous for many titles such as the “Grand Scholar of the Nation”, and the “Interpreter of the Quran” because of his extensive knowledge of the Quran.
Ibn ‘Abbas died in At-Ta’if in 68 A.H. when he was seventy one years old.