Talking to the Youth Series (I)
What is the meaning of the statement of the Messenger of Allaah – salallaahu alayhi wa sallam: Al-Barakatu ma’a akaabirikum [Blessings lie with your elders]?
Answer: ‘Blessings lie with your elders, goodness is with your elders. Elders are two types: those who are elders by the virtue of their knowledge; their knowledge about the Book and Sunnah made them elders, though they may be young in age; there is barakah with them. So when you see a scholar upon the Book and Sunnah teaching both and imparting them according to the Methodology of the Salaf (may Allaah be merciful to them all) know that such a [young] scholar is among the elders.
There is (an additional) barakah with those who are elderly among the scholars. Whoever is calling to the Book and Sunnah in truth which is the methodology of the Salaf, such is an elder. Elders (among the people of knowledge) surpass one another with their age and knowledge.
The second type of elders are those who are old in age even though they may not have knowledge, these people also have blessings and goodness with them, even when they don’t have the knowledge of the Shariah, the wisdom they have about life has not eluded them.
For this reason, O brethren, people of desires estrange people from the older scholars and those who are old among (the general) Muslims because they (the people of desires) know that the scholars cut their way of doubts, and those who are ordinary old Muslims guide the youths to what is good by virtue of their temperament and experience.
Today some older Muslims warn the youths from falling into rebelling and making vile statements against the rulers not with the knowledge they possess rather the wisdom they have acquired at old age. So when the people of desires realize that the stumbling block between them and stealing the youths are the elders and scholars, they revile, abuse and blackmail the latter, and they estrange the youths from them. They do tell the youths: ‘Your fathers are old really but they are ignorant so come to your fellow youths.’
The matter has got to a level that a youth with enter upon his father and will not accord him any worth. The father will say: ‘O my son! O my son!’ But he sees his father as someone who knows nothing consequently he will be stolen by the people of desires.
Some of the youths will enter the house of his relatives as if he is a lion, his parents will sit and he will hardly greet them, he will enter his room and veer off again to his fellow youths! By Allaah, this is from the ways of people of desires.
As for the people of Sunnah, they command that the Muslims should stick to the elders (who are upon the Manhaj of Salaf) the elders from among the Muslims, tapping from their experience.
By Allaah! None will honour an old Muslim expect he who is himself honourable, and none will despise an old Muslim except he who is himself despised. Barakah is with the elders – in knowledge and age.
Whoever is desirous of barakah should stick to the elders among the scholars (of Sunnah) and those who are of age among the general Muslims, let him honour them and give them their rights.
Allaah knows best.
Answer by Ash-Shaykh Sulaymaan ar-Ruhaylee, may Allaah preserve him on goodness.
English transcription and translation by Aboo Aamir Ishaaq bn AbdirRaheem.