Thalaba Ibn Abdul Rahman (ra) was a young man at the age of 16. He always ran errands for the Prophet (SAW).
One day while walking though the city of Madinah, he passed by a house with an open door. Out of curiosity he took a glance inside. In this glance, he saw a light curtain being blown away from a bathroom entrance where a woman was bathing. He immediately lowered his gaze. With an extreme feeling of guilt and hypocrisy, his mind ran. Thinking to himself, ”How could I be of the companions, one that is close to the Prophet (SAW), one who runs his errands and be so horrible as to disrespect peoples privacy??”
He feared that Allah would reveal to the Prophet (SAW) evidence of his hypocrisy. His guilt denied him to ever show his face to the Prophet (SAW). So he ran away and headed towards the mountains.
Days went by and the Prophet (SAW) kept asking the other companions if they had seen Thalaba. No one had seen him. With the Prophet (SAW) worried about Thalaba, he sent a few of the companions to look for him everywhere, among them were Umar ibn Khattab (RA) and Salman al-Farsi (RA). They looked everywhere in Madinah, and on the outskirts of Madinah, until they came about a set of mountains between Makkah and Madinah where some nomads where herding sheep. The companions asked the nomads if they had seen a young man with Thalaba’s characteristics. They told the companions about a weeping boy. He has been here for 40 days. He comes down from the mountains once a day weeping and he drinks the milk they offer him. Then he goes back up the mountains weeping, crying, always asking for Allah for forgiveness, and saying words of repentance. So the companions waited until he came down and watched him. He had lost weight. His countenance reflected sorrow as he drank the milk that was mixed with his tears.
When Thalaba saw the 2 companions, fear and terror crept inside his heart as though the angels of death came to take him. He tried to run away but they chased him and grabbed him. Thalaba pleaded with the companions, ”Please! Please! Don’t take me to the Prophet (SAW)! Im too scared!”
The companions told him ”What is wrong with you oh Thalaba?? Take a hold of yourself!…Please come with us oh Thalaba!”
Thalaba pleaded with them not to take him to the Prophet (SAW) asking them if Allah revealed a verse about him saying he was a hyprocite? That he was a munaafiq??
The companions were committed to taking him to the Prophet (SAW) as they said ”Wallahi we have to take you to the Prophet (SAW)…It is a command from him!” and he was taken back to Madinah where the Prophet (SAW) came to see him.
He asked again if Allah had put him among the hypocrites or revealed that he was. The Prophet (SAW) assured him that there were no such verses. He laid out Thalaba’s tired, weak body and placed Thalaba’s head on his lap.
He said ”Ya Rasulullah remove the head of a sinner away from you!”
The Prophet (SAW) comforted him until Thalaba told the Prophet (SAW) ”I feel as though ants are walking between my flesh and bones.” The Prophet (SAW) told him it was death and his time had come. He witnessed while Thalaba’s head was on his lap, Thalaba proclaiming ”There is no god worthy of worship other than Allah, and that Muhammed (SAW) is the messenger of Allah!”
The Prophet (SAW) washed Thalaba and carried him to the grave. It is narrated that on their way to bury Thalaba, the Prophet (SAW) walked on his toes as though he were in a crowd. When Umar (RA) asked about this, the Prophet (SAW) explained that he was being crowded with the angels.
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.” [Surah Noor, Ayaah 30]
These were the Muslim youth of the past. They knew the hadiths of the prophet(peace be upon him) .They knew that the future of a Nation lies in their youth.
There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade:
1) Just ruler;
2)Youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic;
3) a man whose heart is attached to the mosques;
4) two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that;
5) a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: ‘I fear Allah’,
6) a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity;
7) and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.”
(Bukhari & Muslim)