What type of men would you like to see in our Ummah, the community of Prophet Muhammad (sa)? What constitutes a man? Is it the moustache or the beard? There are so many who have both.

Manhood does not depend upon years. We can often see a seventy-year-old man with the heart of a child: he rejoices over trivial entertainment, sheds tears over petty issues, covets what he does not possess, and greedily clenches whatever falls into his small hands, so that others would not play with it. He simply is a small child with a moustache and beard.

However, by the grace of Allah (swt), there are children who, despite their young age, can be extremely manly in their words, deeds, thoughts, and noble behaviour.

Once, Umar (rtam) was passing by a group of teenagers playing on the street. When they saw him, they quickly scattered into different directions. Only one boy stayed where he was. His name was Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair (rtam). Umar (rtam) asked: “Why didn’t you run away with your friends?” Abdullah (rtam) answered: “Commander of the believers, I have not sinned, and I do not have any reason to fear you. The road here is not narrow, so I do not have to free it for you.”

Manhood – it is not in the size of your body or its height; it is not in the power of your muscles. Even hypocrites, the most mean and cowardly creatures on earth, possessed strong and beautiful bodies. Allah (swt) says about them: “And when you look at them, their bodies please you; and when they speak, you listen to their words. They are as blocks of wood propped up…” (Al-Munafiqun 63:4)

Abdullah ibn Masood (rtam), a famous companion of the Prophet (sa), was a very thin man. Once, when he was sitting at a gathering, his shins got exposed; they were very thin, as it happens with extremely thin people. One of the other companions started to laugh, but the Prophet (sa) said: “You are laughing about how thin his shins are? I swear by the One in Whose hand my soul is, on the Day of Judgement, they will be heavier than the mountain of Uhud.”

Manhood is not in the age of a person, not in the dimensions of his body, not in his wealth, and not even in his contribution towards society. Manhood is a quality which urges a person to scale the mountains, boldly reach for higher goals, and conquer difficulties and hurdles. Manhood is the ability to maintain your dignity and self-respect in any situation, and to move away from anything worldly and useless. It is in generosity, which encourages to give rather than to take. It is the feeling of accountability, which prompts you to fulfil your dues and responsibilities, before asking others to fulfil yours. Manly is the one who is aware of his duties in front of his Creator, his family, his religion as well as in front of other Muslims and himself.

Manhood is the power of morals, and the moral of power. It is having high moral standards, despite the situation a person may be in. Poverty does not affect his dignity, and wealth does not push him to arrogance and vanity.

The best, which a government can do, an education system can offer, and TV channels can encourage is raising of men, carrying in their hearts the same noble quality of manhood.

However, such standard of manhood can be nourished only in the presence of strong and correct beliefs, on the foundations of genuine virtue, and with love for justice and piety. If anyone wishes to take a different path, and calls towards manhood on the basis of ignorance, doubt, disbelief, sin, and brutality, such manhood will lack authenticity, because stripped of dignity, it will be empty and disfigured, like a plant, which instead of clean water, air, and light would receive bitter bile, stench, and pitch darkness.

Translated for Hiba by Laila Brence. Source: www.whyislam.org