Your Seventh Question: Is the following statement a hadith and what is the wisdom behind it?: “The best of your youths are those who resemble men of mature age.” It also explains the wisdom behind Hz. Yusuf’s statement.


Is the following a Hadith, and what does it mean? “The best of your youths are those who resemble men of mature age, while the worst of your men of middle age are those who resemble youths.”1

T h e A n s w e r : I have heard that it is a Hadith. Its meaning is this: “The best youth is he who thinks of death like an elderly person, and working for the hereafter, is not one of those who become captive to the passions of youth and drown in heedlessness. And the worst of your elderly people is he who tries to resemble the young in heedlessness and passion, and follows the lusts of the soul like a child.”

The correct form of the second part you saw in the piece is as follows. I have hung it above my head for the wisdom it teaches. I look it at it every morning and evening and receive instruction:

If you want a friend, Allah is sufficient. Yes, if He is the friend, everything is a friend.

If you want companions, the Qur’an is sufficient. Indeed, for in the imagination one meets with the prophets and angels in it, observes the events in which they were involved, and becomes familiar with them.

If you want possessions, contentment is sufficient. Yes, one who is content is frugal; and one who is frugal, finds the blessing of plenty.

If you want an enemy, the soul is sufficient. Yes, one who fancies himself is visited with calamities and meets with difficulties. Whereas one who is not fond of himself, finds happiness, and receives mercy.

If you want advice, death is sufficient. Yes, one who thinks of death is saved from love of this world, and works in earnest for the hereafter.

I am adding an Eighth to your Seven Matters. It is like this:

A couple of days ago, a reciter of the Qur’an recited part of Sura Yusuf as far as,

Take my soul [at death] as one submitting to Your will [as a Muslim], and unite me with the righteous.2

Suddenly, like a flash, this point occurred to me: everything concerning the Qur’an and belief is valuable; however insignificant it appears to be, its value is great. Whatever assists in eternal happiness is not insignificant. In which case, it may not be said that this point is only a small point and not worth explaining or being given importance. And certainly, the first student and one addressed in matters of this kind, who appreciates the fine points of the Qur’an, Ibrahim Hulûsi, wants to hear this point! In which case, listen to it:

It is a fine point of the finest of stories. An elevated, subtle, happy, and miraculous point of the verse,

Take my soul [at death] as one submitting to Your will [as a Muslim], and unite me with the righteous,

which announces that the story of Joseph (Upon whom be peace), the best of stories, has reached its conclusion. It is this: the sorrows and pains of death and separation at the end of other happy stories make bitter the pleasure the listener has received from the story in his imagination, and dispel it. Especially if they tell of death and separation just when recounting the moment of perfect joy and happiness; this is even more painful and causes those listening to cry out in sorrow. However, although this verse tells of Joseph’s death just at the most brilliant part of his story, when he is Ruler of Egypt, united with his mother and father, fondly meeting with his brothers, and is experiencing the greatest happiness and joy of this world, it does so in such a way as to say: Joseph himself asked for his death from Almighty Allah in order to experience an even more happy and brilliant state; and he did die and did receive that happiness.

That is to say, there is beyond the grave a happiness and joy greater than the pleasurable happiness of this world, so that while in that most pleasurable worldly situation, a truth-seeing person like Joseph (Upon whom be peace) wished for bitter death, so as to receive that other happiness.

So see this eloquence of the All-Wise Qur’an; in what way it announces the end of the story of Joseph. It causes not sorrow and regret to those listening to it, but gives good tidings and adds further joy. It also gives guidance, saying: Work for beyond the grave, for it is there that true happiness and pleasure will be found. It also points out Joseph’s exalted veraciousness, saying: even the most brilliant and joyful situation of this world did not cause him to become heedless; it did not captivate him; he still wanted the hereafter.

The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One!

S a i d N u r s i

1. ‘Ali Mawardi, Adab al-Dunya wa’l-Din 27; Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din i, 142; al-Manawi, al-Fayd al-Kabir iii, 487.
2. Qur’an, 12:101.

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