Last night, I went to the kids’ room to check on them for the night as usual.
I found all four kids awake and talking animatedly. Way past their bedtime.
I chastised them for staying up so late, talking and laughing, keeping themselves and each other awake too long.
“Even Khalid is still awake!” I said to them with disapproval.
Khalid lay there next to his brothers, grinning at me.
One boy said, by way of explanation,
“لا ننام ولا ننيم!”
“We neither sleep nor do we let [others] sleep!”
This is a reference to Khalid ibn Al-Waleed during times of battle, who was described as,
“لا ينام ولا ينيم.”
“He neither sleeps nor lets [others] sleep.”
He often encouraged his soldiers to stay awake for portions of the night, engaged in tahajjud and worship. He himself did the same, while also strategizing, planning, and thinking about the battle of the day ahead. He was always awake, aware of every movement of his own forces and enemy forces, sending spies and patrol men to gather intel. He basically never slept, could never be caught off guard in battle situations.
And here is a group of four boys between the ages of ten and four, comparing their late-night slumber party to Khalid’s all-night vigils before battle.
But despite the craziness of their comparison, it still amazes and fascinates me that children can be so attached and inspired by the great characters of the Sahaba, the best generation that ever lived.
Who we introduce our children to matters.
Who we expose our children to becomes their role model, their aspiration, their ideal.
We as Muslims have such a rich history, teeming with men and women of lofty character and astounding abilities: the Sahaba molded by the best of mankind, Rasul Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم.
What a shame to fail to teach our children their stories and heroic feats, and instead let our children become attached to and inspired by cheap Disney characters or fictional Marvel superheroes.
We have actual, genuine, real-life superheroes in our Islamic history! We only need to teach our children their stories.