They were youths, yet mature youths.

"...They were youths, yet mature youths, their eyes fresh and free of evil, their feet refrained from approaching falsehood and futility.

They sacrificed and expended themselves in worship and in withholding themselves from sleep. They sold their souls which were to pass away for souls which would never die.

Allaah saw them in the latter part of the night, bending their backs, reciting the Qur'aan. Whenever one of them came to an Aayah mentioning Paradise, he would weep, longing for it. Whenever he came upon an Aayah mentioning the fire he would groan out of fear, as if the Hell-fire were directly in front of him.

The earth devoured their knees their hands and their foreheads (out of their constant prostration). They joined exhaustion in the night with exhaustion in the day. Their colour becoming yellowed and their bodies emaciated through standing long in prayer and frequent fasting - whilst they regarded their own actions to be negligible before Allaah.

They fulfilled their covenant with Allaah and attained Allaah's promise."

So let us hasten to be like them and to resemble them, since, as it was said: We are not in comparison to those who came before except like small herbs growing beside the trunks of tall palm trees.

And as 'Abdullaah Ibn al-Mubaarak said: Do not mention us whilst mentioning them, the fit and healthy when he walks is not like the crippled.

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