We preserved these limbs in our youth, so Allah preserved them for us in old age

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said in part of his famous hadeeth to ibn ‘Abbaas:

احْفَظْ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْك

“Preserve the limits of Allaah and He will preserve you…”

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, while explaining this hadeeth, mentions an amazing story about the famous judge and Shaafi’ jurist, Abu al-Tayyib al-Tabari:

و كان أبو الطيب الطبري قد جاوز المائة سنة وهو ممتع بعقله وقوته ، فوثب يوما من سفينة كان فيها إلى الارض وثبة شديدة. فعوتب على ذلك ، فقال : هذه جوارح حفظناها عن المعاصي في الضغر ، فحفظها الله علينا في الكبر

Abu al-Tayyib al-Tabari exceeded the age of 100 yet his intellect remained very much intact, as did his strength. One day he leapt off a large ship he was on onto the ground. When reprimanded for this, he said, “We preserved these limbs from disobedience in our youth, so Allaah preserved them for us in our old age.”

[Majmoo’ al-Rasaa’il ibn Rajab 3/100]

And Ibn Kathir mentions the same story with the wording:

وقد توفي في هذه السنة عن مائة سنة وسنتين، وهو صحيح العقل والفهم والأعضاء، يفتي ويشتغل إلى أن مات، وقد ركب مرة سفينة فلما خرج منها قفز قفزة لا يستطيعها الشباب، فقيل له: ما هذا يا أبا الطيب ؟

فقال: هذه أعضاء حفظناها في الشبيبة تنفعنا في الكبر، رحمه الله.

And he died at the age of 102, and he retained his intellect and understanding and physical abilities, giving fataawa and working until he died. And he once rode a ship and when he disembarked from it, he leapt a leap which not even a youth could do! So it was said to him, “What was that, O Abu al-Tayyib?!”

So he replied, “These are the limbs which we preserved (from committing sins) in our youth, so they benefit us in our old age.” May Allaah have mercy on him.

[al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 12/100]
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2 thoughts on “We preserved these limbs in our youth, so Allah preserved them for us in old age

  1. Pingback: Ask that his eemaan be preserved! | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “Indeed, We will be its Guardian”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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