Download PDF: [S] The Young Qadi

It is reported that Qadi Yahya bin Aktham was nominated as the official Qadi by the Khalifah in Baghdad Shareef at the young age of only twenty. He was nominated as Qadi of Basrah.


However, since he was very young, the people began to murmur among themselves. In fact, once, in a gathering, someone asked him his age. He replied, “I am older (in age) than Hadrat Sayyiduna Itaab bin Usaid – may Allah be pleased with him – who the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – nominated as the Qadi of Mecca Shareef when it was conquered by the Muslims. I am also older (in age), than Hadrat Sayyiduna Mu’az bin Jabal – may Allah be pleased with him – whom the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – nominated and sent to Yemen to be its Qadi. In age, I am also a few years older than Hadrat Sayyiduna Ka’ab bin Musawwar – may Allah be pleased with him –  who was nominated as the Qadi of Basrah by Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him.”


When the people heard this instant reply from Qadi Yahya bin Aktham, they had no words to say. From that moment onwards, he was highly respected by the people in Basrah. (Thamaraat Al Awraaq)

It is mentioned that once, Qadi Ayyas bin Mu’awiyah presented himself in the court of the Qadi of Damascus and he had presented a case against a certain person who was considered very rich and influential. He then mentioned to the Qadi present that this person had oppressed and had eaten his wealth. However, the Qadi scolded him for saying something like this against such a person who was also highly respected. In fact, the Qadi mentioned that he was young and his opponent was much older, hence he should remain silent.


However, Qadi Ayyas mentioned that even though he was younger, but he was supported by the truth.  Again the Qadi shouted at him to remain silent. He then replied that if he remains quite, how will the truth be revealed. The Qadi then asked him to say a few words but informed him that whatever he said, it will not be good.


The young person then recited the Kalimah and after saying this, he mentioned to the Qadi that indeed his oath had been broken because he had recited the Kalimah and there were no better words than this.


It is mentioned that when this incident was eventually brought to the attention of the Khalifah in Damascus, he removed the original Qadi and replaced him with Qadi Ayyas bin Mu’awiyah. (Thamaraat Al Awraaq)


This also proves that age is certainly not the criteria for attaining a lofty position and status. There are many blessed souls in Islam who attained amazing positions in Islamic history due to their knowledge.