Abu Hurairah relates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “People are precious metals, like the metals gold and silver. The best of them in the pre-Islamic period are the best of them in Islam, if they understand….”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
This hadith highlights the importance and worth of human beings. It also throws light on the hidden qualities and talents of people. Gold and silver are precious metals. They are generally held as the asset in government exchequers. Gold and silver are symbolic of the bounties God has blessed us with. Similarly, God blesses us with children. Miners discover gold and silver from the earth, purge them of dirt and filth; only then their worth and value come to light. Similarly, it is the duty of parents first to allow their children taking shape in the mother’s womb to see the light of the day. And after their birth, they should mould children, gold and sliver bringing up in their lap, on healthy moral footing, educate them to be good citizens and be thankful to God for blessing them with such bounties in their control.
The hadith implies that people are different in character, morals, and mental qualities. It also indicates that people are different in accepting reform. Some of them are easy, some need patience, and some are impervious to it. Furthermore, the reference to metal shows that people are different in respect to being noble and ignoble, just as metals differ in quality. Much of it all depends on the parents’ upbringing.