I personally love the topic of this talk. It really highlights those who are not usually in the limelight. In this material world we live in, high value has been placed on external show of skills and abilities that are easily visible and pretty much tangible.
The extroverts are highly favored in this society, while the introverts are cast to the side, regardless of their strengths. Adults pay more attention to the outspoken and loud kids, associating intelligence to these visible verbal abilities, and automatically then attribute lack of intelligence or social skills to the quiet ones.
The silent, mostly hidden and unknown and unrealized strength is no longer sought for or valued, because just as we are so attracted to what we can see, touch, and hold in this materialistic concept we have embraced, we are then blind to the intangible aspects of strength and talents.
Unfortunately, we conduct ourselves based on this mindset, but fortunately, just because we humans fail to notice these people who don’t usually stand out, it doesn’t mean they are forsaken and abandoned. For their Creator notices them, and compensates them, and in this talk, Shaykh Mohammed Faqih brings our attention to these very people, and motivates us to keep doing the little things we do, and not to undermine them, for Allah notices. And that’s the only thing that matters.
Short Bio of Shaykh Mohammed Faqih:
Shaykh Mohammed Faqih is the doctor of etiquettes and mannerisms. His style in fashion and stride in walk makes you say “that man’s fit to be president”. Living in California, he has much material for class jokes and light-hearted jabs to make his life-learning lessons hit home. Above all else, Shaykh Mohammed has melted the hearts with lessons in tazkiyyah, akhlaq, and even self-discovery and psychology. Hailing from a lineage of scholarship, Shaykh Mohammed traces his roots back to the ancient city og Harar in the Horn of Africa. originally from Yemen, his forefathers immigrated to East Africa and played a central role in the Islamic history of the region.
Description of the topic as in the Ilmfest schedule:
The black woman who cleaned the Prophet’s (saw) masjid, the Persian slave who planted trees to purchase his freedom, the Jewish boy on his deathbed who believed in the Messenger of Allah (saw), the bedouin who would sell his goods in the market of Madinah; these were not the nobles of society, but they were important parts of the mosaic of the community and were successful for the Prophet (saw) noticed them and Allah noticed them.
Before each speaker began his talk, a short bio of the speaker (transcript above) was presented to the audience with professional pomp and glory on the giant white screens that also served as a close up of the speaker during the talk to the whole ballroom. When his was done, Sh. Mohammed Faqih said,
“I asked them not to play that. Because there were many other people behind the scenes who did great work, and they are not mentioned.”
I had taken only one AlMaghrib class with him, ‘Usul Al Quran’ in Detroit, Michigan, and so this was the second time I heard him speak live. After the curt and humble dismissal of his strong points in the presentation, he asked the audience,
“Who among you know who Umm Mihjan is ?”
If I remember correctly, no one raised their hand. He asked this a couple more times, and still no one gave an affirmative answer. And thus began his talk.
Umm Mihjan was the black lady who used to clean the masjid of the prophet saw, during his time, on a daily basis. She noticed the little things that would clutter the masjid. She volunteered to undertake this task of picking up after others in order to keep the masjid clean, and she did this without expecting anything from anyone save from Allah. Some people thought she was mentally challenged. These are the kinds of people who are willing to do what other people are not willing to do. Those considered insignificant are most significant in the eyes of Allah.
These are the walking giants, unnnoticed.
But the One who made them, made them giants.
It could be YOU.
When Umm Mihjan dided, the sahabah buried her and did her funeral rather quietly, and they didn’t inform the prophet saw about it. When the prophet saw missed her, he specifically asked where she was buried, and offered a janazah prayer on her. In fact, he chastised the sahabah on not informing him of her death such that he missed her burial. Then the people realized how great Umm Mihjan truly was, such that the prophet saw even went to pray janazah for her even days after she was buried.
Allah notices what you do. Ibn Katheer said that Sa’ad Ibn Aqra’ came to Umar ibn al Khattab who was the Ameerul Mu’mineen, bringing back news of the Muslim army’s victory in the battle against the Persians. Umar r.a. asked the names of those Muslims who died. Sa’ad mentioned the ‘celebrities’ (those who were well known) first. Then he said,
“There were so many other people that Amirul Mumineen don’t recognize.”
Umar broke down weeping. And he said,
“Allah knows who they are. He honored them through martyrdom. And how is knowing Umar going to benefit them?” And he kept on weeping.
There is where the prophet saw told the sahabah sitting around him,said that the next man to walk in the masjid, he is a man of jannah. An Ansari man walked in. He was not of the ‘celebrity’. The next day, the prophet saw made the same statement, and the same Ansari man walked in. And the next day, the same thing happened.
How many of you all know that sahabi?
Abdullah Ibn Amr wanted to find out what this sahabi does that earned him Jannah, so he asked the sahabi if he could stay at his house. The sahabi didn’t do anything extraordinary in his daily routine. He didn’t do any extra ibadah than others, but the only thing he did that was of significance was that, every night, before he went to sleep, he would let go of any grudges against anyone in his heart and would cleanse his heart of any ill feelings, anger, hatred towards anyone. He doesn’t archive these feelings. He deletes them forever.
What do we do? We archive these feelings until they grow into quite a massive archive, that may very well lead to a massive ‘heart condition’.
“Don’t archive your grudges.”
This sahabi, even after knowing the prophet saw’s statement about him, did he stop doing good? No, he kept on doing good even though his place in Jannah was pretty much secured. What would we do if we know we’re going to Jannah for sure? The prophet saw said it, and it is from Allah’s knowledge that He has shared with him (saw) that he was able to say this. Wouldn’t we jump for joy, and forget about continuing to strive?
Behave like the people of Jannah until you make it to Jannah.
There was another man, who walks on a road and noticed branches blocking the path. He went and removed it, and for this, this man was forgiven all of his sins by Allah.
This was his moment of not success, but his moment of glory.
If you want anyone to notice, let it be Allah.
Allah appreciated and forgave ALL of this man’s sins.
It’s not about how many fans you have on Facebook or how many likes you get for your posts and statuses. It’s about the little deeds, and nothing is little in the eyes of Allah.
The next time you change a diaper, don’t think of this as something lowly, but think of it as something holy.
At this, I glanced over at my daughter and grinned, for they have their share of diaper changing too. The play of words ‘lowly’ turned into ‘holy’ tickled me.
This may be your moment of GLORY.
Take on those little tasks you never took on because you’re always thinking of the bigger things.
Focus on eternal salvation – doing deeds that Allah loves and doing it for Allah.
Ask Allah to make that easy for you.
Photo taken from http://www.dreamstime.com/small-blue-chicory-1-imagefree1006736