Love for loving a man.
My wife told me about something recently that reminded me of what Salem said last year. We were listening to a series of scholars and teachers taking turns addressing the students and public, on a regular Monday night. Salem says to me,
‘Bro, if these guys don’t get to heaven for their great love of the Prophet, I don’t know what will.’
*Pic: Prophet’s Mosque in Medina taken at dawn by Mansoor Suleman. He sells this photo in high quality print (64x36cm). Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested. If not, look with love.
Different places, will focus on different things. They might coincide or agree on a set of fundamentals. However either by principle that they each choose to highlight or prioritize, or by what the people tend be attracted towards organically, will be their set of focus.
One football team may have teamwork and diversity as their main thing, another might have pride of history and discipline, the other have something else. Likewise for centres of Islamic studies Mauritania, Cairo, Damascus, etc. will each have their own.
From my observation there are three. Firstly law, in terms of legal theoretical jurisprudence. Secondly spirituality, in terms of fixing the diseases of our own hearts, purification and simply said always reflecting the self first and not pointing to others.
Thirdly love, in terms of attachment towards the one Most Beloved by God Himself, His Messenger Muhammad bin Abdullah, peace and blessings be upon him. This is manifested in many different ways that never crossed my mind.
One to highlight is that, when the people here, including the local and international students from out of Tareem, speak of him (pbuh) in conversations or lectures – which is common – it is always with a smile and often enough with tears.
For them, following the Prophetic Tradition (sunnah), is not a Standard Operating Procedure often quoted but “I’m doing it because this is what an extremely special and superior individual did. And I’ll do it too as I love him and long to be with him.”
The small girl.
One of my wife’s classmates is from the north east of Malaysia, younger than most in the school. A thirteen year old, first year Arabic student. Like them she lives in the school and her family is back home. Coming from the same country, she goes to my wife as ‘the elder sister’ for any help needed, which has only been twice so far.
The first was when she indicated to my wife how when she fasts, she normally has rice porridge well known back home and she terribly misses it as since she came here, she’s had none. Students typically fasts as per Prophetic recommendation on 13-15thday of each Islamic month. A portion of them on Mondays and Thursdays as well.
It was a subtle request that was ridiculous easy to execute but her politeness, respect and non-presumptuousness took her minutes to convey that simple message to my wife. She brought a hot pot to school the next day and told the girl to pick it up by my daughter’s stroller, which she was too embarrassed to do.
Money is funny.
If you’re live-in student, the boys or girls school, you really could get by without needing any money for years. Food and lodging is free for those who can’t afford and upon request cash is given for certain things, including travel expenses to go home upon their completion of study.
School or tuition fees do not exist. Occasionally a box of clothes come from who knows where, and interested students take their time choosing what they want. I myself got a nice blue shirt during one session with Salem. The East Africans didn’t fancy it and tossed it to me. Not their style, but my kind of blue. 🙂
Her love for the Most Beloved.
Recently the small girl approached my wife again. So shy and polite she was, my wife started guessing for her what the matter was, as she was taking ages. In the literal sense, my wife had to put words in her mouth. Here it is paraphrased and summarized:
‘Mm. I’m not sure (looking down). Mm. I. Err. I don’t know if it’s okay. Mm. Well. The thing is. I don’t know.’ [Do you need money? You need help with something? Quickly tell me.] Mm. Well. Oh no. I. Err. There’s this book. [Okay and you need help to get it?]’
The book is not for class. It’s just something she wants to read. And in Arabic.
‘Mm. But I have no idea when I can pay back. How is that going to be? Mm. Err. I really don’t know. Mm. I’m worried. It’s like. [Listen. Don’t worry tomorrow you and I will go to the bookshop there and we’ll get what you need. It’s okay. It’s fine okay. I’ve to go now, I’ll see you tomorrow.]’
She then hugs my wife, in tears.
The book is about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).