‘(O people!) Be the springs of knowledge and the lamps of guidance! Stick to your homes and be like a light in the night, revivers of hearts, wearing worn-out clothes, you will then be known by the people of the heavens and be hidden among the people of the earth.’
– Ibn Mas’ood (radhiAllahu ‘anh)
I’m starting to notice that a lot of Muslim youth are getting into a kind of “quote culture” in that they like to post any statement that is remotely profound but it’s often just left at that. Meaning, we may post something and wait to get a certain number of likes or retweets and that’s it. There’s really no internal motivation to change based on the words of our pious predecessors. So I’m going to go against the current by posting quotes along with lessons, benefits and action items. :) Below are some for the beautiful quote above:
- Share what you know. Don’t keep your knowledge to yourself. If you have learned something from a teacher, scholar, lecture, etc. be willing to share that with others to increase the benefit and ajr. If you think about it, water is such an essential yet underrated part of life. It’s kind of the same thing with knowledge. People are generally unaware of how much knowledge they lack, but desperately need.
- Allah says in the Qur’an that He has beautified our hearts with Iman and that Iman is beautiful to us. Wherever you go, be the light of Iman and guidance by illuminating your gatherings with dhikr of Allah and His Messenger (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Sometimes we meet people and think that reminding them is of no use just based on our limited judgement of them. Allah says, Inna fa’atidh dhikra (87:9), Remind because indeed the reminder benefits. Sometimes people don’t process what you say right away, but it sticks with them. Allah did not give you or I the license to judge what is in someone’s heart, Allah even sent Fir’own a reminder!
- Take your portion of seclusion, as ‘Umar ibn al Khattab (radhiAllahu ‘anh) advised us. Don’t get too caught up with people and events that you forget to look inward. Spending periods of time alone helps you to reflect and weep over your sins, make lots of shukr and hamd, learn the etiquette’s of talking to Allah, and develop humility by realizing who you are and who Allah subhanahu wata’ala is.
- A light in the night does not just shine on its own; rather, it radiates the surrounding environment and stars. Use your knowledge with wisdom to help others with all that you have been blessed with. A light also makes that which is obscure, clear. You are able to see things with the proper perspective.
- Make mention of Allah and His Messenger (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) wherever you go, as this will not only serve as a reminder to you but to others as well. People’s hearts are dead these days and it’s the responsibility of the true ‘abd of Allah to remember Allah in secret and in public. You never know who may benefit and change their ways by something you say or write.
- Mend your clothes instead of throwing them out at the first sign of a tear. This was a sunnah of ar-Rasool salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam and many of the Sahaba as well. When you start to be less concerned with material things, that’s when you begin moving in the direction of true attachment to the akhirah. We know that the believers are those who, when they are seen, Allah is remembered. This means that everything about you should increase your yaqeen in the akhirah and the perils of the Last Day while serving as a reminder for others as well. When you take the time to mend something, it can break you a little and really make you realize who you are and where you are headed. Of course, we all know the story of ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab and his response to Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al Jarrah (radhiAllahu ‘anh) when he suggested the Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen should change his clothes before meeting with the Romans. SubhanAllah, he said that Allah gave honor to the Muslims through Islam and nothing else. Seeking honor (primarily) through anything else can be source of destruction, and we can see this happening all around us today.
- SubhanAllah, “You will then be known by the people of the heavens and be hidden among the people of the earth.” What more could we ask for? :) If we remember Allah, Allah will mention us by name and remember us in a gathering that is far greater than any gathering we may be a part of.