Saturday, April 16, 2005


assalamu alaikum :)

the local schools were closed yesterday, resulting in a mass influx of kids to salat ul jumah. as a subsequent result of this, the masjid was packed to its periphery, meaning that any late comers would be subjugated to the nooks and crannies of the mosque. this meant no elbow space while one prayed. and that your feet actually had to touch your neighbors feet. anywho, i entered the main prayer hall, offered my sunnah supplications, sat down, and began to listen to the khutbah. a few moments later my eyes turned to kashif as he entered the room. now ill break for a moment to give you some much needed background on kashif:

kashif has been a member of the local muslim community for as long as i can remember, and the people of this community share a unique love for him. you see, kashif came into this world without the ability to see all that was around him. because of this ailment, people naturally sympathized with him. he, however never let his blindness keep him from living his life. coming to the masjid as a kid (often escorted by his brother or father) he would sit and talk with all his friends while the elder prayed, and as he entered his teen years he began to pray in congregation with the rest of the men. i recall a night during this past ramadan when i, along with my friends, took a break from qiyam during laylat ul qadr. kashif however never swayed, he stayed and prayed. as ashamed as i was of myself for not praying, i found some sort of solace in watchin him stand before His Lord. here he was, a man that had never seen the light of this world, still the the Message of Allah had permeated his heart, and as corny as this sounds that in itself became his source of guidance. what more could one need if they found Allah?

anyways i wont delve into his life too much, because personally i dont know him that well. my purpose for the brief background was solely to introduce you guys to kashif, so that you may better understand the following:

as i mentioned earlier, the masjid was jam-packed and there was next to no room in the hall. near the main entrance there was only enough space for one person, and a few feet down another space also enough for just one person. at this time, kashif and his father entered the masjid. seeing that his walking stick would be of no use (reason being the amount of people in the hall) kashifs father had kashif fold his walking stick as he scanned the masses for an open seating space. seeing that there was no space, the two decided to sit down right where they were. only problem was that there wasnt enough room for both father and son. his fathers eye however fell upon that open space a few feet down, and seeing that one cant speak during the khutbah, he kindly motioned to the brother next to that space to move down a little. the brother however didnt budge. my eyes soon became attentive to what was going on: kashifs father repeated his request, but the brother again ignored him. this happened three more times, and as you can imagine this made people angry and uncomfortable. kashifs father again did the same, but this time in a more desperate manner; he made it known that his son was blind and that he needed to sit next to him. this however was obvious, but again, the brother seemed to show no compassion. finally, in a harsh and unpolite manner he said "why dont you get up and move yourself!" at this moment i became enraged. i was about to get up and confront the brother (which did violate the rules of jumah) but i got control of myself and sat back down. i looked to my left and right and all the uncles shared my feelings. then what i saw moved me: kashifs father, obviously emotionally stirred by what had just occurred didnt say anything to the guy, but instead moved right along and ask another brother to move down a little. the expression on his face was apparent though. as much as he tried to hide it, the guy's actions had affected him. a look of saddness coupled with anger showed on his face. perhaps he was wondering how one could be so primitive and ill-mannered in conduct, especially in the House of Allah. i decided that id wait till after salaah, then id approach the brother and try to talk to him. however during the middle of the 1st rakat, a sense of calm came over me. i no longer wanted to confront the brother, rather i decided to leave him alone. i dont know what the verses being recited meant, but they fulfilled their task in reminding me to be conciouss of Allah and nothing else when i was in the masjid. what i saw though did have an impact on me. as muslims are we not obligated to help out our brethren? especially when they are in need of our help? i thought we were supposed to lay down our lives and more for our brothers? have we already forgotten the innumberable sacrifices the sahaba RA made for us? or are we simply ignorant of our history? in this precious religion of ours, every action of the believer affects another believer. thats why something as simple as smiling is considered charity, because one smile can in effect brighten up someones day. our Prophet SAW was a Prophet that wielded a bow and arrow simply for the well-being of his community, and nothing more. if we cant make miniscule sacrifices for our brothers, if we cant even yield way so that a blind brother might find some comfort in sitting in Allah's house, then what is left to say about us? can we not put aside our desires and self-interests for the greater cause? how are we to unite when matters like this cause division amongst us.

and this is why RasoolAllah SAW used to cry out in the night "ya Ummati, ya Ummati."

let Allah makes us righteous people, those who show compassion for all the afflicted, regardless of their faiths.

and Allah Almighty knows best.

ma'salama, your brother in islam
sheik speare