Monday, April 23, 2007

 

The Noble Man From Zaytuna

Back in June of last year I was thinking about life, purpose, meaning and the way everything evolves.

My mind drifted from person to place to event, and in the midst of a melancholic hullabaloo I landed myself thinking about the ‘Noble Man from Zaytuna’.


I sat and recalled the many times this man had inspired me. I counted my blessings to know that I would be setting off onto the Rihla and have the great opportunity to learn from someone whom I’ve respected for many years. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has touched the lives of many, in numerous remarkable ways. I am just one of the scores whom he has inspired and motivated in a positive way towards goodness.

The aim of this write-up has been a combination of:

1. to thank our blessed teacher for impacting my life in a way which has allowed my spirit to grow through happy and sad times

2. to tell you: my readers, that God Almighty works in the most Miraculous ways and that we should start to recognise the miracles that are happening around us all daily

3. to acknowledge that I am a blessed individual and although there may be much that I may not have; I have much to be happy about. I have an awful lot to cherish from the bounties that He has sent this way. Living in the same time as this Noble Man is just one blessing that I have bothered to count; there must be so so many more blessings that I haven’t even began to acknowledge

4. I think it is important for us to look at the way in which our scholars and guides have impacted in our lives. And I wanted to at least attempt this with one individual before I depart from this world. We should all remember the many favours of those around us and steer clear of forgetfulness. Even if we don't write down how God Almighty brought these noble guides into our life; we should at least set aside some time to reflect what life would have been like, had we not been introduced to these individuals?

5. to remind myself that I am part of Bani Adam as he says.


These are a few things which I wanted to share.. excuse the writing style but life is spontaneous and short.. and here is a man to whom I owe almost a decade worth..



"It is 1997, I am at university.

I am mesmerised by the voice of this one American individual living in Santa Clara. I have brought his tapes and borrowed some from the Islamic Society Library. He is on TV on the ‘Muslim’ slot on one of the stations. Everyone seems to be talking about him. He is just awesome.
His words repeat themselves in my ears and I think he talks sense.

We start our Islamic Society newsletter and the editor chooses to end his introduction by his words. I make tape recordings of all his talks and keep them.

It is 1998*, he is visiting my city. I am too sick to go. My friend tells me he was wearing his white combats and walked past her and her husbands’ stall.
Wow, I sigh.

It is 1999, the sun is trying it’s best to pierce the chill of an Autumn morning, I am listening to “Educating The Muslim Child” by him. I have an interview later this morning at a Muslim School. His words make me a tad bit more confident.
I get the job.

The years are passing...
I am becoming somewhat ‘detached’ from the Muslims in my community as I focus on my ‘self-discovery’ mission.
Who, what and how am I?

The opportunities are endless; I am learning new skills and building the foundations of a stable teaching career.
I am seeing success everywhere.

He is in my country I hear.
I can’t go to visit him.
My travels have become limited: I am a sufferer of migraines.
I miss out on the opportunities to hear him live.
This saddens me.
‘But I have his recordings’ I tell myself.

It is February 2003 and I have now done my Hajj.

The year ends and I spot him on the cover of a glossy magazine.

It is 2004, I make new friends. I give them his recordings because I know they will like him. They too, are in love with him.

It is February 2005 and I am in pain.
I am told to purchase a CD entitled: ‘17 Benefits of Trials and Tribulations’ with the advice: “Share it with others”.
I do.

It is Monday 2nd May 2005.
I am in the Wembley Conference Centre and I see him for the first time. He is full of hope, mercy and compassion.
I am in awe.

I purchase the CD set of ‘Purification of the Heart’ by him.
Soonafter I purchase a copy of his book by the same title: I open the book to see his signature inside. My world!
I start to follow his words from the CD as I flick through the book – my concentration levels are on the all-low.

It is mid-September and he comes to my city at last! I feel so graced.

Myself and my friend intend to go to listen to his next talk tomorrow at another city – but I have a migraine accompanied by an erratic tummy; I am unsettled all night. My friend’s nephew is in hospital. We both miss the opportunity to listen to him again.

A week has passed and I receive something in the post.
It is a copy of ‘The Content of Character’ translated by him.
A kind soul narrated to him that we were meant to come but couldn’t make it and thus I receive a signed copy with my name in it too! I am soo happy – I can’t believe how lucky I am.

It is still Autumn 2005 and my hands are still in pain.
I have mail from a well wisher.
I open the envelope to find a tiny piece of cloth that was used to clean the Kabah by him. He must be such an honourable man to have cleaned the Kabah I begin to think.

It is February 2006 and I will be flying away for 2 months in a week or so time. He is in the UK again.. and this time with his teacher.
My friend and myself drive up north one cold and rainy evening and see him and his teacher as they pass before us.
My, my, we are just a metre away from him.
He looks so radiant.
God bless him always, I take that image away with me to Pakistan.

It is March 2006 and I am in Pakistan.
I am finding it difficult to understand people. I read the ‘Purification of the Heart’ and my difficulties subside.

It is June 2006 and I have been accepted onto the Rihla – where he will be teaching!!!

I am so blessed I think I will soon go mad.

It is August 2006, I am in the lift at the hotel in Jeddah.
I am fretting and running late for my lesson.
I don’t want that to happen and to dishonour the teacher. The lift should be going down – but what is this: it starts to go up to the fifth floor!
Oh my goodness!
I am sure to get late now!

I see someone with a cream coloured apparel walk in.
Oh my world!
It is him!
I finally have the opportunity to say Salam to him.

I am not late for my class afterall - I arrive the same time as my dear teacher.


And here I end.. for now.."



I know our dear teacher does not descend from the line of the final Prophet Alaislam – but through him I have been reminded on numerous occasions that we are the Children of Adam. Sadly, we live in a chaotic world where it is all too easy to forget that our common Father was a Prophet. I believe it is therefore very important that we embody the concept of Bani Adam as brought to us by our beloved teacher Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. And I thank God Almighty for making me live in the same age as this great Inspirator.


* - I think this is accurate.


All images are taken from the Zaytuna Website.

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Comments:
This is your best post ever! I love our dear beloved shaykh, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. I too am blessed to be alive in his time alhamduLillah.
 
Taslim your words brought tears to my eyes as I was reminded of the many times Shaykh Hamza has brought clarity to my world through his recordings, may Allah grant him a long life and reward him for his continual efforts to encourage our ummah to grow spiritually.

Jazakallah Khair for your words - K
 
Prior to practicing, i sat in front of the ka'ba, begging Allah for a sign that i was going to be ok

That night, i had a dream i was going to the Haram, i was greeted by a handsome man at Babul-Umrah, he told me to sit where i usually sit as someone wished to meet me. And so i went, there sat the Messenger of Allah, peace be on him, who smiled at me, embraced me and carried on as he was, reciting the Qur'an in the spot i habitually sat in.

2 years later for the first time i saw the man on a video who greeted me - Sheikh Hamza Yusuf.

To this day i have not been able to tell him this dream, even in 2005, on my honeymoon, whilst he was in the same city, in al-Medina. I met many great Ulema, i even sat in Sheikh Ya'qubi's lesson. I roamed the masjid countless times - still could not find him.

InshaAllah, one day i will.
 
That is one amazing dream!
 
WOW! Amazing post sister Taslim! Notice how the lift went up! He rank is high alhamduLillah!
 
ALL PRAISES ARE DUE TO HIM THE LORD OF THE WORLDS & OUR HABIB PEACE & BLESSINGS UPON HIM.

Apa, i truly love you for the sake of Allah aza wa jal and hope that we are both blessed with the company of our Habib sallAllah alayhi wa sallam and our pious and most humble teacher shaykh hamza and others on that day to come.

May Allah the Most Kareem increase our beloved shaykh and grant him the best of the best in everything. May our beloved teacher increase with every blink of an eye and may we be granted a portion of his hima and goodness. Ameen Ya kareem.
Remember me in your blessed duas!

p.s are you free for driving lessons sometime soon? lol.
 
Assalamu Alaikum

Captivating article sister Taslim - just brilliant. Almost as though i had written it - my experience of Sidi Hamza Yusuf has been parallel.

Shahban Ali
 
Assalamu alaikum

Dear Taslim

May Allah increase you in more sincerity and love for this beloved deen, I congratulate the sister who had this owe inspiring dream, may Allah elevate your station and grant you jannah With our beloved Habib Sallahu alayhi wassalam.

With love always and your duas.
 
a poignant, heartfelt and inspiring story that should be read and told to all those at a low ebb. May Allah bless the Shaykh, the author, the readers and the facilitators, inshaAllah, Ameen.
KUAAM
 
ANONYMOUS 1

Thank you for your kind comment.

ANONYMOUS 2 - K

Ameen to your prayers and thank you for the kind comments.
 
ANONYMOUS 3 - DREAM

Thank you for sharing this beautiful dream with us all my dear brother. I pray that very soon your words will be conveyed to our great teacher. I was so moved by reading it, thank you so much for emailing it to me and allowing me to post it up here.

God bless.
 
ANONYMOUS 4

An amazing dream indeed.


ANONYMOUS 5

Yes! The lift went UP!! I never thought of it that way :-) Thanks!


ANONYMOUS 6

Ameen to all your duas a thousand fold my friend.

Yes I am always free to book you in for driving lessons ;o) Just give me a bell!


Br SHAHBAN

Thank you!


ANONYMOUS 7

Walaikumslam,
The dream was by a brother. Please remember him in your duas also. Thanks for your kind comments and Ameen to your prayers.


ANONYMOUS 8 - KUAAM

Thank you and ameen to the prayers.
 
Dear all,

I must admit reading your lovely comments and prayers today sent a deep emotive feeling in my being. The prayers that you have all made for us to be with the Beloved Habib and for our Teachers to be elevated alongside him have left me in awe.

I pray that the Beloved Habib is joined by all the Children of Adam Alaislam. I hope that God Almighty gives us all the ability to live as the true Bani Adam as taught by our dearest teacher and guide Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.

God Bless all.

Peace and Prayers
Bint-eh Adam

x x x x x x x
 
Dear sis,

I will never forget your kindness of sending me a copy of that Hamza Yusuf CD - I still listen to it occasionally, by His grace. Allah reward you for your kindness & timely reminders.
 
Assalamu alaikum,
JazakiLlahu khairan for sharing your yearning. May Allah Ta’ala bless all he has endowed with knowledge in their selfless endeavours to bring the Deen into our hearts, and assisting us to actualize it in our lives, Ameen.
Wassalamu alaikum
 
ABU DHARR

Alhamdulila don't worry about it. Just keep listening to it, and don't forget:

"You're in Safe Hands."

Glad to see you appear in bloggy-land.. will we see an update on your blog?

Peace from England
 
ANONYMOUS

Walaikumslam

Thanks for reading and Ameen to your prayers.
 
He is a saint in my eyes. I am appreciative and thankful to Allah that I am alive in his time. Just can't imagine how garbage my life would have been had he not come into it. Indeed, he is a noble man. Just look at his pictures....wow.
 
Salams Taslim Apa,
Jazak'llahu Khayran for sharing this with us, I really really really enjoyed reading it! I felt I was with you the whole way through your experience. Indeed Shaykh Hamza is a great blessing for us, and we are so lucky to be around during the same time as him. May we be fortunate enough to meet our beloved teacher in the near future, and take many words of wisdom from him! Amin!

Wasalams,

Sidra :)
 
Sis BeA, This isn't the first time I've read this post; I didn't know what to say the first time and I still don't have the words to accurately depict what I truly wish to convey. May Allah ta'ala always protect and guide you towards Him, ameen xxx
 
Salaam 'Alaikum

Sheikh Hamza's words changed my life, literally. He opened up a world for me where the beauty of Islam was clear in a time and place where Islam was anger, intolerance, black clothing, shunning, and no heart. Allah subhannahu wa ta'ala has given him something special and is clearly using him for a noble purpose.
 
Sheikh Nuh gave a public talk in Sultan Bahu Mosque in Birmingham a couple of years ago. During the questions, someone, trying to create fitna, asked Sheikh Nuh about Hamza Yusuf and mentioned some horrible things. Sheikh Nuh then spent about five minutes talking about Sheikh Hamza and all his praiseworthy attributes. He concluded by saying that he considers Sheikh Hamza to be one of the awliya and a figure of great historical importance.

In 1997 Sheikh Hamza changed our lives. He made us, through the power of his oration, throw our TV out, and adopt an madhab. Allah preserve him, increase him, and give him a long long healthy life for our sake.
 
ANONYMOUS 1

He is a saint in my eyes. I am appreciative and thankful to Allah that I am alive in his time. Just can't imagine how garbage my life would have been had he not come into it. Indeed, he is a noble man. Just look at his pictures....wow.

Yes I agree.



SIDRA
Walaikumslam. Amin my dear :-)



ANONYMOUS 2 - E-Poppie
Ameen x x x x x x



UMM ZAID
Walaikumslam & thank you so much for sharing that :-) Indeed he has something special!



ANONYMOUS 3
Thank you for your input! And ameen to the prayers.
 
WE WANT TO SEE A PART 2 OF THIS ASAP!! SubhanAllah! Keep up the good writing :)
 
Part two! Part two! Part two! PLEASE! If you have gone to the Rihla, then we expect a part for each day at the Rihla :)
 
KK & ANONYMOUS

Part 2?!
You guys must be kidding!!!

You realise it took me about 10 months to do this???

LOL - no I didn't go to the Rihla this year.. But a part each day hehehe

Thank you and God Bless you - you guys made me smile alot :-)
 
salams
great post 'brought tears to my eyes
May Allah preserve Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
 
Such a beautiful account SubhanAllah, just reading it makes me want to know him so much more, an amazing teacher in our times yet there are still people unaware, May Allah make us closer to the righteous such as Shaykh Hamza and increase our love for Him by becoming aware of the blessings granted to us. Jazakallah khayr for this sister Taslim and may Allah always keep you in good health xx
 
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