People go to talks and retreats in hope of knowledge that will bring them closer to Allah. They take a pen and paper along to jot down all the knowledge that is being offered and then the notebook is taken home, possibly revised a little and then placed to the side for future reference. These are the “big” things that our Shayukh do for us because revising the topic at hand and then disseminating it in an easier way that’s tailored for the audience is a lengthy process that we tend not to see unless we’re the tea givers for those Shayukh.
And then there are the littlest things that our Shayukh do. I’m calling it “little” because you won’t notice the gems unless they are made aware to you. Furthermore, the Shayukh won’t do these things out of wanting to teach others but they’ll do it as they are implementing the teaching that their teachers offered them.
You’ll find it in those moments where your pen is still positioned though nothing is being taught due to there being a break or everyone is waiting for the next topic to be discussed. Insha’Allah, when your heart is open and your mind is attentive enough you’ll notice those little things and you won’t need to jot them down as they’ll remain in you.
Like the moment where we saw one of the Shayukh respectfully take the glasses of his elder teacher, wipe them with his ramal (cloth) with such gratitude and love, and then with a nervous smile to say “I hope I’ve cleaned them well enough for you” place them back into the hands of his teacher. Subhna’Allah such gentleness.
Or the moment where we witnessed a teacher being praised and all he did was look down to the floor as he whispered “Ya Allah forgive me. Please forgive me”. Everyone gleamed in praises for the teacher but all we could hear was his dua. Masha’Allah such humbleness.
Or the moment where the room falls quiet and the teacher says something with their eyes on you, so much so that you lower yours in order to pay them respect, but your heart understands that the piece of advice that they’re offering isn’t just for everyone but it’s directed at protecting you. Subhan’Allah such wisdom.
Another moment where though ill and fatigued a teacher came to class with goodness in his voice such that we wouldn’t be aware that an hour before class commenced he was indeed vomiting. [May Allah preserve him in good health. Allahumma Ameen] Masha’Allah such generosity.
Or the moment where they see that you’re on the brink of tears and are desperately trying to hide them so not to “cause a scene” and so the teacher calls for a break or directs everyone’s attention to the opposite direction, in order to allow the student to release the tears. Subhan’Allah such rahma.
These little moments are moments to reflect upon and to realise that sometimes even just observing a teacher without any words spoken is a teaching within itself. How much they give to us and yet we don’t appreciate or even notice as we’re too busy occupied in our minds.
May Allah provide our teachers and their most patient families Birr, Shifaa, and His Mahabba such that His Enabling Grace shrouds them in this world and more importantly the next world. May Allah make us students humble, gentle, patient, kind, and merciful to one another such that we emanate the good character of our Rasool (peace and blessings be upon him) who is the best teacher of them all. Allahumma Ameen. Allahumma Ameen. Allahumma Ameen.