We all see them don’t we; even if our minds don’t like them, our tongues don’t greet them, our actions don’t identify with them…our hearts inevitably fall in love with them.
For we see them walking upon the earth in humility, almost as if afraid their heavy footfalls will hurt the earth.
We see them full of dignity and respect, covered in cloaks of honour preserving the beauty and light Allah bestowed upon them.
We see them smiling to one another, whether they know them or not. It’s always the same no matter who crosses their path…it’s always “peace be upon you dear brother, peace be upon you dear sister” and who amongst us does not want peace?
We see them honouring the old and showing mercy to the young. Helping an old lady cross the street and teaching patiently the young.
We hear them almost sing words in a language we are yet to understand, their voices loving every syllable as it flows off their well-practiced tongues.
They put the world on hold five times every single day, as they all flock towards a common building towards the success the world seeks.
We watch them place their head on the ground, the highest point of theirs kissing the lowest of places, upon hands and knees humbling themselves before the greatest of kings.
They are true practisers of “turning the other cheek”, for when the ignorant address them in harsh words they offer back words of peace.
When adversity strikes them they unbelievably smile…they say in the strangest of love filled timbre “it is the will of our Lord and what He wills He does”.
In affluence they are generous…and in poverty even more so? “Allah says: ‘spend, o son of Adam, so I will spend on you” (Al-Bukhari, 5332)
They open wide the doors of their homes for strangers they are yet to know… for “whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honour his guest” (Al-Bukhari, 6138)
They help the traveller and the wayfarer… the orphan and the widow.
Not an obscene word slips the tight seal of their ever quiet mouths. For “whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or else keep silent” (Al-Bukhari, 6138)
You’ll never catch them squandering time, or at places of foolish merry making.
They cherish and honour the women Allah blessed them with for they grew up learning the best of them was the one who treated their wife best. “The most perfect of believers in faith are the best of them in attitude, and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”. (At-Tirmidhi: 1162.)
They love their mothers like no other for they look to her and see Jannah…right beneath her cherished feet. For this religion of theirs that they believe in made every single woman a queen. For when she is born she potentially opens the door of Jannah for her father, when she marries she completes her husband’s faith, if Allah blesses her with children beneath her feet is their saving grace…yet we always thought they were oppressed…these women with no visible face.
They bear hunger and thirst from sunrise to sunset with smiles on their faces for every single pang of hunger and sore stress. For their longing goes beyond just water and food, with this sacrifice of a few hours they yearn for the gardens of eternal peace.
These beautiful souls that look hate in the eye and meet it with love the reaches the skies.
These people whom you’ve been taught to hate and oppress in a bid to liberate.
These people who seem a little strange to you with cloaked bodies and bearded face.
These people whom the world has bombed and killed and disgraced yet still die with smiles gracing their lips.
Those who realise and know that this way of life is the way to eternal bliss.
Those who cry in the silence of the night calling to the One who made this all exist.
They are the servants of Allah upon the earth.
“And the servants of The Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them (harshly), they say (words of peace). And those who spend (part of) the night to their Lord prostrating and standing (in prayer). And those who say, “Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of hell. Indeed, its punishment is ever adhering; Indeed, it is evil as a settlement and residence” And they are those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that moderate. And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden (to be killed), except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated- Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah forgiving and Merciful. And he who repents and does righteousness does indeed turn to Allah in repentance. And they are those who do not testify a falsehood, and when they pass near ill speech, they pass by with dignity. And those who, when reminded of the verses of their Lord, do not fall upon them deaf and blind. And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” Those will be awarded the Chamber for what they patiently endured, and they will be received therein with greetings and peace. Abiding eternally therein. Good is the settlement and residence.” (Al-Furqan: 25:63-76).
They have been blessed and chosen to see the truth, to accept the evidence. They have received the Mercy of Allah to seek to Him a way. They know the life of this world is not forever, it was not created to endure. They know that one day their eyes will close and their breaths will have reached their destined number. They know that they will die and that they will be resurrected to stand before their Lord and answer to Him alone. They know that everything down to the hairs on their heads belongs to He who Creates and they are theirs only by loan. For the very eyes, ears and mouths that we feel are ours will one day be granted an existence separate to us to testify for the things we’ve done with them.
“On the Day when their tongues, their hands and their feet (or feet) will bear witness against them as to what they used to do. That Day, Allah will pay them in full their deserved recompense, and they will know that it is Allah who is the perfect in justice” (An-Nur: 24:24-25).
These are people who have eyes that see beyond the here and now; People who are building palaces in a place beyond our wildest dreams, true investors, true seekers, true advocates; true visionaries…true slaves of the Master who only want to do what pleases Him.
I’m pretty sure you’ve met at least a single one of these blessed people; One of these souls that know. And if you haven’t, I sincerely apologize from the deepest depths of my own soul for this is who we as Muslims are supposed to be. This is the kind of people we are meant and created to be. It is truly a calamitous tragedy that we have come to a point where we have to say… “Do not judge Islam based on what you know of Muslims” for by saying that we have failed. We as a people should be beacons of light that call others to Allah by the very essence of our beings, by the light upon our faces, by the kindness and beautiful manners that we ought to display. We should be such that those who do not know Allah but know us come to know of The Master through knowing His slave. We all have it in us to be such people, to be such dedicated worshippers of He who is the sole deserver of worship.
Just close your eyes and picture yourself garbed in the raiment of Jannah. In a garden of extraordinary beauty and delights that no eye has ever seen or mind has ever thought of. Imagine yourself holding the hands of the ones you love and drinking from the fountain of Tasneem or Salsabeel. Just imagine being in a place where all you will ever know is peace.
“They will not hear therein any ill speech-only (greetings of) peace- and they will have their provision therein, morning and afternoon. That is paradise, which We have given as inheritance to those of Our servants who were fearing of Allah” (Maryam: 19:62-63).
Just see yourself free from the scorching fires of Hell having passed the last and greatest trial you will ever have to face. Imagine seeing him who came as a Mercy to the worlds; Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) eternally. Just think of all the blessings Allah has bestowed upon us for nothing that we have done but simply through His abundant Mercy…think of the Creator who is willing to increase you in every single good thing simply through giving thanks for what He already gave. “…if you are grateful, I will surely increase you…” (Ibrahim: 14:7). Ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth, the alternation of the sun and the moon, the rise and fall of the tide, the sway of the waves and the sheer might of the mountains. Ponder over the creation of Allah…and see His Hand in everything that ever was and ever will be for we are creations and not creators despite what we have learnt to invent.
They know. Those people we look to and coin with terms such as “extremists, wahabi’s, fundamentalists”. Those people who we look down at for having turned their faces away from the world and to its Master. Those people who live and die upon Islam despite what any other entity has to say of their way of life. Doesn’t it puzzle you? Why these people do and die despite how hot and hard being a practicing Muslim in such a world has become? Well it’s because it was never between them and the world. It was never about pleasing the servants but their Master. They know their reward is with Him alone. They know. So it doesn’t matter what you or I have to say about them and their choice of life.
“Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing in prayer, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord, (like one who does not)? Say: “are those who know equal to those who do not know?” only they will remember (who are) people of understanding” (Az-Zumr: 39:9
They know this, now it’s our turn to remember, to learn, to seek this peace they have found. For what wouldn’t you give to love and know the Master as He should be loved and known?