There are moments in life, unexpected, that unfold before our eyes, leaving us in wonder over the Power of the Almighty, subhanahu wata’ala. Sometimes, Allah sends forth a person who speaks words, few in number, weighty in sincerity, that forever changes our lives.
Shaykh Saleh Al-Meghamsi (may Allah preserve him), Imam of Masjid Quba, went through such a humbling, lesson-laden moment that leaves us with much to reflect on. He relates his story saying:
I was in the intensive care unit, just beginning to regain consciousness after undergoing a 24 hour open-heart surgery, when the nurse in charge of me noticed a change in the blood. He informed a doctor, who informed another. A third doctor was then called, until 14 people, among them doctors and professionals, had gathered to discuss what they should do regarding my case. They were reading the signals from the devices over my head, and although I had no idea what the situation was, I could read fear in their faces. It seemed that the signals were not pleasant. They called Dr. Adam, a successful Sudanese doctor, to come and see. He studied the monitor and concluded that there was congealed blood on the heart and that it had to be removed. The news came down on me like a thunderbolt . The doctor sought my permission, and although fear began to overwhelm me, Allah guided me to utter the shahadah, followed by my head nodding in agreement.
I was disconnected from the devices around me, and the doctor left to prepare for the operation. At that same moment, there stood to my left a Lebanese nurse who seemed to feel sorry for me due to the situation I was in. Allah guided her to gently remind me:
‘Listen. Salli ‘ala al-Naby (send blessings on the Prophet), and your Lord will relieve it.”
Instantly, like anyone would respond, I said:
‘Allahumma sallee ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala Aali Muhammad.”
Just like that, I said it.
I said it and all the blood came down.
The signals indicated by the machines differed, and they were unsure as to what had occurred. They called the doctor back. He arrived, looked at the screen and said; ‘Shaykh Saleh, what we wanted to do and rid you of, Allah rid you of it from above the 7 heavens.’
This story is not about Saleh (the shaykh). It is about that woman whom Allah granted tawfeeq (success) to speak these simple words of reminder. And this is based on the teaching of the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam), when Ubayy bin Ka’b said, “I’ll devote all of my prayers to sending blessings on you.” The Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) said, “In that case it will suffice you from your worries.”
And Allah saved us from this distress with the sending of peace and blessings on his Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam).
But again, this is not about me personally, it is about the success of this woman, so that we do not think poorly of the Muslim women. If someone were to see her guise and dress, they would not assume that she knew Allah even for the blink of an eye. While I, known as the Imam and khateeb of (masjid) Quba, it did not cross my mind to say those words.
The story carries messages that we ought to reflect on for a moment. From the advice of the nurse, we are brought back to the teaching of the Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) to his companion, Ubayy bin Ka’b (radhiAllahu anhu), when he taught him that sending many salawaat on him is a cause of forgiveness and relief from worries.
Ubayy bin Ka`b relates: I said, “O Messenger of Allah (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam), I send much blessings on you. What proportion of my prayer should I devote to (sending blessings on) you?” He said, “As much as you like.”
I said, “A quarter?” He said, “As much as you like, and if you increased it would only be better for you.”
I said, “Then a half?” He said, “As much as you like and if you increased then it would only be better for you.”
I said, “Then two thirds?” He said, “As much as you like and if you increased it would only be better for you.”
I said, “I’ll devote all of my prayers to sending blessings on you.” The Prophet (sallaAllahu alayhe wasallam) said, “In that case it will suffice you from your worries and your sins will be forgiven.”(Jami’ Tirmidhi).
From the Shaykh, there is an example of humbling oneself and accepting the advice of others, regardless of the position we hold. Although he is a person of knowledge, this did not prevent him from heeding the advice of the nurse, responding with immediate action.
Finally, we should never underestimate the value of a simple word of advice. Whatever we know, an effort should be made to teach it to others. Do not belittle a sincere reminder, of appropriate timing, to your Muslim brother and sister. It may have a dramatic effect on their spiritual well-being; on their heart. Perhaps even literally.