By Mahmoud Sabha
There was nothing in this world I dreaded more than going to Ilm Summit 2010. I had been away from my house for school for 4 months, traveling all summer, and never got to spend much quality time at home. My parents kept bringing up the point that I am never home and always on a trip. On top of that I never liked people hyping up any event, because usually I come to realize that it was just a big flop. However I figured that I had already decided to attend this conference long time ago so it would be best to not make any rush decisions. I got on that flight and headed for Houston, against my wishes.
It was business as usual and I just stuck to the friends I knew from my area. The first night I heard a few awesome speeches from the scholars in attendance, yet my overall feeling remained the same.
As it came time for prayer, the students were moving chairs around trying to make room for everyone. My “whatever” attitude paralyzed me into simply being a spectator in a productive crowd rushing to and from every spot. As I stared into nothingness, someone from behind me laid his bear-like hands on my shoulder. I turned around to see the bright smile of Sheikh Waleed Basyoni, a man who had no clue who I was.
Instantaneously my doubts and ill feelings towards this summit completely changed into love, admiration and genuine brotherhood. Although I was someone new to both Ilm Summit and AlMaghrib in general, I felt just as welcomed as the most experienced man amongst them.
Thank you Sheikh Waleed