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As a young adult, one of the blessings that Allāh bestowed upon me was being able to grow up in the city of Riyadh at a time when it held some of the greatest scholars in the world. Being able to be in the company of Shaykh Bin Baaz was an experience that provided me with beautiful memories that I continue to draw lessons from to this day.
For instance, it was the habit of the Shaykh that he would NEVER allow for any time to pass without trying to benefit from it, even if it was over a meal. It was quite common for him to address his students by saying, “Who will give us faa'idah (benefit)?” Everyone in the circle would all then have to mention a point of benefit or advice, no matter how small the circle. This is a beautiful habit that I tray to practice until today with my peers and students. I learned it from Shaykh Bin Baaz .
Of course while one person is speaking, others are searching their minds trying to come up with something that will stand out for their turn – a unique piece of information, a beautiful quotation of a scholar, an elaborate gem or stunning reflection. There was one gathering where what a person said stayed in my mind and taught me an astounding life lesson.
Shaykh Muḥammad Al-Farrag's turn came up, and he simply looked at the ground and began to recite the Qurʾān. He recited verse after verse of Surat Ale-Imran to the silence of the circle. When he was finished, I looked at Shaykh Bin Baaz and found his eyes were flooded with tears. “Jazak Allahu Khairan”, he said. No one that night said anything better than what Shaykh Al-Farrag recited.
Lesson: Make your greatest tool in reminding yourself and others the Qurʾān. There is nothing that is more effective to the hearts of mankind than the words of the Lord who created them. Remember that the difference between the words of man and the words of Allāh is like the difference between man and Allāh Himself.