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We were walking back to my teacher's Riyadh home from the masjid after the Isha prayer when all of the sudden an old car stopped near us. A Pakistani worker got out to greet my teacher, Sh. Hamad Al-Shaetwy. The Shaykh was surprised to see him.
“Where you have been?” exclaimed the Shaykh, “I've been looking for you. SubḥānAllāh, la illaha illa Allāh!!!!” The shaykh kept repeating it. The man told the Shaykh his story, explaining why he had been gone for more than 2 years. He then politely said, “Sh. Hamad, I'm sorry I didn't finish the work on your house. I know I left it in the middle, but it was not my choice. I'm sure you heard.”
The Shaykh said, “Don't worry, I need to pay you for the work you did do for me. I've been looking for you all this time, and I couldn't get hold of you.”
The man said, “Shaykh, don't worry. It's not much, and I never finished the work anyway,” but the Shaykh said, “Come tomorrow to get your money, and I have something I want to show you.”
Later on, the Shaykh told me, “I've been looking for this man everywhere to give him 1500 SR that I owe him. I had given up on ever finding him.”
I said to myself, “Why doesn't he just give him his money right now? Why does he want him to come back tomorrow? It's not much money for my shaykh to give!”
The next day I found out the reason. Sh. Hamad had asked one of his friends in Pakistan to build a masjid on behalf of this worker since he hadn't been able to find him to pay him, and the masjid's opening ceremony was that very day. His contact had promised to send a picture of the completed masjid the next day, and that was why he asked the man to come back then. Sh. Hamad showed the man the masjid's pictures, and after giving him the money, he asked him to look after the masjid that was built in that man's region in Pakistan.
The man said with tears in his eyes, “Shaykh, my family and I have often discussed our dreams of building a masjid just like it. One day, we will have money, and we will build masjid just like this one!”
Afterwards, I asked the Shaykh how much the masjid had cost. After some insistence on my part, he said that it cost more than 30,000 SR.
At that moment I realized that 'Ilm is far more than just information we memorize and words we say.
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