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Having breakfast with Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen is not something that can easily be forgotten. I knew it was a special honor that I was among those who attended such a gathering. A breakfast was arranged between the Shaykh and the students of Gulf high schools who had made the trip out west to perform Umrah that spring.

After we finished eating, the Shaykh started his talk. It was general advice to the students of knowledge. We were shocked by the amount of knowledge he had, and personally, what I loved most about him was how his thoughts were so organized and clear.

In the question and answer session that followed, he was asked about some rulings on taking pictures and the difference between those images made by humans and those that were only a reflection on a lens. He explained that the forbidden ones in Shari'ah were the ones made by humans. He was then asked about video recordings, and he said they were not allowed.

I then said, “But Shaykh, is it not the same as capturing a reflection? No human is involved in creating the actual image.”

He said, “Yes, but the tape has images saved on it which are reflected onto the screen using light.”

I objected, “If I bring you a VHS tape now, you will not find any images.”

The shaykh then humbly said, “If this is true, I will change my position,” and indeed, he later did change his opinion on videotaping.

Later, we went to the Haram for the Dhuhr prayer, and I was walking with him the whole time, asking questions and listening to his answers. When we entered the Haram, the prayer started, and the Shaykh went to the open area, getting as close to the Ka'bah as he could. I was right behind him. We lined up, and he had his besht robe underneath him. Standing beside him, my feet were on fire! The ground was so hot! At that time the masjid did not have its new marble flooring that stayed cool all year long. The Shaykh noticed me moving my feet, so he stretched his besht out, and he grabbed my foot and placed it on the top of his besht after noticing that I was hesitant to do so.

I saw how humility manifested itself in knowledge and in action that day.  I may not remember most of the words of advice the Shaykh gave us that morning now, but I learned that what will really remain after us for our communities, our spouses, our children, and those whom we get to know is not our words, but our actions and attitude.

This is a weekly series of stories about my teachers and what I have learned from them through my years of studying with them. If you enjoy these stories and lessons and think they should continue, please show your support by commenting here and liking and sharing the post on my Facebook page!

About The Author

is Vice President of AlMaghrib Institute and Director of Clear Lake Islamic Center (CLIC). He is a frequent guest speaker at Universities, Conventions, Radio Talk Shows, Television, Interfaith meetings, and community centers nationally and internationally. He is also a member of the North American Imam Federation (NAIF), Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA)-Fatwa and Research Committee, Director of Texas Dawah Convention, and Advisor to numerous Islamic Societies/Organizations around the US. Shaykh Waleed Basyouni graduated with a Bachelors in Islamic Sciences from Al-Imam Muhammad University, KSA; did his Masters in Islamic Theology, World Religions and Modern Religious Sects from Al-Imam Muhammad University; and acquired a Doctorate in Theology. He is also an instructor at the American Open University in Alexandria, VA, USA, and serves as, the Imam of Clear Lake Islamic Center, Houston, TX, USA. Shaykh Waleed has Ijaazahs in reciting the Holy Quran and in several books of Hadeeth, awarded by various scholars. He studied with great scholars time such as Shaykh Ibn Baz, Abdul-Razzaq Afify and others.

9 Responses

  1. Hassen

    Masha’Allah, what a beautiful short story. This is true knowledge and sincerity manifested.

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    • Mullah101

      And humbleness (humility) of a great scholar “…….. If this is true, I will change my position, …..” .. Allah-hu Akbar..

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  2. ahsan arshad

    what a valuable experience-Thanks for sharing. its one thing to know about the eminence of shaykh uthaymeen and read his works but how shaykh uthaymeen dealt with people is another. this short story would remain with me forever inshallah.

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  3. salma

    it’s great post, a moving piece of writing. this story has many hidden meanings and symbolic value.

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  4. Waleed Rahman

    JazakAllahuKhair, this was really inspiring. I love how you tell these stories.

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  5. UMM Hani

    Masha Allah….Inspiring and Amazing….Surely actions speak more than words…I wish if our Imams knew this…I always have a rude picture of Imams because that’s always the case….

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  6. O H

    May Allaah have mercy on the great scholars of the deen. This is an amazing series, Tabarak Allaah

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