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Ilm Summit 2010: The Power of A Smile

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By Mahmoud Sabha

Salamu alikum

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.

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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

Salam

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Amad

    September 14, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    That’s a beautiful photo. Who took it?

    • Ify Okoye

      September 14, 2010 at 5:49 PM

      Not sure who took it, but according to Danish, the little girl is a regular at the classes in Qabeelat Mubeen in Tennessee.

  2. Adam

    September 14, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    That was straight from the heart—Awesome post bro. BarakAllahufeek!

  3. Wael - IslamicAnswers.com

    September 14, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Nice little story. A good warning about the danger of the “whatever” attitude, and a good solution.

  4. Daughter of Adam (AS)

    September 14, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    I love hugging random sisters! It’s my goal at every conference I attend to try and meet someone new and befriend them if only for long enough to have a simple conversation.
    You just have to look for the kind of person who would NOT be offended by the gesture..

    I always thought guys wouldn’t appreciate things like hugs and smiles so much but I guess they do! masha’Allah :D

    • shiney

      December 9, 2010 at 6:06 PM

      Assalamu Alaikum sister! really, you like saying hi to random sisters? I’m not that social and the last time i tried to say salam to random sisters at the store or the mall, they gave me the wierd looks lol! =) but sometimes, ppl surprise me by behaving as if they’ve known me for ages! it really makes me feel good and welcomed=)

  5. Justin

    September 16, 2010 at 2:38 AM

    May Allah reward our brothers and sisters who seek knowledge.

    Daily Hadith Online

  6. Beast

    September 22, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Shaikh Waleed Basyouni has an amazing smile masha’Allah and is a gem. Great post.

    • Mahmoud Sabha

      September 24, 2010 at 3:08 PM

      Yes Sheikh Waleed has a great smile! I loved his joke, “that if you ever lose your smile, you only have to look under your nose to find it!”

  7. Zuleyka

    December 2, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    Little thing with huge impact. So sweet.. :)

  8. anonymous

    December 9, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    wow…the power of a smile! personally though, i think ppl shld have a lot more value for islamic knowledge than they do. I am DYING to go to Ilm Summit but i’m not that qualified. As i was reading this post, i was getting so mad at you for not wanting to go but alhamdulillah, Allah gave you the hidayah, through a smile:)

    • Mantiki

      December 9, 2010 at 7:04 PM

      A shame that the smiles of females must be hidden in public.

      • Mahmoud Sabha

        December 9, 2010 at 9:00 PM

        Women smile in public and private :). usually more than men too.

    • Mahmoud Sabha

      December 9, 2010 at 8:54 PM

      Yes alhamdulilah Allah completely changed the situation for me! Now I just miss it more than ever :)

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