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God Noticed Her When No One Else Did

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Omar Suleiman

Channel: Omar Suleiman

Episode Notes

Would you have paid attention? A moving story.

Jumuah Khutbah delivered at the Valley Ranch Islamic Center on April 7, 2017.

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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We bear witness that he is the only one worthy of worship and unconditional obedience. And we asked him to send his peace and blessings upon His messenger Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, his family, his companions and those that follow. And we asked a lot to send his peace and blessings upon all of the messengers that came before and prophets that came before to join us with our messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and the highest level of generated for those Lama I mean, the brothers and sisters living in a place of privilege, either physically, or mentally, we always have the opportunity to turn the TV off or to turn it on, to experience pain from our place of privilege.

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When we feel like we want a dose of that, or when it's forced into our faces, and at the end of the day, when we are in our small circles, and when we are in our comfort zones, we are able to distance ourselves when we see fit, and to pretend that much of what happens in the world doesn't happen. And that's true, not just for our brothers and sisters in Syria, with the horrific images that we saw of the children, as they were suffocating to death from the chemical attacks. Because that's been happening for a long time. This was not the first time it's just that the images encounter us in a way that we cannot but see those images. That's also true here in our own Muslim communities and in

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our own wider community in DFW. We choose not to go into certain areas or certain neighborhoods and encounter poverty that exists all around us. We choose not to encounter some of the unfortunate realities of our of our city. And we choose to disconnect ourselves even internally as a community, from some of the situations of transgression and oppression, of desperation and frustration. And pretend that those stories don't exist. People stopped coming to the masjid because they feel like they are not cared for. And yes, that is not an excuse for anybody. But at the end of the day, we need to understand what happens and why is it that people disappear? And why is it that people that

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are physically present often are still invisible, because we fail to recognize the trouble that they are in to penalize you are here right now for salata Juma, one of the contentious issues of the jurisprudence of the Friday prayer is the issue of praying to recognize when you walk into the masjid and the hotel has already started. And I'm not going to hash out that debate here because it's a valid difference of opinion.

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There's a Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that no one of you should sit down until he prays to us. And so that's what the apparent meaning of the Hadith is. And that's what why some of the schools of law have determined that even if you walk into the Muslim than Juma has started, then you need to pray your to cause on the other hand, some of the scholars say no, there was a context and indeed there was a context whether or not that means that the command is valid or not, is where our scholars differ. And inshallah there's correctness in either opinion, that a man walked in and the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam saw his condition.

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And the messenger sallallahu wasallam wanted people to take note of his condition, meaning by the way, that he was dressed in the way that he looked, there was clearly something wrong. there clearly was economic distress. So when he walked in, and he sat down on the profit slice, I'm asked him if he prayed to darker eyes. And he said, No, so the profit slice, and I'm told him to stand up and pray to Christ and some of those scholars, may Allah have mercy on them that took the other opinion. They said that that was a specific situation, whether the law is this or that the situation though is significant, that it was of the character of our messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam to try to

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draw the attention of people to try to draw the attention of the community, to our brothers and sisters that suffer from things that maybe we don't see, that maybe we don't pay close enough attention to, that we are likely to turn a blind eye to. And what I'd like to do in this whole debate is actually to share with you the story of one woman because this is a phenomenal woman. This is an incredible woman, and like all of the companions of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, she has an incredible story. All of the companions of the messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam had their unique stories. And one of the things about our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is that he

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actually used to listen to their stories, and he used to encourage them to tell their stories. So whether it's the story of salon and fantasy, or the story of Tommy knows that a daddy or whether it's the story

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billable robots are the story of hubbub. Whatever story it is the profit slice. And I'm one to the community to know the story of that person. Because each person that's sitting here as well has a story. And though it might not be as heroic or as spectacular as the stories of the companions of the prophets lie, Selim, we all have a story. We all have our struggles that others don't see. And either we hide those struggles very well. So others look at us and think that we must be doing fine, or our struggles are apparent, but the community has the privilege of ignoring those struggles with our messenger, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, he wanted the community to know one another, at a deeper

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level, and to hear their stories, and each one of them had a beautiful story. This story is a story of an incredible woman. And the way that her story is known is that if you walked into the messages of the Prophet sallallahu wasallam, you knew that there was something special about this woman, I saw the Allahu taala. And her, she says that I used to visit this woman daily, and sit with her. And she used to say, a line of poetry. She used to say, well, Yo, man, we shot him in RGB. I've been in the home in Boulder till kufri. And Johnny. And the day of the scarf was one of the wonders of your Lord, or one of the wonders of our Lord, the day of the scarf was one of the wonders of our Lord. It

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was on that day that he saved me from the shores of disbelief.

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And I still would hear her saying this over and over and over again, reciting this line of poetry to herself. And just like you all, she had no idea what it meant.

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She heard the line and she wondered, what is this woman talking about? Maybe it's a poem that she had from her tribe are from her lands. And they were, of course, a poetic people. And there's a deeper meaning that I'm not understanding. So she said one day I just asked her, I said, you know, every single time I sit with you, and every time I see you, you're reciting this poem. What's your story? The story of this woman,

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she says, and she was an Abyssinian slave girl. She was from Abyssinia, which is modern day northern Ethiopia. And she was a slave girl to one of the bedwin Arab tribes before Islam.

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And she said that I was amongst this tribe and I had no family. I had no connection to anybody. I had no friends, I had none. I mean, she was essentially a strange somehow unless he was he's living amongst these people. And she's a stranger amongst them. She said, I used to serve the family of my master. And I used to travel with them wherever they went, and wherever they settled.

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And she said that one day, the daughter of the master came out. And she was wearing this we shot and we shot has a scarf in the Arabic language, it refers to a red leather. And at least in this particular situation, a red leather shawl or scarf that you would either wear on your shoulders or you would put around your waist. Traditionally, the Arabs used to put golden coins on it, or some jewelry on it or something valuable on it. And it was a means it was a means of beautification. It was also a distinction.

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A very powerful assign of power. So the daughter of my master used to wear this we shot. And this was a particular red leather shawl or scarf that she used to put on her waist, or she used to put around her neck. So one day, she went to sleep.

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And when she went to sleep, a bird came and thought that it was a piece of meat because of its color.

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So the bird picked it up and flew off with it.

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So when she woke up in the morning, when she woke up, she started to scream about it, that her way she was missing her scarf was missing. So she called out to her father and she called out to the elders of her tribe. And she said someone took my scarf.

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So obviously, what did they do? They all looked at me.

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And they all came to me. And they started to interrogate me and say, What happened to her scarf? Did you take it away? Did you sell it? Are you hiding it? Where is it?

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They automatically assume that she was the one to blame. So she said, I told them I said, a bird came, grabbed it and took it away. And maybe the bird thought that it was a piece of meat.

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And when she said that, she said that my master said to me, couldn't you come up with a better lie than that? I mean, you could either come clean and say that you stole it, or that you're hiding it or that you gave it away to somebody.

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But if you're going to lie at least come up with a good lie. At least say something that makes sense. At least say that, you know, maybe she dropped it. She forgot it somewhere.

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Say something that makes sense. Don't make up a lie. That doesn't make any sense. So she said, I said to them, I swear to you, that's exactly what happened.

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So she said that, as I said that they started to search me. And they started to hit me. And they did not spare a single part of my body, except that they searched it for that we shot.

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And as she's standing there, and feeling as she's feeling and crying for help, she said that the bird came and dropped it right in between them.

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When that happened, she said, they all look shocked, and they looked and they saw that we shot. And she said, I screamed out to them. And I said, how the lovely to him, Tony, be he? Well, no, I mean, who Barry, this is what you accused me of. And I was innocent the entire time. And she started to scream at them because it was exactly as she said, that bird came back and just drop that scarf that we shot right between them. When that happened, they felt so guilty for doing that to me, that they freed me.

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So now she's in the middle of nowhere. She's a free woman, she's technically free to go. She's not an Arab. She doesn't belong to any of the tribes. And she heard about the call of the Prophet sallallahu wasallam in Medina.

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And she heard that the prophets lie Selim that most of his followers were from the slaves and from the weak ones and the oppressed ones, that the message of the messenger sallallahu wasallam was one that was empowering to people like her people that were in her situation.

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And so she made her way to the Prophet sallallahu wasallam.

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And she accepted Islam.

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And when the prophets lie, some saw her. He recognized her situation. This was not like the slaves that were becoming Muslim in Mecca, which were the majority of the first converts were slaves that were becoming Muslim.

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This was not a woman that was familiar with that lens and now they're in Medina. She was not like the young homeless man in a sofa that would sleep in the back of the masjid. She had no body and the prophets lie some looked at her and he recognized her situation. Now I'm gonna pause here for a moment. Many lessons that we can take from the story up until this point number one, the messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said data to them alone. This application of the oppressed Lisa Bina How have been a lie he Java, there is no veil between that supplication and Allah, even if the one that was making that supplication was a disbeliever.

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This woman wasn't a Muslim, but she called upon Allah subhanaw taala for help, and she was oppressed. And Allah Subhana hoods Allah gave her what he gave her or made that way out for her.

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But beyond that,

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there is something special about this woman. And the prophets lie. Some told us that sometimes someone special might be in front of you. And you're not paying attention because they look disheveled. They look out of place. They look like they have no value in this society. And whether or not you yourself, are an elitist or a classist, you naturally will internalize some of the dominant notions of power and value in your society and start to view other people through that lens. Even if it's yourself. You might devalue yourself because in your society, you are to be looked down upon because of the color of your skin, because of your economic circumstances. Whatever

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it may be, you might actually be little yourself.

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And the prophets lie Selim, he says, and another Hadith from above oredo, the Allahu taala and who wrote the Ashraf there might be a person who's just shoveled Metformin above, literally the imagery being shoved away from people's doors. When they go to anyone's doors, they are shoved away low oximeter, Allah.

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But that same person, if they took an oath upon a law, a law would honor that oath. So though all of the people see nothing in that person, see no value in that person, Allah Subhana Allah see something special about that person.

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When the prophets lysozyme saw this woman in front of him that had no family, no tribe that had a special story, and that was actually grateful to be in front of the prophets lie Selim, and interpreted all of what happened to her as a means of pushing her to the messenger sallallahu wasallam. her entire life story, in her mind had been interpreted as an experience to lead her to that ultimate experience of standing in front of the prophets lie Selim and embracing Islam from the hand of the messenger sallallahu wasallam.

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Everything was and it made it all worth it. It made it all worth it. What is I used to say the prophets lie some started to do.

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He went and he built her a home inside the message it

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he put a low roof and a tent inside the masjid, a home inside the home.

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even heard about him a lot remarked.

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And he he likened it to Zachary. It said I'm building them up for Imodium. This was not millennium, the mother of Isa or the daughter of Milan. This was just some Abyssinian slave girl that had you know, had this incredible journey to Islam, and the messenger slice that um went and he allotted a portion of the mustard for her

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and she would stay in that portion.

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Now many of you have heard the next part of the story.

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This was the woman that used to clean the masjid.

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And it was not that she was hired to do so. When she used to notice anything in the masjid, she used to go and she would pick it up and she would clean it. It was her love for the house of Allah subhanho wa Taala she was not brought in as a slave to clean the masjid. She lived in the masjid. And she would go and she would clean up anything that she saw. And I showed her the Allah and her says that I used to go and I used to sit with her and visit her and the prophets lie Selim had us there is a special place that that woman occupied to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, because he knew that Allah love that woman. That that was one of those secret hidden gems. Only our

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close friends of Allah subhanaw taala close friends of God that people would not look at twice. He knew that sallallahu alayhi wa sallam so I felt compelled because if you love the messenger, slice them, you love those that he loves.

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And every time she would sit with her, she would hear her recite this poem. Well, Yeoman, we saw him in RGV rabina. And the day of the scarf was one of the wonders of our Lord, Allah in the home in belted kufri anjani. Verily, from the shores of disbelief, he saved me.

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She interpreted her experience that way.

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And some had a lot. There's a powerful lesson in that in and of itself that many times, a person looks back on an experience where Allah subhana wa, tada took a situation that was seemingly disastrous and turned it into converted it into a means by which they would be empowered. Some people look back on it with bitterness, some people look back on it with praise and gratitude. That was this woman. When she looked back on that day, she didn't think about the harassment, she thought about the freedom that allowed her to encounter her actual freedom, which was being able to go to the Prophet sallallahu wasallam and join him and his salatu salam in Medina, all of the other stuff

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was a footnote.

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That's why she's one of those LDR of Allah. That's why she's one of those special people in the sight of Allah. So if you walked into the message of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and he looked back in a society where that scene was not extraordinary in and of itself.

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A woman cleaning the masjid would have not been an extraordinary sight. One of the many servants that existed in that society, maybe you would have walked through the doors of that machine and looked at her and said, Hmm,

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oh, well, let me pray my son, and continue with my salon. She's cleaning up the budget. That's all you would have seen of that woman, the entire story of that woman would have been hidden from you. And her value as a result would have been to you what it was to most other people.

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But the prophets I seldom noticed her. Allah noticed her

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and the messenger sign some comes out one day, and he notices that she's not present for the entire day.

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And he Salalah honey was someone just even actually, the wording for cada is salatu salam literally means he missed her.

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He wondered where she was. He noticed it right away. It didn't take the prophets lie. Selim many days to notice that she's missing. She's not here. And so he asked a lot whining wasallam Where is that woman

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and they told her Yasuda law. She died last night.

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And she died at an odd time of the night. And somehow, if you think about it, you know, this woman died in the messages of the prophets lie. Selim, was freed by the prophets lie some had her home built by the prophet slicin. I'm in the message of the prophets lie Selim.

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And she died at night. And it was an odd time of the night. So the Sahaba thought that it was not the right time to bother the Prophet sallallahu wasallam to come and pray the janazah. So instead, they washed her and they prayed on her without waking the messenger slicing them up on the profit slice, I'm heard that they did that. He was so angry and upset. And his being upset, was for many reasons, one of them that he wanted to prey on her and he wanted to leave her janazah. Another one that he understood that the Sahaba did not see how valuable this woman was and who she was, and they did not know about her position with Allah.

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And so he said to them, Take me to her grave. Don't you know that these graves are lit up by my prayer for them.

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And the messenger slice on goes to her grave, and he prays over her grave. And by the way, this is the only incident that we know of in the seat of the prophets lie some of a person who had the janazah done for them twice, once by the Sahaba. And then with the Prophet sly cinnamon, presumably maybe another group of Sahaba with him, but he found her valuable enough to go and to pray janazah on her again, even though the best generation of people already prayed and as on her, I'll take the I would have loved to have the Sahaba pray at my janazah but the prophets lie, some knew that something was special about this woman and he went to her grave, and he prayed for her again. And we

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know that Allah subhana wa Tada. lights up the graves by the death of the messenger sallallahu wasallam. And may Allah Subhana Allah have mercy on that woman and give her the companionship of the prophets like Selim and genesis for the DOS as well as us a llama. I mean, the point is the brothers and sisters, that if you would have walked into the mouths of the prophets lie Selim, would you have noticed her?

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Would you have thought there must be a story here? Would you have seen value and some handle a day in and day out, we see people around us that are in need. And we devalue them, whether they're in front of us, or they're a few miles away from us, or we see them through our computer screens. And we don't take them seriously. And somehow to law, we allow the media to assign even when we should be emotional and saddened over a conflict. And when we should not throw away the political language of how these children suddenly became children of God when they were being gassed. But they were not children of God, when they were being rejected into our land, and their parents and their

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grandparents being held at airports, and rejected. Throw away the political discourse and talking about you and I. What about the child in Burma? What about the child in Somalia? What about the child in Kenya? What about the child in the South Central African Republic? What about the child in Kashmir? What about the child in Syria? What about the Palestinians? What about the Yemenis? And I could go What about what about what about what about what about I don't even bother to even say the names anymore in my dear. We just say in every place because if I named 30 countries, one of you would walk up to me after the hope and say chef, you missed.

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And you'd be right. You would be absolutely right.

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at UK?

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Where does it end? How about South Dallas?

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How about Erving?

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How about people in front of you? We should not allow for the indicators of a person's value that society accepts to become our indicators of a person's value. Do we value people by money? Do we value people because of their celebrity? panela when someone who's a celebrity has a minor tragedy, it's a major tragedy for everybody else. I guarantee you, they'll be okay. There'll be fine. They'll get over their bad haircut or their celebrity breakup or divorce. They can cry themselves to sleep in their million dollar mansions, and something else will come along for them. There are people whose experience you have not encountered

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and even within our community, even within our community, our Messiah, our moms are due out our activists are not more valuable as human beings, as each and every single person who attends the massage and doesn't attend the massage each and every single person of this oma.

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We need to experience and try to encounter what's happening and not allow those indicators and those values to become our own. I leave you with this one Hadith. It's the hadith of son of Masato the Allahu taala. And he says that the prophets lie some was sitting

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down and he tested the community a man walked by. And the Prophet slicin said, What's your opinion of that person? They said, the oddest little law. This is a noble man. By Allah, he asked for a woman's hand in marriage, he should be given that woman's hand in marriage. And if He intercedes on anyone's behalf, then he should be given that intercession. And if he speaks, people should listen to him.

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And the prophets lie, some stayed quiet and another man walked by and the prophets lie. Some said, Well, what do you say about that man? So the auto suit Allah, this person is one of the poor is one of the impoverished Muslims, he doesn't have anything. If he asked for someone's hand in marriage, he would be turned away. And if he spoke, no one would listen to him. And if he sought to intercede on anyone's behalf, no one would take him seriously. The prophets lie some stood up and he said, however, hiren min mill out of the mithila, he said, that person is better than an entire world full of that person. That person's value is so much more, you're not paying attention

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to the gems in our community, and to those that are in need. Pay attention. Don't let people's stories only be known to you, when those with agendas try to make them known to you. We ask Allah subhanaw taala to allow us to have vasila to have not just sight but to have insights, to allow us to see deeper into our own selves and to the diseases that plague them, to allow us to see deeper into the destructive flaws of the heart and to cure them and to allow us to see deeper into the situation of the people around us. And to cure those problems through us. We ask Allah subhanaw taala to rectify our hearts and rectify through us to guide us and to guide through us. We ask Allah

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subhanaw taala to place us in the service of the people and to place us in the service of his earlier those beloved friends of his that are hidden amongst us We ask Allah Subhana Allah to Allah, never to allow us to be from those who oppress, we ask Allah Subhana Allah to Allah never to be allow us to be amongst those who wronged others and we ask Allah subhana wa tada to support us and to support our brothers and sisters, wherever they are when they are wronged. allama Amina Kurokawa there was stuff a lot he will accompany certain Muslim infest a Filipina hola for him

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hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa

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