Two Words

He had never prayed two rak`ah (units of prayer) in his adult life. Born and raised in Egypt, he had continuously heard the athan (call to prayer) and the iqama (second call to prayer) rolling through the streets, calling the believers to prayer, but he had never voluntarily accepted the call. This included refusing to pray at the masjid (mosque) on the first floor of the apartment building in which he lived; He passed by it day and night, on his way to work, on his way to spend hours at the local Hookah Café with his friends, and on his way home to his wife and children, only to start the routine of neglecting his prayers again the following day.

On one Friday, he was suddenly hit by a novel idea. “Why don’t I just try Friday prayer today? Just to see what it’s like? I’ll just try it,” the man thought. He came in late to the masjid; The Khatib (speaker) was already speaking. As the man was looking for a place to sit, he heard the words of the Khatib, “The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) has told us:

كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ، ثقيلتان في الميزان، حبيبتان إلى الرحمن: سبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم

“Two words are light on the tongue, heavy in the balance, beloved to the Merciful: ‘Glory be to Allah and by His praise. Glory be to Allah, the Immense.’” (Bukhari)

The man, preoccupied with having just entered and finding a place to sit, only heard a few of the Khatib’s words. He sat, perplexed, turning the fragmented words over and over in his mind, “Kalimatan (two words)… habibatan (both beloved)… ila-Rahman (to The Merciful)… Subhan Allahi wa bihamdi (Glory be to Allah and by His praise)… Subhan Allah il-`atheem (Glory be to Allah, the Immense).” He had lost complete focus on the rest of the khutbah (sermon), overtaken by these words he had heard in passing, working hard to make sense of what the words could possibly mean.

After the prayer, he approached the Khatib directly. “Is all what you’ve said in the khutbah today true?” he questioned. Surprised, the Khatib responded, “I’ve said quite a bit in the khutbah today. To what specifically are you referring?” The man replied, “You said some words… KalimatanhabibatanilaRahmanSubhan Allahi wa bi hamdih, subhan Allah il-`atheem.”

The Khatib smiled in recognition. “Yes, those are in fact from a blessed hadith (narration) from The Truthful himself ﷺ. He told us:

 كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ، ثقيلتان في الميزان، حبيبتان إلى الرحمن: سبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم

“Two words are light on the tongue, heavy in the balance, beloved to the Merciful: ‘Glory be to Allah and by His praise. Glory be to Allah, the Immense.’” (Bukhari)

The man stood, overwhelmed, awestruck, in a daze. The words had penetrated through his heart and embraced his soul. Captivated, he continued to repeat the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ over and over to himself:

كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ، ثقيلتان في الميزان، حبيبتان إلى الرحمن: سبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم

“Two words are light on the tongue, heavy in the balance, beloved to the Merciful: ‘Glory be to Allah and by His praise. Glory be to Allah, the Immense.’”

He walked out of the masjid in a trance and left for his home. Upon entering, he gathered his wife and children. “Have you heard,” he began to tell them, “the words of the Prophet ﷺ? He has told us:

كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ، ثقيلتان في الميزان، حبيبتان إلى الرحمن: سبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم

“Two words are light on the tongue, heavy in the balance, beloved to the Merciful: ‘Glory be to Allah and by His praise. Glory be to Allah, the Immense.’”

From that moment, the man transformed. From his home, he would leave to work, from his work, he would go straight to the Masjid, and from the Masjid, he would immediately go back home to his wife and children. All the while, two words kept his lips moving and his tongue wet with remembrance, “Subhan Allahi wa bihamdi, Subhan Allah il-`atheem.”

Soon, his friends from the Hookah Café noticed his continued absence. They came to his apartment one day. “Where have you been?” they asked. “We haven’t seen you smokin’ hookah with us for a while.”

A beautiful, wistful look came over the man’s face. “Haven’t you heard?” He replied to his old crew from the café, “The Prophet ﷺ has told us:

كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ، ثقيلتان في الميزان، حبيبتان إلى الرحمن: سبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم

“Two words are light on the tongue, heavy in the balance, beloved to the Merciful: ‘Glory be to Allah and by His praise. Glory be to Allah, the Immense.’”

And this is how he spent his days; reminding his family, his friends, those in the masjid and those who passed by in the streets, about the beloved words to Allah, those heavy words on the scale, those words light on the tongue, “Subhan Allahi wa bihamdi, subhan Allah il-`atheem.” The man had gone from a person who never prayed, spent little time with family and frequented the house of hookah instead of the House of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), to a person who longed for Allah (swt), whose eyes were filled with tears, whose tongue, heart, and soul burned with the inscription:

كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ، ثقيلتان في الميزان، حبيبتان إلى الرحمن: سبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم

“Two words are light on the tongue, heavy in the balance, beloved to the Merciful: ‘Glory be to Allah and by His praise. Glory be to Allah, the Immense.’”

Soon, he fell ill. It had only been a few months since he had gone to the masjid, since he had first heard the beloved words of the Prophet ﷺ by the Khatib in a Jumu`ah (Friday) khutbah. He told his son to go and to ask the Masjid administration to call upon that very Khatib to come visit him in his illness.

When he was informed, the Khatib remembered the man immediately and rushed to his apartment. Upon being let in, he saw the man, sleeping in his bed, the doctor sitting at his side. The Khatib sat at the foot of the bed and waited for the man to awaken. Finally, the man stirred and he noticed, at the foot of his bed, the very Khatib who had related the beloved, noble words of the Prophet ﷺ.

The man looked at the Khatib. He then asked him, “Have you heard? The Prophet ﷺ has told us:

كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ، ثقيلتان في الميزان، حبيبتان إلى الرحمن: سبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم

“Two words are light on the tongue, heavy in the balance, beloved to the Merciful: ‘Glory be to Allah and by His praise. Glory be to Allah, the Immense.’”

With that, the man passed away.

The Khatib in this story is the teacher of my Arabic teacher. My Arabic teacher related this incident to me and continued to stress that it wasn’t a story from books of the past, it wasn’t a story coined to tug hearts, it was the true story of a man who was completely disconnected from Allah (swt), but to whom Allah (swt) gave a passing thought to enter the masjid, and who Allah (swt) blessed with hearing the words of the Prophet ﷺ at a time and in a way which truly impacted his soul and final actions in life.

My teacher then told me, “The Prophet ﷺ has said: ‘Convey from me, even if it’s just one ayah [verse]…’” (Bukhari).

We never know what word or action, done with a sincere intention, will truly be a means of impacting another person’s life to come back to Allah (swt).

Let’s stop judging people; let’s stop driving people out of mosques because “we” deem their dress, their swagger, their accessories, or language as something “unsuitable” to the House of God. Let’s stop assuming they’ll never be guided to “our righteous path” (since we’re so righteous, we guided our own selves, right?) and thus resolve to harsh words or disapproving stares. Perhaps those who “we” think are far from Allah (swt) will pass in a more honorable, beloved state to the One Who guides.

Let us be the first to cling to the beloved words to Allah (swt), “Subhan Allahi wa bihamdih, subhan Allah il-`atheem,” and let us warmly, sincerely and smile-fully be a means of helping ourselves and others come back to Allah (swt)—with His Power and Mercy—through relating the beautiful words of Allah (swt) and His Prophet ﷺ, through action and speech. We never know what small, miniscule act, may be a means of guidance for ourselves and another, and a means of possibly entering jannatul firdose al `alaa bi ghayri hisaab—The Highest Paradise, without any reckoning.

May Allah (swt) bless this man’s soul. Subhan Allah—if he had died like any other person who knows about the obligation of prayer and lazily defies praying, we would never know his story—he’d just be another person who passed away in another country, a person we may have never even known existed..

But perhaps because of his repentance and his sincere coming back to Allah (swt), Allah has blessed us with coming to know of him—so that his actions will continue to be rewarded even while he’s in his grave, every single time any one of us, because of his story, even across the world, remember to say, “Subhan Allahi wa bihamdi, subhan Allah il-`atheem.”

What will you do—so sincerely—that Allah (swt) will bless people with being transformed because of you, even after you’ve passed on?

 

source: suhaibwebb.com
by: Maryam Amir Ebrahim
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About theCall

“Invite to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious..”
This entry was posted in Awareness, Qur'an and Hadith, The Prophet (saw) and Companions (ra) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Two Words

  1. bilal says:

    salaams
    thank you for this post
    As a convert I had long felt before accepting Islam that there was something missing from my life, My parents being Christian I never really could associate (Isa) alayhis salam as my Lord and Savior, It was one day that I was involved in the Dunya life of alcohol and drugs that I found myself listening to the adhan In a neighborhood where the black Muslims use to socialize back when I was growing up and watching the bro.’s make salat. At that time I thought they were crazy to be bowing down on the cement out side in the cold! I was like what is this, But the sound of the adhan was music to my ears, to say the least it saved me, then One day I went to the Public Library to do some school work and for some strange reason I found myself in the religious section there I saw a book about Bilaal Ibn rabah.
    I only read a few pages at first but what stood out to me was when Billal was being tormented to the point of death he lifted one finger and said those magical words “Ahad”, “Ahad”, God is One, God is One, this too changed my life. I like the man in your story was disconnected from (God) Allah, because the falsehood associated with Jesus and Christianity and as a young man to be honest religion was the last thing on my my mind.
    These Questions that kept making me ponder on why I’m on this earth and what purpose do I serve and who is God (Truly) Inspired me to find out the true religion and to accept my role as a Human being who wants to serve A God who I can understand and be at peace with and wants me to worship him with full humility.
    Islam and Allah (swt) gave me all that I needed to be convinced. I believe every one on this earth has to come to grip with the Truth whether your a man or a woman we all will approach a point in our lives where we will make a decision…..of what and who we believe in, it’s at that moment when we gain consciousness of a God greater than ourselves do we become new personalities well adjusted to life and ready to tell the world or anyone who will listen about the great news we have found. Some of us continue to tell this good news to others while some of us like the brother in the story gains a contented soul and leaves this place of existence for something better…..Insha Allah
    May Allah make this brother’s grave spacious and grant him paradise.
    May Allah bless the people here at this post/web site to continue to provide the source of truth and encouragement to all who are inspired by it… ameen

    Like

  2. theCall says:

    Waaleikum salam waRahmatullah waBarakatuh
    Akh Bilal, your comment brought tears to my eyes. it’s so touchy and inspiring! May Allah (subhana wa taala) guide us all to the straight path, the way of those whom he has blessed, and not among those whom incurred his wrath. Aamiin.

    Like

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