There was once a man who was an enemy to Islam. He had three questions that no person could answer. No Islamic scholar in Baghdad could answer his three questions... thus he made fun of Islam in public. He constantly ridiculed Islam and the Muslims.
One day a young boy, age 10, came along and heard the man screaming at Muslims in the street. He was challenging people openly to answer the three questions. The boy stood quietly and watched. He then decided that he would challenge the man. He walked up and told the man, "I will accept your challenge". The man laughed at the boy and ridiculed the Muslims even more by saying, "A ten year old boy challenges me. Is this all you people have to offer?" But the boy patiently reiterated his stance. He would challenge the man, and with Allah's help and guidance, he would put this to an end. The man finally accepted.
The entire city gathered around a small "hill" where open addresses were usually made. The Kafir (non-believer) climbed to the top, and in aloud voice asked his first question. "What is your God doing right now?" The small boy thought for a little while and then told the man to climb down the hill and to allow him to go up in order to address the question. The man said, "What? You want me to come down?" The boy said, "Yes. I need to reply, right?" The man made his way down and the young boy, age 10, with his little feet made his way up. This small child's reply was, "Oh Allah Almighty! You be my witness in front of all these people. You have just willed that a Kafir (non-believer) be brought down to a low level, and that a Muslim be brought to a high level!" The crowd cheered and screamed "Takbir"...."Allah-hu-akbar!!!"
The man was humiliated, but he boldly asked his second question... "What existed before your God?" The small child thought and thought. Then he asked the man to count backwards. "Count from 10 backwards." The man counted..."10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0" The boy asked, "What comes before 0?" The man said, "I don't know...nothing." The boy said, "Exactly. Nothing was before Allah, for He is eternal and absolute." The crowd cheered again...."Takbir!"...."Allah-hu-akbar!!!"
The man, now completely frustrated asked his final question. "In which direction is your Allah facing?" The boy thought and thought. He then asked for a candle. A candle was brought to him. The blessed child handed it to the man and asked him to light it. The man did so and remarked, "What is this supposed to prove?" The young boy asked, "In which direction is light from the candle going?" The man responded, "It is going in all directions." The boy said, "You have answered your own question. Allah's light goes in all directions. He is everywhere. There is no where that He cannot be found. "The crowd cheered again...."Takbir!"...."Allah-hu-akbar!!!"
The man was so impressed and so moved by the boy's knowledge and spirituality, that he embraced Islam and became a mureed (student) of the young boy. So ended the debate.
Who was the young boy? The young boy was one of our leaders and one of the greatest scholars, Imam Abu Hanifa, (May Allah bless him), born in Kufa in 80 A.H. (69A.C.), in the reign of Abdul Malik bin Merwan. The Imam went to Medina in 102 A.H., in pursuit of Knowledge and attended the lessons of seven top theologians.
Imam Abu Hanifa has left behind scores of wise sayings some of which are:
(1) No person has sustained greater loss than that whose learning could not restrain him from indulging in vices.
(2) A person who talks of religion and does not think that he will have to account for what he says, does not know the meaning of religion and his conscience.
(3) A person who attains knowledge for the benefit of the world, his knowledge does not take root in his heart.
(4) To have learned discourses with a person who has no sense of knowledge is to annoy him unnecessarily.
Once upon a time there lived a little girl named Fatimah who just loved to eat sweets. She would always ask for sweets from her parents. Fatimah's parents did not want her to eat sweets all the time, but the little girl did not understand this and would insist on eating sweets all the time.
Fatimah's parents thought hard about how to stop her from asking for so many sweets. There was a very religious man living nearby. Fatimah's father had an idea. He decided to take his little girl to the religious man who might be able to persuade his child to stop asking for sweets all the time.
Fatimah and her father went along to the religious man's house. The father said to him, "O wise man, could you ask my daughter to stop asking for sweets which I can not afford?" The holy man asked the father to bring his daughter back after one month.
After a month, Fatimah and her father returned to the religious man. The man said to the girl, "My dear child, will you stop asking for sweets?" From that day on, Fatimah stopped asking for sweets.
Fatimah's father asked the learned man, "Why did you not ask my daughter to give up asking for sweets when we came to you a month ago?"
The religious man replied, "How could I ask a little girl to give up sweets when I loved sweets myself. In the last month I gave up eating sweets."
A person's example is much more powerful than just his words. When we ask someone to do something, we must do it ourselves also. We should not ask others to do what we do not do ourselves.
The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186
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