Student of ILM


Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem

All Praise be to Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala, The Lord Most High, The Most Merciful

Author’s note:

The Student of ILM is written in the perspective of a man who wrote about his friend after he had passed away. This story is about Zubayr. A story told to us from the eyes of his friend.

“In the shades of the light
I lifted my pen
In the name of Allah
Surrendering my heart
For the sake of Allah
My mind thinking of only Allah
“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik”, I said

Fighting the Devil inside me
I began in the depth of the night
Under the shade of my lamp….”

“The Student of ILM”, The title of the book I began writing and writing until my hands almost gave up but I never let that stop me. I felt fierce like a lion living in my own jungle inside my mind where I have captured most of my past memories. The precious moments of my past” – Zubayr’s friend

His name was Zubayr Ibn Yusuf; the only eight year old boy who stood in the first row of the Prayer among men.  His hunger and thirst for knowledge grew daily when he first heard the adhan from the masjid a few miles away from his home. He was poor and always loved to help others. He was a boy who had so much compassion for others. He spoke very little and only observed the actions of the people around him.

The boy who loved the masjids and everyone around him. He had a passion to read and to study about Islam. In a few days, the Imaam of the masjid became best friends with Zubayr.

One day, a phone call came to the parents of Zubayr. Zubayr’s mom, Tasneem picked up the phone. After the call ended, Tasneem called Zubayr and made him sit down on the chair. “Where were you all this time? I just received a call from your teacher saying that you haven’t attended any classes from a few days? Answer me right now young man!!” Zubayr put his head down, and in a low tone said, “I am sorry mother. A few days ago I went to the masjid and I became good friends with our imam. That day after the Fajr prayer he read Quran to me and explained me the meaning of Surah Al Fatiha. I felt so much peace and I learned so much from him that day, I decided not to go to school anymore. School doesn’t interest me much”. There was a silence in the room. In a few seconds, Zubayr saw his mother crying. He gave her a hug and said, “Ummi please don’t cry. I am very sorry. If you want I will go to school every day. The imam told me to respect and listen to my mother always”. He wiped her tears and his mother wiped the tears off his cheeks.

Tasneem said, “I am not upset at you anymore. You remind me of your grandfather. He was just like you. I wish he was alive right now to see you learning about the Deen”.

After a few years, Zubayr learned a lot from his imam. The imam first taught him manners and fiqh. Then he made him learn the Quran and the Sunnah. Zubayr felt everyday was a beautiful day shining and he made sure his every moment was in the Ibadah of Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala.

Every week, he turned pages and pages of Quran to read but made sure he understood it correctly. Then he would spend the next two weeks in putting those Ayahs into practice.

Years and years passed by, Zubayr became one of the most learned man in his town. Everyone knew him.

Once Zubayr was walking towards his home after Isha Salah. I went after him and asked if he was Zubayr. Zubayr said, “Yes, but how do you know my name?” I told him that I heard so much about him from my father so I decided to meet him. Zubayr invited me to his home and asked who my father was. I told him that my father is the same imam who taught Zubayr so much. Zubayr felt very happy to meet his son and asked me to stay over. I agreed.

It was getting late night and I went to sleep. An hour later I woke up and searched Zubayr’s room. Zubayr was nowhere to be found. I then went to the other room and found Zubayr’s beard soaked in tears. I smiled thinking of the Salaf and how they cried with the fear of Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala.

The next morning, I asked Zubayr to come with me to Al Azhar University and become a scholar. I said to him, “Brother, you know so much mashAllah and I highly recommend you become a scholar”. Zubayr accepted my offer and said, “I am only a student of knowledge. I humble myself before Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala. Please do not say that I know so much. I don’t know. I have still yet to learn so much from the Ulamahs there. I ask Allah to help me become a better Muslim”.

I understood and admired Zubayr from that very day and decided to be in his company. Zubayr was the man who made so many sacrifices to be on the straight path. He spent less time in playing with his friends and more time seeking Guidance from the Quran. His mother passed away when he was only twelve. He served his father as much as he could even if it was the middle of the night. He cared about everyone and always listened to them when they needed him. He comforted others when they were in despair and asked them to never lose hope in Allah’s mercy. He made sure that his heart was completely attached to Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala.

On his way to Al Azhar University, my dear brother in Islam passed away. He was in the state of sujood when his last breath was taken away. The people at the airport were surprised to see the man with a beard. His face was full of Noor. I have never met a man like him. There was always something to learn from him. His only wish was to meet his Beloved Rabb and to meet Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and that Allah and His Messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) be pleased with him. He gave his heart to Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala. He fell in love with Islam, with the Prophets, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). This is the story of the Student of ILM who strived in the path of Allah with humbleness and sincerity.

“If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man.

The superiority of the learned man over the worshipper is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes a big fortune.” [Abu Dawud]

الحمد لله رب العلمين

Story submitted by Ishrat Ali