Ponder over the following examples where very few words unlocked the greatness of three great people.
- Imam Ishaaq Ibn Raahawayh once said during a study circle of Hadith,
“من ينشط منكم لجمع الصحيح؟”
“Whom here is willing to take it upon himself to compile for us the authentic Hadith?”
Imam Al-Bukhari was present and said, “His words fell onto my heart” Imagine that! It was just those words which sparked off the most beneficial Hadith project in History!
- Imam Ash-Shafi’i was most interested in poetry in the earlier parts of his life. One scholar heard him speak poetry and so he asked him,
“أين أنت من الفِقه؟”
“Why don’t you focus on the study of Fiqh (jurisprudence) instead?”
This had a profound effect on Imam Ash-Shaafi’i and because of these words, he completely changed the course of his study and turned to the study of Hadith and Fiqh till he became an Imam. All of this was because of one simple encounter with a wise well-wisher.
- Have you heard of Imam Adh-Dhahabi? His handwriting was once spotted by Imam Al-Barzaali so he said to Adh-Dhahabi,
“إنَّ خطك هذا يشبه خط المُحدِّثين”
“Your handwriting resembles the handwriting of the scholars of Hadith”
Imam Adh-Dhahabi said,
فحبَّب الله لي علم الحديث
“After hearing that, Allah placed the love of Hadith in my heart!”
You have no idea of the potential influence which your words may have on your children, students, family members or friends, even if your words are few!
Coupled with your sincerity and wisely tailored words of encouragement, plant the seed of inspiration within their hearts and leave it to grow.
This person may develop to become the next scholar, a ground-breaking caller to Islam, the mother of the next revivalist or the founder of a revolutionary project for the Ummah.
You may end up forgetting all about this seed. But this reformed individual will never forget. More importantly, Allah will never forget.