Sayyiduna Shaikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi’s late wife, Sayyida Umm Ibrahim, once asked me if I would go with her on an errand. It was around Eid time and of course I was delighted, but quite curious as she did not mention much about it.
She gathered the children and I into the van. We drove out about 5 minutes to a neighborhood that was still being built. The homes had their foundations and columns but the bricks of the walls still had not been layed.
We stopped almost in the middle of nowhere. She apologetically asked if I would grab a bag from the trunk and give it to whom was living there, as she did not want to leave the children unattended in the van.
I was confused. No one could possibly be living here. The whole neighborbood was deserted and still under construction. There could not possibly be anyone living in the half built home we had stopped in front of. It was winter time and very cold. We were near the neighborhood of Qural Asad which was especially cold. She could see that I was confused and gently explained that there WERE people living there. She pointed out that there was a line of laundry hanging behind the broken wall. There was also a fire burning in an old drumbarrel so that the family living there would not freeze to death. I unbelievingly opened the trunk and found it full of beautiful goodie bags filled with treats and toys. I was still convinced that no one could be living there but took one and walked up to the nonexistant door.
I called out. No one answered. I called out again. Still no answer. I went back to the van.
Umm Ibrahim asked me to go again and explained that they are hiding and afraid of being kicked out by the authorities that sometimes come by.
She suggested that I say: Salamu alaikum. Eid Mubarak. Do not be afraid. I just have some gifts for the kids. I am going to leave them here for you.
I did that and still no one answered.
So I left the bags and walked back to the van. As we were leaving I could see heads of little children peering around the broken wall. The women and children came out and we could hear squeals of happiness as we drove away.
We drove in silence to the next home. There was nothing to say. Immense sadness filled the van and I could not hold back my tears. We drove in silence to the next home and the next time I called out louder and waited longer.
I looked for signs that they were there. Signs that had always existed that I had never paid attention to. Signs of silent suffering that go unnoticed except by the great Awliyaa of Allah, Most High. These men and women of Allah that look for those in need and try to give any amount of relief and happiness.
May Allah taala be pleased with the late wives of our Master Sayyiduna Shaikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi. May Allah taala preserve them and allow us the honor of emulating them.
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