‘The Prophets do not leave behind Dinar or Dirham, they only bequeath knowledge’
Just a few weeks ago, I was looking through my bookshelf and found one that I had bought last year at Jalsa, at an exhibition, entitled ‘In the Shade of the Tree: A Photographic Odyssey Through the Muslim World’, by the renowned photographer, Peter Sanders. While I was flicking through the images, which seemed to jump out at me as though I could hear their laughter through the silent beauty of the apparently motionless photographs, I stopped at photo of two young Muslim men from Mauritania, beautifully entitled ‘The Wealth of Poverty’: one is wearing sandals while the other is other barefoot; both are crouched; smiling shyly while they hold a slab of stone (or wood) each with Arabic writing on them resting against their shoulders; a stone-wall backdrop. The caption accompanying the image tells the story of two university students studying Islam, carrying their writing boards wherever they go, so as not to miss the chance of learning beneficial knowledge.
Suddenly, I thought of those young men and women who will be receiving their Ta’lim Awards this year from Huzoor (May Allah be his Helper). Then I thought of the stark contrast between the Mauritanian students and those who will be at the Jalsa. Why did my mind make this odd connection? It’s true that my mind does act in very strange ways sometimes. But then, I realised that the one thing that unites these students, who are continents apart, is love for our Master Prophet (may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him): ‘Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim’ and the best knowledge is that of Glorious Qur’an. The beautiful teachings of our Master (peace be upon him) permeates the hearts of all Muslims.
May Allah the Almighty bless all the young men and women who have struggled and strived to seek knowledge, the best they can, in obedience to the Mercy of the worlds (peace be upon him), and may He continue to give them success in this world and the next.
Congratulations to all the young men and women who are receiving their awards at Jalsa this year!
 Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2682 Book 41, Hadith 38 (weak/Da’if)
 Sunan Ibn Majah, The Book of the Sunnah, Book 1, Hadith 229 (weak/Da’if)
 Sahih al-Bukhari 5027 Book 66, Hadith 49