An incident once took place when a student of Knowledge was taking a walk with his teachers in one of the gardens of their Madrassah. During this walk, the student decided to address a problem he was facing and seek its remedy from his teacher. He began to tell his teacher, ‘I have a spiritual ailment; I am habitual of talking ill of others and mentioning matters about them behind their backs.’
The teacher carried on walking for a moment and then asked him, ‘do you have a mobile phone?’ The student answered affirmatively and took out his phone to show his teacher. The phone was one of the latest models on the market and he had just purchased it recently.
Upon seeing the phone and the student’s attachment to it, he asked the student to throw the phone in a nearby mud patch and trample upon it. Whilst astonished by the teacher’s request, the student questioned, ‘how can I throw this phone on the floor? It has cost me a lot of money and is worth a lot to me.’
The teacher replied to him with the following words of wisdom, ‘So too is the respect and honour of your brother as sanctified and valuable as this in the eyes of Allah. How can it be easy for you to trample upon this honour and respect with such ease?’
The student realised how he had never understood nor appreciated the true value of a Muslim brother; and from that day onwards he never failed to compare the respect of his brothers to all those items which were the most valuable to him.
Jazakallah to Maulana Zain for his help in putting together this story.