As a continuation of my “Moments of Adab” series…
(This shaykh is the same one from the previous post “Peeling an Orange for His Wife.”)
2. Waiting After the Khutbah
I had taken a fiqh of salah class with this shaykh and I had reviewed my notes some months later. I had a question that I thought was answered, but I didn’t understand the answer and needed clarification on it. This same shaykh was giving the khutbah at the local masjid that Friday, so after the khutbah was over, I stood on a curb in the masjid parking lot, a little ways away from the brother’s entrance so that I could spot the shaykh and approach him to have my question clarified on his way out. (On a side note, I personally believed that I have gotten pretty good at the art of what I call “awkwardly hovering.” This is how I make my presence known to a shaykh or a brother and let them know that I need to talk to them, so they need to step out of their circle of men or whatever to come speak to me. Of course, hoards of brothers were flocking around him, and I just stood there waiting for them to leave or for the shaykh to break free of them.
I could tell that he had seen me, and he kept trying to make his way over to talk to me. But every time he’d take a few steps in my direction, another brother or two would come up to him and he would have to stay there and talk to them. Twenty minutes passed of my “awkward hovering,” and he finally got the chance to come up to me. He apologized for having me wait for so long and motioned to a spot in the shade that we could move to so that I wasn’t standing in the sun anymore. Before I asked him my question, he welcomed me to his hometown, as I was temporarily living there at the time. I finally asked him my question, he sort of laughed at the simplicity of it and the fact that I had waited for 30 minutes to speak to him about it.
This is one example of a shaykh out there that take the sisters of the community very seriously and dedicate time to help them figure their problems out. Some shuyookh understand the limited access that women have to them, and some of them (like this individual masha’Allah) adjust their priorities to make sure that the women in their communities don’t get the short end of the stick. This reminds me of how the Prophet (S) would listen to the women who came to him with grievances and how he would dedicate time to spend specifically with the women of his community.
I pray that communities everywhere have leaders that honor and pay attention to their women and continue to invest their time and efforts towards them.