All the Blood Came Down

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Sheikh Saleh al-Maghamsee, the Imam and Khateeb of Masjid Qubaa’ in Madinah, was asked about a personal story that occurred to him. When asked on live television by a caller, he gave the following account (see the original video in Arabic).

cardiogramThe Sheikh’s Story

In the Sheikh’s words:

Well, it’s a personal story, but I’ll tell it out of honor for him [the Sheikh who asked], and out of honor for your audience. It’s a very important point, that’s not connected to myself, but to the point of the story…

I underwent open heart surgery. And the next day, I woke up from the surgery, and the stitching and everything had been completed. The doctors were passing by, those supervising patients in the intensive care unit. And this was immediately after my waking up from the anesthetic, after 24 hours from the operation.

The nurse in charge of me noticed a matter – something in the blood – so he informed the doctor on duty. So the doctor asked another doctor, and this other doctor asked a third doctor, until there were nearly 14 people, doctors and others in charge of patients, gathered.

They were baffled, they didn’t know what to do – all this while I was unaware. I mean, I could see their faces changing, their faces were fearful. The monitors were behind my head, behind the bed, and they were giving off unpleasant signals. I couldn’t see the signals, but I could see it in their faces.

So they called Doctor Adam, a successful Sudanese doctor, to come and see. He looked – and he’s a doctor, so he read the monitors in his way – and it became apparent to him that there was blood gathered on the heart after the operation.

He said to me, in these words, “Wallahi Sheikh Saleh, we need your consent to return you to the operation room to open your heart again. There’s blood collected on the heart that has to be removed.”

Of course, this news came to me like a bolt of lightening. But Allah guided me at the time to say – well, let me be clear. The first time, I had hope that the operation would be successful; but this time, fear had begun to enter me, so I said, let me say the shahada —

Ashhadu an la illah illa Allah, wa ashhadu anna Muhamaddan Rasool Allah – and I signaled with my head that I consented.

So he had them detach the devices in the intensive care unit to prepare me, and he put on a mask, and they went to the operating room to prepare things.

At this instant – there was a Lebanese (female) nurse standing on my left, and Allah guided her to say – she said, “Saleh,”  “Sheikh,” she doesn’t really know, she said “Brother,” or “Oh Saleh,” or whatever she said —

But she said – and listen to this: “Pray upon the Prophet, and it will be solved” (salli ‘ala an-Nabi, wa hiya tufraj).

And so I said, instinctively, like anyone would, “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammad,” like that exactly.

Wallahi, I said it, and all the blood came down, and the monitors began changing. The people there were anxious – what happened, what changed, what, what? The matter had changed.

They called back Doctor Adam again, so he came. When he saw the monitor screen, and he saw the blood, he said, “Sheikh Saleh, what we wanted to do for you and rid you of, Allah has rid you of from above seven skies.”

Of course, now, the issue is not about Saleh. It’s an issue of this woman whom Allah guided to say what she said – and this is in confirmation of the saying of the Prophet salla Allahahu alayhi wasallam to Ubayy, when Ubayy said, “Should I make all my du’aa [sending salam] for you?”, and the Prophet said: “Then your concerns will be taken care of.”**

So Allah took care of our concerns because we prayed upon the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wasallam.

But like I said, this has nothing to do with me, it has to do with the success Allah granted this woman in saying what she did, so that we shouldn’t think ill of Muslim women.

I mean, whoever saw her appearance and her dress, might have thought this woman did not know Allah even as much as the blink of an eye. Even so, I’m the one known as the Imam and Khateeb at Qubaa’, and it didn’t occur to me to say this word.

But she advised me. She said to me, “Listen,” with such gentleness and such sympathy, as if my situation saddened her, because here I was being returned to the operation when I was happy to have just left it. So she said, “Pray upon the Prophet, and your Lord will solve it.” She said it in her dialect, and I’m not adept at her dialect, but she said, “And your Lord will solve it.

And Allah jalla wa ‘ala solved it, alhamdulillah for His bounty.

Lessons Learned

1. The virtue of praying upon the Messenger salla Allahu alayhi wasallam. In the hadith of Ubayy**:

It was narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka’b radiya Allahu anhu said:

“When two-thirds of the night had passed, the Messenger of Allah salla Allahu alayhi wasallam would say: ‘O people, remember Allah, remember Allah. The first Trumpet is about to sound, and will soon be followed by the second; death has come with all that it entails, death has come with all that it entails.'”

Ubayy said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I send blessings upon you a great deal; how much of my prayer (du’aa) should be for you?’ He said: ‘Whatever you wish.’

I said: ‘One quarter?’ He said: ‘Whatever you wish, and if you do more it is better for you.’

I said: ‘Half?’ He said: ‘Whatever you wish, and if you do more it is better for you.’

I said: ‘Two thirds?’ He said: ‘Whatever you wish, and if you do more it is better for you.’

I said: ‘Should I make all my du’aa for you?’ He said: ‘Then your concerns will be taken care of and your sins will be forgiven.'”

[Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2457); classed as hasan by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.]

2. The status of the Messenger salla Allahu alayhi wasallam, and that Allah made sending peace and blessings upon His beloved a means for our concerns to be taken care of and our sins to be forgiven. Do we understand the status of the Messenger? “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammad.”

3. Only Allah knows what is in the hearts. As important as it is for us to call our sisters to hijab (and other acts of obedience and virtue), it doesn’t give us the right to look down on them. We all have our faults and sins – just because a sister doesn’t wear hijab doesn’t make her a bad person, and we should assume good of other Muslims (while still calling to the good and forbidding the evil).

4. Be kind when advising others. Sometimes, two sisters will give the same person the same advice:  in one case, the advice is accepted, and in the other, rejected. What was the difference? The one gave her advice humbly, gently, kindly, and the other, with something of roughness. We give advice hoping that people will follow it – so we should give it in a way that encourages them to follow it.

5. Be humble. Be humble with Allah. Be humble in your deeds and words, and attribute everything good to Him, subhanahu wa ta’ala. Be humble with people. Accept good advice when it comes to you, and don’t look down on the advice because you don’t like the appearance of the person giving it.

This story is full of other lessons and values – feel free to add them and your thoughts below.

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