NOTE: During the June 2007 Umrah-Study Shaykh Waleed Basyuni joined us to teach the book, Aqeedah Ahl us Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and before the series of classes began he gave a personalized introduction about the author of the book, the great scholar and Imam – Shaykh Uthaimeen, rahima ullah.
Shaykh Waleed Basyuni said:
“I personally had the honor and great privilege of studying with the author of this great book, the noble Imam, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-Uthaimeen rahima ullah. Undoubtedly he was a great scholar and voice of Ahl us Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and one of the renowned Muslim jurists of our times.
My first memory of the Shaykh, is from right here in this city we are in right now – Makkah Al-Mukarramah and it is almost twenty summers ago that I was with him here.
The Shaykh had completed a lecture and after the students were able to ask him a few questions and benefit from the answers we walked to the masjid area of the Haram to pray. In those days Masjid Al-Haram had warm black marble spots on the floor making it very hot especially in the summers.
During the prayer I had a spot right next to the Shaykh. I remember he placed his bishth, a type of robe, onto the floor where he would be making sujood. I felt shy to put my foot on his bishth even though the heat was bothering me considerably. I placed my foot underneath his bishth instead.
In the prayer I was moving around, almost hobbling on one foot at a time to somehow decrease the burning feeling I was experiencing. The Shaykh noticed my situation and while we were in prayer entering sujood he took my foot and physically moved it onto the bishth.”
I say: This action shows not only the kindness and good manners the Shaykh had but also his wisdom and knowledge. He felt his brother was in pain, and not able to pray comfortably and so the Shaykh did not go on with his own prayer ignoring the brother right next to him. Rather, he stepped in and made an adjustment to help his brother right then and there.
Shaykh Waleed then joked, “You can say that is the day he truly entered my heart, by saving my foot!”
Shaykh Waleed continued:The last time I met Shaykh ibn Al-Uthaimeen was in Boston when he came to the United States for treatment. He was advised to shave his beard before surgery and more advanced treatments of the cancer he was suffering from. The Shaykh refused saying, “I do not want to face Allah subhanu wa ta ala without a beard.”
During that trip I was able to visit the Shaykh and ask him some questions personally. I had read his fatawa on the issue of eating meat in this country but I wanted to ask the Shaykh myself and clarify. “Shaykh, do you find the meat in this country acceptable for Muslims to eat?” I asked.
Shaykh ibn Al-Uthaimeen replied, “Yes, this meat can be eaten and there is no harm in that, however, I would advise for the brothers and sisters to eat meat from Muslim slaughterhouses because this is better and this will also support your brothers.”