On day 13 of my 35 day historic trip across America, we reached the Islamic Society of Fargo Moorhead in North Dakota with approximately one hour to spare before I had to call the Maghrib Adhan. Tired from driving all day, my companion and logistics manager, Yahya Sultan and I climbed out of the seats of our car to stretch out a bit and take some pictures of the surrounding area.
Islamic Society of Fargo Moorhead, North Dakota
As the sun set, it cast a shadow upon the masjid that blinded us from the silhouette of a man who began to approach us with vigor. As he drew closer to me, I was able to decipher a person who was wearing a brilliant smile, a sparkle in his eye who brought with him an aura of enthusiasm. What happened next, sent shivers down my spine:
He approached me and said in a thick accent: “Assalamualaikum-warahmathullahi-Wabarakathuhu. I have something that belongs to you… Those who are present here today shall take these words to others and those to others again and may the last ones understand my words better than those who have listened to me directly…”
Hearing that part of the speech from the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), for which I am an ambassador and a champion stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought to myself, “This man is delivering my own message to me!” In that moment, this stranger had invoked my complete and undivided attention. The man came close, grabbed me by my shoulders and hugged me tightly, the way one would a long lost relative. I asked him: “Brother, i’m sorry, but do I know you? Have we met before…” The man smiled back at me and said: “Last week, in Imam Imad Enchassi’s masjid in Oklahoma City, you made the adhan and after Salatul Fajr, you recited the last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). I was there! There were only a dozen people or so present, but I was there! I listened to you and I heard these words speak to me. I heard them for the first time…”
Stunned at the mans statement, I asked him, “How is this possible?” I quickly made the calculations. The distance between Oklahoma City and Fargo Moorehead was approximately 788 miles/ 1,268 Kilometers, literally across the country and we were there seven days ago with multiple cities, states and thousands of people in between then and now. His reply was simple: “I am a truck driver originally from Sudan” and Allah made it so, that I was to listen to the words which you are passing along to others and bring them right back to you. A gift from your brother. A gift from Allah!”
He said that he was literally leaving the masjid when he laid eyes upon me and he knew that this meeting was not a coincidence! He knew it was something special. “This was a sign for both of us.” I was quiet… utterly speechless and emotional… teary eyed. I knew and he knew that two minutes later and we would have missed one other. He went on to say, that “Allah has made me a traveler, so in every city that I go, per the tradition of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), I try to earn the shade of his throne by attaching myself to the masjid”. I asked him for a quick picture. He happily obliged and with that, he feverishly climbed into his truck and drove away towards his next destination. I didn’t even have enough time to catch his name or contact information.
I slowly walked into the masjid. Humbled, with only one thing on my mind: “I need that shade!”
About Memoirs of the Muaddhin
A collection of inspirational stories chronicled by Jameel Syed, “The Muaddhin” as he navigates the diversified landscape of Muslim communities across the 50 states of America and beyond.
Jameel Syed, “The Muaddhin” is an international speaker, traveler, author and marketing executive based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. In 2015, he became the first person in the history of the world to make the Adhan – Islamic call to prayer across all 50 states in America: Record span of 35 days while reciting the last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). He is the brainchild behind the historical “50 Mosque Man Tour”. Jameel is a columnist for two of the most prestigious online Muslim Media sources in the world: ilmfeed.com and muslimmatters.org. He features in a podcast series under the banner of “Greed For Ilm” that airs bi-weekly about Muslims in America. Jameel attained his education from The University of Michigan School of Kinesiology and Ross School of Business. In 2004, he founded the Fluidvisions Marketing firm, specializing in strategy consulting, building brand equity and launching new ventures. For information about booking speaking events, go to: www.jameelsyed.com
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