COLLEGE PARK, MD –
Our Prophet, peace upon him, was sent to Arabs.
Talk about a privilege.
I don’t believe he, peace upon him, was sent to Arabs for no reason. Perhaps one wisdom for why he, peace upon him, was sent to that group of people was due to the societal value placed on hospitality.
Most of us are probably familiar with the concept of Southern Hospitality here in the United States. Well, before that, Arabs were, and are still, known for their hospitality.
It’s a good thing that they are.
For all their hospitality, Arabs were also granted the greatest of privileges – the presence of the Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, in their lives. In the flesh!
What they were taught, and the manner in which they were taught, turned them from feuding tribes, irrelevant on the world’s stage, into a unified body of regal men and women who improved the world.
The first part, the example and teachings of the Prophet, upon him peace, was a pure privilege. The second part, improving the world, was their duty to pay it forward.
As we discussed a few weeks ago, sharing is hard.
If the gift of the Prophet, upon him peace, was granted to a stingy people, they could have hoarded all the benefit for themselves and declined to take up the task of sharing that gift with others around the world yearning for a taste of it.
God granted the ultimate worldly privilege to a hospitable people, though. A people whose nature was to share and to care for the wayfarer.
There were, and are, many spiritual wayfarers around the globe and the people who were given the unearned gift of guidance went far and wide to every corner of the globe to spread its light.
That is no easy task. It required migration before technological transportation, and leaving the comforts of what many migrants knew and loved for unknown futures with unfamiliar people and lands.
It also required absorbing new adherents to the message of Peace at home and in expanding territories. Many new systems had to be defined in order for that absorption to occur.
Only a giving, hospitable people could have borne this burden. Yes, privileges are a gift and a burden. We must acknowledge our privilege, and bear the burden of uplifting others with it when the appropriate time comes.
I remind us again that if we’re doing it right, uplifting others will hurt our egos and sting going down.