I have been privileged to visit and spend time with a man I will call “Jiddy” over the past several years. He is a fascinating personality, full of vigor and insight. I was first contacted by his family when Jiddy began to have some health issues. I was invited to their home where I photographed and interviewed him. It was a short session but nonetheless, Jiddy and I formed a special bond. So it was with great sadness when his family contacted me again, informing me that Jiddy was in hospice care at home and inquired if I could visit him. I was reminded of the hadith Qudsi, where God relates to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم,
يا ابن آدم مرضت فلم تعدني قال يا رب وكيف أعودك وأنت رب العالمين؟ قال أما علمت أن عبدي فلانا مرض فلم تعده؟ أما علمت أنك لو عدته لوجدتني عنده
“O’ son of Adam, I fell ill and you didn’t visit me. He will say, ‘O Lord, how can I visit You when You are Lord of the Worlds?’ He [God] will say, ‘Didn’t you know My slave, so-and-so had become sick and you did not visit him? Didn’t you know that if you had visited him you would have found Me with him’.” — Imam Muslim.
There so many wonderful gems in our community. Incredible people who have lived incredible, even if quiet, lives. Take the time if you can, and follow this Prophetic advice. You will soon discover a number of incredible gems in your own backyard and above all, do an incredible service to them as well as putting good deeds on your scale.