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Allah Loves the Unnoticed Person

Allah loves the unnoticed person. Allah loves people who are obscure, and hidden. He loves those people who are barely noticeable in gatherings. Who are these people?

They are people who keep lower profile in their community, they don’t run after social status or reputation.

They’re people whose main concern is to gain Allah’s pleasure; they strive to be something great in the sight of Allah even though they’re nothing in the eyes of people. Allah declares His love for such people.

You might remember a hadith from Sa’d ibn abi Waqqas (may Allah be pleased with him) when he said that he heard Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saying:

Allah loves His servant who is pious, who is self-sufficient, and who is obscured, unnoticed. (Muslim)

Allah loves the person who is unnoticed by people, who avoids a sense of the spotlight, who avoids the sense of prominence amongst people.

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This type of being noticed is different. It’s one thing to be noticed because of good deeds (obviously, it’s riya’, if you seek showing off and being noticed because of good deeds).

But obviously, if someone is doing good, then there is a noticeable amount of that good that’s public sometimes. In this situation, there is a different type of obscurity that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is praising.

The Best in the Sight of Allah

When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was once sitting with his companions, a man walked by. Prophet Muhammad said to his companions:

What do you say about this man?

They said:

This man is of the most prominent of people. If he intercedes on someone’s behalf, then his intercession will be accepted; if he proposes to someone, then his proposal will be accepted.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saw another person and he said:

What do you say about this man?

This man is a poor man. If he intercedes on anyone’s behalf, his intercession will be accepted; and if he proposes to someone, then his proposal will surely be rejected.

Then Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

This person is better than an earthful of the other person in the sight of Allah. (Al Bukhari)

Who is the Unnoticed Person?

Here is where this becomes fascinating. Some of the most beloved people to Allah are the least noticed in our communities.

The awliya’ of Allah, the closest ones to Allah, are hidden gems in our communities. It’s a person who is quiet, a person who does their service and worship, that always greets people with a smile, that is barely noticed in gatherings, that doesn’t show off and boast…

In that process, they’re gaining a special type of prominence in the sight of Allah.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us that it is a good habit to have; it’s a part of modesty and haya’.

He said (peace be upon him) that the best person is one who sits in the gathering and leaves and people barely notice him.

This isn’t the situation, which there is dhikr and remembrance of Allah, but in gatherings of idle speech, or things that aren’t very beneficial, this person just maintains a low profile; they maintain a sense of quietness and a sense of humility.

That shows that that person is engaged in something else, in another type of pursuit; they’re not seeking their value from how other people see them.

So, this is not being noticed for good deeds that Allah talks about in the Quran, the presence of virtue in public, which is necessary when it’s done only for His sake; but this is a person who maintains quietness, softness, humility, modesty in gatherings amongst people; he doesn’t show off, doesn’t speak too much, doesn’t place too much importance in themselves or in their voices at times.

Our Role Models

If we connect this to the very first hadith, that if a person is wealthy or famous, then that would give them some sort of route, or some sort of sense of importance in themselves. So, they don’t know how to sit in a gathering any more and not be rich or famous.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most famous person in the world at the end of his life, but when he walked into a gathering, you couldn’t distinguish him. He had long periods of silence.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) didn’t take the fame that Allah gave him for being the messenger of Allah and project that on all his affairs.

Likewise, Uthman was of the richest of the companions, but he would be of the least noteworthy of them if he walked into a gathering.

I always find this hadith so profound. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) woke up one day, he missed that woman who used to clean the masjid. The companions said that she passed away and buried her at night and didn’t want to bother him.

We thought this was an insignificant person in the community; she’s just a woman that cleaned the masjid!

But Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was so upset by not letting him know. He said to his companions:

Take me to her grave. (Al Bukhari)

He prayed on her again, as if the funeral of the companions is not enough.

There is a great lesson on this that though this woman was unnoticed by people, Allah noticed her.

May Allah notice us and allow us to always seek that recognition Him. May He allow us practice humility, silence, and obscurity and seek that love of Allah.

(From Discovering Islam archive)

About Omar Suleiman
Imam Omar Suleiman is the President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and a professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University. He’s also the resident scholar of the Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square, a multi-faith alliance for peace and justice.