When I became Muslim nearly ten years ago, I remember going to the “old maktabah” on Muntz Street for my first lesson. I was very nervous and unsure about what I would find. When I entered the room in which the lesson was taking place, I saw a white English Muslim sitting at the front of the room. He was reading from a book and other people of varying nationalities were sitting around him. This was my first lesson and my first experience of our noble brother, Abu Talha.
I was amazed that there could be someone else (I am also English) who was English and a Muslim. This gave me a lot of confidence and encouraged me to study my new religion of Islam.
As I sat in his lesson I was very impressed with his precision and nature of teaching and particularly with his softly spoken voice and calm mannerisms. Abu Talha was teaching Silsilah ahaadeeth as-saheehah of Shakyk Al-Albani at the time. (Although I did not know this at the time) I decided that I would travel from Solihull to attend Abu Talha’s lessons every week and try and learn more about the religion.
As time went by, I began to practice the religion more and began to understand the importance of aqeedah and the noble Salafi Dawah. Abu Talha’s simple teaching methods and translations helped me immensely. I did not realise until later, how much work he put in to his lessons. Anyone who sat in his lessons should understand the amount of research he underwent to give us so many benefits and side points. I will always remember him saying ‘as a side point,’ or ‘and as an additional side point,’ many times, adding to benefit of his lessons. The ‘side points’ were always from Salafi Scholars past or present and enriched the lessons and the learning that was taking place.
When we acquired the new building on Wright Street, Abu Talha began teaching various books. From them were;
- Aqeedatul Waasitiyah
- Aqeedatul Tahawiyah
- Lumu'at ul-I'tiqaad
- Thalaathat ul-Usool
- Creed by Al Barbaharee
- Riyaadus Saaliheen
Abu Talha was punctual, consistently in attendance and accurate when translating. He always stuck to the text of the book being studied, usually using the books of Shaykh Salih Al Fawzan, whilst bringing other benefits when appropriate.
I have seen many brothers sit with Abu Talha year after year at The Salafi Masjid. The sisters too have sat and benefitted from him. My heart goes out to the brothers and sisters who have sat with Abu Talha or listened to him via Paltalk. I know we all miss him and the sisters who knew Umm Talhah, his noble wife too. I urge patience and continuation in seeking knowledge. I cannot write too much as it makes me too upset and Abu Talha taught me the narration, ‘From the Fiqh of a man is the shortness of his speech and the length of his prayer.’ Abu Talha’s lessons were never prolonged and always kept the students focussed and attentive.
I was with Abu Talha last Friday night (30th October) as I had the privilege of driving him and his son Talha, to Manchester to give lessons on Muhammed ibn Abdul Wahab’s book, The Pillars of The Prayer and it Conditions. I was very happy to spend time with him and I can still vision him sitting at the front of The Masjid with his old brief case, his pocket watch, plain thawb and koofi. His manners on the journeys were a mirror of the Sunnah and this is one of the ways a person gets to know another. He was gentle and kind and spoke to me and humoured me in case I became tired through driving, as our return to Birmingham was quite late. My first lesson (as mentioned above) was with Abu Talha and I was privileged to witness his last lesson. I thank Allah for that and praise him.
With kindness and gentleness in mind I advise our brothers and sisters with this. Whether you are a parent, a guardian, an uncle, auntie, a teacher or have any dealing with or responsibility for children, then be kind and gentle and give good Tarbiyyah. None of us know what our children will become. With good Tarbiyyah from adults, perhaps a child will grow up and become a caller to the noble Religion of Islam, a caller to the Sunnah and Salafiyyah.
Abu Talha was an example for us and taught us patiently. I know his wife was also an exemplary example for the sisters. We ask Allah to raise callers like him from our ranks to maintain his tremendous Deen , Aameen.
We ask Allah to forgive Abu Talha and Umm Talha and raise them up to Jannatul Firdaus, Allahumma Aameen.
Abu Tameema Abdul Muhsin
Salafi Independent School