In The News Islamic Reflections

Embodying The Sunnah: Ibn Ali Miller

If you’ve been on social media over the past month then you might have come across the viral video of Ibn Ali Miller, a 26-year-old Black Muslim man who breaks up a fight between two teenage boys in Atlanta. The video which now has millions of views has been highly lauded by several people online including basketball athlete LeBron James and TV host Steve Harvey. In addition, Ibn Ali was also honored by his local council in Atlanta for his intervention. When asked why he intervened, Miller responded with:

“I’m a Muslim. I was raised by Muslim parents. That’s what we were taught in my house, always, growing up. For me, I don’t look at it like I’m a peacemaker. I did what I was supposed to do, what I was raised to do.”

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-man-who-gained-fame-stopping-fight-cites-muslim-faith-1802959159

The main crux of this post really isn’t about the intervention video – although if you haven’t watched it I would recommend doing so below – but what I really want to touch upon are some of the things that I’ve noticed from his words during the interviews that he’s granted and the way in which he embodies the Sunnah effortlessly.

  1. Praise for Allah SWT and His Mother 

During his local council’s honouring ceremony, his words were:

I give God all the praise and recognition. As none of us are in control of anything, not even ourselves and he is the one who is in control of everything. And after that, I would like to thank my mum.

The first thing that came to my mind was how his speech parallels the advice that Luqman AS gives to his son in the Qur’an about the importance of worshipping Allah and being dutiful to parents. Bear in mind, that Ibn Ali was coming from an errand for his mother when he intervenes in the fight that led to this occasion. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim).  The clip above is deeply

A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim).  The clip above is so moving because of how he honours his mother and acknowledges her role in his life.

2. The Power of Intention and Allah’s Favour 

In most instances when people are catapulted into fame through viral videos like these, the intent to ride the wave and capitalise on the new found fame is obvious. But in the case of Ibn Ali Miller, his discomfort is apparent when people clap for him. He says “I’m not used to the clapping”, which reminded me of a saying by Ibn Qayyim

“This World is like a shadow. If you try to catch it, you will never be able to do so. If you turn your back towards it, it has no choice but to follow you !”

In addition, when asked by Steve Harvey why he decided to intervene in the fight he quotes the Prophet SAW in his reply and said:

Want for your Brother what you want for yourself.

And adds to this, “I don’t deserve any praise. This is what we’re supposed to be doing.”

What’s also interesting and slightly amusing is the way he instantly corrects himself when he calls the teenage boys ‘kids’ and chooses to refer to them instead as ‘young men’. Not only this, but he also speaks to them with respect mirroring the Sunnah of our Prophet SAW of speaking to young people with respect and dignity. As a result, the reverence and admiration that the boys have for him is evident and so beautiful to watch throughout the interview.

3. A Life of Inspiration 

Ibn Ali’s parting words on the Steve Harvey show really struck me and is the reason why I decided to write this post. He comes across as a man who doesn’t waste his words which I think is a Sunnah we all don’t practice enough. And there’s almost a formula to his speech where he praises Allah first and then talks about the importance of honouring parents in line with the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Love God first, a man without God is no man at all.

Have reverence for your parents, regardless of any of their shortcomings.

Love yourself. Have a deep and sincere love for yourself because if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love nobody else.

  • Ibn Ali Miller

Our beloved Prophet SAW is the best of creations and Aisha RA describes the Prophet SAW as the embodiment of the Qur’an. Such was his character! Every time I come across a video of this brother, there is something about his demeanor, character, and speech that is so inspiring and leaves me with a question that I want you to reflect on tonight:

Are you embodying the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW in your life?

I pray that you all have a beautiful week.

Ali Ibn Miller
Photo Credit: Time.com

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