The Gathering of Knowledge
It is narrated by Abu Waqid Laysi “That the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam was sitting amongst a group of people, when suddenly three men came towards the gathering. From these three, one of them saw a gap amongst the people, so he occupied the space with himself. The second man sat where the gathering ended, and the third turned his back and walked off. After the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam finished addressing the gathering, he said: “I am going to inform you of a gathering of three men. The first one, he took shelter towards Allah. Allah gave him protection. The second felt ashamed that he should cause the gathering any harm, so he sat where the gathering ended, so Allah felt ashamed that he should punish such a person. The third man turned his back, so Allah turned his back on him i.e. he does not care about him.”
From this, we can learn and derive many lessons. Firstly, if we happen to come across a gathering in which Allah and his beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam are being mentioned, we should sit down, as the consequences of not sitting can be seen in the above mentioned tradition. We learn that Allah holds these gatherings in high esteem. It is said in another Hadith, that the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam has said, “These gatherings are engulfed by Angels, who after the gathering comes to an end, go to Allah and mention everyone with names, that so and so person was in a gathering where you and you're beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wassallam was mentioned”. Allah replies, “O Angel! Bear witness that I have forgiven everyone present in that gathering. Such a great reward is just waiting to be gained for a very little effort.
If you look at this way, you can get this reward every Friday, as in most Masajid, a Friday lecture takes placenormally before the Khutbah. If we were to leave our houses just a little earlier, we would find we can take part in the gathering and gain the reward. We have the excuse that we do not understand because it is in another language, but referring back to the tradition, the reward does not depend on understanding the speaker, but merely taking part.
May Almighty Allah bless us all with the ability to take part in these enlightened gatherings wherein blessings and mercy of the eternal Lord descend.