I recently heard something undeniably true: "To acquire anything of value requires sacrifice". SubhanAllah how true! Many of the times we forget the sacrifices people constantly around us make - especially those behind closed doors. Though these people may not be famous or well known to others, they are perhaps the closest to Allah.
Many of you are probably well familiar with Malcolm X. One of the strongest, most charismatic and influential Muslim personalities in the 20th century. At one time he used to call all white people "devils". But his life drastically changed when he went for Hajj in Mecca seeing whites, blacks and people of all color worshiping and praying together. He accepted Orthodox Islam right away because of the experience.
But did you know he did not have any funds for his trip? In fact, since he departed from the Nation of Islam, he was broke. Well then how did he manage to pay for an overseas trip when he had no money with him? It was actually due to the help of his half-sister Ella.
Out of her own pocket, though she did not have too much money herself, Ella paid for every penny Malcolm X would use for the Hajj trip.
Think about that. Perhaps only a handful of people may know about her today. But if it was not for the trip she financed for her brother, he would not have been able to go for Hajj or even leave behind the legacy he did.
Just because most people will never hear about Ella or about the thousands of others working tirelessly for His pleasure, do you think Allah will forget?
"Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good".
[Surah Yusuf (12):90]
Ella, who would later accept Orthodox Islam along with Malcolm, was not rich herself. But she worked and gave everything she could to help her younger half-brother.
In his own words, Malcolm said:
"[Hajj] would require money that I didn't have.
I took a plan to Boston. I was turning again to my sister Ella. Though at times I'd made Ella angry at me, beneath it all, since I had first come to her as a teen-aged hick from Michigan, Ella had never once really wavered from my corner.
'Ella,' I said, 'I want to make the pilgrimage to Mecca.'
Ella said, 'How much do you need?'"
A picture of both Ella and Malcolm in 1941