A Diamond’s Light – Reflections on the Teachings of Usama Canon

Usama Canon, photo by Ahmed Zaafran
Usama Canon, photo by Ahmed Zaafran

You can’t teach what you don’t know. You can’t lead where you don’t go. You can’t reap what you don’t sow. These wise words from Usama Canon have laid the foundation of how to live righteously.

We can’t teach others if we don’t constantly immerse ourselves regularly and continuously with Quranic and prophetic knowledge. We can’t lead with our families, businesses and community organizations if we don’t meet people where they are and if we don’t challenge ourselves to truly get to know the people we are serving/working with. We can’t reap benefits from our communities if we don’t do the work to sow seeds in our communities.

For many of us, Usama Canon is a magnanimous force guiding us through life’s journey. He is a natural diamond who once you meet, you are magnetically drawn to not only the light that reflects outwardly, but the one that is nestled inside.

Usama is the Executive Director and co-founder of Ta’leef Collective, a community service organization operating in Chicago, IL and Fremont, CA that provides an ideal experience for anyone curious to learn about Islam, or, in my opinion, anyone who wants to be loved. Through his work, Usama has become beloved to so many people across the country and around the world.

As our beloved teacher navigates through his recent diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, it’s important to hold onto hope and gratitude. I spent some time talking with others who have been touched by him and wanted to share their reflections on his teachings that have left indelible imprints on the hearts of his students, friends, teachers and colleagues.

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