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Dr Mohamed Mashally: Tributes paid for Egypt’s ‘Doctor of the Poor’

Dr Mohamed Mashally, widely known as ‘Doctor of the Poor’ in Egypt for his outstanding generosity, has returned to his Lord at the age of 76.[1] May Allāh have mercy on him.

Dr Mashally was dubbed this title for his noble work of treating his patients for next to nothing. It is reported that he would only charge 5-10 Egyptian pounds (£0.25-£0.50) per visit, and would sometimes not charge anything – even for medicines – at his three medical clinics.[2]

In 1975, Dr Mashally opened his private clinic in Tanta, a city in Northern Egypt and the country’s fifth largest populated area. He was widely recognised in his community for his service, which spanned over five decades.

Working 12-hour days into his seventies and seeing around 30-50 patients a day, he became a symbol of good faith amongst those who knew him, with one of his patients attesting that he was unlike any other doctor.

“There are doctors that you see on the street, that do not even recognize you or don’t say hello. But not this doctor. He greets you on the street and would even give you medical advice if needed.”

His motivation to serve the community came from an incident in which a diabetic child needed an insulin shot but his mother had told him they could only afford to pay for their dinner and not the insulin. Sadly, the child thought he was a burden to his family and decided to burn himself to death, causing Dr Mohamed to vow never to charge for his service again. [3]

Dr Mashally specialised in endemic illnesses and fevers, and was also known to provide free vaccines for people who could not afford them.

He said in an interview:

“It is poor people that are most affected by these, groups that cannot afford expensive treatments.”

Tributes have poured in for the selfless man, with many commending his dedication to serving others.

The Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, tweeted:

“Dr Mohammed Al Mashally of the dear Arab Republic of Egypt… He was a maker of a different kind of hope. He spent 50 years of his career for treating the poor. He is a model of doctors and a model of great people. May Allah have mercy on him and reside him in the highest paradise.”

Mahmoud Abd Elnasser said on Twitter:

“Today we lost a precious human to everyone’s hearts…Thanks for spreading Good values that were about to disappear. Rest in Peace.”

Nagham Mansour also tweeted:

“You made us believe that this life is full of great meanings that we have to live for…”

Another user wrote:

“Peace be upon the person who believes that Contentment is an inescapable treasure, not in words.”

There is a category of people whose presence is exactly the same as their absence. There are also people whose net influence and effect on others remains zero, whether they are dead or alive. There are those who are wedged six feet under, yet they are benefiting those who walk above them until the Day of Resurrection. There are those who are alive, and yet are not bringing any benefit to others – in fact they may even be bringing harm.

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

“Whosoever relieves from a believer some grief pertaining to this world, Allāh will relieve from him some grief pertaining to the Hereafter. Whosoever alleviates the difficulties of a needy person who cannot pay his debt, Allāh will alleviate his difficulties in both this world and the Hereafter….”[4]

So honourable is the station of serving others that it was a distinctive quality of our Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). Prior to his prophethood, when he came back from the mountain having lost his composure to speak and fearing for his life, he took solace in his wife Khadijah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhā), lamenting for his life and saying, “I fear for myself!”

She simply replied:

“It cannot be. Be happy. I swear by Allāh that He shall never humiliate you. By Allāh, you join ties of relationship, you speak the truth, you bear people’s burdens, you help the destitute, you entertain guests, and you help against the circumstances that affect people.”[5]

What is interesting about all of these characteristics that she identified in her husband was that they involved people – specifically the assistance of people. According to her, Allāh will never let go of a person who has these characteristics.

Serving others is not confined or exclusive to the one who has money – this is just one of many avenues of assistance and service you can provide to others. It could be a good word that you put in for someone, or helping them fill out an application form. It could be contacts that you have, or sympathy that you can offer. It could be a helping hand or experienced advice that you can offer. It could be opting to live a simple life to allow you to lend your expertise to those in need, just as Dr Mashally did.

Therefore, do not become annoyed when somebody comes knocking at your door asking for your assistance. They only knocked at your door after identifying you as a person of noble characteristics – a person who resembles the prophets and the four rightly guided caliphs. Realise that it could be that Allāh is looking to raise your rank in Jannah to a position that you could never have otherwise attained if it was not for this person who has come knocking at your door.

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:

“There are certain people whom Allāh has created to be at the service of others – people whom others flee to for their needs. Such people will be safe on the Day of Judgement.”[6]

We ask Allāh to protect Dr Mohamed Mashally and us on that day. Āmīn.






[4] Muslim

[5] Muslim

[6] Narrated by Al-Haythami, on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar with a weak chain of narration as was stated by Al-Albāni

About Hamza Saleem

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