Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen and the Russian Pilgrims
“This incident was mentioned by one of the members of the Da‘wah and Guidance Office in Jeddah. During Hajj in the year 1417AH/1996CE he was with Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen at King ‘Abdul-‘Aziz Airport in Jeddah. The Shaykh would stand amongst the pilgrims arriving for Hajj carrying out his obligation of da‘wah and teaching. He was then surprised by the arrival of some pilgrims who had come from one of the Soviet Republics, so the Shaykh wanted to speak to them and asked whether they had a translator. The group guide who was a Russian came forward but he did not know that the Shaykh [standing before him] was Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen.
Once he had finished translating, the guide asked, ‘Who is this Shaykh?’ ‘That is Ibn ‘Uthaymeen,’ he was told. [Upon hearing that] he hugged the Shaykh, kissing him and crying. And then he took the microphone and told the entire group of pilgrims that this is Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen, and so tears started flowing from them all, and the guide kept calling out with the mic at the top of his voice, repeating the name of Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen. And the individuals in the group started to give salaam to the Shaykh and kiss him [on his forehead].
The guide [then] said to the Shaykh,
‘These are your students. They used to read your books in the cellars underground during Communist rule.’