Come Ramadan, we get to experience another side of ourselves and those around us in many different ways…. while many of us might find it much easier to indulge into more & more ibadah, some of us may tend to steer away from a pleasant demeanor…. be it because of
- the long fast (our mind psychologically feeling food deprived while our body thanks us for the break & rehabilitation)
- the lack of sleep as some may desperately catch some sleep between taraweeh & suhoor, going to work or tending to kids or anytime during the day
- just thinking about ibadah as serious business and feeling the need to be aloof from family to maximize our ibadah
The fact of the matter is, no matter how difficult we feel our life is, how long our fasts are, how much qiyaam, dhikr, tilawah & dua we try to do, we cannot compare it to the quality of ibadah, life challenges, social pressures, daily demands of family, community & Muslim nation at large of our dear Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam…… Yet, he smiled…. He always smiled…
Our Prophet SAW would sometimes go hungry without a proper meal for weeks, tying rocks on his belly, yet he didn’t snap at those around him… he smiled
He felt lonely, ridiculed, hurt & attacked…. yet…. he smiled
He would fast not only in Ramadan, but also on:
-Mondays & Thursdays of every week,
-The white days (the 13th, 14th, 15th), of every month.
-in Dhul Hijjah, Muharram, Rajab & Sha’baan
-and even on the days when he would be told there was nothing to eat…..
To bear their hunger …..while the companions might have had 1 rock tied their belly, he Rasulallah Salallahu alaihi wasallam had 2…. yet…. he smiled.
So what reason or excuse do we have for not following the sunnah… despite of how we feel or what we may be going through…… no matter what we maybe suffering with, there is always someone more challenged than us…..Be grateful & Smile.
A Smile is a beautiful and the easiest of Sunnahs…. an act that is actually cherished & appreciated for being contagious.
Please read on a beautiful story, based on a true incident that happened with my dear friend Sr Zainab. It is her wish & my request that we all individually start a “Share a Smile” Campaign in our homes, communities, work places & masajid.
We are the followers of the best among men, we need to bring out the goodness our following demands of us!
Who knows how much our smile may be valued by the one we share it with… that may even be the only act of kindness they receive that day…So please, follow the Sunnah & SMILE
Smile & Salam
A guest post by Sr Zainab Habib
This story is based on a true incident that happened to her.
As I passed her in the masjid corridor, on her way in, this young mother with two small children flashed a million dollar smile at me and said: “Assalaamolaikum.” By the time I could overcome my surprise and respond to her she had already passed me. And the regret of a lost opportunity hit me! While I had been wondering whether I knew her, she had earned 10 easy hasanaat and more, Inshallah, by following our beloved Prophet (s.a.w)’s sunnah to smile and “greet those you know and those you don’t know.” And shown that she had the humility our religion teaches us to be the one to greet first.
And in my lack of preparedness I had failed to obey Allah’s command: “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is ever a Careful account-taker of all things.”(Quran – 4:86)
In a masjid where people of so many different languages, ethnicities and cultures come together, we all realize that fostering affection and bonding with people who we may perceive as “different’’ from us, is so important. Yet, it may be due to our shyness or fear of rejection, rather than our ego that we hesitate to connect with them although we may have seen them around for a very long time. So our beloved Prophet (s.a.w) showed us the easy way to overcome whatever it is that holds us back and made the Islamic greeting a condition of our belief.
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! You will not enter Jannah until you believe, and you shall not believe until you love one another. May I inform you of something, if you do, you love each other? Promote greeting amongst you (by saying As-salamu ‘alaikum to one another)”. [Muslim]
And he (s.a.w) told us: ‘O people! Spread (the greeting of) Salam, feed others, uphold the ties of kinship, and pray during the night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise with Salam.” (Ibn Majah)
“As-Salaam” is Allah’s attribute, so when we say this, it’s not only a supplication that “May peace be upon you,” but it is remembrance of Him as well. We have also been told that receiving a response to a salaam is one of the rights a Muslim has on a fellow Muslim and not responding to a greeting of peace amounts to being stingy.
And as for a smile, Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w) made smiling, which psychologists tell us is not only infectious, but works outside-in and generates the feeling of happiness in us, reward-worthy. He (s.a.w) – and “there was never anyone more smiling than the Messenger of Allah (s.aw)”- said: “Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity.” (Tirmidhi)
All these thoughts were going through my mind, when this same young mother passed me again, this time on the way out, and our eyes met. But this time, I beat her to it and smiled first! As I said: “Assalaamoalaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu!”with great fervor, I remembered the hadith on its rewards:
“A man came to the Prophet (s.a.w) and said: “Assalaamoalaikum (Peace be upon you!)” He (s.a.w) responded to his salutation. He then sat down. The Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Ten.” Another man came and said: “Assalaamoalaikum wa rahmatullaah(Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you.)! He (s.a.w.) responded to his salutation when he sat down. He (s.a.w) said: “Twenty.” Another man came and said: “Assalaamoalaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu (Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.)” He (s.a.w) responded to him and said when he sat down: “Thirty.” (Abu Dawud)
She smiled and responded to my enthusiastic salutation and said: “I love coming to this masjid. It’s such a great opportunity to smile and greet each other. Nothing like a smile and salaam to break down barriers and increase the love between our hearts. And it’s perhaps the easiest way of getting richly rewarded for obeying Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w) and earning our ticket to Jannah. Inshallah!”