As we move through history and the
chaos of our time, and amid the chaos in places like Gaza, when all they can
hear is the thunder of gunshots, and all we can hear is the thunder of
materialism and greed and all they could smell is the violence in the air, and
all we can smell is our own lack of content. I think back and am amazed at how I
could allow myself to loose hope whatever the circumstance in my own life be
here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We all have something we
are hurting from and we reach out to each other as Muslims hoping someone will
lend a helping hand. Maybe it is time to rethink whether we really care or not,
or are we just living day to day?
And it is then that my thoughts become
so clear and true, that three words run through my mind endlessly, repeating
themselves like a broken record: Smiling is a charity, Smiling is a charity,
smiling is a charity. His saying softening my heart somehow and seeing things
differently allowing the anguish and the pain to fade like the stars at dawn.
The final messenger of God named Muhammad
(peace be upon
him), when first learning of him it was through a smile that I became a
And now when thinking of the Prophet
he reminds me of a Desert Rose, a desert rose dressed tall in Red standing and
illuminated by the light of the moon, his message calls to me like a siren in
the night and he is a freedom to me from the evil of my soul, hope, faith and
the strength to carry on and his selfless message contained the greatest gift to
me and to you, a healing and a solace - the greatest gift being the love of
God and a clean soul. A hope that through a smile we can end the injustice and
hatred against the innocent.
In every story of the Prophet Muhammad
there is a reminder of how he would treat people with a soft heart, affection,
concern, love, and most of all, a smile. They say that He once said something
magnificent- "Even a smile is charity."
A long time ago this young man in his
early twenties used to hate going to the mosque and would only go when his
mother would force him to. When he would go there all he would see were faces of
hatred and discontent. One day feeling lost and alone he found himself at the
footsteps of that mosque. As he stood outside it, a brother of Syrian origin
appeared and he had a great big smile on his face and he was smiling right at
the young man. This brother had noor (Iight) on his face and around
him, metaphorically speaking. He really did, and the young man could not gather
why he smiled at him and actually greeted him and asked him how he was doing.
The young man developed a burning desire after that day to seek out this man and
he eventually became his student and learned the basics of Islam from him.
It was a smile that brought that confused
young man to the light of God. A simple implementation of the practice of our
beloved Prophet Muhammad
being a smile that shined the light of Islam on him. Who would have every
thought that a smile could go so far and it came from the heart connected to the
light of God. "Light upon Light."
It is through learning about the Prophet
and how he dealt with people that we can learn to love again and treat our loved
ones with respect and a kind word. It is not easy to do but it can be attained.
The Prophet Muhammad
who had a prayer for everything one could think of conveyed stories of how he
dealt with his people including the non-Muslims, the new converts to Islam,
travelers, the poor, the passerby, his friends and his loved ones and so on. And
we learn from his history that he took everyone's situation into consideration
and dealt with them with a gentle word and not with harshness as we are so
accustomed to these days. As the Prophet
said, "one who is devoid of mercy is not shown any mercy (Sahih Muslim)."
It's hard to go up to a father who
treated you and your family in an inhuman way on a daily basis for years and
forgive. What will we do as Muslims? Let's, let the hurt go, because it is time
to stop playing victim to depression, anger, hatred, guilt, and greed as our
Prophet taught us
to not dwell on the past.. As one scholar said, if we were tested with some of
the things that Muhammad ,
had to deal with, then we would end up in the puzzle factory wondering what hit
us. Because the problem with our new culture is that we can't handle pressure
and we break at the slightest things because we live in a Prozac society of
Instead, Shine your light and be
all that you can for Allah and his Prophet
and help yourself and lead yourself and your family and humanity. And lastly the
Prophet said, "Sabr
(patience) is a shining glory. The Qur'an is an argument either for you or
against you. Everybody goes out in the morning and sells themselves, either
setting themselves free or destroying themselves." It is time to stop
running and hiding between the shadows and the lies wherever that may be for us
and to be a light to other people and make the world a better place as the Quran
Allah is the Light of the heavens
and the earth,
The parable of His Light is as if
there were a niche,
And within it a Lamp: The Lamp
enclosed in Glass;
The glass as it were a brilliant
Lit from a blessed Tree,
An Olive, neither of the East nor
of the West,
Whose oil is well-nigh luminous,
though fire scarce touched it;
Light upon Light!
Allah doth set forth parables for
men: and Allah doth know all things.
24:35 Al Nur (The Light)
Ansari writes about social issues that affect the Muslim American Community.