SubhanAllah, I had a moment at the masjid today that hurt me, but the lesson from it was liberating.
After tarawih I was speaking to a good friend & another acquaintance of mine when another woman I know came and hugged both of my friends and turned away from me. I refrained from judging the situation too quickly, however the circumstance just stunk of the cliquish attitudes that people adopt. My face fell and I tried not to be offended that this woman was purposefully ignoring my existence yet standing in front of me talking to the people I was just speaking to. I continued to listen to the conversation and nodded my head, feeling a bit embarrassed and not sure why. Finally, I said salaams to all of them and left the masjid, wondering what I could have done to make this woman dislike me. As I pondered it over, it occurred to me that I was blaming myself for this possible error of judgment or this woman’s problem with me, when I was given no inclination as to how I could fix it.
It became clear to me that we can blame ourselves so much for how people treat us, but it can sometimes be people who exact the worst kind of revenge: the one where they don’t tell you what is wrong or why they have a problem with you. Then you live in ‘community x’ dealing with people ‘y’ who may consistently give you a negative attitude without ever speaking to you like a decent human being. This situation is juvenile and immature, but I’m afraid it’s all too common in our ummah. At the heart of it, it’s a lack of adab across the board that eats away at the potential we have to be a family, a big huge Muslim family. So many little issues amount to widespread negativity…
People afraid to say salaams to others, but stalking the hell out of their facebooks or twitters.
People standing shoulder to shoulder to Tarawih, but stepping on each other’s feet to get the free kulfi at the masjid dinner.
People engaging in the culture/color wars over what country you’re from and what color you are.
Or worst of all, entering a masjid full of unsmiling faces, just because they don’t know you personally. I feel hurt the most for the visitors who, looking for warmth & unity, find nothing but hostility or even worse: silence.
So what do you do?
Do you sit around and become bitter? Do you accept that people hold grudges in their heart?
No, you free yourself from it all.
Be that person you’ve been looking for all this time. No matter what.
-Smile at every single person you see & give them that beautiful salutation of As Salaamu Alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
-If someone doesn’t treat you right, show them how it’s done and treat them right. Ask Allah to correct their behavior and if the opportunity avails itself, remind them gently.
-Look for someone to help and help them with a humble attitude and no expectation for anything in return.
At the end of the day, you have the potential to promote positive change by leading by example. Take that opportunity and be good with reckless abandon, throwing your smiles at people and helping everyone without hesitation. If you’re already a beacon of light, keep it up my friend. If not, let yourself shine and follow the example of the most merciful human being to ever walk this Earth, Muhammad sallallahu alayhi was’sallam.
SubhanAllah, what a beautiful example. The prophet was a man who would treat everyone he met with such deep compassion and care that they would think that they were the most important person in the room when he, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam spoke to them.
His enemies became Muslim when they witnessed his beautiful akhlaaq and yet we, who call ourselves Muslim reject our own and lose each other in negativity.
Wherever you are, if you are reading this, plead sincerely with our Lord to fortify us as one and bless us with harmony, in the smallest as well as the largest of gatherings.
Finally, I’m soothed most by one thing in particular:
no matter how badly someone may hurt you or reject your good will, it was never for them anyway.
I wish I could say that I never experienced the above type of behaviour from Muslims as well. It’s a shame really. Vying for attention at the expense of our humility and sincerity.