The Beloved (pbuh) and his smile :)

February 1, 2009 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والحمدلله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء  والمرسلين
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate
All praise be to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the Prophets and Messengers
Salaam Alaikum

As we come home from work or university in our car, on the tube or on the bus, we’d be hard-pressed to find a cheerful person. On the roads, everyone is rushing to get home, honking their horns if someones cuts them off the road. On the tube, people are almost in a trance-like state, their faces expressionless.

SubhanAllah, what has brought us to this state? Although we have health, wealth and all the conveniences we could ask for, sincere smiling faces are hard to find. Are people that ungrateful for the innumerable blessings? What’s even worse is that many Muslims are now being drawn into this culture of depression.

Our beloved Messenger (pbuh) was the opposite. Despite the hardships he faced, people always saw him in a cheery disposition. Abdullah ibn Haarith (ra) reports,

“I did not see anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).”

It is worthwhile to actually mention what hardships the Prophet (pbuh) went through- having his entire family and tribe turn against him, save for a few people; being called names and being taunted, often in front of other people; being beaten and abused, along with the people who followed him; having to be a victim of several assassination attempts; losing his beloved wife, who he had been married to for 25 years, when he needed her more than ever; his uncle passing away in a state of kufr; his other uncle Hamza being killed and mutilated in battle; having to flee from his home; having so little food that the Prophet (pbuh) and the companions (ra) had to tie stones to their stomachs and eat leaves from the trees; being severely injured in the battle of Uhud, such that his helmet cut through his cheeks and one of the companions (ra) had to use his teeth to remove it; knowing the realities of the hellfire; and many many other scenarios.

Yet in spite of all of the above, the Prophet (pbuh) was known to smile and joke. Once a man asked the Prophet (pbuh) for an animal to ride. He replied that he would give him the baby of a she-camel. The man asked what would he do with a she-camel baby, as he obviously couldn’t ride it. The Prophet (pbuh) replied smiling, “Is there any camel which is not the baby of a she-camel?” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud)

When the Prophet (pbuh) was fleeing Mecca with Abu Bakr (ra) to go to Medina, being pursued by the people of Qureish who wanted to kill him, they hid in a cave. The search party came so close to the cave that Abu Bakr (ra) started to become anxious fearing for the Prophet’s (pbuh) life, but the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) put his trust in God. The Qur’an tells us “…when he [the Prophet (pbuh)] said to his companion: Grieve not, surely Allah is with us. So Allah sent down His tranquillity upon him and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see, and made lowest the word of those who disbelieved; and the word of Allah, that is the highest; and Allah is Mighty, Wise” (Surat Al-Tawba, 9:40)

As I write this, two feelings come over me; the first is of shame and the other of hope. Shame because we have become stingy with our smiles, even though we know that a smile is an act of charity that is rewarded, and therefore beloved to Allah (swt). We refer to a person who gives a lot of charity as generous; should we not be generous with our smiles? Even if we are feeling down, we get double the reward for trying to overcome this feeling and not spreading it to others. The true test is how we behave when the right reaction doesn’t correspond with our internal feelings of antagonism. And the feeling of hope comes from the examples the Prophet (pbuh) gave us, and reflecting on how he smiled and spread joy to others, as one of the Companions (ra) narrated, describing him:

“Most of his laughing was as smiling; when he did laugh, it was not loud, and he would show his teeth a bit like they were hailstones.”

It is worthwhile to note that there are other narrations of the Prophet (pbuh) always being ‘grief-stricken’. But some commentators have said that this refers to him when he was in prayer with his Lord; when he was with people he always smiled, when he was with his Lord, he was serious.

May Allah allow us to learn from His beloved Messenger (pbuh) and internalize his characteristics. As tomorrow is Monday, let’s all follow the sunna of fasting, so that when our deeds are exhibited, they can be so when we are fasting as well as trying to implement another sunna of the Prophet (pbuh)- that of smiling 🙂


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Beloved (pbuh) and prayer The Beloved (pbuh) and gentleness

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