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21 September 2014

Smile Always

I have known a person for years, as he is one of my work colleagues. Would you believe me if I tell you that to this day I do not know if he has teeth or not! He is constantly frowning and sulking, as if smiling may decrease his age or wealth!

Jarir bin ‘Abdullah al-Bajali said, “The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) never saw me except that he smiled at me.

Smiling is of various types and of different levels.

One type is to be constantly cheerful, where your face is always bright with joy. If you are a teacher and enter the classroom to see your students, meet them with a cheerful face. If you board a plane and walk through the aisle as people look at you, be cheerful. If you enter a grocery store or a petrol station, smile as you pay. If you are in a gathering and there enters a man who greets those sitting with a loud voice and gazes at them, smile. If you meet a group of people and shake their hands, smile.

Generally speaking, smiling plays an important role in suppressing anger and doubt like nothing else does. A brave man is he who is able to control his emotions and smile in the darkest of moments.

One day, Anas bin Malik – may Allah be pleased with him – was walking with the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam). The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) was wearing a Najrani mantle with rough edging. There came a Bedouin running behind the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam), wanting to catch up with him. When he got close to the Prophet, he pulled him aggressively by his mantle, such that the mantle rubbed hard against his neck.

Anas said, “I looked at the Prophet’s neck and noticed a mark due to the edge of his mantle being so roughly pulled across his neck.

So what exactly did the man want?

Was his house burning down and he wanted help? Had the pagans attacked his people, and he turned to the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) horrified, seeking his aid? Read what he actually wanted…

He said, “O Muhammad!”(Note, he didn’t say, “O Messenger of Allah.”) Rather he said, “O Muhammad! Give me some of the wealth that Allah has given you!

The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) turned around, smiled, and ordered that he be given something.

Yes, he was heroic – he was one who would not be agitated by such behavior, nor would he punish people over brainless actions. He was easygoing and strong enough to maintain his composure. He was always smiling, even in the darkest of moments. He would consider the consequences before performing any action. What would the benefit have been to have shouted at the man and driven him away? Would that have made his neck feel better? Would it have corrected the man’s manners? Never! It never would have had the same effect as patience and forbearance.

Sometimes we become excited and angry over issues that deserve a different approach. We should treat such issues with gentleness, leniency, and a smiling. We ought to think good of others, quash our fury and, ultimately, earn people’s pleasure.

The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) was certainly correct when he said, “The strong man is not the one who is best at wrestling. Rather, the strong person is the one who controls himself when angry.

The noble Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) would attract people merely by smiling and being cheerful. The Muslims marched out on the expedition of Khaybar, and during the battle, a sack full of fat dropped out of the Jews’ fortress. ‘Abdullah bin Mughaffal collected it, carried it on his back quite happily and made his way to his companions.

On his way, the man responsible for collecting and organizing the booty met him and started to pull the sack from him, saying, “Give it to me! This is to be distributed amongst the Muslims!

‘Abdullah held tight to it and said, “By Allah! I will not give it to you! I got it first!

The man replied, “You will give it to me!” The two of them started pulling on the sack, and while they were doing so, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) passed by them. When the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) saw them as they were pulling the sack, he laughed and said to the man responsible for the booty, “Leave him alone with the sack.” Thus, the man left it in ‘Abdullah’s hands.

‘Abdullah took it to his companions and they ate it all together.

Finally, remember that to smile in your brother’s face is an act of charity.

The leader…
He never saw me except that he smiled…

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