It was a Sunday morning and my dad was visiting. My spirit was high that morning as I enjoyed every bit of the company I got from my folks. I proceeded to my friend’s place, after bidding them goodbye, to return a note I borrowed. Unfortunately, she wasn’t home. I was told she had gone for ta’leem. After deliberating for some while, I decided to attend the ta’leem too. I had never attended it coz I got the notion that it used to be boring. She told me it was usually like a class for ‘women’ with a sheikh teaching them a new hadith or treating some aspects of aqeedah. The only thing that I liked from what I was told about the gathering was that, the women were usually granted the opportunity of asking questions after the session each Sunday. I love sessions where questions about the deen would be answered.

On getting to the place, I was overwhelmed; It was a combination of women of different status – students, lecturers, married, single, business women etc. It was a classroom in a primary school, and as such, it had this “classroom atmosphere” that restored scepticism. As I joined in, I realized the sheikh was answering questions asked by different sisters majorly about taraweh; using a Quran to observe taraweh while standing behind the imam, sitting during taraweh because of pains in the legs, timing for observing taraweh (night – midnight)etc. Though the questions were relevant as we are in the month of Ramadan, it wasn’t the questions that really struck me but the lecturer’s mode of answering. He answered each question distinctively and with so much understanding.

During the course of his talk, he diverted a bit to talk about an hadith of the rasul that says: “speak to people on the level of their understanding.” Explaining further, he stated that it’s Allah who makes ease in the religion for whomever He so pleases. The sheikh also made mention of the fact that our approach to people in passing on the message of Islam is crucial. some times, we go far off point, leaving the wrong notions in the mind of people . Some would go to the extent of tagging their fellow brothers as “kaafirs” simply because they shaved their beards or are not wearing a particular type of clothing, when whereas, good character towards that particular person could be enough to convince and change him for the better.

He emphasized that the character of a Muslim is his/her tool for dawah. “People want to learn from your actions more than they want to learn from your words. They want to look up to you as an object of admiration rather than that of repulse.” He reinstated.

Furthermore, he stated that though the rasul said that one of the signs of the last hour is that great scholars would run into extinction, what is missing amongst Muslims of this day (pre-last hour) is “good character.”

The youth of this age have little knowledge but so much pride in them. They learn a thing about the deen today and consider everyone who is yet to know that particular thing as not being good enough; forgetting that they too didn’t know that particular thing yesterday.
The environment I reside in at the moment is one with people from different backgrounds in all ramifications. Some would not greet you in the morning and then wouldn’t reply you when you greet them because you wear the hijab. Sometimes, I get angry that I don’t even want to greet anyone anymore as u hate to be ignored. But isn’t the mannerism of the rasul far from that?
On day 8, I took it upon myself to apply the words of this sheikh by greeting the people who do not like to reply in an exceptional way. Extra smile, and more hospitality. For those who ignore still, I create a little drama to make them smile and loosen up a bit. What’s in a ‘good morning” might be a layman’s thought but never should it be that of a Muslim. Islam isn’t a den of a lion but a garden full of Lilies and roses. It is a terrain of fresh musk that should attract people from far and near.

If a woman during the time of the prophet could accept islam because the prophet came to check on her while she was Ill despite the rate at which she dumped refuse at his doorstep every morning, no act of good should be considered too minute to lure people to islam.

Before you correct a person, be sure you are not a victim yourself. Give your brothers 70 excuses, as the prophet adviced, before you even entertain one thought about judging them. Whether she wears a flowing abaya or a jumpy one, it just might be her first try at it. “Do not judge or look down upon anyone.”
May Allah forgive our shortcomings and make us better Muslims. Ameen
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