Day in and day out you come across all sorts of people that have diverse backgrounds. Whether it be cultural or religious. You are greeted with unfamiliar faces and places many times.
Is there any change however, that you have brought to that specific place or person? Or do you just shrug your shoulders and carry on with an attitude of “who cares.”
Muslim is not just a name tag; in fact it is a colossal responsibility that one bears on his shoulders. Is this the way of the prophet (PBUH)? Is this what he wanted for his nation, and generations to come, every individual for himself, an individualistic society?
Clearly it is the opposite. There are many negative emotions that plague the nation today. Such as the loss of empathy, and others like jealousy, pride and being too judgmental towards other human beings.
People over time have lost and are losing the characteristic of empathy. Empathy doesn’t mean that you look down upon someone or feel sorry for them.
Empathy means to put yourself in that person’s shoe and feel what he/she is going through. Many people nowadays are out in the world fighting their own battle. The world can be a better place. Someone needs to take a first step. Why shouldn’t it be you?
As a Muslim, it is your duty to bring about a good change in your environment. Whether it be smiling at your co-worker or holding the door for someone at the grocery shop. We are the ones who should display great etiquettes.
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:104)
Be the change
This responsibility starts with yourself. Correcting your behavior with first and foremost your family members. Then as the social circle grows wider with everyone that it engulfs. It is easier said than done. It requires a lot of selflessness and patience.
At the same time the reward is great for committing such kind of acts. You have to be persistent in your work. Start small but be persistent as Allah (SWT) loves small deeds done on a regular basis.
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“O people, you should do whatever good deeds you can, for Allaah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired. And the most beloved of good deeds to Allaah is that in which a person persists, even if it is little. If the family of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) started to do something, they would persist in it.” (Al-Bukhaari, 43; Muslim, 782).
Another turmoil affecting the people today is that they judge others too hastily. Individuals have no problem with labeling and gossiping. It is easy as pie for one to criticize another person.
For once let one pause for a moment and think of the punishment that he/she will go through for uttering such grievances. Also think of the nuisance and the negativity that one is spreading in the environment. Folks walk into a gathering and evaluate others by their appearance, not only that but we have also created social standards!
The Prophet (PBUH) was someone who dined with the poor and the rich in the same place at the same time. Allah (swt) says,
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“And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster.” (31:18)