Even a smile. I was driving around with a new acquaintance recently when he turned to me and said, “You know, Wallahi you smile a lot, and it makes me smile.” It caught me off guard as we were just having a serious conversation. He continued, “You know the Prophet Muhammad said that smiling in the face of your brother is an act of charity, MashAllah you’re charitable.” I think at that point he had me blushing (Egyptians are good at sweettalking), but it also made me think of the beauty of this religion. A religion in which you smiling to those around you is an act of charity. A religion where being intimate outside of marriage is a sin but pleasing your spouse in every way possible can get you Paradise. A religion where stealing is punishable but forgiving the thief brings about God’s forgiveness.
This is Islam. This is a religion that gives you so many pathways to reach the Divine. This is a faith that has as much diversity in receiving reward as it does diverse practitioners that prostrate to the Creator. It gives me butterflies just thinking about it. The realization that the person picking up trash with the intention of keeping the streets clean is, – God willing – going to have a home in paradise cleaner than they could fathom. The realization that the young woman with a full-time job who comes home tired, but still decides to make dinner just a bit bigger for the elderly neighbor next door, is going to have a palace of servants at her beck and call. That’s Islam, and that’s what I know you’re here for, what you all practice, and what you all love as much as I do.
That is what makes me fall in love with Islam every day.
The knowledge of how great God is, and how we have so many ways to receive His pleasure.
Start with the basics. I know that work is long, and breaks are short, but I also realize that just like all of the great things above, if you push yourself to take those few minutes to worship your Lord just five times a day, one day you’ll stand in front of your Lord with a mountain of good deeds and ask, “Is all of this just for my smile?”
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