Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem
The blessed month of Ramadhan is upon us, Alhamdulillah, and more and more people will be going to the masjid to pray Taraweeh, may Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala accept from us all, Ameen.
I recently downloaded an app called Periscope and alhamdulillah so far I’ve really benefited. This morning Imam Suhaib Webb did a “Halftime Halaqah” about being inclusive this Ramadhan at the masjid and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to share what I learnt.
The inclusion of everyone at the mosque is something I’ve always been a fan of, hijab or no hijab, thobe or no thobe, everyone should be able to come and feel welcome. We never know who’s a wali of Allah Subhanu wa ta’aala!
Lesson 1: Don’t ask people where they’ve come from if you haven’t seen them for a long time
It is from the sunnah not to pry into the lives of others and if you do ask them, they may be forced to lie if they came from a really bad place subhanAllah. Our relationship with people should be rooted in thinking the best about them. We all know right from wrong, but that doesn’t stop us from falling into the traps of Shaytaan. Don’t lead your fellow brother of sister into a further trap when you should be helping them become closer to Al-Qareeb (The Near One).
The community of the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi Wasallam) was made up of a mixture of ‘saints’ and ‘sinners’, ‘righteous’ and those who committed haraam and he (SalAllahu Alayhi Wasallam) never turned a soul away! We have this tendency to label people “Ramadhan Muslims” and I have a real problem with this phrase. Who are we to judge people because they show up in Ramadhan? We should be worrying about the ones that don’t. If anything, these so called “Ramadhan Muslims” are the people we SHOULD be welcoming with open arms, encouraging them to come back time and time again.
Lesson 2: We should greet people
Just saying “Asalaamu alaykum” to someone could be the catalyst for them to return to the mosque night after night and inshaAllah after Ramadhan, bi’ithnillah.
Imam Suhaib gave the example of when Adam (Alayhissalam) met the angels in Jannah and they greeted him first. This is an example of an angelic sunnah and encourages people feel welcome in your community. When I wrote about “Things Muslims Say” I did a feature on the phrase ‘Asalaamu Alaykum‘ and how some people will either avoid giving you salaams or don’t return them. It is a right your fellow Muslim brother or sister has on you for you to convey and return the salaam and inshaAllah, it’s something we should all work on throughout this blessed month.
Lesson 3: We should not be ‘Taraweeh Police’
If you see people making mistakes, or praying differently we don’t have to correct them harshly or publicly. There are scholars and learned people to do that.
The Prophet (saw) said: “From the perfection of a person’s Islam is his leaving alone what does not concern him.”
Alhamdulillah, we have a lot of revert Muslim brothers and sisters in our communities now and they may dress differently to you, have different haircuts, gold teeth or tattoos. From my own experience, I don’t need someone to pick out my faults publicly, there are enough people out there that want to do so, I don’t need it from the people that should love me for the sake of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala.
We need to learn to let people be with Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala and not manifest our need for power onto them by publicly outing them or making them feel uncomfortable.
Lesson 4: Be careful of the language we use
This is true even when we are talking about things that Islam explicitly says is wrong. Yes we should teach people the truth but there is a way of doing so. Even the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi Wasallam) would answer people as though they were in the 3rd person so he did not alienate or affirm what the questioner was doing. This is something we greatly lack when it comes to teaching and I feel that anyone who wants to teach others in an Islamic context needs to look in-depth at the Prophetic way of teaching before they do so. Just because you’re “qualified” it doesn’t mean you’re entitled to beat people down. Call to good with what’s good!
“And speak nicely to people.” (Qur’an, 2:83)
Lesson 5: Always prefer others to yourself
Let someone go in the line before you at an iftaar buffet or offer to give a hand serving, if there’s only one bottle of water left, pass it to the person next to you, if you need to make wudu before the next salah let someone go ahead of you – it’s that easy.
The Prophet (saw) said: “Love for the people what you love for yourself and you will be a believer.” [Sunan Ibn Mâjah]
This Ramadhan, you should be so concerned with pleasing Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala that you shouldn’t be concerned with what others are doing. Ramadhan only comes around once and there are plenty of people in the grave that make dua’a that they could have the chance we have now. Be merciful to others as you are merciful to yourself and love them for the sake of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala. There will be 7 under the shade of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala on the Day of Judgement and one of them will be “two who love one another for the sake of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala, meeting for His sake and parting for His sake.“
So love each other and enjoy this Ramadhan!
Wasalaam – Peace Be With You