Friday, November 26, 2010

Laughter and Tears: An Introspection

BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

Some of you know me personally. You've met me, sat with me, eaten with me, and probably laughed with me. Some of you have no idea what I am like, except for what I write here. However, most of you probably know that I have a sense of humor and a positive outlook. I have even been described as "chipper" and "bubbly" by my dear sisters. All thanks and praise to Allah, Who is the sole creator of any good in me!   

Just a few moments ago, while listening to children laugh over foolish matters, I remembered this saying.  
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad said, "O followers of Muhammad! By Allah, if you knew what I know, you would weep much and laugh little." [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, #627]

Then, me being me, I immediately thought of how I'm always smiling, cheerful, and trying to infuse that into others. There is much laughter in my life. Uh oh! Is that a problem? Am I ignoring the Prophet's (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) words and warning? I had to consider the reason for my laughter and cheer. I had, for a moment, to remind myself of what I tell sisters who meet me and comment on those "sunny" qualities. I tell them this:

"Every day I wake up and give praise and thanks to Allah. I am overwhelmed by His Generosity and Mercy, by His Blessings and His Love. How can I not smile when every single thing He sends me is out of Love for me? How can I not be bubbling with joy and happiness? I have the most perfect and complete Love I could ever imagine!"

So, if my smiles and laughter are all to acknowledge and give thanks for Allah's countless Blessings, can they be bad or a waste of time? No. They are ibadah. They are shukr. They are sadaqah. They are daw'ah. 

On the flip side, I cry a lot. I am a veritable leaky tap! Friends see this, too. We may be sitting anywhere and the mention of Allah's Mercy, a reward for a simple word or task, or some hadith by our beloved Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and I'm dabbing at my eyes. Don't even get me started about how Allah chose me to be one of His servants in Islam, or I'll be bawling for a week!

In the middle of an Arabic class, where Hajj was being discussed, I burst into tears over the huge reward for the accepted Hajj and my desperation to go. While attending the Sunday Islamic classes with my children two years ago in the States, I cried in nearly every lesson over the things the teacher was telling the children about the account of good deeds and bad, the aakhirah, etc. Fortunately, by now, my children are used to my "religious tears." They still ask why I am crying, but once they hear it is because of something related to our deen, they brush it off as normal. 

I cry, desperately, over my mistakes and my shortcomings. I cry, uncontrollably at times, over fear of losing my way or being touched by the Hellfire. At times I wonder if death is approaching for me soon, lol, with such strong emotions over all things from Allah and against Him. However, I have great hope in my heart of Allah, subhaana wa taala's, shade for my tears and my love, when I remember this hadith:

"Seven will be granted the shade of Allâh on a day when there will be no shade but His. A just ruler, a youth who has been brought up worshipping Allâh, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque, two people who love each other for the sake of Allâh and meet and part upon that, a man who is allurred by a woman of high standing and beauty and he says, "I fear Allâh", one who gives charity in secret so that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given, and a man whose eyes fill up with tears when he remembers Allâh in private" (Bukhârî, Muslim and others)

So, I say to you all smile and be happy, because Allah Loves you! Cry in awe and desperation, because you are weak and humble. Laugh and cry for all the right reasons, so that it will all be on your account as ibadah and increase in your emaan and taqwa, bi ithn Illah taala.