How to Respond?

.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Photo Creds: Miss Shahanaz.

Things will happen, and things may come: unexpected, at times. Events, and specific times, in these lives of ours. Other people’s words: they will (likely) come. One after the other, at times.

We’re meant to try to be calm, kind, and lenient in times like the following:

When a group of Jewish people said, “Death be upon you [in a ‘play’ on the words for the Islamic greetings of peace]” to Muhammad (SAW). And his sharp-witted, Maa Shaa Allah , wife ‘A’iyshah (RA) had quickly gone to return the insult, and then some. Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Be calm, O ‘A’iyshah! Allah loves that one should be kind and lenient in all matters.”

‘A’iyshah (RA) asked the Prophet (SAW), “Haven’t you heard what they have said?

And, replied Muhammad (SAW): “I have (already) said (to them), ‘And upon you‘.”

From Sahih al-Bukhari. See Source: here.

From this story, I learn that there is a better way to respond. Even when people curse you, wish death upon you. You can simply say: you too. Death will come to everybody.

There is no need to retaliate so harshly. Respond with what is better.

I think it’s a sign of true security, which doesn’t necessarily come from the fallible, Created, mortal self, but from He who Made you. To be committed to calm, kindness, and lenience. To know that Allah is Witnessing and Aware

You can just know that Persons A, B, and C seem to think X, Y, and Z about you. That you ‘should die‘, or whatever else. You can, perhaps, register these varying views on things and: keep your river of a heart, steadfast. Nod, think: okay. You too.

Today, I’ve been thinking about that question of, ‘How to Respond’, for a small number of different reasons. Because the Dunya feels so… strange, to me, at times. Like some sort of prison, and a maze: like things could drive us insane, if we were to let them.

How to respond? To such a dizzying world, and to our sometimes turbulent worlds within?

The truth is: remember Allah

You can’t go wrong, in doing so. You’ll be reminded to: be calm. See things for what they are. Keep moving. Don’t worry so much, about what Persons A, B, or C might be thinking/saying of you. If others might, even vehemently, disagree.

Security, which breeds… calm, and kindness, and leniency. Security does not come from the frail and fragile ‘self’. It is from Al-Mu’min, Al-Muhaymin. Between your heart, and the One who Made it.

[Today, another person commented on my weight. It would appear as though: I’ve lost some weight. Well, whereas my lovely best friend complimented me on account of it, someone today made a comment about the absolute “state” I look like I’m in. Do I even eat?!

And I said, in all the Bengali I could muster: yeah, I eat. Why wouldn’t I eat? [I don’t know if I’d just been expected to smile and ‘accept’ such a harsh projection…]

Someone else said that I eat healthy. And then the initial person made some additional comments, on how I should stop, and stop following instructions on ‘how to be healthy’ or something.

I tried to be polite, I hope, and I also said that if I eat healthy, then I (hopefully) won’t end up having a heart attack. You know?

I like the idea of coming up with responses that are good enough. Honest enough. And: effective enough. What if such comments were to be made towards, say, someone who is struggling with an eating disorder or something?

I know I don’t have to simply smile and ‘accept it’ and internalise it; I also need not go into some over-the-top, frenzied ‘How-dare-you?!’ thing. I hope to, In Shaa Allah , respond from a place of security.

The reassurances of good friends help, and these are the people whose opinions and advice I should favour, prior to making a particular decision (e.g. whether to actively work on putting on weight, or not) and then trusting the One who Made me. Allah …]

Our example, Muhammad (SAW), had been described as having been a ‘walking Qur’an’ by his wife ‘A’iyshah (RA)

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