“Every good deed is charity.”

.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts into seven ears, each bearing one hundred grains. And Allah multiplies ˹the reward even more˺ to whoever He wills. For Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing.” — Qur’an, (2:261).

Photo Creds: Moosa Alam, Allah hummabārik.

That this thing: Islam. It isn’t about ‘costumes’. It isn’t about shunning people; turning one’s cheek to them, out of arrogance. It isn’t really: grand showinesses. As Mufti Menk puts it, actually: confidence tends to be quiet. It’s insecurity that roars.

And so when we try to think about what religiousness means to us. What it ‘looks like’, to us: it’s an almost childish impulse that seems to bring it back to…

The men with the longest beards, isn’t it? The women who seem like they rarely ever smile?

The people who might be looking you up and down, whispering to the next person about how ‘far gone’ you are?

.وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone [who is] self-deluded and boastful.

Qur’an, (31:18).

The unfortunate reality is that: many of us have grown up with some distorted ideas pertaining to religion. When: people who wear ‘religious clothes’ are… excessively harsh, in their approach. Present Islam as being what it… is not.

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا

“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily [gently, with humbleness]”

Qur’an, (25:63).

And if you look at, examine, the paragons of Islam that are presented to us in the Qur’an, and in the example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) …

It’s less… reprimanding, and suffocating harshness.

More: easygoingness, and love, and smiles. Beauty.

Less: finding fault in near everything. More: trying to honour the neighbour, and the guest, and one’s parents, and one’s relatives.

Definitely: less arrogance, backbiting (a big sin: to speak ill of your brother/sister), making people feel bad. More: humbleness, trying to speak out good words, building people up.

It is: letting children play in the masjid, while we pray. Entertaining guests, and trying to do so with beauty, and with excellence. It’s feeling one’s blessings; it’s volunteering our time, among other things. It’s visiting the sick; it’s feeding the poor.

And the birds: feeding cats, birds, dogs. Exchanging gifts between people.

It’s goodness that is the lifestyle of the believer. Truth, and beauty.

The truth of one’s faith is in one’s heart, and is known by Allah . It isn’t necessarily about what any shouty person wearing ‘religious garments’ is telling you about yourself. This is not a thing of costumes; it isn’t really a thing of ‘who knows the most esoteric knowledge’ either.

كُلُّ مَعْرُوفٍ صَدَقَةٌ

“Every good deed* is charity.”

Muhammad (SAW), (Sahih Muslim).

*i.e. anything we know to be good.

That includes: a smile. A word of encouragement. Bringing someone some water. Giving a bird some water:

with the intention not to be seen by the people, but by your Creator, your Rabb, The Sustainer, Himself. The doors to His Rahma are just as open to you as they are to anybody. Whether you’re a man, or a woman. Arab, or non-Arab. ‘Born-Muslim’ or ‘reverting’ Muslim. etc. etc.

.‏إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّلِحَتِ أُو۟لَٓئِكَ هُمْ خَيْرُ ٱلْبَرِيَّةِ 

“Surely, those who believe and do righteous deeds, they are the best of all creatures.”

Qur’an, (98:7). Underlinings my own.

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