For a lot of people, Ramadan is their changing ground. They enter this month with the intention of improving some aspect of their life. It is amazing – Ramadan should be the month to recharge, to improve and carry over into the year.
One of things I’ve seen is how difficult we make it on our fellow brothers and sisters to change. For example, if a sister decides she’s going to wear hijab for the month – maybe to try it out, maybe to practice, maybe as a test to continue on into the year – people around her may not be so supportive. ‘Oh, she’s just wearing it for the month.’ ‘Hey, look at you just being religious for a few days. Let’s see how long that lasts.’
No person is immune from mistakes or the perfect in their deen. So what gives you or I the authority to look down and talk down to someone who is taking that step to their Rabb? I mean, what are you going to gain if she wears hijab, or prays, or stops listening to music? Or not? Your deeds are between you and Your Rabb just as her deeds are between her and Her Rabb.
I’m not saying to ignore a friend who may be struggling to strive towards the deen. Be supportive. Remember, if you are fortunate enough to be so-called ‘religious,’ that you once didn’t wear hijab and didn’t pray. You may still also back-bite and listen to music and commit sins the general public doesn’t see day in and day out. You’re human. Just like everyone else.
In Sahih Muslim, there is the story of the bedouin who urinated in the masjid. The sahabah were ready to pounce on him and scold him yet Rasul Allah, sall Allahu ‘alayi wa sallam, told them to leave him alone so he can finish his business (finish peeing!!!). He then approached him and *kindly* explained what the masjid is for and that one can’t do their business inside. Sweet, simple, and understanding.
Imagine if the bedouin was accosted by the ‘religious’ folk and humiliated in front of them. He probably wouldn’t return to the mosque, let alone want to practice his deen. The Prophet (SAWS) taught us that our actions and reactions have a much bigger effect on encouraging people to change than our words do. Be the living, walking, talking example.
Again, taqwa comes into play. How would you encourage a friend if you knew Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala was standing behind you, watching? I highly doubt anyone would poke fun or discourage a good action. You would try to act your best and help the person from the goodness of your heart – because any khayr he or she learns from you will only be sadaqah jariyah for you. So remember Allah subhanhahu wa ta’ala IS watching. At all times. Shaytaan isn’t around this month to blame for any petty feelings. So the change comes down to you and your nafs. Change your outlook on those who are new to the deen and you’ll see wonderful changes within your life and others, bi’idhnillah.