My Dad came up to me earlier today with a humourous glint in my eye.
‘What does ‘Abbasa’ mean?’
Confused, I looked up.
My little brother jumped in. ‘He frowned.’
Daddy looked back at me.
Sheepishly, realizing what he meant, I agreed. ‘Yeah… he frowned.’
My little brother had been doing something which, as the elder sibling, I disproved of. So I was frowning (some would say glaring) at him. Clearly, my Dad noticed and wanted to make this point.
See, this surah covers the story of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and a blind man, Abdullah ibn Makhtoom, whom he frowned at because he was in the middle of a conversation with the big shots of Quraysh. The Prophet didn’t respond with words to hurt him. His frown couldn’t even be seen by Abdullah seeing as he was blind. However, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala saw. And sent this surah as a lesson for all of us.
Sometimes we’re able to hold back our tongues and stop from hurting people verbally when something is done that we don’t like. But we don’t stop our facial expressions and body language. Those two are not missed. Some research says that body language is 60 – 70% of a conversation, which shows us that a frown can go a very, long way. People pick up on the vibes body language gives off, regardless if they are aware of it or not.
Even if the person we’re speaking to does not notice it, Allah swt will notice it. Going back to the point of every action and the reminder Ramadan brings, are we keeping taqwa, staying conscious of God, in mind in our conversations? In our words? Facial expressions? Body language? It may be quite easy to stay silent for some of us but controlling whatever negative emotion we may be feeling from showing in our demeanor is much more difficult and quite often ignored.